I’ve always lived on this side of the city and often find myself wandering the neighbourhoods of Notting Hill, Marylebone and Covent Garden on weekends – casually strolling, daydreaming about the beautiful Victorian townhouses or trying out the latest brunch spot. Here are a few of my top spots for both shopping independent and enjoying a delicious meal in stylish surroundings.
If you are shopping on Portobello Road, make sure to stop-by Fabrique – an artisanal stone oven bakery from Stockholm. It’s a small space but the chequered floor, rustic furniture and hanging lights all add to its charm. I love the cinnamon buns so much I always have to take extras home with me!
This is a not-so-hidden studio and shop of Ben Rothery in the middle of Covent Garden. It’s filled with wildlife books, prints, stationery and beautiful plants that overflow to outside the shop – which look all the more inviting against the gorgeous pink exterior.
Stepping downstairs in Magma is a magazine lover’s dream – I could have spent hours in there flicking through all the publications, adding so many to my ‘must-read’ list. With shelves of photography journals, indie mags (including 91!) and so much more, you’ll be sure to leave with something new for your coffee table.
WatchHouse pride themselves on their ability to bring quality coffee to the local community. Food and service in carefully considered all within beautifully designed spaces. Each of their locations has its own story – the Seven Dials branch boasts pastel hues and contemporary curves.
Tucked away from Covent Garden’s busy streets is Neal’s Yard courtyard, where you’ll find independent cafes, shops and Neal’s Yard Remedies first ever shop. Take a minute to admire the vibrancy and colourful window-frames. I also peeked into St. John’s bakery and would have been tempted by a doughnut if I had a bit more time – which I have since found out are infamous!
Another Country is a company whose primary focus is to offer sustainably designed and natural wood furniture and home accessories. Their Marylebone shop showcases a lot of their range so you can expect ceramics, hand-made furniture and natural candles. Note it’s appointment-only on Saturdays.
Despite being on one of the busiest West London roads, Katrina Phillips is somewhat a hidden gem amongst the Portobello Road rush. If you walk too fast, you’ll miss it! It’s a small space but it’s filled with unique antique homeware as well as new ethically traded products. If you like something, buy it fast as the shop’s range changes frequently with the seasons.
If you leave Portobello Road behind and head towards Kensington High St, you’ll come across the small but cosy Cafe Jumo. It’s a charming spot with exposed brick and mosaic tiles, ideal for a coffee or brunch pit-stop. You could also just grab a window seat and watch the passers-by.
Native and Co
This beautiful Japanese homeware shop was established in late 2014; a careful curation of items from workshops and individual craftsmen across Japan which aim to provide you with everything you need and nothing you don’t. The minimalist aesthetic gives any shopper a calming feeling as you browse.