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A walk around the Portobello Road area

Prompted by a feature in last week’s Sunday Times Magazine, which mentioned Lutyens & Rubinstein on Kensington Park Road, I thought I’d have an amble round Portobello Road and the surrounding area today to try and convey what it’s like from a regular visitor.

As mentioned, Lutyens & Rubenstein (12 Kensington Park Road) is one of a number of very fine specialist bookshops in Notting Hill, with others including The Travel Bookshop (13-15 Blenheim Crescent) and Books For Cooks (4 Blenheim Crescent). Whilst there, I had to stop off at a wonderful newsagent at 12 Blenheim Crescent called Rococo, which sells an absolutely amazing number of foreign titles. Even today’s edition of The New York Times was there!
Portobello Road Market was as busy as always with the usual array of items that it sells, plus some bits and pieces that you can pick up for Christmas – including door wreaths for £5, which I thought was pretty good value.
Walking up further north on Portobello Road, at its intersection with Golborne Road, I encountered a number of food stalls selling rather amazing-looking Moroccan food – one of my favourite cuisines! There was one stall selling all manner of grilled fish dishes, including sea bass, for £6.50. I was very tempted to indulge, but the long queues at each stall (which obviously shows the quality of the food) meant I decided to carry on with my walk.
Then I stumbled across an ideal store for me – Portobello Pet Shop (308 Portobello Road). As a cat owner (and feeder of the bird visitors to my garden) it’s the kind of place where I can stock up on plenty of things I need! However, I jokingly enquired instore about whether they had anything for “fussy cats”. “Yes, of course” was the reply – and handed a bag of cat biscuits that is actually labelled “for very fussy eaters”. Who would have thought! I was very happy to also find a packet of seeds for robins, which will also no doubt please the most frequent visitor to my garden – a very pretty brown pigeon that we’ve named Jessica. Far more confident that she used to be in battling the other birds for food, I’m sure she’ll enjoy it!

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