19th Aug 2012 7:20pm | By Sarah Kuranda
With an eclectic mix of its poor, artistic past and its current trendy, expensive appeal, Notting Hill Gate has a laidback feel most of the year – when the carnival’s not thumping.
Despite being only a small area, it has plenty to explore. North of the Tube station will bring you to the more tourist-laden Pembridge Road and Westbourne Grove.
Head south, you can peruse the vintage shops and restaurants of Kensington Church Street and eventually come across the bright, rainbow houses of Hillgate Village and the route to Kensington Gardens.
Or you can just wander up Notting Hill Gate, filled with bookshops, music stores and cafés.
Why Notting Hill Gate?
You’ll never be bored here – and, if you are, you’re confused. There are clubs, restaurants and shops at every turn.
The streets are bustling with activity – and that’s without mentioning the annual Caribbean festival.
The area offers the convenience and high-style living of neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea, but with a more arty and less pretentious feeling.
You still get all of your classic columned white buildings, but they have a quirkier edge to them.
There are plenty of private parks to escape the hustle and bustle, but the area really manages to hold on to its creative, cosmopolitan feeling.
Don’t move here if...
This isn’t for you if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful place to live. “It’s quite busy, so anyone who wants tranquillity may want to look elsewhere,” says Nikki Jewitt, a letting co-ordinator at the estate agent Faron Sutaria.
Full of life, Notting Hill Gate may not be quite the right place for someone looking to escape the city atmosphere after work.
Families and young professionals are drawn here, though it also entices tourists and students. “It is very eclectic, and the vibrancy the area, especially Portobello, attracts people to live here no matter where they work,” Jewitt says.
Where to hang out
Most famously, there is the Portobello Market, a two-mile long market that draws international flavour at the Gate Theatre.
While there is no shortage of restaurants to choose from, we recommend checking out The Churchill Arms on Kensington Church Street, a stand-out from the street because of its spectacular wall gardens.
For something a bit sweeter, stop by the Hummingbird Bakery and grab a delicious frosted cupcake.
Falling on four Tube lines, connections to the District, Circle, and Central lines are available at Notting Hill Gate, as well as
the Circle and Hammersmith and City lines at the Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove, and Latimer Road stops.
What you can rent
Most of the properties available are flat conversion to let.
There is a mix of Victorian style and more modern accommodation, so whatever your taste, you should be able to find something here that will appeal to you.