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.
Anyone that’s a big fan of the film Notting Hill – as well as the area, of course – may well be interested in a weekly movie walk that features various locations around the neighbourhood. The Notting Hill Movie Tour takes in a number of places that were shown in the classic Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts film, as well as other movies that were partially shot in the area, including Love Actually, A Hard Day’s Night, Sliding Doors and The Italian Job, amongst others. You’ll also be able to hear other trivia and historical information about the area, and see location stills from the films featured on the walk.
Yesterday’s Guardian had a great double-page spread on Leighton House (12 Holland Park Road, W14) and its ongoing restoration. Originally built in the 19th century to designs by architect George Aitchison as a home for Lord Leighton, a painter and sculptor, it was extended considerably over the next few decades. The article talks about of house as well as discussing the gossip over Lord Leighton and his private relationships (or lack there of).
Leighton House is now a museum which houses many paintings (and other artwork) by Lord Leighton himself, as well as pieces by other artists. As mentioned, it is currently undergoing a £1.6 million restoration and is due to re-open on 3rd April 2010. It’s well worth a visit – not only for the art it houses, but also for the House itself, particularly its stunningly unique Arab Hall.
Leighton House is also the official home of the Kensington & Chelsea Music Society, who are holding this season concert’s elsewhere in the Royal Borough whilst the refurbishment takes place – and are due to the return to Leighton House for the 2010/11 season.
If you happen to still have a copy of the paper, do take a look – the photo online doesn’t do the beautiful hall justice.
Article: Backstairs keep their secrets as home of a giant of Victorian art reopens (22nd December 2009, The Guardian)
digital cameras hadn’t been invented yet (June 1999)
(See more photos from that time at Notting Hill – Photos)
The New York Times article mentions in particular a walk of Notting Hill, run by a company called Celebrity Planet. The walk takes in a number of sights in the area – from celebrities’ house, to locations in the film Notting Hill, to the rather cool (where Pink Floyd first played), to the rather not-so-cool (a charity shop Victoria Beckham once visited?!).
In all seriousness, it’s a great way of seeing this part of London. The whole city is great for ambling around (with something interesting almost around every corner) so if a celebrity tour is your kind of thing, take a look!
Of course, you could take a look at our very own Notting Hill website for a number of interesting tidbits and photos of famous scenes from the area – all from the comfort of your own home, or for preparation for a walk of your own. (And all the information has been up on our website for 10 years now!)
Article: Star Tours…of London? (26th October 2009, The New York Times)