Notting Hill is an independent business haven. We love seeing new independent businesses spring up on London’s highstreets, but there’s also something so special about stepping foot in a store that’s become a true part of the community.
Shopping in Notting Hill is full of delicious contradictions; new cookie hotspots sit next to (or at least near to) 30-year-old boutiques. Three-storey concept stores sit one street away from bustling markets. Tourists gather for pictures outside the wrong bookshop. It’s vibrant, varied, and oh so fun to peruse. Here’s our guide to the best independent shopping spots.
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1. Summerill & Bishop
Never knowingly a wallflower: Summerill & Bishop’s shopfront is as bold and joyous as the products within
Squarely between Holland Park and Latimer Road tube stops cuts a leafy little street called Clarendon Cross. At first stroll, it’s another of Notting Hill’s iconic residential streets; white townhouses, gas lamp posts, nice cars. But nestled at the end of this charming little street sits a cluster of wonderful independent businesses; and among the selection of understated shop fronts, Summerill & Bishop’s demands to be noticed (and semi-regularly updates its shopfront to match its current collection, which we love).
And once inside, Summerill & Bishop’s more than maintains this ‘look at me!’ energy. In a market of often same-y cool Scandi chic interiors, Summerill & Bishop is an eruption of colour and pure homewares joy, with bright table linens and crockery blending nostalgia, practicality and personality.
A true family business, Summerill & Bishop was started by friends and keen hosts, June and Bernadette, who committed their business dream to paper in a cafe back in the early 90s. The store looks different now, but its ethos — to bring people together joyously, around a table — hasn’t changed, and is more needed than ever.
2. The Cross
With windows as colourful as its products, The Cross has been brightening up Clarendon Cross for 27 years and counting. Image source: The Cross
Cross the street and you’ll find The Cross, a lifestyle boutique (one of London’s very first, in fact) with a curated collection of homeware, womenswear, and gifts — a celebration of ‘all that is artisanal and crafted’.
Again, this is a shop that’s no stranger to colour, as well as a true curator of the cosy, with cashmere scarves and seemingly endless quilted blankets sitting alongside those perfect ‘little somethings’ for your mum or best friend.
Now in its 27th year of operation, The Cross remains a much-loved Notting Hill staple, and is well worth a pop in.
3. The L&R Bookshop
In the L&R bookshop, books are termed ‘necessities’. We couldn’t have felt more at home. Image source: L&R Bookshop
We’ve sampled more than our fair share of bookshops in our time, and The L&R Bookshop gets a firm seal of approval from us.
Why? Because every book across its two(ish) floors has been specifically recommended by a surveyed reader, so each and every one has been picked with purpose.
It’s easy to find yourself reading the same books as everyone else; only a relative few books get that big marketing injection. If you want to veer off the beaten path and find something a bit different, have a chat with the L&R team; their commitment to rooting out ‘excellence in writing across a range of genres’ means your perfect read is only a shelf away.
We love it when bookshops go above and beyond their core product offering, too. L&R offers a surprise book subscription service, as well as a colourful wall of greeting cards and wrapping paper for all your gifting needs.
4. Portobello Road Market
Come for the antiques, stay for the artichokes; Portobello Market has it all. Image source: Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road market is actually a series of several markets which take place throughout the week, with Fridays and Saturdays being the busiest (and most iconic).
Vintage clothing and antique stalls sit next to fresh fruit and veg and other food vendors in a vibrant market that spans the full length of the street. It’s vibey, but no longer anything like a secret — so expect large crowds, particularly on Saturdays.
Fridays and Saturdays are the most popular market days. Image source: Portobello Road Market
5. The Notting Hill Bookshop
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a gift edition of my favourite book, trying to justify buying it. Image source: The Shopkeepers
Yes, it’s the Notting Hill Bookshop. Well sort of. The interior of this shop was copied for the iconic 1999 film Notting Hill, and has since enjoyed thousands of visits from fans the world over.
Parking our general basic love for Richard Curtis films for a sec, this bookshop has plenty to offer any book lover. These days, it focuses its attention on ‘beautiful gift editions, irresistible pocket hardbacks, satin-bound classics and a wide range of golden gilt leather-bounds’. You had me at hello.
6. Couverture & The Garbstore
Ok, when can we move in? Image source: Couverture & The Garbstore
Last but certainly not least is Couverture & The Garbstore, an ‘eclectic edit of womenswear, menswear, accessories and homewares’. Run as two separate stores (Couverture focusing on womenswear and The Garbstore on menswear), this is a perfect example of when two businesses create something together that’s much more than the sum of its parts.
Housed in a three-story Notting Hill townhouse, the abundance of space is the most immediately striking feature of this store — and is particularly welcome if you’re coming directly from the bustle of the market. The space feels part concept store and part show home, with each individual item given all the space to truly sing. A masterclass in merchandising, Couverture & The Garbstore blends old school west London luxury with modern lines and style.
Independent snack stops
Phew! Bet you’re hungry after all the shopping. Here’s where we’d recommend for a pitstop:
🍪 Crème* for Instagram-famous cookies, and with good reason (*independent-ish)
🥙 Falafel King for fresh, crispy falafel wrestled into half a pillowy pitta
☕Notting Hill Coffee Project for speciality coffee for serious coffee lovers (and the best ever almond croissant, according to some)
Support (& stock!) London-based brands
Looking to show some local brands some more local love? Take a look at our collection of London brands selling wholesale on CREOATE.
Not London-based? Use our Focus on Local dashboard to discover independent business hotspots near you. Now go forth, and shop/stock small!