We arrived in London early in the morning and headed straight for our Bed and Breakfast to drop off our luggage. Our B&B was just around the corner of Notting Hill Gate tube station and since Notting Hill is one of my favorite areas in London, the location was just perfect. When we entered the road, we knew that we had chosen the right place. The houses looked just as lovely as we had imagined, it was calm yet animate with a restaurant just beside our B&B and cheerful people on the streets. The B&B itself was also great and our host, Hilary charming and very helpful. We did not have breakfast at her place (I asked for a room without breakfast since I had so many places on my list and we were given a discounted rate), but we had a kettle in our room to make tea (Clipper!) and coffee and there was a fruit basket and cookies. Our en-suite bathroom was huge which we loved. Hilary even made our bed and brought us fresh towels once. I cannot recommend her B&B highly enough! http://www.26hillgateplace.co.uk/
Right after dropping off our luggage, we went to the Notting Hill Famers’ Market around the corner and boy, it was beautiful. I would love to show you a few pictures but I was just too hungry and forgot to take pictures once I held that glorious food in my hands. I tried Irish Soda bread for the first time at the stall of Celtic Bakers and happened to love it! I bought half a loaf of it and had it with amazing tomatos from The Tomato Stall. Everything else looked great as well and if you happen to be in London on a Saturday, you should definitely go there. http://www.lfm.org.uk/markets/notting-hill/
With satisfied bellies we went on to Portobello Road Market since my friend had never been there before. The market takes places on Saturdays as well and happens to be very crowded and touristy on that day but is something you have to see once even if I prefer the area on other days.
And on we went to the next market… 🙂 Borough Market that is. I went there for the first time and simply loved the place, even if it was quite crowded and touristy as well. I would recommend to go early in the morning though. I was one happy girl when I spotted “Monmouth Coffee Company” but then I saw the huge queue in front and we decided that we had to postpone our visit since we both needed a coffee badly. Before leaving the market, we went for a quick visit of “Neal’s Yard Dairy”, “Gelateria 3Bis” and “Aesop”, all around the corner of “Monmouth Coffee Company” and places that are not to be missed. http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk/
I had another place in mind that was said to have great coffee but was not really sure how far away it was. We decided to walk anyways and took the “Thames Path” (http://www.thames-path.org.uk/) which was lovely and very peaceful but took us longer than I had tought. In the end we were rewarded with great coffee at a great place, Fernandez and Wells at Somerset House. Somerset House is one of my favourite buildings in London and it has great expositions and free guided tours. Just make sure you get there ahead of time since the tours are often booked up. If you do so, you should spend your waiting time at “Fernandez and Wells”, have a great coffee and enjoy some of their pastries. I had a slice of gluten-free/dairy-free clementine and chocolate cake and it was amazing. http://www.somersethouse.org.uk/ http://fernandezandwells.com/somerset-house.php
Then happened what had to happen in London. 🙂 The rain started to pour down. Luckily we were still inside the cafe and were able to wait until the worst had passed. After some time we decided to leave though, even if it still rained quite heavily and we arrived at our B&B with soaking wet feet. Just make sure you always (!) put on waterproof shoes in London and don’t let the blue skies in the morning fool you!