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