After you’ve taken your breakfast of croissants and orange juice on the beautiful outdoor courtyard at Palmers Lodge Hostel, you’ll want to head off for the day to explore the sights, smells and hip cosmopolitan atmosphere of London.
Rather than heading straight to the usual tourist attractions though, consider a day spent in magical Notting Hill. Now seen as one of the coolest areas of the capital, this part of the city is famous for its annual Carnival where everyone – even the local police – let down their hair and join together with a huge festival atmosphere to rival Rio for glitter, sequins and samba.
Notting Hill is for anyone who wants to be treated to an experience of warm and welcoming local residents living in the middle of a bustling city, shops full of exotic goods and foods from around the world and in particular from the Caribbean and to spend a day filling themselves with amazing food, hearing amazing reggae music which has its roots firmly planted in the West Indies and see locations from the award-winning film of the same name which made Hugh Grant an even bigger celebrity than he already was and inspired Blur singer Damon Albarn to write a musical about the area.
What to do in Notting Hill
If you’re fortunate enough to be in the area in August, then be ready for your senses to be bombarded with the carnival parades, the steel drums and the aroma of exotic spices which are the one and only Notting Hill Carnival. Tens of thousands of people line the streets for parties which last all day and night and you’ll find yourself swept along with the emotion of joy and mood of elation.
At other times of the year, wander around the quirky backstreets or take yourself off to find a bargain at Portobello Road market with antiques at one end and vintage clothing at the other. It’s the perfect place to find that retro outfit or a unique souvenir for someone special.
Where to eat
Notting Hill offers all the food of the world in just a few streets; excellent fish and chips through to contemporary brasserie cuisine and a restaurant called The Shed (you’ll need to visit it at Palace Gardens Terrace to find out why), you’ll even find the choice of food on the streets tempting with the offer of Filipino barbecue treats on offer.
How to get there
After leaving Palmers Lodge hostels, central London awaits. You’re already located close to Swiss Cottage tube, so either take the 14 minute journey underground with a change onto the Circle Line at Baker St or if you want to see the sights as you travel there, hop on the number 31 bus and spend the next half an hour comfortably seeing London go by.
After an exhausting day in this colourful and eye-opening part of London, return for a well-earned rest at Palmers Lodge. For luxury hostels, London offers no better and you can share your experience with fellow guests in the bar or chill out in a welcoming leather armchair as you try to stop your feet tapping to the beat of the music you’ve just left behind which will be just one of the lasting memories of your time in Notting Hill.