coffee + cre8tive with a hint of romance! [mar 16 06]

March 16, 2006

coffee + cre8tive with a hint of romance! [mar 16 06]
If this doesn’t inspire spring fever (see photos below), I don’t know what will. These photos come to us from Paola, decor8 reader and Notting Hill resident. When I saw them on her blog, I immediately had to ask if I could share them with all of you. She lives just around the corner from Portobello Road, home of the world-famous Portobello Market in the heart of charming Notting Hill (perhaps scenes of the movie starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant flicker through your mind?).

With it’s unique character, Notting Hill is a place that you’ll visit vowing to return to again and again. It was on my 5th trip to Notting Hill that I received notice from the hotel concierge that my penpal left a message, he wanted to fly me to his city in Germany to finally meet him in person. Of course, since we had been emailing and calling eachother daily for nearly a year, this message intrigued me so I actually left Notting Hill early and flew to Germany. I still remember sitting in a nearby travel agency with butterflies asking myself if I had gone completely mad. That German penpal is now my husband of nearly 5 years. Seeing photos of Notting Hill reminds me of this amazing time of transformation in my life.

I still recall nights in Notting Hill very clearly, walking back to my hotel after I’d gone dancing with friends, all of us grabbing fish and chips wrapped in brown paper. Eating and walking at the same time, engaged in animated post-cocktail conversations with our giggles bouncing between buildings on narrow streets.

During the morning, I’d wake very early and explore Portobello Road, since I enjoyed watching the vendors set up their wares for the day. The sun fresh in the sky, bright fruit carts offering a bounty of goodness that I hoped to consume for breakfast. The morning midst cool around me. I relished such moments when I could have Portobello Road to enjoy before the crowds came.

Later in the day, it transformed into a colorful carnival of sights, smells and sounds set admist stunning Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian architecture. I’d often shop for vintage buttons, home accessories, handbags and colorful items from the far east. I purchased my favorite cashmere wool blend pea coat there in 1999, thankfully it’s still in style because I can’t seem to part with it. I purchased it since I was told Germany was about 15 degrees cooler and I knew I’d need it for my trip. A few days later, I was exchanging hellos in a German airport with my penpal, who later became my husband.

Have you been to Notting Hill? Please share your experience…
coffee + cre8tive with a hint of romance! [mar 16 06]
(Photos from Paola Thomas, who owns a lovely online store that reflects her amazing eye for color and texture. You’ll swoon. Irresistible!)



  • Reply angela March 16, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    love portobello road. love notting hill.

    actually, portobello for me is the start of omondieu!. my last trip to london, the flower rings were just my own hobby and i only wore them for myself or made them for friends. the first boutique i ever had selling omondieu!, or that led me to the idea that this could become a business was on portobello road. also the location where lenny kravitz apparently bought his omondieu! ring.

    shame that the market, aside from fruit and vegetable vendors, is only open on saturdays though.

    i love the petticoat lane market and damn if i can’t remember the one market we stumbled on last time, on the way to the exhibit i had there. next trip, i hope to find it again, as i did get a bit lost on that one. but therefore, a beautiful spring coat and a few other bric bracs and treasures were found.

    i do believe i have a london calling again…

  • Reply dana March 16, 2006 at 2:29 pm

    what a nice suprise to find this here! im going to london in may for the first time, and have been so excited to finally check out portobello road… now im looking forward to it even more!
    thank you!

  • Reply Paola March 16, 2006 at 3:22 pm

    Oh Holly, THANKS so much for this I lurve that postcard-y thingy you’ve made. And I didn’t realise that the Hill held such romantic memories for you….Maybe you’ll come back one day?

    I also just wanted to let your readers know that we will ship worldwide. Just choose the ‘International Delivery’ option on the site and email us to get a quote for delivery to your country. We will of course refund your order if the delivery costs are unacceptable.

  • Reply decor8 March 16, 2006 at 4:17 pm

    Paola – When I return, I will definitely look you up for sure because I’d love to see Notting Hill through your eyes…

    Dana – When are you going to London? Where are you staying? Tell! I’m excited for you, you will *love* it. It’s perfect.


  • Reply decor8 March 16, 2006 at 4:19 pm

    Hi Angela!

    Off topic but have you ever seen the French film with G?rard Depardieu (love him!), it’s called “Cyrano De Bergerac” (he’s the poet with the large nose that falls in love with the beautiful Roxane)?

    This is a riot, right Angela, but the other day I was watching it and his character, Cyrano, kept saying at one point in the film omondieu! omondieu! omondieu! and I sat there and started laughing thinking, ‘he’s calling you Angela!’…..

    holly :)

  • Reply angela March 16, 2006 at 5:08 pm

    actually, haven’t seen that film yet, but i’ll have to check it out. i can get into some of his films, as he’s usually good for a laugh…

    but that’s sweet that you heard that in the film and thought of me.

    omondieu! is actually o mon dieu in french, meaning oh my god

    that’s what i kept hearing when people would see the rings and i like to think it’s an exclamation of beautiful, and happiness, and simply emotional bliss. now that i listen for it [whether in french or english or german], i hear it all the time.

    but omondieu! just has something so pleasing in it’s french sound, especially when the french say it… but i also like the look of the word. visually pleasing too?

    but now back to my london calling…

    thanks much holly.

  • Reply dana March 17, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    holly…ill be in london last week of may, for the chelsea garden show, which i cannot wait for!!!
    ill be staying at the westbury in soho.
    i hope to do lots of exploring… any tips from you are greatly welcomed!!!
    Something Else Perhaps

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