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5 Amazing Things To Do Along Portobello Road In London

Published Jan 07, 2016

Portobello Road, London’s renowned antique street, is a central location for anyone wanting to do some shopping in London, whether it be for vintage clothing, kitchen wear, fresh fruit, posters or antiques. Having an enormous variety of things to buy and explore Portobello offers a perfect day out in London whereupon everything needed to have a pleasant day is located there. From the bustling street stalls that emerge on weekends to the antique fairs below street level, this street boasts some of the best features of London. An unlimited amount of food to chose from such as the Jamaican burgers or the refined dishes in the wine bars provide innumerable possibilities for a meal and the Electric Cinema offers a luxurious way to watch a movie. A truly magical experience, this street is definitely worth seeing.

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Join the hustle and bustle on the weekends

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On weekends, charming Portobello Road suddenly bursts into a flurry of activity where stalls crowd the streets, jam-packed with people, all trying to get at the vast immense of goods on sale. To anyone who can handle an extremely busy street this is the place to find countless vintage treasures, precious tokens and gorgeous clothing. The southern end of the street focuses mainly on antique stalls but towards the centre of the market it blends into all styles of clothing, household supplies, food, accessories and jewelry. Further on at the northern end of the market at Portobello Green, the goods sold at the stalls are a little more authentic and tend to be cheaper. This side of the market is the place to go for all lovers of vintage or military clothing but stalls containing candles, bric-a-brac and trinkets can also be found here. Finally, up towards Golborne Road, the market begins to focus on all sorts of furniture, food and cafes. The best time to go the market is early in the morning when the crowds haven’t arrived yet and the best gems are still waiting to be found.

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Portobello Road Market and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Portobello Road Market

Taste a piece of Jamaica at Boom Burger

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Source: Boom Burger

After a morning of looking through these stalls the best place by far (if not in London) to get a burger is at the Jamaican “Boom Burger” restaurant. This low-key eating place offers a variety of delicious main courses most notably a variety of different burgers that prove to be exquisite every time. The signature dish is a classic beef burger with cheddar and bacon jam though a personal favorite is the “pork boom” made up of a slow cooked pork belly, their homemade jerk sauce and fried pineapple. The French fries and plantain fries are equally to die for and accompany the burgers perfectly. Also reasonably priced the burgers range from 6 to 9 GBP (9 to 13 USD) while the fries are only 2 or 3 GBP (2 to 4 USD). Boom Burger is located at the north end of Portobello Road and a large front window and tables and benches outside look over the bustling vintage market across the street. The service is excellent with jovial cooks cracking jokes behind the counter and are more than willing to give their opinions of their favourite burger.

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Browse for treasures in the antique market

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Another aspect of the market which is a definite must-see are the antique stalls that open inside burrowing tunnels along the street. Winding passages, crammed with all kinds of antique bits and bobs can be found here. Art dealers can be found here haggling over prices and debating authenticity while others carry out thorough inspections of clocks, paintings and silver spoons. Many antiques here are not worth looking at but similarly to the stalls outside, there are always treasures to be found at reasonable prices. Even if visitors are not interesting in buying, it is still worth going down to these hidden market places to see the vast amount of art on sale.

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Wind down at the wine bar

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Portobello Road also has a numerous amount of wine bars, a particularly good one is the charming, red “Negozio Classica” which has an excellent selection of wines to taste. Also a restaurant, it serves divine light meals such as plates of charcuterie, a selection of bruschetta or smoked fish. The scarlet façade and small chairs and tables outside give it a charming and comfortable atmosphere while the wall of wine bottles inside and the smiling waitresses make it a perfect place to relax in the evenings. The service here has also been flawless whereupon the staff is more than willing to suggest wines to accompany whichever snack has caught your eye. Perhaps not a place to go for travellers on a tight budget but it is absolutely perfect for any wine-lover or anyone looking to escape the busy crowds to wind down.

See our full list of recommended Hotels in London and also compare the prices with airbnbs in London

Lounge in a luxury cinema

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Finally, to bring this day in Portobello Road to an end, the Electric Cinema is definitely worth seeing a movie at. A truly luxurious way to watch a film; the theatre has a beautiful decor with sofa beds at the front and couches at the back. The central seats are individual armchairs with footstools, side-tables and dim lamps for each. Cashmere blankets are supplied and a bar serves drinks and snacks to eat during the show. A truly unique experience, it is very hard to return to any other way of going to the cinema after this taster of comfort. Due to the vast elbow room given, there are not an enormous number of seats available so booking in advance is definitely recommended. Seeing movies in this style also tend to be more expensive than the traditional cinema but is absolutely worth the little extra for the treat.

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Electric Cinema and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Electric Cinema

Enjoy the countless opportunities along this charming road

The amount of things to do along Portobello Road are countless and an infinite amount of bakeries, cupcake shops, cheese stores, cafes, secondhand bookstores still wait to be seen and explored. Unique places such as sock shops, vintage stores and the vinyl cafe are only a few of the things to see. The highlights of Boom Burger, the buzzing stalls, wine bars and the cinema promise the ingredients to an unforgettable day and is worth visiting despite this road being the backdrop to the film “Notting Hill”. Unfortunately, the street has also been crowded by numerous tourist stalls with some misleading ornaments for sale but authenticity can still be found here if you know what to look for.

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As a part English, part American, born and raised in Paris, my priorities have always been to learn about different cultures. I travel to discover and because we all have the luxury of designing...Read more

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