London neighborhoods are all different; some of them are like small villages within the city and every one has its own personality.
There are so many types of neighborhoods in London, and I like to explore one or another depending on my mood and on the inspiration of the moment.
If you are romantic or you feel that way in a particular moment in your life, you shouldn’t miss these five villages.
Notting Hill is romantic by definition.
It’s the village where Hugh Grant meets Julia Roberts in the popular Hollywood Movie and it’s impossible to walk through Portobello Road during the famous Saturday market without imagining at least one scene or dialogue of the movie.
But Notting Hill is more than this.
I use to come here every Saturday morning because my youngest son plays football nearby and while I wait for his training to end, I stroll around with my husband.
Our Saturday morning routine involves walking quietly in Notting Hill, always trying to discover new corners.
The neighborhood, just around the corner from Portobello Road, is quiet and peaceful, the houses are beautiful, white or colorful, and in spring the blossoming cherry trees smell in the air.
My favorite part is Westbourne Grove, where we go for breakfast or brunch.
Our special place is called 202 Westbourne Grove, it is a coffee shop but also a concept store, with white wooden floors and carefully settled tables.
The atmosphere is shabby chic and all the dishes are homemade.
Alternatively, try Biscutieers or Granger & Co, very popular for coffee and tea in Notting Hill.
I take porridge and orange juice and I watch the locals coming here for breakfast, mixing with the (few) tourists who know this place.
If you want to know more about Notting Hill and its secret places, check my post, by clicking here.
Notting Hill in one word: iconic.
Marylebone is another of the most charming villages in London.
It’s Sherlock Holmes’ neighborhood, as you can guess as soon as you come out of the Tube stop of Baker Street, which is also the oldest underground station in the world.
Are you addicted to Sherlock Netflix Series, like me? Well, this is the right place for you; you’ll find all the locations of the Series and you’ll feel like to be on the movie set.
It’s an elegant and sophisticated area, not far from the crowded Oxford Street, but totally different in calm and quiet.
I definitely suggest you visit the Wallace Collection, one of the most interesting museums in the city, in my opinion, small but full of treasures and memorabilia collected in the beautiful baroque rooms.
Then stroll through the shops in the main street, all very cool and elegant.
Marylebone charity shops are among the most renowned in the city and, with a bit of luck, you can find vintage designer clothes at very special prices.
Stop in the main street in one of the beautiful and historic pubs for a proper London happy hour after the office.
I like going there also in the evening because the streets next to the main road are full of cute and charming restaurants.
My favorite is Le Relais de Venise, but there is also a beautiful Ivy Brasserie and a lovely French Brasserie.
Marylebone in one word: classic.
Primrose Hill is a London Village where many celebrities use to live.
It’s close to Camden Town, but it’s completely different than this.
In just a few hundred meters you switch from the rock atmosphere of Camden to the exclusive and shabby chic atmosphere of Primrose Hill.
It is the neighborhood of the Paddington 2 The Movie, with pastel-colored houses and outdoor cafes, cool shops and pretty flowers everywhere.
From the main road, the lateral streets spread out with white, luxurious mansions.
Primrose Hill is white and pink, and its main street ends in a beautiful bright green park.
Primrose Hill in one word: posh.
Another romantic Village in London is definitely Hampstead Village.
It’s in the North part of London, not far from the city center, on a beautiful hill, close to Hampstead Heath Park.
The Village has an old-fashioned vibe, with small brick houses and secret streets, colorful doors and vintage shops.
Not to be missed, in addition to the main street, The Flask Walk, a small side alley with cobblestone pavement and lovely antique shops, such as the barbershop, the florist and a lovely little French restaurant down the street.
And of course The Holly Bush, a charming pub above the village, with a view over the rooftops and the city in the distance.
Next to the Village, there is the park, beautiful and wild, which on one side offers a breathtaking view of the skyline of central London, and on the other hand, it allows you to reach Kenwood House, the white aristocratic Mansion used in more than a movie set of popular movies.
What I like about Hampstead is the atmosphere of a small village, among pots of flowers and smoking chimneys, the scent of the wood and vintage clothes and books.
If you want to discover more about Hampstead, click on this link.
Hampstead in one word: old fashion
There are not enough words to describe the timeless atmosphere of Richmond Upon Thames.
This is not a Village, it’s a painting by Turner that comes to life.
It is one of those places where every time I am amazed, although I live next door for three years now.
It’s impossible to get used to the charm of Richmond.
Do not miss Richmond Park in autumn, with deers and trees autumn colors, the path in front of the bridge during summer, with the late evening light and the rays of the last sun illuminating the tiny boats floating in front of the Victorian buildings.
Don’t miss also Isabella Plantation, the wonderful garden in the Richmond park during spring, when azaleas and camellias are in bloom.
And the lovely little streets between the Station and the Richmond Green, a spectacular meadow connecting the center of the village with the river.
Dine on a summer evening at Bingham, a fantastic restaurant with a terrace and river view, or drop by Petersham Nurseries, the slow food restaurant housed in a greenhouse and chosen by Woody Allen as a set for one of his movies.
If you want to discover more about Richmond click on that link.
Richmond in one word: charming.
Did you enjoy exploring these romantic London Villages with me? If you want to find out more about the individual neighborhoods, click on the links above.