A trip to Bountiful (London, actually…) Portobello Road edition

Anyone who knows me or anyone who has read this blog knows that one of my favorite films is Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971). The musical comedy’s centerpiece is a 10-minute long number with stars Angela Lansbury and David Tomlinson, titled “Portobello Road” named after the famous street in London that features the iconic Portobello Road Market – a street market that sells antiques, second-hand goods, and food. Portobello Road is close to the excruciatingly fashionable Notting Hill.

We got an early morning and set off to Portobello Road – which was almost at the end of the Hammersmith & City line. We got to settle in and take a nap. We finally got to our stop and I had a full English breakfast at the Orange Cafe. It was a rainy day today, and we had to sit outside, shielded from the rain by the cafe’s large awning, but still it was quite a chilly breakfast, helped immensely by a steaming cup of strong, English tea.

We made our way to Portobello Road and stroll through the market. We ate Pizza Express last night, but my partner wanted a proper slice of pizza and was happy to see a stall hawking slices of pepperoni pizza for £2. We wandered through the galleries and stalls, looking at the wares being sold. The prices were very high for most of the stuff, and even though a lot of the things sold were beautiful, a lot of it felt like junk shop stock – sort of like stuff I saw on Sanford and Son. 

Aside from the stalls, we also looked at the shops on Portobello Street – I went to the Oxfam Bookshop, doing my bit for charity and the economy by buying a couple of books and a couple of CDs, as well. I also went to Books for Cooks – a fantastic bookshop devoted to cookery books. There were too many titles to look through – I could’ve spent hours there, but I had to make do with about twenty minutes. The proprietor was a charming Frenchman who was chatting with an American couple from Boston. The woman asked for a cookbook for beginners. When the owner asked what sort of cuisine, she answered health food. “Tsk,” he admonished, “All food is healthy in moderation. Everything is healthy, it’s about portions.”

We walked through the stalls and there was an area dominated by Rastafarians and I recognized it as the scene from a funny episode of As Time Goes By when Lionel goes chasing after Sandy and Judith, after they complained of being followed.

We then walked some more through the streets, and found ourselves in Bayswater, which was coincidentally, the neighborhood we stayed in when we visited some five years ago. We had pastries at Patisserie Valerie. We returned to Portobello Road and we looked at a few more charity shops, before deciding to retire for the day.



1 Comment

Filed under Nonfiction, Travel, Writing

One response to “A trip to Bountiful (London, actually…) Portobello Road edition

  1. Teresa Boccara

    It is my favorite place in London. Love to see old silverwear, and tea sets. Bring you to life in back in XIX centry, nostalgy for culture if eating.

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