Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Portobello Road Market

We're already planning for our London-Lyon-Paris trip in February, and I realized that I haven't even finished blogging about my last trip in April, and one of the places I really loved, which deserves it's own post is Portobello Road Market.

Last April, I was very lucky to find a landlady who lived right on Portobello Road. You can read my post on that here. I was totally channeling Hugh Grant's character in Notting Hill. In fact, I visited some of the film's locations like a total groupie (which is the same as what we did with the family in 2000). You can read about that here if you plan to do the same.

Now, back to Portobello Road Market. Tourists normally come for the Antiques on Saturday, but I was quite surprised when I lived there to see that the Market was already quite alive on Friday.

This is me stepping out of Julie's flat, directly into Portobello Market.
Love love love.
So happy I got a chance to live here.
I was staying closer to the New Goods end,
which is near the Ladbroke Grove Station.
If you want to start at the Antiques, go for Notting Hill Tube Station and start walking up Portobello Road.
On my first day in London, I already found a mobile charm seller who
had so much stock in Silver. Since he was also there on Saturday,
I was able to sleep on it, but I did come back bright and early to buy everything.
I was staying near Portobello Green Market,
which had leather and vintage stuff, open Fri, Sat and Sun.
The Vintage Market is a good place to source period costumes.
It was also near Acklam Village, which has something new everyday.
Busiest on a Saturday of course!
If I'm not mistaken, the Fruit and Vegetable Market is there every day.

Here are some things you can find in Portobello Road, even if it's not a Saturday (but I don't think they are there daily).
Accessories Galore
Cheese, Cold Cuts, and chocolates and snacks at discount prices.
Look! Boursin for 50p?!?! If only I could hoard to bring this home.
The 1D chocolates come from Poundland, a Supermarket Chain beside it.
Pre-loved branded stuff like DVF wrap dresses, and Prada heels,
towards the New Goods area.

So, you may be wondering, what's so great about Portobello Road Market on a Saturday? It's when all the antique sellers (and tourists) come out. Though it's a known fact that starting prices at Portobello Road are expensive, bargaining is part of the game, and the more you want to buy, the more leverage you have for bargaining.

Because tourists come in droves, there are a lot of food stands to choose from.
Look at that Paella stand. I was able to catch them setting up when I headed
out, and almost ready to serve the lunch crowd when I was walking back.
Piri Piri Chicken Stall
Look at that chili, cheese and olives
Coconut is very expensive though, so best to get your fix in Asia.
This is the Saturday Market Crown (view from Ladbroke Grove).
As a general rule of thumb, if the store is inside a building, their rent is
generally more expensive, so expect to pay more or haggle harder.
I normally just go for the Gold Sellers. But I prefer the ones on the sidewalk,
with display cases (upper right) vs stores (left), unfortunately, last trip,
I was only able to score more mobile charms for Sofia in Silver.

Here are the other things the market has to offer on a Saturday.
Fresh flowers, because I was there in Spring. I'm not sure about Winter though.
The normal tourist crap, local crafts, old books, and hideous clothes.
All kinds of colorful knobs
Antique letters from the letter press
Street Performers outside the pub.
There's a coffee (chain) chop on every corner, but I think this is one of the
saddest Starbucks stores I've ever seen.

Coffee Plant on Portobello Road
I'd much rather get my fix from one of the famous local
Coffee Plant was my favorite hang out when I was there, and it was always
I'd just sit and watch the hustle and bustle of the market, while reading the
free Portobello Market Magazine.
Trivia Time:
Selfie at my favorite spot
This was my view from my favorite seat.
I found it funny that the stalls have Pizza delivered for their lunch (lower right).
This is what the Saturday Market Crown looks like from the Notting Hill end.

It's a few minutes walk to the Market from the Notting Hill Tube Station.

You'll pass the Beatles memorabilia store.
And the second hand store selling pre-loved as new designer items.
There's also Book Warehouse, one of my favorite discount stores.
It's owned by the same chain as the Travel Book Store.
Coley's Just Saying, reporting from Portobello Road.

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