Notting Hill, London
There is nothing like a day out in London to restore your spirits. Apart from going to the carnival, I’ve never properly encountered the delights of Notting Hill. You know when you think you’ll arrive and recognise the place, well, that was me. However, I’ve never been before and it was a great place to visit.
During the day, I explored the Museum of Brands, Portobello Road Market, Beach Blanket Babylon bar and finally had a meal in the seafood restaurant, Bucket. Plus, I explored the general Notting Hill area, including some great shops and some stupid shops haha. What a fabulous, day.
The Museum of Brands
The Museum of Brands is a place to revisit the world of advertising and branding. The period of marketing begins during the Victorian era and ends up looking at recent advertising. The exhibition covers everything, including packaging, ads, fads, fashion, food, toys and games and how we’ve evolved as a society. It is like going back in time and fascinating to see. There are a lot of flash backs as you venture towards your own childhood advertising decade and the iconic brands. Certainly a trip down memory lane and great fun too. The latest exhibition discusses the future of packaging and changing from plastic to other options. Let us all hope they include the flipping supermarkets in their observations too!
If you want to go and explore the museum, the nearest Tube is Ladbroke Grove and then a minute’s walk.
After this excellent experience, I went to Portobello Road and became absorbed in the hustle and bustle of the market. This was also an exuberant experience and although busy, very interesting. There are so many people selling and buying a vast array of Antiques, Bric-a-brac, fashion, food plus street performers too. The energy of the place is captivating and next time I shall explore more but by this time (1pm) I was definitely not up for eating the delicious looking street food because a sit down was needed!
After lunch, I looked around the shopping area and explored some fancy shops. Notting Hill is fashionable and has some beautiful property and people to match. It has to be said, I noticed people are somewhat stylishly dressed in this part of London and was fun to look at the quirky fashions. Must admit to being partial to a bit of people watching.
Although there are some lovely furniture/lifestyle shops in Notting Hill, I’m afraid I didn’t get Gynneth Paltrow’s shop, Goop. Just seems an overpriced lot of nonsense to me and a bit daft. The ethical side is all very well but for me the place is an exorbitant ‘I see you coming’ sort of shopping space.
The charity/vintage shopping, on the other hand, is amazing. I just bought a thin cotton and wool jumper, but my companion bought a Calvin Klein dress, Hugo Boss jacket and Banana Republic blouse, all as new. This particular shop is like a posh boutique rather than a charity shop and so it is definitely worth nosing around the shops because you can get a designer bargain! Who can resist a bargain?
Bar – cocktails
Yep. It was late afternoon and I popped in one bar for a glass of wine, then discovered my online researched bar called Beach Blanket Babylon. So glad I did do some research online, because it was glorious. I had a Porn Star Martini and it was wonderful to sit and watch the world go by. This establishment is in a Georgian mansion in the heart of Notting Hill and known for its cocktails. I, of course, shall return for another cocktail or two at some stage.
Bucket Seafood Restaurant
This was the last stop and is a popular fish restaurant and very good. You can have a bucket of seafood, which is sustainably sourced or alternatively a normal meal. I had a yummy fish pie with sweet potato chips. The chocolate ‘soup’ with icecream and sponge was rather good too!
A great day out and highly recommended. Be prepared to wander miles, watch the glamorous people, eat and drink too much and go home very tired indeed. Also, don’t do what I did, and wear flat but slightly uncomfortable shoes. You will walk miles and miles so find some decent footwear before you venture out.