The Smarter Guide to… Notting Hill
Arguably London’s most famous neighbourhood thanks to its starring role in that movie, explore stylish and bohemian Notting Hill and discover the best restaurants, boutiques and places to visit.
PLACES TO VISIT
Front row beds, back row sofas or leather armchairs with footstools – these are the options at The Electric, one of Britain’s oldest working cinemas. Opened in 1911, it’s now part of the Soho House Group and has a bar at the back for ordering cocktails and champagne pre-screening.
191 Portobello Road; electriccinema.co.uk
PLACES TO EAT
Beach Blanket Babylon
Since it opened in 1990, this modern European restaurant has been somewhere to be and be seen, as much about the cocktails and crowd as the food (dishes include seafood taglioni and dry-aged steaks). Baroque-style interiors are suitably over-the-top: gilt-framed mirrors, ornate fireplaces and emerald green velvet bar stools. 45 Ledbury Road; beachblanket.co.uk
Granger & Co
Australian all-day restaurant chain Granger & Co serves up out-of-the-ordinary breakfasts (grilled cheese and kimchi open sandwiches, chilli fried egg and bacon in a brioche bun) and lunches. This outpost comes with a small section of outdoor seating; it’s walk-in only and popular so be prepared to wait.
175 Westbourne Grove; grangerandco.com
Core by Clare Smyth
The first and only woman to run a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the UK, fine dining Core by Clare Smyth celebrates seasonal, British ingredients. For the full experience, choose the seven-course ‘Core Seasons’ or ‘Core Classics’ menu; the latter includes Isle of Harris scallop tartare and Welsh Rhug Estate venison.
92 Kensington Park Road; corebyclaresmyth.com
PLACES TO SHOP
From Nordic 20th-century design gallery Modernity to fashion brands Max Mara and Sandro, Westbourne Grove is the place to browse high-end boutiques. Pick up new season shoes from Emma Hope and statement gold jewellery from Pippa Small. Daylesford farm shop and café are great for delicious salads or wood-fired sourdough pizza.
Lutyens & Rubinstein
Owned by literary agents Sarah Lutyens and Felicity Rubinstein who wanted to open somewhere that sold the kind of books they loved to read, this bookshop is much loved by Notting Hill locals. The curated selection ranges from wild swimming in Scotland to a dictionary of interesting and important dogs.
21 Kensington Park Road; lutyensrubinstein.co.uk
John & Jessie florists
Named after its sibling owners, this smart florist sells everything from bespoke flower arrangements to olive trees and garden shrubs. During the pandemic, their adjoining premises pivoted to a greengrocer and delicatessen, Jack & Jessie, where you can stock up on essentials and Jude’s ice cream.
131e Kensington Church Street
Antique and bric-a-brac shops line Portobello Road – and the Friday and Saturday market is an extension of that with stalls selling everything from brass door knockers to brooches and silver spoons. If you’re looking for fashion, head to Portobello Green (there’s more vintage on a Friday) and come early – it gets crowded.
Native & Co
Set up by a pair of product designers, Native & Co specialises in beautifully crafted homeware, tableware and kitchenware made by Japanese artisans. Rice clay pots from the pottery-making region of Mashiko, cherry birch wood tea caddies produced by a 100-year-old studio in Yamanaka, and traditional hand-forged steel knives are just some of what’s for sale.
116 Kensington Park Road; nativeandco.com
ALL IMAGES: COURTESY OF THE SEPTEMBER CHRONICLES