Girl in Notting Hill: Portobello Road Market

A couple weeks ago my husband and I took a vacation to Europe- specifically London and Paris.  It was our second trip to Europe (5 years ago we visited Paris and then the French and Italian Riveras) but our first time to the UK.  I have a lot to share about the two main cities, but first I’m skipping ahead to a charming place called Notting Hill.

When I was planning our adventures the week before leaving (hey, I’m a busy girl!), I read somewhere online about Notting Hill (and I saw the movie ages ago but hardly remember it).  Someone wrote “If you’re in London on a Saturday morning, you must visit the Portobello Market!”  Perfect.  The plan was to fly into London on Thursday and stay through Sunday morning, then catch a short flight to Paris and stay there through Wednesday morning (we’d have two and a half days in each city).  The market sounded like something fun and not too touristy, and luckily my husband agreed to go (not like he would’ve had much choice..Ha).

It was a dreary Saturday morning.  When we got off the subway (aka the “underground”) there were crowds of people heading toward the street where the market is.  I got the sense that I wasn’t the only one who heard that this was the place to be!

We walked through a mostly residential area and I was constantly in awe of people’s front doors, walkways, and overall curb appeal.  We also passed a home where Orson Welles once lived.

After about a ten minute scenic walk, we reached the beginning of the market.  Stores displayed their goods on sidewalk tables and independent vendors also had booths set up.  Hundreds of people filled the street and at times it was difficult to get a good look at the items.  Some were selling souvenirs but there was also clothing, home decor, antique and vintage items.  I was in Heaven!

I would’ve LOVED to buy lots of pieces to bring back to decorate my home and sell in my booth, but I didn’t have that much room in my suitcase.  I did pick up a few items for myself and for gifts though, and of course I took lots of photos for inspiration.  (If you’re planning to visit this market, be sure to bring cash.  Most vendors and even stores will not accept credit cards.)  Enjoy the eye candy!

I could’ve easily stayed there all day!  After a few hours we still hadn’t seen it all but I was out of pounds and we had to start heading back into central London for our ride on the London Eye.  But first we had lunch in a little restaurant before leaving Notting Hill… and who was there to point the direction of the ladies’ and gents’ restrooms?  None other than Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant.

 Tomorrow I’ll share the rest of our London trip and how we lost an entire day of vacation!


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9 Comments on Girl in Notting Hill: Portobello Road Market

    • Jen
      October 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm (5 years ago)

      Me too, what’s up with that?! Haha! And I may have a few in my Paris post next week too… 😉

  1. Daphne
    October 4, 2013 at 4:38 am (5 years ago)

    Good Morning Jen, How lovely that you enjoyed your trip to London. Portobello Road is such a popular market, not only with people visiting London, but with English people. My sister lives in Kent and when I go to visit her we often pop into Portobello Road to see what is on offer. As you say, it is often difficult to get near the stalls, but with a bit of patience, I always manage it.
    What little treasures did you buy while you were in London? I know as a traveller it is always difficult because of the weight situation. I am always in a conundrum as to what I should and shouldn’t buy when I visit Atlanta.
    I am looking forward to hearing about your Paris trip.
    Best Wishes
    Daphne recently posted…BANANA AND WALNUT MUFFINSMy Profile

  2. Nancy
    October 4, 2013 at 3:55 pm (5 years ago)

    Was there several years ago and fell in love with all those market places and where the young designers sell there wares….makes me want to return. Love your site.

  3. doreen
    October 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi Jen,
    Sounds like you flew in and out of London. There’s so much to see, and it is hard to take it all in in such a short time. We went there 1-1/2 yrs. ago, and I LOVED London. Portobello Market was insane; unfortunately, I missed the entire section of vintage items, ’cause we got there in the centere, and walked in the other direction. When I realized I really wanted the other end, we were out of time. LUCKILY, our daughter will be studying there next year, and I think we’ll plan on visiting her. This time, I am planning an entire day at Portobello. Your photos are beautiful.
    doreen recently posted…Why I’m in Love with my Local Hardware StoreMy Profile

    • Jen
      October 10, 2013 at 10:19 pm (5 years ago)

      Doreen, that’s so awesome that you’ve also been to the market! I believe if you go on a Saturday that there are many more antique vendors than on other days. Whenever I return to London someday this will be on my must-do list again- and I will bring more cash and a bigger suitcase! 😉

  4. amanda @ mommy is coocoo
    October 8, 2013 at 4:24 pm (5 years ago)

    Well, I believe this is a little piece of heaven! You took beautiful pictures.

  5. Sandra
    October 15, 2017 at 4:11 pm (1 year ago)

    Your photos are a treasure. From a (old) girl originally from Nottinghill & in the midst of painting a beautiful piece of furniture I need some help with ? Glad I found your blog Thank you x


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