If you’re already lucky enough to be living in Notting Hill, then you will already know about the beautiful shops and restaurants that it houses; not all of us, especially as students, have the fortune of doing so, making a visit to this Kensington and Chelsea borough a spectacular outing for many. Although your traditional central London attractions are a great choice to check out when you’re first visiting the capital, it’s also fun to venture out to the places you wouldn’t normally come across. So, we have compiled a list of the best independent places to visit around Notting Hill, because everyone deserves to experience the magic of this town at least once in their lives.
Address: 13 Blenheim Cres, London W11 2EE
The iconic bookstore starring in the classic film ‘Notting Hill’ is one of the most beautiful independent places to visit in West London, especially if you’re a huge bookworm, or even just a fan of the movie itself! Not only do they have rows of novels from your classics to new releases, they also have something called ‘blind date with a book’. This is where a few books are wrapped up in paper, and all that’s written on the front is a brief synopsis of its blurb – take your pick on which one sounds most appealing to you, from thriller to romance, and uncover what could be your next favourite novel!
Address: 59A Portobello Rd, London W11 3DB
Now, although there are a couple of Farm Girl Cafés dotted around London which doesn’t exactly make this an independent place, it did actually originate in Notting Hill, meaning we can make this one an exception. Serving healthy, casual brunches, sandwiches and smoothies, this Australian owned café does flavour and presentation well. From butterfly matcha’s and charcoal lattes to açai bowls and fish tacos, this quaint place tucked away behind St Peters Church provides the perfect serenity to start your day off the right way.
Address: Portobello Road, London
Now, you can’t get more Notting Hill than Portobello Market. Located on the bustling Portobello Road right from north to the south of the Kensington and Chelsea borough, the markets are held from Monday to Saturday weekly, selling an array of antiques, fruit and vegetables, new and second-hand goods, and hot food, with independent stalls spanning the entire road. With shops and cafés also being open every day of the week along Portobello Road, it’s the perfect way to spend your Saturday morning in Notting Hill.
Address: 191 Portobello Rd, London W11 2ED
Located on the famous Portobello Road, Electric Diner is a French-American inspired restaurant serving classics such as double cheeseburgers, hot dogs and honey-fried chicken alongside a great menu of cocktails, wine and beer. Within the classic exposed brick walls and cushy leather sofas, take your pick from their all day breakfast, brunch and late-night menus and be transported back to the classic 1950s American diner, all for a great price too.
Address: 12-14 Hillgate St, London W8 7SR
At this traditional Greek restaurant, it’s all about sharing, and so the menu is packed with classic yet vibrant dishes to add a twist on your regular meal. With a tapas-style menu set within the beautiful trees and wooden accents surrounding the restaurant, it’s no surprise that Mazi is a favourite among all Notting Hill residents and even those across London. Here, you can choose from classic tzatziki and Greek salad to the unique black truffle chicken and feta tempura, not forgetting their Greek-inspired tzatziki martinis, of course.
Address: 59 Ledbury Rd, London W11 2AA
As not all of us can afford to live in Notting Hill, as much as I’m sure we’d all dream to especially as university students when visiting the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, it’s always quite nice to bring some gifts back for your friends and family or even treat yourself also, and so Melt Chocolates is the perfect place to visit. A luxury chocolate and gift shop, Melt sells an array of gift boxes, personalised bars, and even experience days – even if you aren’t somehow tempted to buy something, it’s definitely worth having a nosy at.
Address: 293 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TD
If you fancy a switch from your classic high street shops on Oxford Street and want to venture out to some classical attire, then Karen Vintage Boutique is a great independent store to visit for all your luxury vintage designer pieces. From avant-garde pieces to traditional 1930s silk robes, whether you want to use them as fashion statements or pretend to be Blair from Gossip Girl, this vintage store has it all and more.
Now, although we do recommend keeping some money to the side if you know you’re going to visit Notting Hill, this town is one of London’s hidden treasures and so definitely deserves to be explored every now and then.