Notting Hill is one of the most vibrant areas of London. It’s home to the epic annual Notting Hill Carnival, which is a two-day street festival drawing in millions of party-goers, brightly painted houses, antique markets, twee pubs, and quaint cafes. From one of the oldest cinemas in London through to quirky museums or embracing your inner Hugh Grant, here are the best, hidden gems in Notting Hill, London.
1. Catch a Film at the Electric Cinema
Electric Cinema is one of the oldest working cinemas in London. It features lavish decor, that will leave you feeling (almost) like the Queen. It shows the latest blockbusters and the occasional classic movie.
2. Visit The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising
The Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising is certainly an unusual choice. The museum will take you back in time to past decades where you can see retro advertising and designs, and learn about the development of branding. Head into the museum’s time tunnel to see how consumer society has evolved from the Victorian era to the present day. You’ll find toys and games from the 1950s, magazine covers, and cereal boxes that will bring a spot of nostalgia to your day.
3. Stroll Down Chepstow Villas
Chepstow Villas is a tiny little street that manages to stay quiet and without the footfall of many tourists. The street is lined with quaint shops selling trinkets and antiques. It’s one of the best streets in West London to stroll through and admire the architecture and colorful houses while avoiding the crowds.
4. Explore The Tabernacle
The Tabernacle is a Grade II listed church that’s home to a theater, café, and arts space. The church was built in 1887 and you can enjoy a drink in a church courtyard and admire artworks.
5. Pay Homage to George Orwell
If you walk to where Portobello Road meets Notting Hill Gate, you’ll find one of the UK’s blue plaques commemorating novelist George Orwell. While living in Portobello Road, Orwell, or Eric Blair by birth, was known for dressing down to fit into the East End slums as part of his research for his political essays and commentary on working-class life.
6. Embrace Your Inner Hugh Grant at Books for Cooks
Anyone who loves romantic comedies will have seen or heard of the film Notting Hill — and you’ll probably have lasting memories of the very handsome Hugh Grant working in a book store. Embrace your inner Hugh Grant and visit Books for Cooks, which is a cute bookshop in Notting Hill where you can spend hours browsing an eclectic collection of cooking and baking books. You can sit on a comfy sofa and flick through cookbooks to your heart’s content. You can also go a bit more mainstream and visit the famous nearby blue door that appears in the Notting Hill film if you’re a super fan.
7. Have a Pint at the Churchill Arms
The Churchill Arms is the best pub in the area and it’s probably one of the most Instagrammable pubs in London. It features a wonderful display of flowers that cover almost the whole facade of the outer pub. Nonetheless, the pub is not overly crowded and is a great spot for an afternoon pint.
8. Go Danish
Head to Snaps and Rye on Golborne Road, which is a slice of Copenhagen in London serving up classics such as baked rarebit or kedgeree.
9. Acklam Village
Acklam Village is an awesome street food market in Notting Hill that’s home to tons of street eats, live music and a brewery. It can be found just off Portobello Road and beats eating at one of the area’s pricey restaurants.
10. Check out Trellick Tower
Trellick Tower is an iconic structure that was originally designed as social housing. The tower features ‘unconventional’ design elements based on brutalist and modernist architecture, leaving it with an unusual appearance.
11. Eat Paella at Portobello Market
On Friday and Saturday, Notting Hill explodes with life as all the stalls on Portobello Market open for business. The market is home to crafts, bric-a-brac and antique stalls, alongside tons of street food. Be sure to track down the Jamon Jamon paella stall — one of the best street food vendors in the market.