Well, technically speaking it’s still that long cold (but not at all lonely) winter. The sun was giving it’s best today to trick people into spring feelings: blue sky, only little clouds and nice, uplifting and warming sunshine – but still, it was bitterly cold. Yes, it’s definitely still winter. Nice try, though!
It’s a week today, since I’m back in London. After being home for so long, it was almost like a little culture shock to come back, but I’m long over it. The last week was very busy – probably due to one of my many resolutions for 2015: No wasting days.
Well, however, I was off today and all alone. One of the reasons why I don’t like being off on the weekends (and now everyone who works reasonable hours gasps in unbelief) is because no-one else is. Ok, to be fair, being off on the weekends is nice when you want to see one of the amazing parades, enjoy long opening hours at the museums or visit the markets. And sticking to my resolution I chose the latter.
Once Gonzo went to work around midday, I got ready and set off to the Portobello Road market. The market is actually opened the whole week and I’ve been there before (see here), but on Saturday the Antiques stalls are open.
I got down from the tube at Notting Hill Gate and first thing I’ve heard a street musician play Here comes the sun. 🙂 It was stuck in my head for the rest of my lovely walk and put me in an even better mood!
The streets were crowded, but still it was less people than I expected. Way below weekend-in-Camden-crazy. It was fun to walk in the crowd and hear all that many languages, some of which I understood, and some were just fun to listen at.
Having seen the market before, I had a look at the vintage and antiques stands and then got lost. I wandered in the small side streets branching off either side of Portobello Road, which are definitely equally lovely, quirky and enchanting as the main road. Being a little off track, the number of people was notably lower and the noise and the hustle resulting from a crowd of excited visitors trying to take pictures, eating in the streets and waving about with maps and guidebooks slowly faded out.
Fist I discovered a pretty little flower shop, selling the fist daffodils and then I found myself in a street (Kensington Park Rd) full of Italian restaurants and shops; Osteria Basilico, Mediterraneo – Cucina Italiana and Trattoria Luna Rossa are right next to each other. Through big windows I was watching the Pizzaioli kneading dough as I walked past and randomly found the Notting Hill Bookshop, where parts of the movie Notting Hill were shot. A very unexpected and pleasant surprise! I bought a very lovely edition of Winnie-the-Pooh and went on.
Further I found a little corner shop my sister would die for to spend a whole day in. It sold ribbons and laces, bobbles and pompons, buttons and thimbles and even hat pins! It was tiny and the walls, corners and shelves seemed to flow over with thread in every colour you could possibly imagine and many other wonderful things. Sorry, Kathi for not getting you a pair of hat pins (I wasn’t sure if I can send them in post), but I promise next time you come to London, I’ll take you there!
I returned to Portobello Road and walked until Cambridge Gardens and had a look at the flea market there. But sun was already setting and most of the stalls started packing up, as it got even colder. So I turned and slowly walked back towards the tube station.
On the way back I found a place consisting basically of orange! Of course I wouldn’t miss that! It was a small Italian place that sells mainly arancini and pizza. I got a nice coffee, sat at a small table in the corner, and wrote in my orange notebook.
And again I have written a novel, almost. I’m really sorry guys, but all I wanna do is share that lovely London impressions with you – it’s not my fault if Notting Hill holds that many wonders 😉
Hope you had a good day too!
The soundtrack of the day:
And of course: