Why Notting Hill?
Notting Hill is west London’s star player in the battle against the east’s cool, bohemian scene. With quaint boutique shops and cafés lining the streets, the brightly painted houses and bustling Saturday market add real character and a sense of community to the area. With garden squares, bars and restaurants, Notting Hill is self-contained but also conveniently close to the city centre.
Do it on the cheap
The downside to Notting Hill is it’s bloody expensive. “Notting Hill is definitely not an area where most people can afford,” admits Samuel Harrison, manager of Hamptons International Notting Hill. “Your average one- or two-bedroom rental in the area is circa £500 per week.”
To enjoy the benefits of Notting Hill but without the high rental prices, you can try nearby areas including North Kensington, Bayswater, Lancaster Gate and Paddington. “Anywhere north of the Westway tends to be cheaper whilst still being within walking distance of Notting Hill and Portobello Road, as well as being close to transport links,” says Serena Roberts from Douglas & Gordon’s Notting Hill lettings department.
Alternatively, The Collective, a company that converts buildings into reasonably priced rented accommodation, has a six-storey Victorian townhouse in Notting Hill comprising 18 studios. Well decked out and retaining the property’s original features, the studios are well-priced for the area, at £230-£395 per week. “These properties are a big hit with those looking to enjoy the best of both worlds: a central London lifestyle and a stylish crash pad that doesn’t break the bank,” says The Collective’s founder and director, Reza Merchant.
Within the wider Notting Hill area you have four Tube stations: Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park, Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove. These cover the Central, District, Circle and Hammersmith and City lines. There are plenty of buses too, including five 24-hour routes and three extra night buses.
Don’t move here if…
You don’t like crowds. It can get rammed, particularly on weekends due to tourist traffic heading for Saturday’s Portobello Market. Roberts adds, “There can be quite a bit of construction work going on as it is a highly invested area.”
Where to hang out
Notting Hill knows its eggs, apparently, with Café 202 and The Electric Diner both cooking up stellar breakfasts. Walmer Castle and The Cow are good for a low-key drink, while The Sun In Splendour and Champion are great for Sunday roasts, and The Shed (theshed-restaurant.com) has a gorgeously wholesome menu that changes daily. For sophisticated suppers and cocktails, try Granger & Co, The Ledbury and Beach Blanket Babylon.
“I just think Notting Hill is one of the most beautiful areas of the city. I love the aesthetics – especially the pastel coloured buildings.”
Exchange student, 19
“I really like the Portobello Market. They’re a little pricey, but I feel like you can’t get much fresher fruits and vegetables. And the people are so friendly.”
“I’m a big fan of the Notting Hill Carnival. Last year was the first time I went, and I’m so happy I did. I am really looking forward to it this year.”
Borough Kensington & Chelsea
Council Tax Band G: £1786.08
Travel time to London 8 mins
Tube Notting Hill Gate, Holland Park, Westbourne Park & Ladbroke Grove
Average rental 1 bed £1924
Average rental 2 bed £2888
Average rental 3 bed £4994