Neighborhood guides: Live like a local in Notting Hill, London
27 Jul 2022
Perhaps one of London’s most famous neighborhoods — largely due to the iconic 90s film starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts — Notting Hill is certainly worthy of the hype. While it may no longer receive the moniker as one of the hippest ‘hoods in the city, its heritage and history makes it a vibrant destination that still shouldn’t be overlooked.
Expect to find a never ending list of restaurants, pubs, stores, and of course, an abundance of beautifully colorful houses – that will inevitably find you fantasizing about moving West for. Us included. And if that wasn’t enough to draw you in, there’s also the annual carnival that takes place every August: Notting Hill really does have something for everyone.
Here are our favorite spots:
Sunday in Brooklyn
This cult New York export has made its way across the pond. Founders Todd Enany, Adam Landsman and chef Jaime Young, opened the Williamsburg spot back in 2016, and it quickly became known for its inventive spin on American staples. So, if you’re looking for an epic brunch menu, this is it. The super ‘grammable pancakes, which come slathered in hazelnut maple praline and brown butter, are a must.
This is where it all started: the first Rough Trade opened here in 1976, and it hasn’t lost its original vibe. From rare cuts to more modern albums and classics, this spot has it all. It continues to champion indie labels and artists who are just starting out, so expect to rummage through and find something utterly unique.
One of Notting Hill’s newest neighborhood haunts, Gold, is owned by nightclub mogul Nick House, and is headed up by former River Café chef Theo Hill – known for his simple yet sumptuous seasonal menus. What we love the most, however, is that everything is designed to be shared, so make room on the table as well as your belly.
What’s more British than biscuits? If you’re looking for something sweet or pick-me-up while exploring the neighborhood, why not head to Biscuiteers. This famous little shop creates beautifully iced treats that taste just as good as they look.
The Portobello Star
The site on which The Portobello Star now sits has been serving up good vibes to Londoners since 1740. Nowadays it’s taken the form of a stripped back, contemporary bar that serves a damn good cocktail. Feeling peckish? They also serve snacks, sandwiches and typically British bar food.
Notting Hill is filled with plenty of spots to get your caffeine fix, however, Team Appear Here will tell you there’s only one: Kuro. Taking inspiration from Japanese minimalism, Kuro’s white-box cafe stands out against the loud backdrop of colorful houses in the area. Expect a full body house blend, fruity single origin options as well as their infamous matchaccino. Make sure you also pop in round the corner to Kuro Kiosk, to peruse their edit of fashion, art and design magazines.
Those partial to plant-based dishes should make a reservation at Farmacy. The artsy hangout is perfect for lunch, brunch, and dinner – the menu is free from gluten, sugar, and chemicals of all kinds (but is definitely not free of deliciousness).
Native and Co
If you're looking for some unique homeware, Native & Co should be top of your list. Specializing in crafted homeware from Japan and Taiwan, they stock a wide range of clean-lined tableware, ceramics, kitchenware and other small home accessories.
Electric Cinema is one of London’s oldest movie theatres, and it’s probably still one of the most beautifully designed around. It’s now owned by Soho House, who sympathetically restored the space into a red velvet-lined cornucopia of comfort, with cashmere blankets, vintage lamps and delicious cocktails – available to order to your seat.
Notting Hill Bookshop
Notting Hill is known for its bookshops. And rightly so: the neighborhood has plenty of stores that cater to the shiny and new as well as the vintage and classic. The Notting Hill Bookshop makes for a fabulous all-rounder, and the ideal place to spend an afternoon browsing to your heart’s content.
Notting Hill Carnival
Did you know: Notting Hill's annual Carnival is the biggest street party in Europe? Over a million people will flock to the streets next month during the August bank holiday (for the first time since 2019). Make sure you add it to your calendar so you don’t miss out on the thrilling, colorful spectacle that celebrates London's vibrant multicultural communities.