Notting Hill: The Ultimate Guide To This London Neighbourhood

Notting Hill: The Ultimate Guide To This London Neighbourhood

As the Richard Curtis film Notting Hill marks its 25th anniversary, discover the best things to do in Notting Hill, including iconic locations that starred in this quintessential love story, Portobello Road Market, restaurants, bars and pubs.

This month marks the 25th anniversary of Richard Curtis’ blockbuster film “Notting Hill,” the now classic rom-com starring Julia Roberts as American movie star Anna Scott on location in London, and Hugh Grant as the diffident bookshop owner William Thacker, with whom Roberts’ character falls in love. It premiered to international acclaim in May 1999, grossing $363 million (then nearly £200 million) at the box office. Since then, Notting Hill has attracted millions of visitors each year with its rainbow-colored houses, enviable gardens, and bohemian atmosphere, making it the perfect place to spend a weekend.

With the film being such a formative part of our adolescence, it was as pilgrims that we arrived, one windy November day last year, at the Notting Hill Gate tube station. We began our search for the house with the blue door, in which Hugh Grant’s character lived. We walked excitedly past brightly painted homes, joining a crowd headed towards bustling Portobello Market, the flea market depicted in the film. Notting Hill is far more than just the backdrop for a famous movie. It’s the vibrant host of the Notting Hill Carnival, Europe’s largest street festival, and is teeming with stylish restaurants, pubs, bars, and shops.


Portobello Road Market

Shops at Westbourne Grove

The film opens with Hugh Grant’s character, William Thacker, strolling through the charming streets of Notting Hill, wandering through the iconic Portobello Road Market. Notting Hill has evolved into one of London’s most affluent and desirable neighborhoods, yet Portobello Road Market, which stretches between Notting Hill Gate and Ladbroke Grove, retains the area’s historic charm. The market is renowned for its vibrant atmosphere, featuring colorful terraced houses and tightly packed shops. It is actually a fusion of several markets, with the most famous section being the antiques market. Here, hundreds of dealers offer a treasure trove of jewelry, books, and collectibles, with items dating from the 1600s to the 1960s.

Explore Shops at Westbourne Grove

Shops at Westbourne Grove

If antiques and vintage finds aren’t your style and you prefer upscale designer boutiques, head to Westbourne Grove. Located just around the corner from Portobello Road Market, Westbourne Grove offers a sophisticated retail shopping experience. It’s also known for some of the best coffee shops in the area, making it the perfect place to indulge in a bit of luxury shopping and a relaxing coffee break.

The Notting Hill Bookstore

notting hill book store

Twenty years ago, Julia Roberts stood before Hugh Grant in a little-known travel bookshop, asking him to love her—a scene that has since become one of the most iconic in rom-com history. Since then, people have flocked to The Notting Hill Bookshop in London to take selfies, buy books, and even, on occasion, propose marriage. You can visit this charming bookstore at 142 Portobello Road. Nearby, another bookshop with a blue plaque pays homage to the beloved film. The inspiration for the movie came from an actual shop called “The Travel Bookshop,” located at 13-15 Blenheim Crescent.

The Blue Door

THe blue door

Just down the road, you’ll find another famous Notting Hill location: the blue door of the flat where Hugh Grant’s character lived. Although the interior scenes were filmed in a studio, the exterior shots took place at 280 Westbourne Park Road, just meters from the corner where Grant famously spilled orange juice on Julia Roberts. The original door was auctioned at Christie’s for nearly £6,000 for charity and is now located somewhere in Amsterdam. For years, the flat’s owners painted the door black to deter the constant attention from travelers, but it has since been restored to its iconic royal blue.

Discover Colorful Houses in Notting Hill

notting hill

Notting Hill is renowned for its vibrant, colorful houses and charming streets. Some of the most picturesque spots include:

  • Portobello Road: Famous for its colorful terraced houses and bustling market.
  • Lancaster Road: Home to brightly colored houses in pink, blue, and green, creating a rainbow effect.
  • Westbourne Park Road: Popular with photographers for its pastel-colored houses.
  • St. Luke’s Mews: A charming cobbled mews with brightly painted houses, perfect for Instagram.
  • Chepstow Villas: Known for its row of brightly painted houses in shades of pink, blue, and yellow, attracting photographers and tourists alike.

Museum of Brands

museum of brands

Founded in 1984 by consumer historian Robert Opie and based in its current location since 2015, this Notting Hill Museum showcases highlights from a collection of around 12,000 items, tracing the history of branding in Britain over the past 200 years. Arranged as a winding time tunnel from Victorian times to the present day, you’ll see Monopoly sets, the first appearances of Mickey Mouse and Disney, radios and TVs, and pop-culture memorabilia from Star Wars, Star Trek, Pokémon, The Simpsons, and more. An annual adult ticket is £17. The museum also features a cafe at the rear and an excellent shop.

The Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival. Photo: Getty Images

The Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s longest-running street parties. Started by London’s Caribbean communities in 1966, it celebrates freedom and Caribbean culture. A highlight of summer, it fills the August bank holiday weekend with a joyful explosion of steel pan music, dancers in feathered costumes, Red Stripe-fueled revelry, and reverberating beats.

Holland Park

Holland Park
Photo: Holland Park

This beautiful park is divided into different sections: dense woodland in the north, spacious lawns around Holland House, sports fields in the south, and delightful gardens, such as the serene Kyoto Garden. The park is also home to splendid peacocks, which are a magnificent sight, and includes a playground that keeps children entertained. Holland House, largely destroyed by the Luftwaffe in 1940, hosts Opera Holland Park during the summer months.

Electric Cinema

The Electric in Notting Hill is among London’s oldest cinemas and certainly the most romantic. Owned by the Soho House group, it has been lovingly restored with luxurious leather armchairs, footstools, lush cashmere blankets, and waiter service bringing cocktails to your seat. What makes the Electric perfect for a date is that the front-row seats have been replaced with six luxurious, velvet-lined double beds – perfect for cozying up. Located on Portobello Road, a visit here leaves you feeling like you’ve stepped into a Richard Curtis movie.


Notting Hill boasts a plethora of eateries scattered throughout the neighborhood, while street-food vendors set up shop on Fridays and Saturdays. Nearby Golborne Road offers North African and Caribbean street food options throughout the week.

Kuro Bakery

Kuro, a fairly new bakery that opened in 2023 just around the corner on Notting Hill High Street, offers the finest artisanal baked goods, including delicious filled croissants, Danish delicacies, and carefully crafted bread such as traditional Japanese milk bread, Shokupan. We recommend the vanilla blackcurrant and raspberry Sakuras, which are wheel-shaped croissant rolls filled with cream.

Address: 95 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JZ


Stepping into Biscuiteers feels like entering a world of sweetness and charm. Famous for its adorable shopfront and Instagrammable interior, this café combines style with substance. The iced sweet treats are a highlight. Pair a macaron with their exceptional coffee for a delightful experience.

Address: 194 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2ES, United Kingdom


Notting Hill’s newest neighborhood spot has quickly become a celebrity magnet. Designed for sharing, top picks include wood-roasted purple potatoes with smoky sauerkraut slaw, burrata with charred peaches, and sea bream with capers and oregano.

Address: 95-97 Portobello Road, Notting Hill, London W11 2QB

The Ledbury

The Ledbury. PA Images/Alamy

With two Michelin stars, this restaurant is arguably one of London’s finest. Seasonal highlights include the tomato salad with basil sorbet and white crabmeat, the chalk stream trout featuring cubes of cured fish served with Isle of Wight tomato consommé and a quenelle of green shiso ice cream, and the brown sugar tart, a delightful fusion of custard slice and the rich sweetness of crème caramel. However, be prepared for a hefty price tag.

Address: 127 Ledbury Road, London W11 2AQ


Named after the Greek god of the west wind, Zēphyr has quickly become a Notting Hill favorite. The generously portioned dishes are ideal for sharing. A big bowl of plump tomatoes with tangy salsa provides a refreshing contrast to the rich mushroom truffle orzo. If you’re in the mood for fish, try the whole grilled sea bass smothered in spiced butter—perfectly smoky and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. For meat lovers, the charred lamb marinated in a cinnamon-spice blend pairs beautifully with crispy potato stacks topped with gooey cheese custard. Tables are hard to come by, so be sure to reserve ahead.

Address: 100 Portobello Rd, London W11 2QB, United Kingdom

Osteria Napoletana

Osteria Napoletana is a beautiful restaurant in Notting Hill that celebrates the cuisine of Naples, serving wholesome and delicious Italian food. Try the “La Montanara,” which are fried tiny pizzas topped with tomato sauce, basil, and Parmesan cheese. For those who enjoy sharing, the “La Zizzona di Battipaglia” features Giant Battipaglia Mozzarella and is enough for two. A house specialty is the Linguine alla “Nerano,” consisting of linguine pasta with fried courgette slices and cheese. It pairs perfectly with a glass (or two) of wine!

Address: 186 Kensington Park Road ES, 186 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2ES, United Kingdom

La Mia Mamma

La Mia Mamma invites Italian “mamme” to join the team and do what they do best: make you feel like part of a big family! These Mammas prepare their homecooked recipes from all 20 Italian regions, offering different culinary residencies. While many of the foods typically associated with Italian cuisine—like lasagne, tortellini, prosciutto crudo, ragù, and parmigiana—all hail from Emilia Romagna, there’s an abundance of variety and hidden gems to discover elsewhere, often in places that would be off the beaten path for most tourists.

Address: 190 Kensington Park Rd, London W11 2ES, United Kingdom

The Sun in Splendour

Visit Sun in Splendour in Notting Hill for a fantastic British menu. The main menu is well-priced and offers a variety of great dishes. Starters include Lightly Dusted Calamari with chili and mango salsa, Butternut Squash and Sage Soup, and Sticky Asian Fried Chicken with coleslaw, chili, and spring onion.

Address: 7 Portobello Rd, London W11 3DA, United Kingdom

Churchill Arms

This pub is among the most popular in London, drawing tourists out west to admire its stunning floral canopy. Inside, the atmosphere is equally lavish, adorned with wartime memorabilia and shiny copper decorations. Enjoy Thai cuisine in the rear restaurant or opt for ale and cheese at the old-fashioned bar, popular among amateur photographers.

Address: 119 Kensington Church St, London W8 7LN, United Kingdom

The Earl of Lonsdale

The Earl of Lonsdale

The Earl of Lonsdale, a Sam Smith’s pub located in a prime spot on Portobello Road in Notting Hill, provides excellent value for money and features a beer garden—an ideal retreat from the bustling crowds that flock to the area. Popular with locals and tourists alike, we recommend pairing their ciders with fish and chips.

Address: 277-281 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2QA, United Kingdom

Getting to and around Notting Hill

The most convenient way to reach Notting Hill is by Underground. While Notting Hill is served by three tube stations: Ladbroke Grove to the north; Holland Park and Notting Hill Gate to the south, the best station to disembark at is Notting Hill Gate, situated on the road of the same name and serviced by the Central, Circle, and District Lines. You’ll arrive directly onto one of the main streets in the neighborhood, and it’s just a short walk up to the area around Portobello Road.

For latest travel news and updates, food and drink journeys, restaurant features, and more, like us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram. Read more on Travel and Food Network

Trending on TFN

A Spanish Odyssey: Trafalgar’s Unparalleled Best of Spain Itinerary

Imperial Splendors: Trafalgar’s 10-Day Sojourn in Prague, Vienna, and Budapest

You May Also Like