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what i did in london (part 1)…

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Earlier this month, I took a trip to London to speak at Blogtacular. I went a few days early to explore the city with my friends Bonnie and Kelly, and we had a great time exploring the sights and sounds and tastes of London. We didn't have a ton of time to see the whole city (and I wanted to take it easy since I was just at the end of my first trimester), so we mostly spend our free time in Notting Hill and Shoreditch. Here are a few of my favorite things in Notting Hill…

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

The colors on the buildings are clearly one of the things that tourists like me go to Notting Hill to see. It's funnyโ€”in other cities where buildings are painted in unexpected colors, it often looks cheesy. But in Notting Hill, it just works. There are rows of homes or buildings painted fun color palettes that sit in-between other simple, plain buildings. They are happy just being different, and I love that.

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

I was also super inspired by the store windows and displays. It's too bad I am not opening a store anytime soon, otherwise the inspiration would have been extra perfect. They just do window displays so well and really do make you want to walk in.

(Above: My new favorite British kids' shop, I Love Gorgeous.)

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

(Above: beautiful flowers at Wild at Heart, colors and patterns galore at Cath Kidston, the cutest neon sign at Caramel Baby & Child, cool boba tea menu at Latwatsa, desserts galore at Ottolenghi, and pretty vintage-inspired dresses at Darccy.)

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Portobello Market (which runs on Fridays and Saturdays in Notting Hill) is a fun mix of food and vintage vendors sells things of all kinds of random things from baked goods to ribbons to vintage clothing. The people watching is killer and so, so fun.

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Oh Joy / Notting Hill

Finally, some of my favorite bites in Notting Hill included the best, fluffiest hot cakes I've ever had at Granger & Co., traditional British fare at Bumpkin, and avocado toast at Pizza East.

In Part 2 coming next week, I'll share my favorites from Shoreditch and a couple other spots I visited!

{All photos by Oh Joy, except the ones I am in are by Bonnie Tsang.}

34 comments

  1. Gorgeous photos! Notting Hill is still one of my favourite parts of London. I can’t believe you made it to Granger & Co before me – heading there this weekend!

  2. London has always been a place that I’ve wanted to visit but when it came time for transcontinental brainstorming, it fell short due to its lack of the exotic elements that European cities hold. HOWEVER, your post may just have worked its magic on changing my mind!

  3. These pictures are reminding me of my trip to London! I visited over 10 years ago though and need to go back! Can’t wait for part 2.

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! I’ve always thought of London in more of drab city colors, but you’ve really shown us the lively spunk! Can’t wait to get there one day.

  5. It looks like a great start to the trip! Can’t wait to read more. By the way, love the Target summer line (so does the husband). Thank you for inspiring me every day!
    Allison over at Allison’s Eye

  6. I love London – haven’t been for years though – 4 kids + mortgage later..
    Gorgeous pics and lovely colours. Delightful!

  7. Hi Joy,
    Please post about Shoreditch soon, I am arriving in London this Friday!! I can’t wait to go to Sketch to check out the cool pod bathroom I saw on Bonnie’s Instagram.
    Cheers!
    PS Sorry I missed you at Target on Sunday, I went to the Alhambra store on Monday.

  8. Hello!
    I’m so happy that you enjoyed Portobello Road – that is where I live – just opposite Pizza East (great temptation every day). I am so lucky to live on such a great street and I always enjoy seeing Portobello through the eyes of visitors because it makes me appreciate all the more.
    I have been reading your blog for years and when I went to LA a couple of years ago I tried to hit as many of your recommended places to eat but I had no idea that LA was so big and the traffic is crazy. I’m so used to walking everywhere! lol
    It’s crazy to think you were in London, wish I could have met you because I love your style and general positive outlook on everything. Thank you so so much!!
    P.S Finally the first time I gathered the guts to message you!

  9. Hi Annabel!
    Thanks for your note! Yes, LA has the WORST traffic for sure and the time of day changes everything. That is another thing I loved about London was being able to walk everywhere. Thanks so much for reading!!
    Joy

  10. Love notting hill and all of these places you’ve photographed. The colour made me smile. Bumpkin is a definite favourite of mine as well, especially the newish secret garden branch in Chelsea. Shoreditch rocks too. Looking forward to that!

  11. Oh mannnn I want those hot caaaakes! And this is such a fun and beautiful recap. It truly makes me want to visit London someday, and the thing that I love most about it is that it’s constantly cloudy!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. oh, I love London! And Notting Hill is one of my favorite neighborhoods! I love Kensington too, with the museums and lovely eateries and the gardens, but Notting Hill so special – those houses! And the market! *sigh* I love it so.
    (I wrote about my visit here, if you want to take a peek ๐Ÿ™‚
    http://www.theunlikelyhousewife.com/2014/04/the-colors-of-notting-hill/ )
    I love this post, it reminded me of my last trip to London, and your photos are lovely as usual! Sounds like such a fun weekend.

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