Whoever has seen the Notting Hill film is definitely familiar with Portobello Market. Today is Saturday, which is the main market day for antiques and that’s where I’m going today. Some stalls and most shops are also open on other days of the week.
I arrive at the Notting Hill Gate tube station and start my walk from there.
Lucky Notting Hill inhabitants live in houses like this with pretty little gardens.
Portobello Road is swarming with people, mainly tourists. It was probably less crowded early in the morning.
The antique stalls all look very interesting – for example, there are quite a few that sell porcelain, most of which looks so traditionally English that you want to buy it all and throw a ginormous afternoon tea party.
One desire that does not remain unrealised, however, is buying a few pieces of silver cutlery, which is my only purchase for today.
Generally, the market is a true silverware kingdom. There are so many stalls selling cutlery, tea- and coffeepots, toast racks, vases, pitchers, serving plates, gravy boats – you name it.
It’s such a shame that I’m not a jewellery fan: this stuff does look fascinating indeed!
If I was still a little girl, what wouldn’t I give for a dollhouse like this? Having a dollhouse had been my biggest dream as a child, and sadly I never got one 😦
Portobello Road is really long and the stalls stretch a whole mile along it.
I’m not sure why people still collect vinyl records, but this stall seems pretty popular!
I do, however, perfectly understand why someone would collect old books. It doesn’t make rational sense in this day and age, of course, but there’s probably nothing as cosy as an old book with yellow pages and that specific smell!
Speaking of this day and age, I’d say that CD’s have become an antique as well already.
Those tartan scarves and Scottish knitwear in the middle of summer make me think of the proverb “Don’t have thy cloak to make when it begins to rain”.
One doesn’t really know where to look first, there’s so much stuff everywhere: pictures, posters, lace, fur, African totems, Jamaican rastacaps etc., etc.
This is where I expect my camera to make a respectful bow to its long-ago ancestors.
This must be a little boy’s heaven! “Smile!” commanded the seller to the toy soldiers, as he saw me with a camera, but for some reason they ignored the command – not the most obedient lot apparently!
I’m continuing my walk up Portobello Road.
I literally fell in love with those pillowcases, especially the ones with the cat and the rabbit.
I think, this stall looks so typical. It’s even hard to identify what they have here, it seems like there’s a bit of everything: books, magazines, posters, vinyls, calendars…
Some of those wall plaques are pretty amazing. I could spend ages just standing there and reading them one by one.
Those are 3D pop-up greeting cards – what a great idea, and they are made very nicely too.
Now I wish I hadn’t had lunch just before leaving home: a crêpe with Nutella, banana and strawberry would have been perfect right now.
The next section of the market mainly consists of food stalls, which run not only on Saturdays. First of all, there are farmer-grown fruits and vegetables.
And there is street food, of course. For example, you could get a freshly-made bruschetta here.
There’s something interesting sizzling in those woks. I don’t really like eating street food, by the way, but I do like looking at it.
I have to admit, those doughnuts, brownies and muffins look damn good, though!
And so do these tarts, the carrot cake and the blueberry cheesecake. Yum!
This, quite obviously, is the hot dog stall.
The olive bar has a lot of customers, I guess those must be pretty good olives – it might be worth trying next time!
And here is how they make fresh paella. There is no rice in any of these pans yet – apparently they’ve just started making these batches.
That’s a really cool way to serve pineapple smoothies.
As I walk further, I notice this very pretty restaurant, Garden & Grill. That rooftop seating area must be great and I don’t imagine it being very easy to get a table there.
There’s even an unofficial Banksy store, selling a huge range of merchandise with Banksy art.
I then see more and more interesting things, like flowery headbands, gypsy-style kerchiefs and cutting/carving tools for fruit and veggies.
Finally I reach the intersection of Portobello Road with Westway and decide to turn left to get the tube at Ladbroke Grove station. There is still more of Portobello Market, like this furniture shop, but it doesn’t look as fun anymore.
If I were to turn right, I’d get into this Acklam Village Street Food Market, which hosts a huge selection of international street food. But since, as I mentioned, I’m not a fan, there’s hardly anything for me to do there.
As I walk towards the station, there are more and more stalls.
The seller at the Henna Den wasn’t particularly happy with me taking pictures. “Thanks for asking,” he said sarcastically.
The lady selling Chinese freshwater pearls didn’t seem to mind though. I didn’t come any closer anyway – I’ve seen this kind of stuff in abundance in China.
And the last photo will be this one of a Brazilian street eatery right next to the Ladbroke Grove station.