The Travelling Cake Addict

8 March 2010

Portobello Road*

Location - Portobello Market, Notting Hill, London W11.
Photos by - Me.

"Get yo apples, two for a pound!" is chanted through the hustle and bustle just at my doorstep. The sounds of vendors selling fruit and vegetables, vintage clutter and basically anything they can flog off as antique. I love it. Being so close to such a classic market and a popular tourist attraction in London makes me quite proud. Home to numerous pubs, cafes, antique arcades and stalls selling everything, the area oozes history, fashion and lots of deliciousness.

Before 1850, it was nothing more than a country lane connecting to a farm. It wasn't until the Victorian times where the roads and railways started to be constructed, then creating Portobello Road just off Ladbroke Grove. Portobello even has made film appearances in Disney's Bed knobs and Broomsticks and the more recent Notting Hill starring Hugh Grant.

The market itself comes alive on Fridays and Saturday's. Saturday being the best day to visit, its better to get there early as its always bursting at the seams. Its great to see tourists and locals amalgamating in the crowd. Nothing like the idle and serene markets you would see in places like France or Italy, Portobello has her own character and vibe. Despite it being an old market, its deemed one of the most fashionable places due to the couture and boutique stalls. It has the best places to get a good eat and you can find a world of cuisines all on one busy street.

You can easily find something that will tickle your taste buds. I LOVE the street food vendors. You can find Italian antipasti, fresh baked breads and pastries, German style chicken burgers, creperies and even your good old "dirty" hot dog trolleys. There are also many restaurants of different cuisines and alot of bistro style cafes. Definatley a foodie haven. My favourite spots are the fresh churro stand, freshly made seafood paella stall and the seafood mix stall that serves shrimps cooked 3 ways. You can also find the freshest ingredients at many of the fruit and vegetable stalls. Notting Hill is a big melting pot of cultures and most of the stalls in Portobello sell more exotic produce, like plantain, Thai basil, lemongrass and jackfruit, just to name a few.

Its sad to think that Portobello is threatened with the economic problems and the greed of turning it into more of a commercial high street. I hope this never becomes the case, given that there are numerous high streets and malls popping up in London. Markets like Portobello should remain un touched and preserved. Its is a landmark that many tourists are eager to experience...and also a home to many many vendors that have made that street a familiar home to their produce. It would be a big shame if they try change it in anyway.


Justin said...

those paella pans are huge... looks like fun

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