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Yesterday I decided to get lost. More specifically, I decided to get lost in Notting Hill. So, I did.

Portobello Road, Notting Hill

Portobello Road, Notting Hill

I jumped off the tube at Notting Hill Gate and then made my way down to Portobello Road and the infamous antiques market where you can get trinkets with all the brass bells and whistles that you could ever wish for. I’m not a massive fan of antiques, but the quirk and nostalgic nature of it all leaves you with a little giddy feeling that somehow, you just can’t shake for the rest of the day.

But there were loads of other places that caught my eye. Like Appletree Boutique which has the prettiest, most floaty chiffon dresses I have ever seen. They’ve got a crazy sale (50% off) going on at the moment and it took all the control I could muster up not to swipe away. Just a little further down from Appletree is Fussy Nation – home to oddball bits and bobs like cupcake-flavoured lip balm where you can get your fix in peanut butter, double chocolate and cinnabon.

Cupcake lip balm

Cupcake lip balm... Told you so!

Or if you’re having a rockstar moment, grab a gold-studded black leather clutch. And of course, le boyfriend would be terribly sad if you didn’t get him anything so swipe a Sherlock Holmes action figure and get some brownie points in the process. Staying with laugh-out-loud buys, Octopus has the cutest hair clips, brooches and alice bands I have ever seen. The bright plastic pandas, scottish terriers, wide-eyed anime girls and fried eggs brought out the pop-art lover in me. I love!

My last stop in Portobello road was at Jack Wills. Girls, if you’ve looking for slim-fitting, straight-cut vintage school blazers to wear to the Cambridge vs Oxford race next weekend, hot foot down to Notting Hill. They’ve got them in royal blue with white pin-stripes and pink with lilac pin-stripes. Stunning.

Jack Wills

Jack Wills

Before your journey veers you away from Portobello road check out the Electric Cinema Theatre – the oldest purpose built cinema in the UK. It opened its doors for the first time to the public in 1911, survived the war and celebrates the world that was with regular vintage screenings. It’s a definite must-see.

Electric Cinema

Electric Cinema

When your tummy starts to grumble, head to Westbourne Grove road and sample the wares at Daylesford Organic. It’s a little pricey but the salads are fresh, the bread is baked to perfection and the selection of take-away sandwiches will have you reaching for your magic 8 ball. For those on a bit of a budget, take a short walk to Ledbury Road and take a seat at the communal table at Ottolenghi. The spread of mouth-watering grilled fish, salads, bakes and pastries will tempt you to want to eat all day. I had aubergine, tomato and goats cheese bake (£4.50) and then as I was paying, a little buttermilk scone with orange and currants called out my name. I couldn’t say ‘No.’

Notting Hill has all the old-school charm of a pocket watch. Between the monument-sized Victorian houses and high-street boutiques there’s a modern sensibility about it that makes it feel familiar and homely. So next time you have a free afternoon, skip the hussle and bustle of Soho and head to Notting Hill instead. And leave your watch at home.

love love love

❤ ❤ ❤

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