Transport, Gyms, Parks, Shopping… there’s plenty to love about working in Notting Hill
Guest post by Sara Bryant
Part of the affluent Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Notting Hill is mainly a residential area, though there are many businesses scattered around the area too. However, rather than sterile, high-rise, glass-and-concrete towers, most offices here are quirky, converted Victorian terraced houses, with lots of charm and character that are fun places in which to work.
I’ve worked for an advertising agency in the Portobello Road for the last 4 years and have come to love the Notting Hill people and all that the area has to offer. Here are 8 reasons why working in London’s Notting Hill is just the best:
#1 | Terrific transport links
Although Notting Hill is westerly in location, there are four tube stations within its compact borders – Notting Hill Gate, Westbourne Park, Ladbroke Grove and Latimer Road. These stations serve the Circle, Hammersmith and City, and the District lines, and provide great transport links for Notting Hill office workers to the city centre and further afield. The area also has a fine bus service and taxis are plentiful. And with several London airports in close proximity – London Heathrow Airport in particular –international business trips are easily accommodated. Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are just a short walk away from Notting Hill, and almost on the doorstep is Buckingham Palace.
#2 | A brief history
In the 1960s and early 1970s, Notting Hill was one of London’s most run down areas. Populated mainly by the West Indian community, actors and artists, the borough was very diverse. However, in the 1980s, when the property and financial markets soared to new heights, Notting Hill took on a completely different feel, as upwardly mobile people like bankers and stockbrokers started moving in. As a result, new businesses, restaurants, cafes and boutique stores opened up and soon Notting Hill became one of the most exclusive areas of the capital. Today, Notting Hill is still known for its brightly-coloured houses and the vibrant Notting Hill Carnival.
#3 | Local parks
Some lunchtimes, I buy a sandwich and a coffee and make my way to Avondale Park, a short distance from the office, where I can sit and relax while I eat and drink. There’s a small wildlife area but, more interestingly, there’s a grass-free lawn – a lawn made entirely out of flowers, which provides a glorious patchwork of colours and smells. A little further away is Holland Park, which has an exquisite Japanese garden. A break from the office in one of these parks is just what the soul needs.
#4 | Gyms in the area
I’m a bit of a fitness freak and like to work-out on a morning before my day at the office begins. There are three gyms very close by – Virgin Active in Lancaster Road, BodyWorksWest in Lambton Place and VieStyling in Notting Hill Gate. I love nothing better than 40 minutes of exercise followed by a revitalising shower.
#5 | Shopping till I’m dropping
If I need to buy anything – a birthday present for my boyfriend, some new clothes, books, make-up, whatever, Notting Hill has it all. The Portobello Market is a place I love to browse, with its food stalls, bric-a-brac, and fantastic antiques and collectibles. A short walk away from the office is Honest Jon’s for CDs and vinyl, Melissa Odabash’s designer swimwear, a gorgeous shop with ultra-glam white carpets and driftwood lamps, and vintage fashion treasure trove Dolly Diamond. These are just a few of the wonderful mix of shops on my office doorstep.
#6 | Cafes and restaurants
Whether it’s to entertain clients for lunch or just to have a break from the office with colleagues, there are some terrific cafes and restaurants in Notting Hill. I like Apostrophe, a coffee shop with an aromatic bakery, Granger & Co for a delicious Australian style brunch, and Bluebelles of Portobello Road, who serve the most amazing toasted English muffin with poached eggs, spinach and smoked salmon. The choice of restaurants is amazing – Marianne is a dining must, and The Ledbury has a wonderfully light and airy feel as well as 2 Michelin stars. Lokkanta Meze & Barbeque has brilliant Turkish food and warm friendly service. Click here for more food and drinks ideas in Notting Hill Gate.
#7 | Cinemas
I love movies and in the Portobello Road the Electric Cinema is a place I frequent regularly. This 1910 cinema has been refurbished with plush leather chairs and tables with lamps, whilst still retaining its early 1900 décor. The Gate Cinema, an independent arthouse in Notting Hill Gate, has an intimate and ornate auditorium. But if you want a state-of-the-art cinema that shows all the blockbusters then the Odeon Whiteleys is the place to be.
#8 | Notting Hill Carnival
Because I work on Portobello Road, I’m lucky enough to look down on the carnival from our offices. It’s a great buzz as London’s biggest street party kicks off every August Bank Holiday. Colourful floats and costumed performers dance to the sound of steel bands and calypso music. Let’s get out there and join them!
A bit about Sara
Sara Bryant is a city girl with a keen interest in business matters, and over a decade of experience in writing about them. Special thanks to Stuart Neils for the info in this post.