Cocoa goes to Kilburn, Portobello Market. Eeeek! Notting Hill!

Unbelievable! It’s a beautiful Saturday morning. So beautiful that “P” (my hubby) and I decided to do a little exercising at the neighborhood outdoor gym. This is the first weekend since we have arrived that the sun has been shining and there isn’t a drop of rain or a single cloud in the sky!

It makes me giggle now, but when my hubby and I were doing the long distance thing I would laugh at him when he would say, (insert sexy British accent here), “The weather is beautiful daaahling (darling), it’s so hot out”. Hilarious! Considering it would only be in the mid 60’s! Now I understand what he meant. When it comes to the weather in London you really have to take what you can get when you can get it! Soooo, in this heatwave of 20° (68°F) , we head out, baby in tow to a little area in north-west London called Kilburn.

Kilburn, divided amongst 3 London Boroughs (Brent, Camden and Westminster) seems to have everything you need without the hustle and bustle that you will find as you get closer to Central London. Don’t be fooled by it’s location though, on a fab day like today the streets will be busy and parking can be a beast.(I suggest taking the bus or underground). After FINALLY finding a park we walked the High Street (what we Americans would call Main Street), Kilburn High Rd, where you can find a great number of shops that sell everything from groceries to shoes. Kilburn High Rd is also the location of the quaintest little market with stalls of shoes, fresh fruit and other knick-knacks. The market is a pretty cute place to walk around but it’s so small that you will be done before you can even blink an eye!

(NuNu doing what she does best...Sleeping...in Kilburn)

(NuNu doing what she does best…Sleeping…in Kilburn)

I didn’t get enough, naturally wanting to be “on the go” we took off and had my father-in-law drop us at Ladbroke Grove….Eeeek! Can you say NOTTING FREAKIN’ HILL! Ok, Anyone that knows me MUST know that I LOVE the movie Notting Hill starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. I am huge a Rom Com (Romantic Comedy) fanatic and this one does it for me! Needless to say I WILL NOT sleep until I find the Travel Book Shop featured in the movie. As I was walking I was literally feeling all warm inside just thinking that it could be around the corner! I am such a dork!

Notting Hill, Dir. Roger Michell, Universal Pictures,1999; The Travel Book Shop

Notting Hill, Dir. Roger Michell, Universal Pictures,1999; The Travel Book Shop

Ok, back to Ladbroke Grove. It’s basically a road located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Apparently this is where many psychedelic/ rock and underground bands were formed and found to include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees,The Clash. It’s also one of the main thoroughfares for Notting Hill Carnival. Not to mention it is the gateway to the World Famous Portobello Market!

Joe Strummer (The Clash) mural by artist Emma Harrison

Joe Strummer (The Clash) mural by artist Emma Harrison on Ladbroke Grove

Wow…the sounds, the smells, the people, the atmosphere! As you walk through the market you can’t help but groove to the sounds of the many genres of music coming from the stalls. I heard a little Reggae, some classic Michael Jackson, folk, alternative, and even a bit of jazz. Just walking through is like a symphony/live concert/street party full of pure entertainment! I felt as if I were taking a trip around the world. Every culture, every ethnicity, every color, every kind all partaking in the goodness of Portobello Market.

I didn’t take as many photos as I should have but I will be going back in the near future. Total sensory overload! I was too busy people watching and wanting to touch and purchase everything that I saw! Handcrafted jewelry, original art, tailored dresses and coats, collectors items and not to mention food from every corner of the world…this place has it ALL!

**Disclaimer: By no means are these photos intended to capture every bit of goodness available at Portobello Market**

(Portobello Whole Foods, 266 Portobello Rd, North Kensington, W10 5TY)

The sign says it but when you go in you will find so much more.  Can you say Fresh, Organic, Natural, Healthy, Tasty?

The sign says it but when you go in you will find so much more. Can you say Fresh, Organic, Natural, Healthy, Tasty?

Inside of Portobello Whole Foods...Yum!

Inside of Portobello Whole Foods…Yum!

Delicious Goodness!

Delicious Goodness!

On the Street:

Huge vats of Paella!

Huge vats of Paella!

Bar Mau Mau...Live Music and Food

Bar Mau Mau…Live Music and Food

Za Zá Authentic Italian Gelato

Za Zá Authentic Italian Gelato

Couldn't pass it up. NEEDED two scoops...Caramel, and Cream and Chocolate Gelato

Couldn’t pass it up. NEEDED two scoops…Caramel, and Cream and Chocolate Gelato

NuNu must have eaten it all when my back was turned. Must have been tired of all the breast milk! Naughty girl!

NuNu must have eaten it all when my back was turned. Must have been tired of all the breast milk! Naughty girl!

The Spice Shop, 1 Blenheim Crescent , W11 2EE~ Any and every spice you can think of in this place!

The Spice Shop, 1 Blenheim Crescent , W11 2EE~ Any and every spice you can think of in this place!

Chillies!~The Spice Shop

Chillies!~The Spice Shop

The Spice Shop!

The Spice Shop!

Very cool street performers...literally performing in the middle of the street!

Very cool street performers, The Trouble Notes…literally performing in the middle of the street!

“Without people, you’re nothing” ~Joe Strummer, The Clash”