One of the great things about London is that it is vibrant and dynamic; there are constantly new restaurants opening and closing, new business ideas cropping up everywhere I look, trends coming and going. And it has a great art scene, which as you know, I am a big fan of. So, when someone I know recently said that Notting Hill wasn’t ‘dynamic’ enough, I of course took offence and had to counter that argument. At the moment, Notting Hill is booming. It is showcasing some of the biggest trends in London at the moment:
Restaurants & Bars
There’s a lot happening in the restaurant and bar scene around here, most recently with the opening of Farmacy on Westbourne Grove this past Monday. Farmacy is a plant based restaurant and bar, so essentially a vegan restaurant, opened by Camilla Al Fayed. I went opening day and it was packed, service was spotty (it was their first service after all), but the food was good. For vegan food. My only problem with it was that as I was eating my aubergine and pumpkin curry, I kept looking for the chicken. It is a beautiful, light, airy space, that it is going to be a sure hit around here: Nice restaurant + rabbit food= Happy Yummy Mummies.
On the heels of the Rum Kitchen’s success, a new Caribbean restaurant and bar is opening up on Notting Hill Gate today, Cotton’s Restaurant & Bar, which will boast 300 different rums on offer. I have been invited to try it out so will give you the scoop in a few weeks.
This leads me to think that Notting Hill Gate is upping its game, with Polpo, Cottons’s, and the total refurb of Itsu. Itsu’s new look is also being unveiled today (April 29th), and I will let you know what I think soon enough!
Speaking of Japanese, mysushishop is coming to Westbourne Grove very soon. For those who don’t know it, it’s a French-fast-food-fancy sushi (try saying that four times in a row). Or at least it claims to be. Its reviews are mixed here in London, although it has been a hit in France. Let’s see what happens.
On the Portobello/Kensington Park Road side of things, Tonkotsu has opened on Blenheim Crescent where the Bubble Tea Bar used to be and I’m keen try it out. Next to it a sweets shop, Ask Mummy and Daddy, has opened in place of the popcorn shop. Across from it, Sweet Things Cafe has been imported from the Primrose Hill and it is absolutely lovely.
Around the corner on Kensington Park Road, Peyotito, a Mexican restaurant and little sister to Peyote has taken over the space of Montgomery Bar, which I was quite sad to see go, as it was one of the only bars in the neighbourhood. Notting Hill is now becoming Mexican heaven with Crazy Homies, Santos, Taqueria, and let’s not forget Loco Mexicano.
Beauty & Wellness
Lots going on in this sector as well, with the brand spanking new Bodyism opening up right smack in the middle of Daylesford and Joseph. So, what you do is 1) eat your grains at Daylesford 2) work out at Bodyism 3) go to Joseph in your newly found Size 0. Of course, I don’t have £18,000 to spare for a membership, but if you do, I hear it’s a wonderful ‘lifestyle.’
Like I already mentioned, Teresa Tarmey has recently opened a spa/salon around the corner from Cult Granger (I still don’t understand the wait-in-the-rain-for-2-hours-granger-cult, it’s good, but it’s not THAT good). Margaret Dabbs has taken over the Spa NK spa area (not sure what happened and why it closed down), but it offers great medical pedicures for anyone whose feet need some professional help; they are podiatrists who can sort out your wonky feet in a jiffy.
Real Estate Etc…
On the Bayswater side of Westbourne Grove, so much is happening on the real estate front; four new ‘luxury’ residential buildings have been built/are being built, which is slowly changing the face of Bayswater. One houses the West London Buddhist Centre and another houses Heal’s on Queensway. I don’t think you can get more of an indication of gentrification than that. Can’t wait to see what they will do on Queensway…
So, if this isn’t ‘dynamic’ enough, I don’t know what is.
Let me know your thoughts or if you want any of the above reviews, I am happy to try them out for you 😉