Today I would like to give a warm welcome to author, Ali McNamara, who is joining us with her new book and a fun tour through the town of Notting Hill!
A tour through Notting Hill, some things you'll learn (or see) in Notting Hill, London.
Alighting from Notting Hill Gate Tube station for the first time,just as Scarlett does in From Notting Hill With Love…Actually, take a right turn onto PenbridgeRoad. Cross the street and follow the signs for Portobello Road.
On your way, the eagle-eyed amongst you will spot to your right a plaque on the wall which marks the house where George Orwell once lived.
The day on which your visit takes will definitely affect how much of Portobello Road you can actually see! If you have chosen to come on a Saturday when the famous antique market is in full flow, you will quickly be enveloped and swept along through the brightly coloured stalls by the huge crowds which flood this area every weekend, out to hunt down a bargain, or their own Beavis & Butthead stained glass window as featured at the beginning of the Notting Hill movie.
If, however, crowds aren’t your thing, and you’re visiting on a quiet day, carry on down Portobello Road at your own pace.Browse at the various antique and craft shops along the way, until you come to the junction with Westbourne Park Road. Look to your right: on the corner is now a Coffee Republic.This is the spot where Hugh Grant spilled orange juice down Julia Roberts’ shirt in the movie. But if you turn left, you’ll see a very plain looking, blue painted door directly opposite you at number 280. That door is the site of the famous blue door in the movie – the one Hugh Grant came in and out of, and the one Rhys Ifans’ character famously posed in front of in his underpants for the worlds’ press!
Continuing down Westbourne Park Road, turn left at Ladbroke Grove, then left into Elgin Crescent where you will find the Travel Bookshop. This isn’t where they filmed the bookshop scenes for the movie, but this is the bookshop Hugh Grant’s character Will’s was inspired by. And when you’ve finished having your photo taken outside, take a moment to go in for a browse (like Scarlett does when she meets Sean for the first time) because you’ll find the interior of the shop is exactly like the movie version!
When you leave the bookshop turn left and continue down Elgin Crescent, turning left when you get to the junction with Ladbroke Grove again. Continue a little way along the street, passing one of Notting Hill’s many locked gardens along the way.Stop and peer though the bars for a moment and imagine Hugh and Julia sitting on a bench there, or when you’ve read the book, Scarlett and Sean too. I don’t advise you try to climb over the top of the railings, though!
Follow the road a little further until you come to Lansdowne Road.This is where Scarlett and Sean’s houses would have been in the story. The houses on the left-hand side as you enter the road have steps leading up to their front doors – just like the ones on the front cover of the book.Exactly the sort of steps that Scarlett and Sean have many encounters on during the novel.
Find your way back to Portobello Road.Why not finish off the day with a visit to the Coronet Cinema on Notting Hill Gate? I can’t guarantee you’ll find Hugh Grant sitting in the stalls wearing snorkelling goggles like he does in the movie, or that one of the usherettes will surprise you in the same way Rosie surprises Scarlett in the book. But you might just catch a good movie.
(Perhaps not quite as good as Notting Hill, though.)
Adapted from ‘A visitors guide to Notting Hill’ by Ali McNamara2010
Sourcebooks is giving away one copy of From Notting Hill with Love... Actually by Ali McNamara to one reader (US and Canada only, please). To enter, just leave a comment or question for the author on this post and then fill out the Rafflecopter below. Additional entries are available but not required. Good luck!