But I wasn't sure how Rick would take to it! After all, shopping isn't always his thing and I wasn't sure that this was his shopping. But what the heck? We're in London!
So, on a very warm, 70-degree-plus, mid-October day, we took the bus outside to Notting Hill Gate and were on our way. It was one of my favorite days!
Why? Well, first of all, it was gorgeous. And second, there was all that wonderful shopping!
Plus, it was a mass of people. Now, I'm not great in crowds and yet this didn't bother me. Not a bit.
Everyone was having a good time, moving along at whatever pace they chose.
When we first got off the bus, most of what we saw was trash and trinkets and I was a little worried! But as we went deeper into what seemed like a mile-long market area, it really developed! There were shops with sidewalk bins. Linens, antiques, china, silver.
You name it, it was there. I bought a small spoon at this vendor who had some lovely miniatures.
Rick spent some time looking at vintage maps.
Personally, I think Rick was a little bummed about the haggling at this booth. He loves to haggle.
I didn't get this. But wish I had.
I could have spent a bit here too -- I'm not sure how much was sterling, plate or just shiny but it all looked pretty!
I loved the modern day version of the costermonger carts.
This one had every olive, garlic and pepper known to humankind, I think!
People were buying all sorts of things -- fruits, veggies and herbs...
...and antique toys.
I think we heard every language under the sun, the least of which was English!
And the food! Well, the market had the food court to end all food courts. Food from Afghanistan? Sure! Poland? Of course! Crepes? Oui! Tacos? Si!
There was Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern. We enjoyed a delicious paella.
Then on to more looking.
Even the streets and buildings were lovely and their bright colors added to the ambience.
But always present was the ghost of Grenfell Towers, the apartment building not far that had suffered terrible loss in a fire on June 14, 2017.
It was clear that this was a neighborhood that supported its community.
Of course, if you're a "Notting Hill" movie fan, you can't be in this neighborhood and not recall the famous "Blue Door" of William's house. It was quite the photo op. (Rick actually spotted it because of people taking photos by it!)
For me, too!
And this building was his pal's restaurant in the film. It's now a gift shop.
There's loads of street entertainment too. Musicians, of course, but I liked these marionettes.
We even saw the Queen! OK, not quite. But close!
All in all, I'd recommend Portobello Road if this is your thing and crowds don't totally freak you out. It was one of my favorite times in England and I'd go back in a heartbeat!
- It's easy to access Portobello Road market from the bus or tube. Be prepared to walk.
- Wear comfy shoes. If you do the whole thing, it's a long haul.
- Bring cash. This is not a credit card venue, although the shops along the road do accept cards.
- Make a plan to know where your travel partner is -- either a meeting spot or at least clothing recognition so if you are separated you can find each other in the crowd.
- Be adventurous! The food court was great. Try something new. (I sort of wish I'd tried this fruit drink!)
Next time? I'll take you somewhere a tad more cerebral!
Sharing this week with: Let's Add Sprinkles / Pink Saturday / Take Me Away Blog Party