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Fodor's London 2014
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Portobello Road Market
Portobello Road Market Review
Tempted by tassels, looking for a 19th-century snuff spoon, on the hunt for a Georgian objet d'art? Fancy an original sixties minidress, or a dashingly deco party frock? Then head to Portobello Road, world famous for its Saturday antiques market. Arrive at about 9 am to find the real treasures-in-the-trash; after 10, the crowds pack in wall-to-wall. Actually, the Portobello Market is three markets: Antiques, "fruit and veg," and a flea market. Portobello Road begins at Notting Hill Gate, though the antiques stalls start a couple of blocks north, around Chepstow Villas. Lining the sloping street are also dozens of antiques shops and indoor markets, open most days—in fact, serious collectors will want to do Portobello on a weekday, when they can explore the 90-some antiques and art stores in relative peace. Where the road levels off, around Elgin Crescent, youth culture and a vibrant neighborhood life kicks in, with all manner of interesting small stores and restaurants interspersed with the fruit-and-vegetable market. This continues to the Westway overpass ("flyover" in British), where on Friday and Saturday you'll find London's best flea market—a ragtag of high-class, vintage, antique, and secondhand clothing, together with jewelry and assorted junk. There's a strong West Indian flavor to Notting Hill, with a Trinidad-style Carnival centered along Portobello Road on the August bank-holiday weekend. For more on Portobello Road, see our "To Market" feature in our Shopping chapter.
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