Notting Hill is crowded on Saturdays, as tourists and locals mob the streets and rambling Portobello Road Market. And the reward at the end of the road is the still lively but low-key global London atmosphere of Golborne Road.
Here among the fruit and vegetable sellers, fish shops, cafes selling delicious Portuguese pastries and stores selling everything from Moroccan tea pots to vintage fabrics and trimmings, second-hand shops spill their wares onto the sidewalk and prices tend to be slightly lower than up the road for used furniture and antiques...
And the Brutalist building looming nearby is the landmark 31-story Trellick Tower, designed by Erno Goldfinger (friend of Ian Flemming and famous Bond character namesake) and built from 1968-72. Now a listed building, Trellick Tower is a mix of price-regulated city housing (known in Britain as the "council flat") and minority private ownership.
The gritty high-rise was largely seen as a glaring example of all that was wrong with the high-rise apartment when it was built -- and degenerated into a crime-ridden hellhole in the 1980s. But it has recently become a cult address for hip Londoners.
- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. She can be reached at kristin @ apartmenttherapy . com