Thanks to the charm of a certain 90s movie, Notting Hill has been etched onto every tourist’s mental map as a quintessentially London destination. Whether you want to rummage through Portobello Market, browse Lutyens & Rubinstein, or visit the famous blue door. There’s plenty to do in this West London neighbourhood.
This shrine to confectionery creates every conceivable type of sweet treat: from elaborately iced cakes and personalised chocolates to an incredible selection of lavishly decorated biscuits. Not only is Biscuiteers the perfect place to pick up a special gift, there’s also afternoon tea on offer – as well as the Biscuiteers School of Icing, where you can learn to create your own deliciously intricate masterpieces.
Founded in 2009 by literary agents, Lutyens and Rubinstein is a wonderful bookshop that features hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles – including children’s stories, art and poetry. With a commitment to considered and expert service, they offer personal shoppers for anyone with a gift voucher of more than £100. Bibliophiles can look into their mail-order services, including a Year In Books and a Year With One Author. There is also plenty on offer beyond the printed page, including a unique crockery range and artistic tote bags.
The wow factor hits the moment you lay eyes on this Grade II-listed building in Powis Square. Built in 1887 as a church, the curved red brick romanesque façade of the Tabernacle now hosts live music, boxing matches, theatre shows and art exhibitions. In the summer, the bar and kitchen move outside to a gorgeous garden courtyard. The menu is Caribbean with light bites – think wings, squid and fritters – and mains: curries, dhal puri and jerk chicken to name a few.
Gin is by far the most quintessential London drink. The Ginstitute is a special distillery that will take you on a deep dive into gin’s colourful and checkered past. Your Ginstructor will show you various botanical distillates, so you can create a bespoke gin blend to take home – with a fair bit of tasting along the way. The Resting Room is the sophisticated restaurant here with a menu of classic British dishes and a heady range of gin-based cocktails.
This wonderful independent cinema on Portobello Road is woven into the very fabric of Notting Hill. It is London’s oldest operating purpose-built picture house, having opened in 1910 – complete with inside fire buckets still hanging on the walls as a nod to its storied past. The cinema itself is ornate with high ceilings and original features intact – with wide and luxurious red velvet seats each with a table and light and a pioneering programme of films from the Oscar magnets to the classics.
For years, it was known as Playstation Skatepark, but once Xbox took on the sponsorship, it became BAYSIXTY6. In late 2011, Nike SB finished refurbishing the park into the skate haven you see today. It is huge, undercover and illuminated at night with all the ramps, rails and ledges to challenge everyone from pro skaters to beginners. Get involved, sign up for tuition at the Skate Academy or watch skaters do their thing from the seating area.
A visit to Notting Hill is not complete without paying homage to the eponymous 90s movie starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. The famous blue door – the entrance to the flat that Grant’s character, William Thacker, shares with Spike (Rhys Ifans) – can be found at 280 Westbourne Park Road. Head around the corner to find other film landmarks, such as the travel bookshop.
Holly Black contributed additional reporting to this article.