Notting Hill – A Londoner’s Guide

NOTTING HILL - A LONDONER'S GUIDE You'll have seen Notting Hill a thousand times. On TV and film and most of all, on social media, ESPECIALLY the image friendly platforms of Instagram and Pinterest (hello pastel houses).. I've been living in Notting Hill for around five months now and still have a lot to learn, however one thing is for sure, it is a busy little place. Expect pretty Victorian houses, heaps of pretty flowers and fashionistas on every corner, yes this is one place where no one bats an eyelid if you pose up a storm or even steal a snap on the odd doorstep! I had a little look around Instagram and asked some of my blogger pals for a bit of advice to make up this hot list! My snaps are taken outside of St Stephen's Church on Westbourne Park Road wearing an awful lot of Zara. Ready? Let's go!

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Basket of flowers anyone?

Start at Notting Hill Gate with a walk down Portobello Road Portobello Road is a MUST especially for Instagram folk chasing down cupcakes (we're looking at you Hummingbird Bakery) and pretty pastel houses. On Saturday the market is MENTAL - watch your bag/purse/phone in the busy streets but DO enjoy the food, drink and vintage finds. The whole street is amazing and start at Notting Hill Gate and walk all the way down to Ladbroke Grove. My tip - Goldsmith's Vintage store half way down for great sunnies and my favourite girl, Racy Charlie for vintage cake stands!

Biscuiteers Recommended by model and Instagram star Tess Montgomery (pictured below in Notting Hill) is the beautiful Biscuiteers as snapped by Meandering Macaron. The imaginative biscuits come in all shapes and sizes in super fancy boxes, and their pretty as a picture cafe (or Icing Boutique as they call it)  is just off Portobello Road and is a must-visit for any gifts to take home for friends.

Tess Montgomery

Tess Montgomery in Notting Hill

Blossom Chasing Blossom is such a treat and every single petal seems to signals the start of Spring. It lasts for around a month, so you have to pick your moment or you will wonder what all the fuss is about! I would say it starts around mid-March, peaking in early April and finishing with a flurry at the end of April. I love Hereford Road, Chepstow Road and Northumberland Place for my blossom fix. Don't worry, when it is over, we enter Wisteria Hysteria!

Claire_Etchell_NakedPRGirl_Notting_Hill_IMG_5576ss In The Pink Bloggers and wedding dress designers Belle & Bunty have made a career out of finding those pink doors for the perfect snaps in London! This cute fashion duo are also pros at doorstep perching for the perfect snap. Head over to their blog which includes all the best ones rounded up in one place - including a couple of Notting Hill insta-favourites.  Read Belle & Bunty Pink Doors & Houses. Belle-Bunty-pretty-Pink-doors-and-house-of-london-guide1-copy

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Belle & Bunty aka Alice and Hannah also hang out at Farm Girl (oh so healthy and pretty) and Pearl and Groove - the gluten free and flourless bakery with tasty treats, both on Portobello Road.

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She's Electric I've written about the Electric Cinema and Electric Diner many times over on Time Out London but let me confirm one more time that this is a cool place to be. It is the neighbour to the sought after The Electric (of Soho House - nip into the doorway for a quick shoefie) and you can enjoy a retro cinema experience or pop next door to the diner which serves up strong cocktails and excellent Steak Frites. Perfect for those foodie flatlays.

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Notting Hill Book Shop An obvs one. Obvs. This quaint and lovely bookshop featured in the film made famous by Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts...in errr yah Notting Hill. Pop to Blenheim Crescent where tourists are practically queuing up to take snaps outside the famous location and read more here on Movie Locations  about how Notting Hill was used in the film. It also includes the famous 'blue door' on Westbourne Park Road.

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Claire_Etchell_NakedPRGirl_Notting_Hill_IMG_5607ss Rainbow Chasing Pastel and brightly coloured houses are pretty frequent around Notting Hill, but one of my favourite places it to turn off Notting Hill and go down Elgin Crescent before joining Clarendon Road and going back towards Notting Hill. It just seems to have row upon row of yellow, pink and blue houses. Ahhhh. This street captured by CrazyCatLadyLdn is a Notting Hill classic and just off Portobello Road.

Wisteria Hysteria Wisteria is the pretty lilac coloured, house covering plant that looks incredible in pictures. Timing wise, look for this mid to end April and it is a case of poking around until you find it. Theres a lovely bit at the top of Portobello Road and also near Landsdowne Road.

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Westbourne Park Road When you've finished with Portobello Road, turn off down the side of Gail's Bakery (handy for a pit stop) and do a little twist and turn to end up at Westbourne Park Road. Here you'll find gorgeous swishy, luxury cafes like Daylesford, Granger & Co (recommended by Duyku EatnLondon a Radcliffe Sciamma fave) or super Instagrammer LornaLuxe (pictured snapped on Westbourne Grove) loves 202 Cafe (Tash Oakley's picture below). There's also designer boutiques including Matches and Maje, the most heavenly Wild At Heart flower shop (FashionFoieGras and Chrissabella love those mint green walls!) with just the best vibes! LornaLuxe_Notting_Hill

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Organic Shiz A little further down (after you go across the crossroads) you have Farmacy - the HOT NEW PLACE and everything is super high quality and perfect for Instagram. I had a £7 organic hot chocolate so just a little FYI on pricing! Further down you have Planet Organic which is like a playground to all that is healthy and good. You'll lose hours to browsing and munching.

Notting Hill Carnival   The picture tastic colourama that is the Notting Hill Carnival is completely crazy, busy and fun. I'd recommend scouting around the edges of Notting Hill for places to escape to if it all gets a bit too much. The Westbourne and The Waterway are a touch away from the main action (although you can still SEE the carnival from The Westbourne). Wear flats and be ready for anything is my advice.

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Drinking If all of this is making you feel thirsty, try Sun & Splendour as this cute little boozer serves up mulled wine over Christmas which has made it one of my favourites! Perfect for Winter cosiness. The Cow, well David Beckham was once there with Tom Cruise - enough said non? Or how about Prince Bonaparte which is always kicking with cool locals or the Cock & Bottle (as shared by Alex On The Road) for a traditional boozer.

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The Hottest Cars You can literally make a game of all the sexy little vintage cars outside quaint and beautiful shops or pretty houses with complimentary floral decorations. Go play, its a great game! PrettyCityLondon are great for rounding up the best of the best!

Haminados My favourite, favourite little find is at the top of Chepstow Road and run by the sweetist man in all the world - Joseph. He's been running cute cafes since 1975 and this little hot spot has a garden out of the back, the best Brownies in town (oh and the best croissants too) plus it also doubles up as a Beetles museum - naturally! Read Nomad Seeks Home's Review.

Claire_Etchell_NakedPRGirl_Notting_Hill_IMG_5623ss Thanks for reading - if you have more suggestions tweet me or message me on Instagram @claireetchell or pop a comment below! Snaps in this blog by Kate Gorbunova - follow her on Instagram:

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