PortoBello Market

largest paella skillet

the colours!!!

My cherry pie

awesome store decor

doll house antiques

A vehicle not much use on Portobello Road..makes sense its a prop

The market

Admiral Vernon

Portobello Market in Nottinghill is one of the most famous street markets in England — a popular destination for Londoners and tourists alike. So like all other tourist, I packed myself off to Portobello Road, bright and early of a saturday morning. I found it was an easy 15 minute stroll from my Chepstow flat.

The Market is on Portobello Road which goes straight through the heart of Notting Hill. Apparently there has been a market here since 1870…that’s a lot of feet walking those streets and a lot of fruits and vegetables sold, an tons of street food consumed… and as you can see from the pictures it is still going strong. The Market was made famous by Hugh Grant and Julie Roberts in the film Nottinghill. The markets stretches for 2 miles down the length of Portebello road. As you can see from my pics it does attract quite a crowd, and talks quite a while to navigate from end to end.

There is so much to see….actually see, smell, taste, touch and hear..it is a veritable onslaught of the senses. I turned onto Portobello to the sounds of a street singer, quite fine actually as he had a good voice, and the sweet smell of ‘portobello crepes’.

I turned around and around and at every glance, stalls filled with antiques, silver, maps, books, scarves, leather..I found the market has several distinct segments..it begins as an antique market, then shifts to fruits, vegetables, bread,flowers and ends as more of a flea market…clothes, shoes, leather.
In the mid section there is an amazing series of stalls selling street food. I have posted some pictures of the largest Paella skillets I have ever seen. Lots of variety in the food for purchase. I couldn’t resist and bought a tomato, basil and goat cheese pie ( for unch tomorrow, sourdough bread, and a lovely fruit pie.

I also got to wondering where the name Portobello came from…didn’t sound very British to me.. so when I got home I looked it up and found like many areas here, it was originally a farm named after Puerto Bello in the Caribbean in memory of an Admiral Vernon who captured Puerto Bello in 1739. There are still references in the neighborhood to those seafaring days …Portobello star, Portobello gold and a Vernon antiques arcade.

Puerto Bello was in what we now call Panama..Spanish gold and silver was mined from Peru and shipped out through this port. Although the Brits tried several times to capture the port unsuccessfully once sending 20 ships to capture the port. Captain Edward Vernon captured it with only six ships. The British were elated created several medals in his honour..very pricey today if you are a collector and as we see a farm was named after his victory..And due to Hugh and Julie the land mass is now much better known
Since then the area has become built up with houses, shopfronts and the street market, however pub names such as the Portobello Gold and the Portobello Star (navigation) are references to those heady seafaring days off the Spanish Main. One of the Antiques Arcades is known as the Admiral Vernon.

sorry all have now learned i need to put my pictures in backwards… bottom pictures align with top of the story…i am learning Geri

5 comments
  1. Janet Brine said:

    Such great posts Geri. I was in Portabello Market about 40 years ago and it sounds just as wonderful now as it was then. I am presently sipping a martini in your honour and in celebration of your arrival in London. Wish I could be there sipping it with you! You must have a ton of visitors coming your way. I keep getting these flight deal notifications so maybe one day, in late Nov or early Dec if I get one that is irresistible, I’ll pop over to London!! Bill and I spent the better part of today packing and organizing for our trip. We’re looking forward to seeing our Holland family! Keep up the posting! xxx Janet p.s. did you get your iPad to work re: your e-mail?

  2. Kimmy said:

    I now have the song permanently stuck in my head…”there ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, and she’s always gone too long, every time she goes away…” (its one of the main songs playing during the main market time-passing sequence in the movie….I REALLY need to watch that movie again soon!!!)

    It sounds like you had a lovely Saturday exploring the market. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for more.
    Lots of love.

    P.S. You wil have to tell us how those pies tasted…they both sound (and look) delicious!

  3. Deanie said:

    The Europeans sure know how to do it! You can bring home all those ideas and show us how! You go girl! Looks like so much excitement! I am enjoying your travel blog, looking forward to the next days adventure!

    Love Deanie

  4. Ian Hendry said:

    Next market has to be in the east end with the cockney rhyming slang. Will remind you of My Fair Lady.

  5. Shannon said:

    Such great pics! I’m really enjoying your descriptive posts… Allows me to live vicariously. That paella looks amazing! (Although those pies are a bit of a tease… That was kinda mean)

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