The film ‘Notting Hill’ is about a love affair between the American actress Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) and British bookseller William Thacker (Hugh Grant). it has catapulted the London film locations into stardom, attracting tourists even almost 20 years after the film was shot. Why not head to London to wander around Notting Hill and some of the other places featured to take a trip down memory lane? And, when you finish reading this informative article, you might want to try completing our fun ‘Notting Hill Movie Quiz’.
1. Portobello Road
Portobello Road, home to the world famous market, is at the heart of the film – the opening scenes were also shot there. If you are planning on visiting the market on your next London trip be prepared to shop until you drop!
I always come away with way more amazing items than I ever thought possible! For the best experience of the market make sure that you go on the weekend because that is when you will get the best atmosphere. I suggest getting to the market at around 9am on a Saturday for the ultimate experience – and be prepared to spend the entire morning there. The road will be bustling with life and rather crowded but make sure to scour the famous antique stalls for some awesome bargains!
2. The Travel Bookshop: 13-15 Blenheim Crescent
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William’s bookshop ‘The Travel Company’ which was a key part of the film, was located in the Nicholls Antique Arcade. It has since been sold on and is now home to a shoe shop ‘Notting Hill, 142 Portobello Road’.
Apparently the real-life travel bookshop that William’s store was based on was located close by in a street just off Portobello Road at 13-15 Blenheim Crescent. Although that’s closed its doors because of rising rental costs in the area, you can still see where it was if you want to get some pictures.
3. 303 Westbourne Park Road
Further along Portobello Road itself you come to Westbourne Park Road and the coffee shop where William bought orange juice. Don’t expect to find chairs and tables outside the cafe when you go, but be sure that it is the place that was featured in the film. I would suggest just taking a quick pic and then moving on!
4. 280 Westbourne Park Road
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Also on Westbourne Park Road, William’s flat in the movie is located just across the road from the coffee shop.
In the film, William’s flat was a rundown bedsit, but in reality the entire flat was a set and was nothing like the real flat behind the famous blue door of 280 Westbourne Park Road.
Did you know: After ‘Notting Hill’ was filmed, the flat became seriously desirable and was put on the market selling for over £1.3 million?! The iconic blue door was auctioned for charity but has since been replaced to help tourists like you and me find William’s flat!
5. Coronet Cinema
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The cinema where William watched the sci-fi movie ‘Helix’ that starred Anna Scott was The Coronet at 103 Notting Hill Gate just a short walk from the underground station. It has recently been changed back to a theatre (its original use when built in 1898, only becoming a cinema in 1977) and is now known as The Print Room at the Coronet.
6. Nobu, 19 Park Lane
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Moving away from Notting Hill itself, Nobu is the Japanese restaurant where William and Anna went on their dinner date and where Anna stood up to some pretty mouthy tourists. Nobu is simply incredible and is just as classy in real life as it was in the film.
If you fancy trying Nobu, head to The Metropolitan Hotel at 19 Old Park Lane but be sure to book in advance and take a very full piggy bank! Also make sure you look out for celebrities there because Nobu is super popular with well-known names and especially those from the worlds of cinema, theatre and fashion.
7. UCI Empire Cinema, Leicester Square
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The UCI Empire Cinema is where Anna’s movie premier was held. It is right in the middle of Leicester Square so head to the cinema for a quick selfie, then explore the area. China Town is close by- so why not head there for a delicious bite to eat half way around your tour of ‘Notting Hill’ locations!
8. Ritz Hotel, 150 Piccadilly
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The Ritz is Anna’s hotel in the movie and it is simply divine. Although I have never stayed there I have heard that it is the ultimate 5 star hotel experience offering guests the finest of everything. If you are keen to try everything London has to offer then staying at the Ritz is a must but be prepared to pay through the roof!
Known as Margaret Thatcher’s favourite hotel, the afternoon tea at the Ritz is renowned but, sadly, you usually need to book months in advance. The Ritz is located close to Green Park tube station on Piccadilly and you can’t miss it!
9. Lancaster Room, Savoy Hotel
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The Savoy is another incredible hotel located near to the River Thames and very close to Waterloo Bridge, which was the setting for another famous movie made in 1940 and starring Vivien Leigh and Robert Taylor, two of the best known Hollywood stars of that era.
Back to the film ‘Notting Hill, the Lancaster room in the Savoy is where Anna’s press conference was held, but it may not be that easy to get in plus it is another super pricey hotel. If you are on a budget then why not just have a little look around its stunning entrance and foyer and be sure to get some snaps of the amazing decor.
10. Zen Garden, The Hempel, 31-35 Craven Hill Gardens
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Unfortunately it’s not possible to relive the moment when Anna and William get married in the Zen garden at The Hempel Hotel. This exclusive 5 star retreat just off Bayswater Road and close to Kensington Gardens, which was another favourite with the stars, was sold in 2013 and in Spring 2016 was opened as a new residential development with 18 luxury apartments. One can only imagine how much those cost!
11. Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath
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Kenwood House is the Henry James film location. Kenwood House is an amazing place literally 20 minutes from the heart of London. I love going for a walk, a cup of tea, and a slice of cake. But it is also a great place to get some great photos. You can see amazing views over London from the top of the hill. Get the tube to Highgate to find this awesome gem in the heart of the capital.
12. 201 Portobello Road
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Back in the area of Notting Hill itself is Saint’s tattoo parlour. This only makes a very brief appearance in the film, but is good place for a quick selfie if you are a true ‘Notting Hill’ fan.
13. Tony’s Restaurant
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At the north end of Portobello Road market you can find Tony’s Restaurant on Golborne Road. It is a 500m walk from Ladbroke Grove tube station.
14. Rosmead Gardens
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Rosmead Gardens are the very private gardens behind the houses on Lansdowne Road, which Anna and William broke into after drinking a little too much at a dinner party at Bella and Max’s house. Although it would be brilliant to see the gardens, don’t try and get into them as they are locked and only residents have access. However, you can snap a picture of the entrance gate on Rosmead Road – just to show you’ve been there!
15. 91 Landsdowne Road
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The property featured as Bella and Max’s house in ‘Notting Hill’ is just around the corner from the entrance to Rosmead Gardens and is easy to find. This was where William brought the very famous actress, Anna, as his dinner date for his sister’s birthday which as you can imagine surprised everyone at the party.