Notting Hill Wandering ♥ - coloured houses, lunch at Granger & Co, Westbourne Grove..

August 10, 2015

A few weekends back, Ben and I drove to Maida Vale ogling the flat we used to live in {three years ago already} to try and see what the new owners have done differently. They still have the window boxes outside and we could see the big white wardrobe through the big arched sliding sash window. We had come for a walk to Notting Hill, one of our old favourites in London. 

And the good thing about Maida Vale is that you can park basically anywhere for free at the weekend and then walk to most places in London fairly easily. 

You walk to Notting Hill via Little Venice, another place we used to love and walking around the streets made us feel so nostalgic. The giant mansion blocks and pretty streets, red phone boxes, the corner shops open almost 24/7 that seemed to sell anything, the way you're so close to Central London yet feel like you're in the more leafy part - we loved all of that and very occasionally miss it. But then we'd see something that made us feel uneasy, there's a lot of dodgy mixed in with the nice in London so close together - I wouldn't feel safe walking on the canal on my own for instance, and of course the beeping horns, the traffic, the fact that you may have Regents Park or Hampstead Heath nearby but they're not really a patch on the countryside. And the sheer cost of living there. So of course we love our lives a lot more now, and we're so close to all of our family and friends which was a main reason for moving back to the village we'd both grown up in. Anyway, all that aside, we love just popping into London for half a day at a weekend. We get the best of both, London hitting our blood streams - whether it's restaurants and fro-yo shops that we don't have near us now or just walking the streets it's nice to still feel like we can go to London as often as we like without actually living there. And when you get back home you can breathe properly again and go for a walk without guarding your phone. 

So, Notting Hill. We started in Portobello Road, we hadn't been to the market there for ages. Part of it is nice, part of it veryyy touristy. If you want to go then go early on a Saturday, I don't understand why the tourists love it quite so much? Notting Hill Gate will also be swamped, it's not the nicest so avoid that too. But the streets around Notting Hill {with all the coloured houses to swoon over}, they're my favourite. Especially Westbourne Grove with the cafes like Ottolenghi and Daylesford Organic, the upmarket shops where you can stock up on Diptyque and the Wild at Heart little florist stall. Swooon, that's my favourite part of Notting Hill. We had lunch at Granger & Co - an Australian cafe that's hugely popular. I'd heard a lot about it for a while now, there are a few around London now and it was definitely worth the hype. We got there just before lunch and waited for a table, as we sat down the queue was almost round the street already! But the food was excellent as was our young silver beet, chia seed and fresh ginger coconut water. Good for brunch too, I was tempted to try the famous ricotta hotcakes. Next time for sure. After lunch, we stopped at Daylesford for some semi-healthy but extremely yummy treats including the best figs we've had in ages. Then it was back to the car via a stop at the Clifton Nursery in Warwick Avenue, it's the oldest garden centre in London. It's gone down hill a little since we last visited three years ago, they used to sell old vintagey antiques but it's now a cafe but nice for a look nonetheless. By then we'd walked for miles and were ready to get back on the Finchley Road and drive out of the city to reach the countryside, until next time London... 

Photos from our wanderings below.. 

{Portobello Road}

{Coloured houses, w a n t  t h e m  a l l}

{Lunch at Granger & Co - }

{Wild at Heart, Westbourne Grove - swoooooon }

{Ottolenghi, Daylesford Organic and the shops of Westbourne Grove}

{Back to Maida Vale}

R <3 xx 

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