Filled with colours, music and life, Notting Hill is one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in London. Known throughout the world for its famous carnival, and a certain 1990s rom-com, Notting Hill has the leafy, intimate feeling of a village. While Portobello Road with its characterful street market gets most of the attention, there are some real hidden gems in the surrounding streets, from vintage shops to lively theatres and cultural spaces.
When to Go
The main date to mark in your calendar is the Notting Hill Carnival. The second-largest in the world, the carnival happens every year on the august bank holiday weekend. Sunday is Children’s Day, the best time for families to go, while Monday is usually more raucous.
Food & Drink
Pick up some street food on Portobello Road; Falafel King and the Caribbean-inspired Boom Burger are both particular favourites. For more substantial meals, Ottolenghi is a perennial favourite, while for fine-dining reserve a seat at The Ledbury, which has been awarded two Michelin stars for its French cuisine. If you’re after an authentic London experience, treat yourself to a pint at The Churchill Arms, one of the oldest pubs in the area and a real local landmark.
Not to miss
Enjoy a movie-night with a difference at the Electric Cinema. The oldest working cinema in London, The Electric is a true Notting Hill institution and regularly hosts film festivals and cult screenings in its unique auditorium.
Soak up some culture at The Tabernacle. This former Baptist church now serves as a vibrant arts centre, and hosts regular theatre and cabaret nights. Afterwards repair to the Portobello Star, which has been serving drinkers in some form since 1740, and is now famous for its gin-based cocktails. Alternatively head to the Rum Kitchen for good vibes and a great selection of rums that befits the area’s African-Caribbean roots.
Where to stay in Notting Hill
Most of the action is centred around Portobello Road and Notting Hill Gate, but bare in mind these areas can get very noisy during Carnival.
How to get there
Notting Hill Gate tube station is in the heart of the neighbourhood, and is served by the Central, District and Circle lines.
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