London: The Familiar Comforts of Notting Hill

I recently read an article about how all Americans get their perceptions of London and England in large part from the movies, leading them to view the English with rose-colored, romantic comedy-infused glasses. Of course I read a piece like that and scoff – who, me, be so unsophisticated? – but then I look at my visits to London and realize that, for some reason, I keep gravitating toward Notting Hill, like a moth to a rumpled-but-charming Hugh Grant flame. I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her being basic.

So, yes, I have a big soft spot for Notting Hill, and whether or not it’s due to years of rom-com watching, I’m going to embrace it regardless. Case in point: last fall, on a short but sweet trip to London town, I found myself kicking off the weekend there, in Notting Hill. I began with breakfast at Granger & Co, where I fueled up for a day of exploring with eggs, toast, and a lot of avocado.

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Needing just a little more fuel, I made my way to Ottolenghi. I ogled the baked goods there for a while before settling on a peanut s’more cookie, which I ate on my way to the next destination….

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…the Portobello Road Market! I had visited Portobello Road on my first trip to London, many moons ago, but I arrived close to the end of the day, as things were winding down. This time, I wanted to see the market in full swing – and swinging it was, with lots of visitors, chatty vendors, and eye-catching wares everywhere I looked.

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^^ If it’s wrong to take door photographs, I don’t want to be right. Sorry, unsuspecting residents of Notting Hill!

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London - Notting Hill8So, yes, in conclusion: Notting Hill, I love you. And to quote Emma Thompson in Love Actually, another movie to which gullible Americans like myself are completely susceptible: true love lasts a lifetime.

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