Notting Hill on a sunny Summer Saturday is overwhelming.
I’ve spent many hours jam packed between bodies of tourists crawling down Portobello Road, queueing at crepe stands and browsing tables of vintage plates.
It’s a must when you first visit London (and full of characters worth some time spent people watching), but when you’ve been there, done that in the midst of the chaos, mid-week visits – or even Sundays – are much more civilised.
When Jorge asked what I wanted to do Sunday last week, I consulted my the handy lists I always keep on my phone.
One is a compilation of restaurant, cafe, pub and cocktail bar recommendations.
The other is random stuff I want to see before I one day move on from this city.
I occasionally jot down places or objects I want to photograph, quirky stuff I’ve spotted in Flickr feeds or magazines or that someone just mentioned in passing.
For a while, the list has said: “St. Luke’s Mews, Notting Hill, yellow door.”
While I couldn’t remember exactly what said yellow door looked like, I knew I’d have to go find it eventually. Nothing makes my lists unless it is (to me anyway) worth seeking out.
So we hoped on a bus, got off at Notting Hill and walked down Portobello Road to the little mews to find my door. Which was easy enough and was then ticked off of the list.
There was, of course, nothing particularly special about it.
I always wonder about the people who live behind wonderfully creative doors though: What do they do for a living? What do they look like? How do they decorate inside?
We took advantage of the fact that we were in the area already and wandered through some of the back streets we’d never explored.
I know the area quite well, having worked there for four years, but there’s plenty left to discover.
Also, being there on a Sunday meant we could have a leisurely look around Stumper & Fielding – one of our favourite independent shops – which is always packed to the brim on a Saturday but quite inviting on a Sunday.
I took some photos inside with the intention of blogging about it, but I ended up writing a guest post for Jorge instead on his blog, Hunt for Design.
We found a new Jonathan Adler shop that opened up just around the corner and ended up coming out with a giant coffee table book to add to our collection. When I left London to move to Colombia for a while, I got rid of 300 books that I’d accumulated and said I wasn’t going to keep the ones I buy or collect the heavy ones again, but I just can’t help it…our bookshelves are full. I feel that books make a house feel more like a home.
Anyway, by then it was time for some food. I had originally wanted to check out Source in Battersea, which was on my other list, but since we were in Notting Hill and already starving, it made more sense to stay local. We had passed by a brand new Polpo – like the Soho/Covent Garden restaurant – that had opened at the beginning of May (it turned out to be disappointing, but more about that one on Wednesday).
By then, it was time to head home where, to cheer ourselves up after a not so great lunch, we spontaneously booked a weekend away in Stockholm to look forward to at the beginning of August. Can’t wait!
Do you keep lists of places you want to visit? What’s on it now?
PS – I know a lot of you follow my Little London Observationist page on Facebook, but did you know I have a page for Little Observationist as well? Swing by for fun stuff I find that doesn’t always show up on the blog.