Portobello Market can fit into every visitors must-do list! Spanning the full distance of Portobello Road, the busy market attracts tens of thousands of visitors each week. Gaining popularity from films, such as Bedknobs and Broomsticks and Notting Hill, and being the central focus of the Notting Hill Carnival, the Portobello Market has earned the spot as a top tourist destination. The market is at its best on Saturdays in the summer months, but even during the week you can find some fresh vegetable stands and musicians earning their supper.
The market begins with an antiques section that leads right to the souvenir shop that was the setting for Hugh Grant’s bookstore in the movie Notting Hill. From there you will pass dozens of food stalls offering everything from prepared paella, cheeseburgers, and falafels to fresh fruit and vegetable stands.
You can also pick up gourmet olive oils, cheeses, and raw and cured meats. Along the path of continuous snacks, treats, t-shirts and tchotchkes, you will find the famous Blue Door. The Blue Door was used as the setting for Hugh Grant’s home in Notting Hill. Be prepared, you may have to wait in line for pictures! Close to the Blue Door is the Notting Hill Bookshop. This bookshop is made to look similar to Hugh’s shop in the movie, but filming did not actually take place there. Even still, the bench out front makes for a cute photo op.
Keep making your way through the market and you will get to the fashion stalls. This area of the market, just under the Westway Flyover, is a thrift store enthusiast’s dream. It is comprised of rows and rows of each type of every used, retro, vintage piece of clothing and accesssories imaginable.
Just across the way from the fashion booths is the Acklam Village. This area off of the market has high energy with music blasting to entertain the crowd indulging in the street food stalls. Through the village of tasty treats, you will find a bar and even a “beach”! Real sand is brought in during the summer months to allow Londoners a place to chill out in a lounge chair with a cold drink in their hands!
The last section of the market takes you through stalls of home furnishings. This includes everything from chairs to cattle skulls. It truly is a treasure hunt and some days you may get very lucky with an amazing find.
This is just the basic outline of the Portobello Market. There are many items to be discovered and a lot of side streets to wander down once you find yourself on Portobello Road. I take every visitor to the market and embrace the energy, culture, and colors that is Notting Hill.