Exploring Portobello and Golborne Road

4th November 2020

By Zoe Parker

When we post things up on our Instagram page that aren’t really kitcheny things, I always wonder whether people will actually be interested, whether they’ll care, whether they’ll just scroll on past and flick through, or whether they’ll stick around and listen and watch you chat about things they maybe don’t follow you for. Of course kitchens are really what we’re all about here at deVOL, they’re what we’re best at, they’re what we share day in and day out and that will never change… but social media is a whole other little world that allows you to get a look into things and places and people you might not normally. I love seeing things that usually I wouldn’t be able to see for myself, learning about things I never knew before, daydreaming for a moment – especially during a crazy time like we’re all going through now. We started sharing these little tours around parts of London that we live in and love, it not only gives us the chance to enjoy places on our doorstep that we probably just take for granted and happily, we’ve learnt it gives our followers a sometimes much needed escape too…

I promised I’d turn this trip into a blog so you could refer back to it when needs be, so here you go! The sun was out and with lockdown in England easing, it was the perfect day to explore a little further afield. Hand sanitiser at the ready and, of course, my beautiful flowery face covering by Pearl Lowe, let’s go! We’re heading West today so I hopped on the tube near my flat and hopped off here… Any guesses where we’re going?

Almost!! We’re actually going to a bit of a lesser-known street nearby that I think you’ll love… but I couldn’t pass by Portobello Road without a little look. Portobello is said to be the world’s largest antique market. There are over 1,000 dealers and oodles of beautiful stores selling everything from old furniture to little trinkets and clothing too. For much of the 18th and 19th centuries, Portobello Road was just a simple winding country lane. As time passed it became more residential, with beautiful townhouses popping up and the beginnings of a market selling fresh food and essentials. It wasn’t until the 1940’s though, when the bric-a-brac ‘rag & bone’ men and antique sellers swooped in, that this went from your regular London market to the iconic place we know today!

With its ice cream coloured houses and scenes from many a famous movie… Who remembers ‘Alices’ antiques shop below from the ‘Paddington’ film!? If you haven’t watched it, you must, it’s the best. This spot was actually called ‘Gruber’s’ in the film but everything else is pretty much the same, oh and if you turn the corner just by it, you can see the flat belonging to Charlie Croker (Michael Caine) from ‘The Italian Job’. And, of course, there are memorable spots from the ‘Notting Hill’ movie all along this road. 

There’s pretty little shops galore and a few whacky ones too! I could spend hours and hours mooching about here.

But it’s time to get moving on to the next spot! Head north, right up to the very top of Portobello and you’ll find this gem, Golborne Road, it’s so, so worth a visit.

It’s a melting pot of both London’s largest Moroccan and Portuguese communities…

There’s always such a buzz around this place, a real sense of community and culture and it’s often missed by the masses visiting Portobello and Notting Hill. Cafe O’Porto is a classic and stop off at ‘Lisboa Patisserie‘ for the best Pastel de Nata in London!

Picture-perfect antique and vintage and gift shops… A few of my favourites are Les Couilles du Chien

And Arbon Interiors, this place is a total treasure trove, they also specialise in fabulous old fireplaces. 

And this little one called Bazar who don’t have a website but give the name a google and directions will pop up.

No photos allowed in Universal Providers but if you’re after a special pressie or a treat for yourself, this is the place. You’ll find them at number 86 Golborne Road. 

The lovely shops, old and new, are never ending…

An iconic British fashion emporium, Rockins, famous for their skinny silk scarves worn by many a celeb.  

And there’s plenty of spots for a drink in the sunshine, or more like shelter from the rain these days!!

And a myriad of quirky little stores selling beautiful local and unusual world produce…

We’re heading back into another lockdown here in England but I do hope you’ll remember these places for your next visit to London and in the meantime, these photos might offer a much needed distraction, even if only for a moment or two. There’s no time more important than now to shop locally and to support the little local businesses near and far.

Sending lots of love to you all and do keep an eye on our Instagram page for more little tours around London.

Zoë x