To mine and just about everyone else’s disbelief I had not visited London until this summer. I’m still not quite sure how I lived in France, traveled the rest of western and a good part of Eastern Europe multiple times yet never managed to pop over the pond to one of the most charming cities I’ve ever visited. Truth be told this trip was to be quite different, I was supposed to start in Paris and end in Iceland but things change and I have learned to roll with the punches and embrace the unknown so London it was for an extended period of time.
To say I fell in love with London is an understatement. My three week love affair with the city will be rolling out over here on II for a little while but for today I’m kicking it off with my favorite spots in Notting Hill simply because that is where my blogger gal Alyssa and I started our trip and what better way to start a series than with where it began?!?!
A few things to keep in mind when making your way around Notting Hill. This neighborhood can be a definite tourist madhouse, which I openly admits to despise so the recommendations below will take you along more of a locals route or avert you to spots not overrun with those photo snapping crazies.
Hands down, without a doubt go to Farm Girl. Lavender + Rose lattes are served up in the prettiest patio setting I’ve ever seen. The cucumber water? Heavenly. The food was beyond incredible, massive portions and yumminess. For those who are eating for the ‘gram … this place is worth every bite and photo you take.
Vintage shops are my kind of adventures. I love to peruse the filled to the brim shops while in a new city. You never knows what you’ll uncover. I personally came into owning an obscene amount of vintage baubles from the 60s and 70s (including these gems.) I left out of Hirst on a first name basis with the shop girl and have already placed a few orders since being home.
Stop into a few quirky spots that only the Brits could operate in style. Meaning you need to go into Chloe Alberry who stocks a treasure trove of glass doorknobs. Or swing by Jessie Western, the shop looks more fit for Santa Fe than for Portobello Road but go with it. Jessie stocks native american jewelry and some pretty bad ass cowboy boots.
After you’ve hit the quite frankly over-priced vintage stores that hold all of the gems meander over to Westbourne Grove. Bounce into all of the little shops along here – the street has faves from the Kooples to Diptyque.
Turn onto Ledbury to hit the Matches store (yes American gals there is an actual store front!), swing around the corner to visit the undeniably chic Alice Temperley shop meticulously tucked away down an alleyway or pop into one of the insanely adorable children’s boutiques.
Biggest lesson learned. The Brits know how to drink and they do it all the time and quite well. There’s a pub on every corner. We happened to stumble upon The Prince Edward on Pembridge to watch the futbol match. Most charming little pub I’ve ever stumbled upon. Anywhere that can look this cute while holding screaming fans and serving beers is a-ok in my book.
The most lovely thing about London were the streets, you could wonder around and find yourself lost among brightly colored homes for days or secret hidden gardens.