Still the epitome of eclectic cool, Notting Hill is a vibrant hub of arts and culture boasting everything from bustling street markets and live music venues to quirky vintage stores and glorious food joints – as well as the biggest carnival street festival this side of Rio. Whether you’re there to shop, eat, dance or sink a bottle (or two) of bubbly, there are plenty of places to indulge – here’s our pick of the coolest Notting Hill hotspots…
WHERE TO EAT:
Decked out in white woods, this rustic shed-style hangout serves up hearty British cuisine on small plates, designed to be shared. Plates are divided into sections; ‘mouthfuls’, ‘fast cooking’ and ‘slow cooking’, and include mushroom Marmite & egg confit éclairs; black pudding with labneh, wild garlic, blood brioche and Guinness; and Tamworth pork with quinoa, fennel, beetroot, rhubarb and marjoram salsa. Meat is sustainable and ethically sourced from the family farm in Suffolk and you can look forward to live music on Saturday afternoons.
122 Palace Gardens Terrace W8 4RT
Tucked away in a corner Mews in Notting Hill, Marianne is a delightful micro-restaurant, run by former Masterchef contestant, Marianne Lumb. Her food is exquisite; creative and carefully crafted using a glut of seasonal ingredients with a light feminine flair. With only 14 covers, Marianne has an intimate, supper-club vibe that promises beautiful, flavoursome food in swanky surroundings. One of our top picks for a special occasion.
104a Chepstow Road W2 5QS
With a focus on classic British ingredients, standout dishes on this Michelin-starred menu include Chantilly of oyster, tartare of sea bream and frozen English easabi; Agen prune, Earl Grey tea and lardo; and Chinese water deer, smoked bone marrow, quince and red leaves. Just voted as the 27th best restaurant in the world, The Ledbury is the epitome of fine dining, but in the coolest of settings – the restaurant is housed inside a former pub, giving it a distinctly relaxed, laid-back vibe.
127 Ledbury Road W11 2AQ
As one of London’s best modern Greek restaurants, Mazi – which means ‘together’ in Greek – is ideal for a big group gathering. Look forward to an impressive selection of sharing plates including feta tempura with lemon marmalade and caper meringue; shredded lamb shoulder stifado with potato cream; and herb crusted sea bass, fasolada purée and Avruga mayo. For gorgeous food and a wonderful selection of wine, Mazi is a guaranteed foodie hit.
12 Hillgate St, Kensington W8 7SR
Similar to its sister restaurants, Polpo’s Notting Hill outpost serves up delicious Italian fare with a simple-yet-tasty menu of Venetian-style sharing plates. There are plenty of innovative dishes to choose from – think sea bream with fennel, shrimp and capers; rabbit and apricot terrine; and prosciutto and gorgonzola pizzette. Simple, hearty, delicious, and without a hefty price tag.
126-128 Notting Hill Gate W11 3QG
Granger & Co.
Transport your taste buds to sunnier climes with Bill Granger’s selection of hearty-yet-healthy Australian-inspired classics. Tuck into small plates of courgette chips with nigella seed and tahini yoghurt; tuna poke with whipped avocado; and crab toast with chilli and endives; followed by chilli miso salmon with hot and sour aubergine salad; carrot and chickpea latke; bowls of brightly coloured salads and grains with fragrant chicken; tomato and courgette cavatelli; or creamy burrata and lentils.
175 Westbourne Grove W11 2SB
With leather chesterfields, heritage wall panels and a serving of hearty British fare, this stylish pub-cum-restaurant is a home away from home, offering a taste of old school elegance in the heart of Notting Hill. Sit down to fresh, seasonal classics including the likes of roasted cauliflower with Tenderstem broccoli and crispy kale with pomegranate, squash and dukkha; Suffolk pig cheeks served with asparagus, peas, quail egg and wild garlic purée; or tuck into wild mushroom tagliatelle with wilted spinach and smoked garlic; or West Country rack of lamb with confit lamb belly, truffled pomme purée and fresh spring greens.
40 Holland Park Avenue, Holland Park W11 3QY
Part owned by Tuscany’s Avignonesi winery, Negozio Classica is the best place to sample the full range of Avignonesi wines by the glassful. As well as the 25 or so by-the-glass offerings (starting at around £4), they also offer a monthly ‘flight’: introductory tasters of three wines from a particular region, served up by an enthusiastic sommelier. As well as wines, you can order Aperol spritz and moreish Italian nibbles in the form of Tuscan cured meats, mounds of soft cheese and piles of tangy, salted olives. Larger plates of grilled vegetables or even a tagliata salad of grilled Aberdeen Angus are also available for those with larger appetites.
283 Westbourne Grove W11 2QA
Bringing a slice of Melbourne to London, Farm Girl’s all-day eatery serves up delectable, healthy treats, including Superfood Smoothies, Farm Girl Porridge (millet flakes, chia seeds, coconut, avocado and omega mix) and the Farm Girl BLT– all of which harness the best of nutritious, local goods.
59a Portobello Road W11 3DB
For traditional Spanish food in all its glory, Galicia in Notting Hill serves up some of the best tapas in town. Devour endless plates of patatas bravas, fried bacalao (salt cod) with tartar sauce, succulent chunks of pollo al ajillo (chicken bathed in garlic-infused olive oil) and melt-in-the-mouth baked aubergine (berenjenas), glazed with tomato sauce and bubbling cheese.
323 Portobello Rd, London W10 5SY
WHERE TO DRINK:
The home of guilt-free indulgence, London’s first alcohol-free cocktail bar – aptly named Redemption – takes going teetotal to a whole new level. Healthy, delicious and entirely alcohol-free, tuck into the Beet-O-Tini with beetroot, orange juice, lime and coconut water; Lettuce Spray – a Japanese-inspired cocktail of iceberg lettuce, lime, cucumber, wasabi and aloe vera; and Flu Fighters – a fiery combo of ginger chilli, aloe vera, coconut water and citrus fruits.
6 Chepstow Road W2 5BH
The Portobello Star
Home to Portobello Road Gin (it used to be made upstairs) and with a wide selection behind the bar, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to picking your poison. Sample their endless range of botanicals before heading to the Ginstitute for an in-depth masterclass where you can taste your way through the history of London’s gin craze.
171 Portobello Road W11 2DY, The Ginstitute Experience, £110
A haven for gin lovers, this towering, four-storey gin palace serves up an eclectic range of one-of-a-kind gin blends and quirky spirits – think avocado and olive oil vodka – with many dispensed directly from hand-built barrels suspended above the main bar. Head upstairs to the Spanish-inspired GinTonica for G&T’s served up in Copa De Balón – a balloon goblet glass – where you can also devour plates of tapas. For the undiluted gin experience, book in for gin making at the Ginstitute, followed by a stay in the one of The Distillery’s themed guest rooms.
186 Portobello Road W11 1LA, masterclasses run from £60pp
Beach Blanket Babylon
Still going strong after 25 years, Beach Blanket Babylon is an institution on the Notting Hill drinking scene. Over the top doesn’t even cut it – expect lurid gold statues, candelabrum and lavish chinaware – but if it’s quirky cocktails you’re after, this is place to head. The restaurant serves seasonal, modern European fare if you’re looking for a food fix, but we recommend going straight to the bar to knock back a few legendary Pornstar Martinis with vanilla vodka, passion fruit purée, vanilla, sugar and a dash of prosecco.
45 Ledbury Road W11 2AA
The Churchill Arms
Once frequented by Winston Churchill's grandparents, this quaint Kensington pub is one of London's most famous watering holes. There’s a great wine and ales list, but it’s the outside of the pub that steals the show – it’s covered in a carpet of hanging shrubs and beautiful flowers.
119 Kensington Church Street, W8 7LN
With rum, reggae and Caribbean beach vibes, The Rum Kitchen is almost certainly the jolliest place to sink a drink in Notting Hill. Colourful wooden wall slats and beach-style furniture fill the upstairs bar, whilst downstairs provides rum, reggae and riotous fun. Devour delicious jerk-spiced grub, beach-shack style, washed down with soulful cocktails. And lots of rum, of course.
6-8 All Saints Road W11 1HH
Expect wall-to-wall kitsch in this basement Tiki bar, both with its retro interior and its epic ‘60s playlist. Cocktails are, naturally, as vintage and ‘Tiki’ as they come, with showstoppers on the menu including Trailer Colada – mixing rum with coconut tequila and fresh pineapple roasted in molasses; and Voodoo Grog – a tribute to Don the Beachcomber, the father of Tiki, with Bacardi Carta Oro, overproof rum, grapefruit, allspice and Absinthe.
177 Portobello Road W11 2DY
WHERE TO VISIT:
If a day browsing Portobello market gets a little too much, relax in the serene setting of Holland Park’s quaint Cowshed spa. Spoil yourself with one (or two) blissful beauty treatments – the Cowshed facial is divine – or pop by the intimate farmhouse kitchen for an indulgent sweet treat and a much-needed glass of bubbly.
119 Portland Road W11 4LN
A must for film buffs. Snuggle up on luxe, cushioned sofas with a few glasses of vino and gourmet popcorn. Sit back and relax, this is the posh way to enjoy one of the latest big screen releases.
191 Portobello Road W11 2ED
Notting Hill Arts Club
This late-night dance spot plays everything from hip-hop and reggae to house and punk, as well as hosting live indie bands and DJs spinning the decks till late. Grab a cocktail from the circular basement bar and mingle with the cool set.
21 Notting Hill Gate W11 3JQ, open 7pm – 2am Wednesday to Saturday
WHERE TO SHOP:
Portobello Road Market
Every Saturday Portobello Road is laden with everything from retro furniture to vintage jewellery and antique artwork. There are shops open every day of the week, but the party gets into full swing at the weekend, when the entire market sets up camp with food stalls, live music and crowds spilling out onto the streets outside almost every pub in the area.
Portobello Market, Portobello Road W11
Notting Hill’s posh take on a rustic farm shop. Stock up on everything from bircher muesli and cold-pressed juices to fresh pastries, artisan cheeses or enjoy a farmhouse fry-up.
208-212 Westbourne Grove W11 2RH
Books for Cooks
Crammed with thousands of sizzling titles, Books for Cooks is a mecca for food lovers, with squashy sofas where you can curl up with your favourite foodie tomes. At the back of the shop there’s also a café where you can sample delights cooked up from the bookshelves, and a demonstration kitchen upstairs with cookery classes for the more hands-on foodie, keen to learn the tricks of the trade.
4 Blenheim Crescent W11 1NN
WHERE TO STAY:
Inspired by the legacy of its famous neighbourhood, The Laslett – eponymously named after the original founder of Notting Hill Carnival – captures the cultural essence and grit of Notting Hill, with a sprinkling of west London style. Converted from five former Victorian terraced houses, The Laslett’s stylish digs are both elegant and eclectic, with plush, modern interiors contrasted by hordes of curious antiques sourced from the nearby Portobello Road. A hotspot for creative types, The Laslett is a cult favourite amongst west London locals. Hole up in the swanky cocktail bar before turning in for an indulgent night’s sleep in one of their cosy rooms.
8 Pembridge Gardens W2 4DU