A few months ago, 3 Score recommended five Notting Hill ‘must’ destinations and a recent visit affirmed their places on the list. Re-visiting a place brings it into sharper focus; it’s a chance to drill down and experience the neighborhood at close range. And drill down I did, spending about three weeks, so the least I can do is share discoveries along Notting Hill’s All Saints Road.
So with a nod to my earlier post, here are a few stops to add to your Notting Hill itinerary ….all mapped out.
Book & Kitchen, 31 All Saints Road
Book & Kitchen is a destination for the serious reader. It’s a haven for the intellectually curious, the book-lover, the discussant, the music buff, the artisan. It’s a place curl up with a book; it brings the reader out in all of us.
It’s a bookstore; no, a gallery; a gift shop featuring one-of-a-kind works in an array of mediums. It’s a meeting place for discussion, it’s an intimate cafe with music. It’s a place to browse, to polish skills and to nurture ambitions as a writer. All with a cup of tea or a light meal and a vibe that invites you to linger, to strike up a conversation. It’s a resource for the community and a must-stop for the visitor – who will go home wishing a Book & Kitchen was around the corner in their hometowns, too.
Jess Collett, Studio 4, 18 All Saints Road
Hats hold a special place for me. They’ve advanced from the functional to a piece of fashion identity. That said, my hat criterion is pretty narrow – basically variations of fedora style, with a bit of whimsy now and again. I admire hats with more flair, but alas have little (ok, no) occasion to warrant the splurge. But, a girl can dream.
Finding Jess Collet’s atelier was nothing short of a Wow!
Jess Collet does hats really, really well, for all of us, the “us” extending to the aristocratic reaches of British society, royals and pop stars alike. Her noble mission is to return hats to the mainstream of daily wear. But in a totally fun, and modern way.
To that end, and to my delight, she has created a series of fedoras in a rainbow of colors . See that one in Merlot on the far left? I’m in.
Her commitment to the belief that “everyone can, and should, look good in a hat” is heartfelt. It’s her passion. It means that a beach/summer hat can be more than protection from the sun and a winter cloche (or fedora) lends a sophistication to the everyday coat or jacket. Surrender to her skill (and bespoke services?) and you’ll see there’s more to hats than baseball caps.
Finally: Jess’ Winter ’16 Collection is dedicated to the memory of David Bowie, the who knew a thing or two about style. ‘Nuff said.
The Tin Shed, 33 All Saints Road
It’s where one goes for breakfast and lunch in this neighborhood. I had three straight weeks of morning lattes, and the occasional croissant and/or lunch, so trust me, it’s habit-forming. I began to recognize other regulars, too. If a television series was based in Notting Hill, the Tin Shed would be cast as the local coffee hangout.
Although not noted on the website, the light fare for lunch including wonderfully hearty soups.
Notting Hill is a destination with an undeniable sense of place. A bit out of the fray without being out of the action. With that in mind, I heartily re-recommend a small, friendly hotel, The Laslett, situated on a quiet residential street. It’s well-located near Notting Hill Gate and within walking distance of Hyde Park. What more is there to say? Oh, yes, since its opening in 2015, it’s won a bevy of awards.
If ever there was a time to go the Notting Hill, not to mention the UK, this is it. The favorable exchange rate makes the trip uncommonly affordable; even the hats. Go as a visitor, settle in as a local. And remember, beyond Notting Hill, all of London is calling….. I’ll be the one in the Merlot fedora.
Have a favorite corner of Notting Hill? A ‘must go’ place? Please share in the comments below.
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