The quiet, upscale neighborhood of Notting Hill is overrun every Saturday morning—when the Portobello Road antiques merchants descend upon this otherwise peaceful neighborhood. And, along with the antiques traders, come thousands of customers (some serious about buying, most "just looking"). The market begins to open at 6:00 am. By Noon, the streets are clogged with Italian tourists enjoying their obligatory (and oh. so. slow.) passeggiata.
The main market street, Portobello Road, began as a food market in the Nineteenth Century. After World War II, antiques traders began to populate the upper part of the road. Today, it is the largest antiques market in Britain.
A mixture of terraced townhouses, small row houses, and Thirties apartment buildings are interspersed with retail high streets. And so many of the shops seem very creative and very specific.
Shown above, we see Arancina—an Italian pizzeria. A bright orange Fiat fills much of the front window, which is okay because there is no interior seating on-offer.
Remnants of businesses, gone scores of years ago, still make their former presences known. This comic book shop was once a wine merchant. The eggplant colored tile is especially tasteful.
And I couldn't help sighing when I noticed Benji's Buns (which reminded me of our little Benji, currently being pampered with dog-sitting friends in Chicago).
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248