A Night in Notting Hill

I am currently sat on the train back from London, sitting opposite a man who is thoroughly enjoying his M&S baguette while I sit and regret not filling my handbag with snacks for the journey home. Despite feeling half dead from trekking around London in torrential rain and lugging heavy shopping bags (oops) I am going to attempt to use this hour productively and compose this blog post

Before this weekend, the closest I had been to Notting Hill was watching Made in Chelsea and seeing the odd few townhouses. So if like me you are blogger, or a photographer or just love a good Insta worthy pic then this is definitely the destination for you.

*Update: I did not use the hour productively, after finishing the second paragraph I fell asleep. Despite being almost 21 years old and I cannot complete a train/plain/car journey without falling asleep*

So here I am, bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to continue my ramble. I arrived in Euston on Saturday morning and jumped on the tube to Notting Hill, where I dropped my bags at The Laslett. The moment I walked in, I had to pat myself on the back for picking the most adorable hotel. Black and white tiled floors, a cute library filled with jazzy books and old records and the English breakfast was on point. (They even brought it up to your room with warm milk and a shortbread biscuit). Bloody warm milk and shortbread delivered to my room, literally felt like Kate Middleton.

I then set out to do what I do best- buy things I don’t need. The tube was a million and one degrees despite it snowing outside and so I decided to jump off at Oxford Circus rather than carry on to Shoreditch which is the other side of London. Of course the first shop I enter is my one true love, the mothership, the biggie- Topshop. However it does not matter how many times I come to this store, I still struggle to find bits I really like- THERE IS JUST TOO MUCH.  After making my way through the accessories and bags, I get to the clothes and just don’t know where to start.

Then you are suddenly stumbling through a hairdressers, tattoo parlour and then a cupcake stall- it’s all very disorientating to a small town girl. (If Don’t stop believing by the Journey didn’t just pop into your head then we can’t be friends). Anyways this trip was rather successful, I ended up bagging two berets, red pom pom earrings, stripey boots, high waisted camo trousers and of course some big gold hoops. A girl can never have enough.

Shopping really takes it out of me (I’m getting old) so after the Topshop marathon I was starving. Italian will always be my number one so we looked for an Italian close by and stumbled upon Vapiano. If you turn out of Topshop and do a left, it’s the first left down a little side street so its about a 2 walk minute from where Zara is. I love how my inner compass works off where my favourite stores are.

Now as we stood outside and deliberated whether to give it a try, we read some of the Tripadvisor reviews that claimed ‘It was the best pasta they ever had’. Mate. It bloody well was. As you walk in you get given a food card, you then walk towards a chef and choose which kind of pasta you would like. PENNE ALL THE WAY. They then chuck the homemade pasta in a pan and then whatever you request off the menu, they make from scratch in front of you. It’s kind of like a posh Italian Subway as you can add in ingredients and different veg along the way. All in all my dish was ready in about 2 and half minutes- probably even less than that. They then swipe your food card with what you ordered. I can’t have Italian and not have garlic bread so you can go up and order one and they give you a buzzer for when its ready. Most restaurants you wait a good 20 minutes for your main, yet I got my pasta sensation in less time than it would take to order cheese melts in a Mcdonalds drive thru. Madness.

 In terms of the Trip Advisor review, I have to agree- it was the best tasting pasta I’ve had in a long long time, possibly ever. If you are in Oxford Circus ladies and gents- I highly recommend the veggie bolognese. (I noticed they had quite a few vegan and gluten free options aswell so get yourself down there peeps). After whacking the remainder of my pasta in a takeaway tub because that shit was too good to leave- you hand in your food card and pay. (Make sure you don’t lose this card while you are eating because you have to hand back the card before you leave the restaurant). Me and my boyf put both our food orders on the same card so I ditched mine at the table and the waitress refused to let me leave so I had to go back into the restaurant and fish around the plantpots for my food card. After she had checked there was no outstanding food bill on my card and my innocence was restored, we left still feeling like criminals.  What a steal!. Two pasta courses made from scratch, an extra cheesey garlic bread and two bottled cokes (in London) all for £25.

After stuffing myself and practically becoming walking ravioli- we then set off to Covent Garden for the evening. Not only it is extremely picturesque and cute to walk round at night but it’s also full of street performers. Therefore the latter of the evening was spent watching magicians, comedians and singers battle it out on the cobbles for some dollar. There’s also a cute little cafĂ©/bar called ‘The Grind’ where we went for some snacks before going back to the hotel. Homemade fish fingers, sweet potato wedges and some hummus later- I was more than content.

It was then a quick tube journey back to The Laslett, where I ordered a cuppa to come up to my room before getting some shuteye. Which was glorioussssss. Pretty sure it was two king beds pushed together, it was a giant goose feather bananza of goodness. I was like a pig in shit.

After having one of the best brunches of my life (I’ll save that gem for another time) and taking lots of pictures of pastel coloured houses in Notting Hill. The plan was to have a mooch around London and getting some sass attack blogging pictures however the British weather had other plans. I’m not photogenic as it is so the drowned rat look is not something I can pull off. So instead we decided to whack out the umbrella and have a look round Portobello market. (Which to my dismay is shut on Sundays).However Portobello road was still up and running, full of little boutiques and market stalls including a stall selling sweet potato fries- genius. Not only that, you can purchase a Union Jack hat and red bus keyring on every corner, what more could you people want?

It continued pissing it down/snowing so we tried to grab a hot choc and make our way home. All in all, I absolutely loved Notting Hill and I am going to pop back there as soon as possible. If any of you are thinking of having a goosey gander around Notting Hill, feel free to ask me about its sweet spots. But for now, I’m going to get some shut eye and hope I wake up in a pastel coloured London townhouse.

P.s. Oops I almost forgot, if you do go to The Grind make sure to order ‘The Red Juice’ (banana, beetroot,berry and apple) smoothie. Tastes like liquid heaven.

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