The perfect day in Notting Hill

With its pretty pastel houses, its busy flee-food-and-everything-inbetween market and some of the most fantastic stores and restaurants in London, Notting Hill is always a good choice for a perfect day in London.

But how to make the most of your day in West London most beautiful neighbourhood? Below are a few ideas…

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

10 AM: There’s only one way to start a perfect day in Notting Hill: late (ish), with a side of¬†buttery pastries and your choice of hot drinks. There are a few places nearby offereing just that, but my favourite has to be the Swedish-inspired, tiny but perfectly formed Fabrique Bakery on Portobello Road.

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

With marble tables, shabby-chic decor, amazing bread and more pastries than even I can manage, it’s the perfect spot¬†to start the day the hygge way.

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

11 AM: Roam the area until you find your dream house.

Because if you haven’t ‘grammed 25 billion pictures of pretty pastel houses, have you even been to Notting Hill?

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

12 PM: Build up an appetite with a peak at what’s available at Portobello Market.

Open Monday to Saturday, the world-famous flee market is a happy mix of antiques, collectable, vintage fashion, bric-à-brac and of course, food!

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

If you like mushrooms, make sure you hunt down the Mushroom guy for one of the city’s best selection (and prices!) of funghi of all sorts!

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

There’s also a fantastic Spanish food store down Portobello Road where you can stock on Iberic staples…

(because this + jamon = the perfect Autumn dinner!)

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + WhiskyTaco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

1 PM: I could taco¬†’bout where to have lunch for hours, but it’s getting quite cold these days, so I highly recommend you head straight for Taqueria for a feast of the best tacos this side of the Atlantic.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

The place itself is an absolute interiors dream, but believe it or not, the food is even better!

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + WhiskyThe perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Whatever you order, I don’t think you can go wrong, but if you’re not sure what to get, the signature guac’ and the fish tacos¬†are a good place to start.

Plus a portion of the steak tacos with browned cheese. Or two, ’cause you might not want to share those…

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

3 PM: Whether you’re in the mood for window shopping, or absolutely ready to get a headstart on your Christmas shopping, Notting Hill is a fantastic place to shop!

I especially love the independant, rather niche selection on Blenheim Crescent, ranging from beautiful flowers to kids clothing & toys, speciality food store & the all-round fantastic Books for Cooks.

Crammed with thousands of tasty titles and equipped with a squashy sofa for cookbook junkies in need of a long read, it’s every foodie’s dream come true (and my bank account’s worst nightmare).

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + WhiskyThe perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Across the street, The Spice Shop¬†is¬†the ultimate Aladdin’s cave¬†stocking over 2,500 spices and ingredients from around the world.

Plus, how cute is the brand’s signature yellow tin box?!

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Traditional sweets’ shop¬†Ask Mummy & Daddy¬†offers a wide array of treats and¬†always have some of the sweetest windows around…

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

But if you’re after a more substancial sweet treat, Biscuiteers¬†is where it’s at for the prettiest novelty iced bicuits, a spot of afternoon tea or a hands-on icing masterclass!

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

6PM: Time for the cinema experience of a lifetime at Electric Cinema!

Forget the usual unconfortably shaped seats & full-on air conditioning. This is something else entirely.

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Sixty-five leather armchairs with footstools and side tables offer unparalleled comfort.

In addition there are also 2-seater sofas at the rear of the theatre and six double beds in the front row in case you want to get snuggly.

The perfect Autumn day in Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Oh, and there’s also¬†individual cashmere blankets, Champagne¬†and snacks you’ll actually want to eat…

The perfect ending to a perfect day in Notting Hill!

This blog post is my entry for this month’s ‘A perfect…<fill in the blank>’ #travellinkup¬†hosted by¬†Angie, Emma¬†and¬†Jamie. Want to share¬†a perfect moment, a perfect destination, a perfect storm, a perfect slice of cake…? Join in the fun through the links above!

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The perfect day in Notting Hill

Taco feast at Taqueria

I have a serious case of wanderlusting. At the moment, the idea of a beach holiday in a warm, sunny place (with a side of cocktails, guacamole and naps under the palm trees) sounds like the absolute dream.

But since this is London and I won’t have a holiday for quite some time still, I settled for the next best thing: a taco feast at Taqueria.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Serving up London’s best Mexican food, the place is packed every evening.

But on a rather late lunch date, it was much more of an intimate affair.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Filled with light, repurposed wooden chairs and a very well-stocked bar, the restaurant itself is an absolute gem.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Faced with an impressive number dishes to choose from, we decided to go for a bit of everything and share, tapas style.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

We tucked in hungrily!

Starting (as all good stories do) with guacamole.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Creamy, zingy and served with super crunchy totopos, it’s the sort of guac’ that’d fix even the strongest of¬†wanderlust cases.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Roadside chicken tacos (charcoal grilled chicken, scotch bonnet mayonnaise, lettuce, √°rbol tomatillo salsa).

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Delightfully spicy and well worth a little close-up!

As soon as we’d finish a plate, a new one would miraculously appear in its place. Pretty much like eating at Hogwarts, just a little spicier!

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Carnitas tacos (slow cooked pork, salsa verde, pickled jalape√Īo, onion, coriander).

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

And the best of all, fish tacos (cod deep fried in cider batter, chipotle mayonnaise, avocado cream, cabbage).

 

We washed it all down with various tequila cocktails.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

My favourite being the Paloma.

A mix of tequila and ting grapefruit soda with a salt rim.

We were almost too stuffed for pudding, but just about managed to squeeze in some ice cream.

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + Whisky

Taco feast at Taqueria, Notting Hill | Cake + WhiskyTo be fair, the Super Duper Scooper (vanilla ice cream covered in cajeta (Mexico’s answer to salted caramel…) and chocolate sauce) would have been difficult to resist, and I’m rather gald we didn’t even try!

 

Punchy flavours in every dish, great cocktails, fun & buzzy atmosphere in the evening, and a quieter, almost romantic vibe at lunchtime. You really can’t go wrong at Taqueria.

A little holiday at home.

Booking info and menus for you to pick & mex(ico) from on the website.

Taqueria, 141-145 Westbourne Grove, London W11 2RS  Taqueria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Taco feast at Taqueria

Yelp’s After Hours Bubble Tea Event at Bubbleology | All the bubbles! | Notting Hill

One of the reasons I love London so much is that there’s always something new to explore. Which is closely related to one of the most challenging things about this city: finding a way to keep track of what’s going on!!

For a few weeks now, I’ve been trying out the Yelp app, which is the perfect pocket companion to any London explorer. It allows you to keep track of the places you’ve visited (thanks to the check-in option), give you the opportunity to read reviews before you pick a place to go out for dinner (bye-bye dodgy restaurants!) and even to write some yourself. Basically, it’s like the whole of London has suddently became your best friend and wants to give you tips about what you should check out (or not).

Even better yet, from time to time, Yelp actually organises events for you to meet other members! So on Friday, I grabbed one of my very best friends (who was visiting for the weekend) and we headed to Bubbleology in Notting Hill to the Yelp Afterhour Bubble Tea event!Cake + Whisky | Bubbleology Notting Hill Bubble TeaWe were greated by a wacky lab in the window… Mad scientist themed party? YES please!!Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill After taking a good look at all the scienc-ey artefacts (and clicking a few pictures of us lounging around…), it was time for the bubble madness to begin!Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill First up, pick up some tea from the very long list of flavours availables (here, apple-tea-ni or strawberry daiqui-tea). Add some chewy tapioca bubbles (they’re the dark ones and the most traditional topping) for good measure.¬†Cake + Whisky | Bubbleology Notting Hill Bubble TeaNext up: move on to the less traditional, much more colourful side of things. Go crazy and add popping bubbles (they quite literally explode when you bite into them, it’s really fun!) and/or jelly bits… Better get a variety of colours and tastes too (you know, in the name of research…).Cake + Whisky | Bubbleology Notting Hill Bubble TeaTadaaaaaah, you’re really to go! All that’s left to do is find the classiest way to slurp those bubbles up! (I still haven’t quite found out, but I’m working on it!!)Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill If you need a little snack, Bubbleology has you covered too as they also serve delicious macaroons that¬†are just as good as the one you can buy in the most luxurious of places! Except that they’re much cheaper (yay to that!!).
Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill Mingle with other Yelpers for a little while…Cake + Whisky | Bubble Tea at Bubbleology Notting Hill Grab another cup of bubble tea. Repeat. It’ll all make for a very nice night indeed.

What? Bubbly drinks in pretty much any flavour you can think of. Bubbleology doesn’t usually serve the cocktail versions of their teas (but I really really wish they will in the future as I fell in love with the strawberry daiqui-tea and our romance simply can’t end up that abruptly… Please help?)

Where? Bubbleology, 45 Pembridge Road, London W11 3HG

* disclaimer: Drinks & nibbles were courtesy of Bubbleology for the event. Yelp events are free to attend for registered members and they’re a lot of fun! Join in now, we can be buddies!¬†

Yelp’s After Hours Bubble Tea Event at Bubbleology | All the bubbles! | Notting Hill