With the Chinese New Year holidays coming up and the pound dropping everyday, its a great time to visit London. Isabella Rothschild, our London fashion insider gives us some real insight on where to go off the beaten tourist track in her city. Her guide to Notting Hill reveals some of her favourite places to shop and ensure going home empty handed is not an option! Notting Hill is bursting with hip characters, extremely attractive people and ticks all the boxes for a true London experience. Discover Notting Hill’s best boutiques, up-and-coming designers and hotspots to unwind throughout the day. Isabelle is London born and bred, she works in fashion and PR and is a self-confessed raging shopaholic.
Notting Hill Market/ Portobello MarketWith a glowing reputation and a historical past, Notting Hill Market or Portobello Market, offers all types of clothing on a wide spectrum of price. With hundreds of stalls offering current fashion styles, accessories and amazing antiques, this market is a shopaholics paradise. Plan for a full day out as the live music, tasty street food and mix of eccentric characters and trendy locals are sure to keep you occupied throughout the day. The main shopping days are Fridays and Saturdays, so be prepared for a busy crowd. Insider Tip- Avoid taking a taxi, take the tube and walk from the Notting Hill station. I promise you will love it, for the walk to the market from the station is lined with charming rows of multi colours houses and gorgeous boutiques you won’t want to miss.
Address: Portabello Road, Notting Hill, London, W11 2QB. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7727 5242 www.portobelloroad.co.uk
Dolly DiamondUnconventional, vivid and scattered with vintage goodies, Dolly Diamond is a fascinating shopping experience. Not only are the staff a joy, with extensive knowledge of their stock, but the well-conditioned range of men’s and women’s wear is nothing short of fabulous. From velvet dinner jackets to outrageous costume jewellery and delicate lacy underwear, you will be spoilt for choice. A great place for vintage lovers.
Address: 51 Pembridge Road, London, W11 3HG. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7792 2479 www.dollydiamond.com
MensahMensah may be small, but what is lacks in size, it makes up for in the style stakes. Filled with designer finds from Vivienne Westwood to Mossoni, often with new collections from London fashion school graduates, this place stocks an array of elegant yet modern choices, to more vintage finds such as girly tea dresses and silk accessories. Worth a peak, it’s a hot favourite amongst locals. Ideal for those seeking a unique piece to take home.
Address: 291 Portobello Road, London, W10 5TD. Tel: +44 (0) 20 8960 8520
The CowshedFor the healthy eater, visit The Cowshed for a range of organic salads and delicious hearty sandwiches and an impressive range of desserts, such as gooey brownies and the very indulgent Nutella ball! The restaurant and space is designed like a country house with lots of wooden furniture and charming homeware. It has a relaxing atmosphere which offers a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Notting Hill. If accompanied by a slightly unenthusiastic shopping partner, The Cowshed offers a range of treatments, such as body massages, scrubs, facials and nail maintenance, to keep them occupied and comfortable, whilst you continue your hunt. Insider secret– Great boyfriend drop off (from experience).
Address: 191 Portobello Rd, London, W11 2ED. Tel: +44 (0) 20 3725 2777 www.cowshedonline.com
The MerchantWe all love classic designers and The Merchant is a stunning boutique that stocks an impressive range of popular international brands, including Chanel and Dior, at very appealing discount prices on recent collections. Not to be missed if you’re a fan of a bargain, make sure to go early in the day before all the best deals are snapped up. A gem for those on a budget who appreciate luxury brands. Insider Tip – Keep your eyes peeled as it’s a buzzing spot for fashion savvy celebrities.
Address: 19 Kensington Park Road, London, W11 2EU. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 9006 www.merchantarchive.com
The Temperley The Temperley was founded by an old Central Saint Martin’s Graduate, Alice Temperley. Her stunning shop has gained a solid following, having been featured in a number of UK titles. Known for her feminine charm, she flatters the female silhouette using delicate materials. Ranging from ready-to-wear to bridal pieces, one special item from here will last you a lifetime, as the craftsmanship is truly exquisite. Its a great place for one off beautiful dresses for landmark occasions. Insider Tip- Sarah Jessica Parkers and Kate Middleton shops here!
Address: 6-7 Colville Mews, Lonsdale Road, London, W11 2DA. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 7957 www.temperleylondon.com
Wolf and Badger You can find everything at Wolf and Badger! From cool and sophisticated to more eccentric finds, each product is a creation from emerging designers. With the brands ethos based on providing a platform for up and coming talents, they update their stock every 3 months, meaning it is continuously refreshing and up to date. With rails of clothes, accessories and jewellery, allow yourself at least an hour to go through each diverse section until you fall in love with a piece which seems like it was handcrafted especially for you. Trust me, it will happen. This place is for those who appreciate fashion forward, original style. Insider Tip – Wolf and Badger frequently throw ‘Meet the Designer’ events full of fashion industry figures and famous editors. If you’re in town, sign up to their newsletter and RSVP to attend.
Address: 46 Ledbury Road, London, W11 2AB. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 4848 www.wolfandbadger.com
Elgin Pub For a hearty British meal with plenty of character, opt for The Elgin Pub. Comfortable and homey, it’s a real chill out zone with a welcoming interior and available board games. Usually showcasing live music, its menu offers England’s finest pub grub with an accommodating drinks list. Insider secret- Check the website in advance and see who is performing.
Address: 96 Ladbroe Grove, Notting Hill, London, W11 1PY. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7229 5663
Electric DinerThink old fashioned interior with an industrial edge, full of ‘in’ people eating delicious food. Ah, we’re at Electric Diner. Offering food you most definitely want, however you should not be on a diet for, this naughty but great spot is notorious for their fantastic and utterly delicious menu, especially popular as a brunch spot. With an American diner vibe (but far cooler), make sure you try out one of their delicious milkshakes for extra measure. Insider secret- Make sure you book on the weekend as the queues at peak hours are very long and its sometimes too chilly to wait outside!
Address: 191 Portobello Rd, London, W11 2ED. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7908 9696 www.electricdiner.com
Who doesn’t like a creamy hot chocolate when prowling London on a cold crisp day? What about a creamy hot chocolate and a mouth-watering cupcake in a variety of inventive flavours? Still no? Then you are no friend of mine. Pop in to the humble little bakery, Hummingbird Bakery and pick up a treat to get those sugar levels up. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. Always busy, it is known for being one of the best in London. Insider Tip- It’s really really good.
Address: 133 Portobello Road, London, W11 2DY. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7851 1795 www.hummingbirdbakery.com
Notting Hill Arts ClubA trip to London wouldn’t be complete without checking out an industry hotspot. Highly recommended is the Notting Hill Arts Club. This place is alive with fashion, art and media professions! Trendy and exclusive, from the outside it doesn’t look like much. However when you’re inside, you’ll see that the place is hip and the vibe is intoxicating. Open for swanky drinks, the basement turns into an energetic club later in the evening.
Address: 21 Notting Hill Gate, London, W11 3JQ. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7460 4459 www.nottinghillartsclub.com
Trailer HappinessWalking around Portabello Road, this place is really easy to miss. A secret basement bar with only a smiley bouncer outside a door, Trailer Happiness has some of the best cocktails in town. Delightfully imaginative and extremely delicious, unwind and relax at this perfect finishing spot. It gets extremely busy late at night, where locals, hipsters and celebrities hangout. Insider secret- Try to go in mixed groups as they are sometimes strict on allowing male only groups entry.
Address: 77 Portobello Rd, London, W11 2DY. Tel: +44 (0) 20 70419833 www.trailerhappiness.com