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FASHION WRITER AND AUSTRALIAN EXPAT ROXY LOLA SHARES HER FAVOURITE FINDS.
Still one of London’s must-visit locales, Portobello Road was also the birthplace of sass & bide where in 1999, Heidi Middleton and Sarah-Jane Clarke had a small but still fabulous stall, selling customised denim. Today, Portobello Road still reigns as the best weekend market in London, thriving off the love that all the locals bring. It never gets old. Saturdays are for those who are going a mile a minute and Sundays are for those who love to go with the flow.
ONE OF A KIND
The ultimate fashion archive, dreams come true in this literal one-of-a-kind vintage store. Since opening in 1994, it’s been the go-to for all the best Brits (Kate Moss and co). With a 5000-piece archive, it’s like a secret lair that holds the promise of a legendary piece. Original Versace mini dresses sparkle in the windows and Chanel bags gleam like talismans. The front door states RSVP for appointments... For the exclusive only.
(Or just press the bell and they'll let you in.)
259 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LR
PORTOBELLO GREEN MARKETS
For me, this is London’s version of Bondi Markets. Up at the northern end sits Portobello Green, the prime spot for the hustle and bustle of a good bargain. Get to work with stalls filled with vintage military wear and dive through Mick’s Records for original Kate Bush and Fleetwood Mac LPs. Across the road are all-you-can-eat exotic food stalls. One must always refuel when bargain hunting.
Portobello Rd, W10 London W10 5TD
FARM GIRL CAFE
Check-mate. We’re Australian and brekkie is in our blood. The expat owner of Farm Girl Cafe grew up on an farm back home and is bringing our epic cafe culture to the heart of Portobello Road. Fresh, holistic, healthy. The only way to start the day.
59A Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 3DB
You can’t miss it, so don’t. On one of the busiest corners on Portobello Road it is where those who love gin must go. Inside the four-floor tower lies a working distillery and the infamous Portobello Road Gin. With two bars, a private dining room and handy guest lodgings for those who find it hard to leave, it’s a must for the dedicated gin drinker.
186 Portobello Rd, London W11 1LA
When you’ve out-shopped yourself (and probably walked that little bit too far) escape to the cinema that dates back to 1910, dripping in red velvet. Owned by the Soho House Group, it’s the most luxe cinema experience, with freshly baked doughnut (because the food is obviously the most important part of a trip to the movies). In true, old-school cinema style there’s only one screen so book in advance.
191 Portobello Rd, London W11 2ED
THE ANTIQUE MARKETS
Nothing completes a market moment than a pre-loved treasure. Rummage through the antique stalls that are dedicated to charming trinkets; fabulous cutlery sets, film cameras, mirrors and tea sets. Live like the Queen. Hello, you’re in London.
141-149 Portobello Rd, London W11 2DY
With an enchanted vibe of Aladdin’s Cave, here you’ll find handmade riches from Afghanistan, ‘magic’ carpets, rugs, throws, baskets and bags. Definitely worth lugging home.
241 Portobello Rd, Notting Hill, London W11 1LT
THE PORTOBELLO PLAYLIST
For those on a solo mission, plug in to Portobello Radio online, a live show of all the local musicians on blast. Immersive. Music comes alive at Acklam Village where a setlist of musicians are ready to rock every weekend afternoon. It’s been voted London’s favourite music venue so we have public approval.
Okay, so it may be a 10-minute walk from Portobello Road but Holland Park (Hyde Park’s lesser known but cooler younger sister) is the perfect place to come down from all that Portobello pandemonium. With beautiful Japanese Gardens that are super gram-worthy and the Design Museum right on the outskirt, it’s the ideal end to a Sunday afternoon.
Ilchester Pl, Kensington, London W8 6LU