Since the late noughties, life in Notting Hill has never been as challenging as it is right now. With barely three hundred days until the general election, Westminster and May will once again be at odds over the power-sharing arrangements between a minority Conservative government and a minority Liberal government. With polls suggesting the Tories may win as many as thirty seats, many Remain supporters are vowing to vote tactically to keep the Tory party in power. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are fighting a rearguard action against their perceived irrelevance following the hung parliament vote. Could this historic opportunity for change be at hand?
Like much of London’s West End, Notting Hill is a cosmopolitan centre of endeavour. Since the mid-nineteenth century, when the area became known as ‘The Little Italy’, Notting Hill has built up a reputation as the centre of European art, banking and intellectual life. As well as boasting some of the finest classical buildings in London, including the John Paul Jones Museum and the John Paul Jones College, the area is home to numerous important social centres, such as the famous Ladbroke Grove shopping centre and the famous Walkley’s department store. In addition, many of London’s most famous landmarks can be found here, including the Walkley’s department store, which was originally based in Notting Hill. Since its move to West End, however, Ladbroke Grove has lost a lot of its former glory. A majority of its shops have closed, and its residents have moved out, mostly to safer areas of west London.
As well as being home to world-famous nothing briers, open spaces and gardens, Notting Hill is home to some of the city’s best public transport links, including a wonderful bus service (although it is no longer running a cross-borough service due to the new development at Beckenham). If you are looking for something a little more luxurious, however, you can choose to live in some of the world-famous private gated communities, such as the Notting Hill Tennis Club and the Willen Lakeside. The Willen Lakeside is a gated community of over fifteen hundred villas and apartments and is situated near the Willen Lake, one of the most popular areas in London for holiday homes. The tennis club was established in 1998 and is one of the fastest growing tennis clubs in the world.
For those living in Notting Hill, or wishing to escape the overcrowding of their neighbourhood, there are many things to do outside the city. Notting Hill is home to a host of prestigious universities, with the major institution of the University of Cambridge situated just a short drive away from its location. This gives residents access to world-class education, while also allowing them to escape into a private and picturesque environment. There are also plenty of other interesting attractions, including world famous art galleries and specialist museums. The recently refurbished Kensington Gardens, once the home of Princess Diana and known for its impressive landscaping and its beautiful garden features, makes this area a desirable place for buyers looking to establish a home in London.
As well as a wide range of public amenities, Notting Hill offers its own unique attraction to those living in the area. The quietest part of Notting Hill is its western section, where it is surrounded by leafy green parks and traditional communal gardens. The eastern end of the district is less densely populated and is home to a variety of popular restaurants and cafes. These areas are popular with tourists and offer a wonderful opportunity for people looking to sample the delights of London life to sample the culture and shopping on offer.
The two main focal points of Notting Hill are the Ladbroke Park and Willen Lakeside, which are located next to each other, offering a great opportunity for a fun-filled socialising experience. The landscaped gardens surrounding the lakes provide a relaxing atmosphere whilst the traditional brick streets and lanes offer some respite from the bustling life of central London. Whilst in central London, there is no better way to gain some fresh air and sunshine than by walking through some of the most beautiful gardens, along with other residents enjoying the benefits of a healthy and community environment. As well as enjoying the natural beauty of the area, there are also some convenient public amenities such as buses and taxis available, along with local schools and nurseries for children learning to play.
Many celebrities have made homes in Notting Hill, including Sir Paul McCartney who resides in the leafy Shoreditch High Street. Located next door to the equally famous Kensington Palace, the Shoreditch High Street is renowned for its famous designer shops and designer clothing stores, and also for being home to a variety of less well-known businesses and restaurants. A mixture of cultures and generations can be seen in Notting Hill, making it one of the most cosmopolitan areas in central London. It has been described by the Evening Standard as “a bit London, a bit Notting Hill”, and has come to be known as a “creative hotspot”.
Neighbors in Notting Hill include the equally famous Peter Carter, who lives in the famous Mayfair. Known for his fashionable clothing boutiques, Peter Carter’s shop fronts onto the famous Portobello Road which was once a busy car port in Victorian times. Another of the locals, John Paul Jones, is equally famous for his paintings which can be seen in various private collections around central London and his tea shop, Folly Tea House. Other notable figures include actor Roger Lloyd Pack and models Victoria Beckham. While it may not be possible to accurately classify anyone living in Notting Hill, the area has become a popular place for celebrities and famous visitors to frequent.