Notting Hill Hidden Gems & The Best Pedicure in London

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.

Margaret Dabbs
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.

margaret-dabbs-notting-hillAn 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.

The Tabernacle
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?

notting-hill-hidden-gemsThe Library
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 Library Gym Notting HillThe 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.


Image courtesy of Cristiano Betta, licensed under Creative Commons

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.

the-shed-notting-hill-restaurantBeach 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?

  • I love Nottingham Hill. There is so much life, so much to see and do. The only thing that bothers me is the pollution in the air. You can feel it filling up your lungs. On a more positive note though, live the shade of your nails and The Little Yellow Door looks fab!

    • I’ve never noticed any pollution in Notting Hill, sounds like you were unlucky. The nail colour is great, isn’t it!

  • Looks awesome perfect pamper time

    Beauty Candy Loves

  • Your nails look great! Notting Hill is aa fab place to explore, I love the Electric for a night out and The Ledbury for fine dining 🙂

    • They did a great job on my nails. I’m long overdue a return to the Electric and yet to visit the Ledbury

  • I have a photo with tabernacle from one of my early trips to London:))

  • This post made me want to watch Nottinghill and watch Shallow Hal haha!! The nail shade you’ve chosen looks lovely

    Rachel xx

    • Two great films! They steered me towards that shade as I’d probably have gone for the yellow but this one went better with my skin tone

  • You chose the perfect summer colour for your nails, it is one of my favourite colour! I’ve been to London quite a few times, however never visited Noting Hill, maybe the next time.

    Ela BellaWorld

    • There’s so much to see in Notting Hill, make sure to viait the market if you go!

  • Looks like the perfect place to enjoy a pedicure. Amazing that they use vitamin – enriched nail polish – great colours too!

  • I love the color you selected! The color selection from what I can see is so pretty! Sometimes, salons don’t offer that much of a color range and I’m very OCD in that I like when all the bottles look the same (same brand) placed together, haha, so I’d love it there! I’ve heard so many great things about Notting Hill and have always admired the colorful buildings I’ve seen in photos, how can one not be inspired and joyful walking the streets?! Thanks for sharing and I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!



    • Ooh you’d definitely love it, Jalisa! It’s really well organised and afterwards, you could stroll around Notting Hill

  • Coco Cami

    Lovely post, thanks for sharing. Looks like a great place for a pedicure 🙂

    Camille xo

  • This is so amazing, I would love to get a pedicure right about now

  • The fact about open shoes is very interesting! I will keep this in mind for the future.

  • The Tabernacle looks like such a cool place. I’ve never seen it before! There are so many great places in this area of London!

  • Notting Hill is just so cute- you can’t beat it!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Notting Hill is adorable, it’s the right balance of grungy (depending which direction you walk in) and lush. My favourite shopping spots in the area are the Oxfam in Westbourne Grove (I’ve scored designer pieces for pennies there!), One Of A Kind, and Retro Woman! x

    Posh, Broke, & Bored

  • Margaret Dabs sounds fantastic and I love the application of 5 shades to help you choose the best varnish! Also I’m a firm fan of the Coronet – I used to visit on Wednesdays as they used to do a fantastic deal on that day of the week but not sure if they still do or not….

    • Not sure if the Coronet will still be showing films but they’re renovating it at the moment and doing theatre and poetry instead

  • Lucy

    Nottinghill is lovely very unique and quirky. Sounds like a great nail bar, especially with the additional knowledge. I love their charity shops too Lucy x

  • I love Beach Blanked Babylon but there are *loads* of places on this guide that I have yet to try. I’m also in dire need of getting my nails done and so I now have the perfect excuse to head over to Notting Hill! xx

  • I miss Notting Hill so much! The mural is gorgeous and I would love to eat at any of the restaurants you mention