WHERE TO STAY
Immerse yourself in some of west London’s vibrant neighborhoods via Plum Guide’s hand-picked collection of homes…
The Mighty Milborne, Chelsea
The vast Mighty Milborne home in Chelsea boasts seven immaculate bedrooms and 10 bathrooms decked out in sleek marble, as well as a charming garden annex and home cinema. With an elevator to whisk guests between floors, and sumptuous sofas galore, every comfort is catered to.
The Matador, Notting Hill
The brightly hued multi-story Matador townhouse, right in the heart of Westbourne Grove, offers a contemporary and elegant bolthole that pays homage to its striking period characteristics. There is an abundance of charming corners to cosy up in, while the picturesque garden is a standout feature.
Henry & Eliza, Marylebone
One for the literary buffs: the beautiful Henry & Eliza Marylebone townhouse was formerly owned by Jane Austen’s brother Henry, and made an appearance in her novel Sense and Sensibility. Now, it has been reimagined as a glamorous reinterpretation of a magnificent Regency home, filled with sumptuous drapes, crystal chandeliers, four-poster beds and a unique collection of antiques.
SOAK UP THE CULTURE
The street market on Portobello Road is world famous for a reason. Full of character (and crowds, which add to the atmosphere), it is home to the largest antiques market in the world, while the vendors – who line the street on Fridays and Saturdays – also sell an array of food, clothing and homewares. Start at the top, near Notting Hill Gate underground station, and make your way down past Ladbroke Grove.
The beauty of getting a cultural fix in the west London enclave of Kensington is that a number of iconic landmarks – spanning science, history, art and design – are positioned within a stone’s throw of each other. Must-visits include the Design Museum in Holland Park, Leighton House Museum for marvellous interiors, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) for the expansive collection of art and design, as well as its schedule of incredible exhibitions, the Natural History Museum and Science Museum for interactive experiences, and, of course, the Royal Albert Hall (but do check its broad roster of performances in advance).
One of London’s oldest cinemas, the Electric in Notting Hill is a charming, velvet-clad spot to catch a movie – reserve a sofa for one of the best seats in the house.
For art enthusiasts, The Wallace Collection bridges the gap between home and museum, with an amazing assortment of sculptures, furniture and artworks from the likes of Rembrandt, Diego Velázquez, Anthony van Dyck and François Boucher.
Edwardian bookshop Daunt Books is well worth a visit to peruse its seemingly endless shelves, housed in an imposing oak-wood room, and for the regular talks and events. Make sure to ask the shopkeeper for an expert recommendation for your next read.
WHERE TO WALK
West London is well situated for many of London’s glorious parks: take a stroll around the sprawling lawns of Hyde Park; unwind in the meditative Japanese-inspired Kyoto Garden in Holland Park; discover Kensington Gardens, the former private gardens to the palace; and explore Chiswick House and Gardens, a stunning feat of 18th-century British architecture with wonderful landscaped grounds.
WHERE TO EAT
Newly Michelin-starred, Santiago Lastra’s Kol is one of the most-talked-about restaurants in London right now, combining Mexican influences with British produce. If you can’t get a reservation, check its Instagram stories for regular updates on last-minute availability.
Ravinder Bhogal’s Jikoni is a firm local favorite, with an eclectic menu that is packed with flavors and spices. Don’t-miss dishes include the crispy aubergine with sichuan caramel, and banana cake with miso butterscotch sauce.
Gold is one of Notting Hill’s prettiest restaurants, serving an impressive yet unfussy selection of sharing plates. Also try brunch at Sunday in Brooklyn – the New York export is now a Notting Hill hot spot – and, while you’re in the area, don’t forget to visit Ottelenghi’s original outpost on Ledbury Road. A recent opening to the local pub scene is The Princess Royal, which – with its sunny garden and Mediterranean-inspired menu – has proven a welcome addition.
Stop by La Cave à Fromage in Cromwell Place for a taste of the best cheese in London.
In Chelsea, book into the elegant Daphne’s, a delightful Italian with stately surroundings and delicious seasonal food. And, on the topic of Italian, family-run La Famiglia has earned cult status for its sumptuous Tuscan feasts.
FOR AN ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY
While west London makes for the perfect base to delight in the capital’s wonders, why not combine it with a bucolic adventure to explore the charms of the Cotswolds? Straddling six counties, this is a vast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and Cirencester (generally considered its ‘capital’) is just an hour and 20 minutes from London by train. Prepare for a little slice of England at its most idyllic with Plum Guide’s peerless properties…
Tew Cottage, Oxfordshire
In the quaint village of Little Tew, Tew Cottage feels wonderfully secluded – but it is in fact only a few miles from Soho Farmhouse and Blenheim Palace. It offers stretching rural views and country walks on the doorstep, as well as a kitchen garden that supplies the cabin guests with vegetables, honey and dahlias in the summer.
The 99 Yew Trees, Gloucestershire
Home to quintessential honey-coloured, wisteria-draped buildings and surrounded by rolling hills, Painswick is famous for its beauty. The 16th-century 99 Yew Trees cottage sits right in the center of the town. The interiors here are fit for royalty, while the private, immaculately groomed courtyard is a stunning spot to while away some sunny hours.