London Day 3: Hanging Out in Nottinghill

London Day 3:  Hanging Out in Nottinghill

After breakfasting again at Cafe Z at Z Hotel Soho, 17 Moor Street,  (my review). Shawn and I head to Nottinghill to visit the weekend market on Portobello Road.  The Underground aka Tube stop that we need to make the adventure is under construction.  The transit helper gives us lengthy details on the re-route detour.  We opt for a cab.

Portobello Road is a mile long flea market.  Antique tea pots, old cameras, t-shirts, scarves, tights, leg warmers…they’ve got it all.  It’s chilly but sunny.  We hanker down at Duke of Wellington on the patio to have a pintS and people watch.  Abby joins us to interpret the local look.  As a fashion major, she loves Londoners’ attire. Her descriptor for it is whatever-is-in-your-closet. The combinations are fascinating.  Unlike a busy corner in America, this is no GAP commercial.  Everyone appears unique and distinct.  Not too many women wearing jeans, instead lots of tights, fur jackets, skirts.  The men dress a little more vibrant too with colorful sweaters.  Very few sweats or baseball caps.  There are limited seats on the patio but that doesn’t stop this crowd.  People get their drinks inside and come back out and loiter.  This pub overspill has a very yard party feel.  Everyone is just having a relaxing Saturday afternoon.

Part of the flea market is a food market with fruits, veggies, baked goods and a bruschetta stand.  This bruschetta is delicious.  It’s so fresh.  They cut a slice of bread off a huge loaf and grill cheese on it.  They top it with olive oil and diced tomatoes.  I bring it back to the patio and we continue to enjoy holding court at the Duke.  A warning for the ladies:  one of the sinks at Duke’s shoots water directly at you.  A waist level drenching! Not good!  Despite knowing I had wiped out my shirt, Abby still fell victim to the splurt herself.  And we witnessed another woman come out to show her husband that she had been watered in the water closet.

A few words on the old W/C.  In London establishments, they are usually in the basement.  And as imagined, they are basement quality.  They seem to be the last consideration on the decorating scheme.  I also keep seeing signs that say “To Let.”  But they really have nothing to do with the loo, it’s “For Rent” signs.

Later, we head back to our hood for dinner.  My only request is no pub and a place with a real server.  I want someone to wait on me that isn’t in our group.  🙂

Bertorelli:  We settle on Bertorelli in Covent Gardens.  It’s italian food.  We order a tasty salad with avocados, goat cheese, bacon, tomatoes.  We also get fried calamari and crestinis to start.  The crestinis are described as puffs of dough with parmesan cheese.  That’s exactly what they are.  It doesn’t seem like they have been cooked completely.  I like that in dough puffs!   It’s during this pleasant meal that Shawn realizes he has missed his mom’s birthday on Friday, March 9th.  So, he calls from London.

Happy Birthday Lucy Gannon!

We continue our soaking in the local culture at another Duke of Wellington where Ireland vs Scotland is playing on all the televisions.  Abby’s flatmates, Tara and Laura, meet us out and we continue on to Rupert Street Bar to enjoy looking at hot men over our end-of-the-evening cocktails.  Of course, the London gals are just starting their night out.




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  • Sorry, the Tube was only shut down on that section for reconstruction on the Saturday, we were running through and stopping at Notting Hill Gate station Sunday.

    Still, any excuse for a Black Cab ride, they are without doubt one of the joys of London.

  • In reply to ASLEF shrugged:

    It wasn't a huge problem, more of an amusing moment. The Tube employee was so helpful with detour suggestions and we were just ignorant Americans.

  • Actually one of the first things they tell you on the Tube induction course is that two thirds of people who use us do so less than a dozen times a year so the station staff spend most of their time redirecting tourists and out-of-towners and as you found out it's not the easist city to navigate..

    After you've worked at a given station for a few months you become an expert on the local area, you know just about where every street is and you know where every bus goes.

    At least "ignorant Americans" have almost the same first language.

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