Whether or not you are a fan of Bedknobs & Broomsticks, Portobello Market in the Notting Hill area of London shouldn't be missed. Saturday is by far the best day to check it out. Stores of all kinds line the streets, but temporary booths wheel in on Saturdays lining both sides of the road. This was our first stop after checking in & it worked out to be a productive, yet relaxing way to push through the jet lag. I would leave a few hours to casually peruse the shops and stalls along the street. This is a great place to pick up presents to take home - silver teapots, china teacups, antiques of all kinds, and our favorite - old block letters from printing presses. They were everywhere. A lot were as new as could be with barely an ink stain on them, but some were lovingly worn. And I can't tell you how hard and long I've looked for them here in the States. Yet here, they were everywhere. Dear old Gutenberg would be so proud. And lets don't forget about the food. Come hungry.
Check out some of our favorite moments & sights from our afternoon at the market. Just know there's something for everyone - I can't begin to summarize it!
Could those be Branson's boxing gloves from Downton Season 1? Can you believe the next season premiered in the UK barely a week after we left??? So close to a sneak peek of Season 4...oh the injustice.
My ankles had yet to start hating on the cobblestone streets. Be prepared. Choose your shoes wisely.
I don't even remember what shop this was, but it was full of clothes. And old sewing machines. But no one was shopping. Apparently the street was only filled with sewing machine lovers like myself waiting in line to take pictures.
If crowds aren't your thing - skip the market. And the rest of this post. Well, maybe all of London.
A book cart!! These lined the streets which made me so happy since that's what I associated with Portobello road since childhood.
Figs!!! It was meant to be. These things were huge - almost the size of my palm. Puts to shame anything I've seen grown in the States. They were called Mustafa figs. And I can only thing of Mufasa. But hey - lions are big. The name fits as far as I'm concerned.
Flowers. If only I could attach the aroma. Both here & in Paris I wanted so badly to grab a bundle to take home. Stupid customs.
Um yeah. This puts Paella at Bahama Breeze to shame. The food stalls covered were as authentic as you could ask for. I'd say the UK is more of a melting pot than the US. Well at least compared to the Virginia countryside. All I can say is our flight attendant who lives in Notting Hill spent a good 30 minutes telling me the wonders of the food on this street. And how can you possibly ignore a local's advice?
No. I don't like coconut water. Yes I paid money to drink it straight out of a coconut. Because how can you not when a man wielding a machete will cut it open for you like he's using a butter knife?
The only disappointment of my market experience? No singing & dancing in the streets - Disney led me astray. But don't worry - I may or may not have sung the theme song & done my own little jig on video. We can't let our expectations go unmet can we? :)
We only had 4 days to take in the whole city, but there are a number of other popular markets in the city, but most are closed at least one day a week - so be sure to check their schedule ahead of time!