Notting Hill is one of London’s most well-known areas with much to appeal to the visitor. Of course, the world famous street market is worth a look but there are so many hidden gems that I want to share with you, including the best medical pedicure in London, that I was recently invited to review.
Tucked inside Space.NK, you’ll find Margaret Dabbs’ salon. Margaret is a trained podiatrist with a series of foot clinics, and a pioneer of the medical pedicure who noticed a gap in the market between traditional pedicures and medical interventions. She created an award-winning range of hand and foot products, containing Australian emu oil, renowned for its healing properties. I was welcomed with a glass of sparkling wine…always a nice touch.
An expert nail technician then applied five beautiful shades of varnish from the 72 in the nature-inspired collection, to help me choose the best one. Margaret recently developed her own range of vitamin-enriched nail polishes, presented in pretty bottles. The formula contains Vitamin E to strengthen nails and wild rose botanical extract to revitalise and prevent infection. It smells wonderful and is free from formaldehyde, Toluene or DPB.
In the end, I went for a Summery coral shade, which they advised would look best with my yellow evening gown for my recent Cannes Film Festival trip. There were two charming therapists working on me at the same time, a podiatrist and a nail technician. If you’ve seen the film Shallow Hal with Gwyneth Paltrow, it was like the scene where she’s transformed by an army of therapists into a real beauty. Both my therapists were friendly and knowledgeable. If feet conditions are left untreated for too long, an operation can be required to resolve an issue like painful bunions. I thought that I had a bunion myself but it was just a corn caused by ill-fitting shoes and swiftly and painlessly removed.
Many clients have had a long standing problem that they’ve not sought help for. One had a fungal infection that was actually very easy to treat and so impressed that she referred her whole family to the salon. I learnt that open shoes like ballerinas are not ideal for our feet, as they give no grip and force your foot to clamp into a ball to keep the shoe on.
Issues like this can be avoided by using Margaret’s special foot file and wearing shoes with a strap or laces.
This Grade II listed building is a theatre, café and arts space located in a former church. Enjoy a drink in the picturesque courtyard whilst admiring the unusual artworks.
Ledbury Road Mural
This anonymous mural is really striking – does anyone happen to know who the artist is?
One of my favourite London gyms, it’s housed in a former synagogue. They aim to get you fit in 15 minutes with high intensity training.
The Print Room at the Coronet
This performance and arts space on Notting Hill Gate is housed in a magnificent Victorian building. There’s an interesting programme of fringe theatre, poetry readings and other events.
George Orwell Blue Plaque
At the top end of Portobello Road, close to Notting Hill Gate, is a blue plaque commemorating George Orwell, the famous novelist and political essayist. His real name was Eric Arthur Blair and he lived here for a year, often dressing up as a tramp and visiting the East London slums of the time. The author of Animal Farm and 1984 later wrote about his experience in Down and Out in Paris and London.
If you’re feeling hungry after all this sightseeing, here’s a few quirky places to eat in the area…The Little Yellow Door is a supper club hidden behind – you guessed it, a bright yellow door! The Shed is a casual eatery run by the Gladwin Brothers, serving up small plates and using foraged ingredients where possible.
Beach Blanket Babylon is a quirky restaurant with open fires and an incredible roccoco interior, whilst Lucky 7 bills itself as the most authentic diner this side of the Brooklyn bridge. I don’t know about that but the burgers are pretty tasty!
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my round up of Notting Hill’s hidden gems.
What are your favourite places in the area?