Portobello Road, a winding residential street in Notting Hill, is home to one of London’s most stalwart markets. For block after block, stalls of antiques, gifts, food, and clothing wind out endlessly, a sea of people for as far as you can see. The street is narrow, so with two rows of vendors, the crowds squeeze through the narrow passage dividing them. Some people come for the deals, eyeing antique cameras and haggling with the vendors. Who needs an antique camera I wonder? Other people come for the famous blue door
, from the movie ‘Notting Hill’.We actually thought about living in this area, in a tiny street just off of Portobello. When we walked by that street last weekend, a car was trying to slowly, slowly inch off of the tiny side street and onto Portobello, a delicate dance involving no less than 20 scrambling walkers and four awkwardly placed stalls. Some tourists passing by said loudly, ‘Who would live there?’ It’s true. That side street, adorable though it is, is not a place to really live. Though it is almost in viewing distance of the blue door.
You can relish in the mayhem of Portobello Road anytime, though the stalls are most active on Saturday and around the holidays (we clearly chose the worst day to visit, given our distaste for slow walkers and dense crowds). Take the tube to Notting Hill Gate and follow the crowds. Can’t miss it.