The history of Portobello Road Market – from Country Lane to World Class
The very nature of the 21st century causes many people to hanker after the good old days of yesteryear. They love the solidness and craftsmanship of old items and the nostalgia connected to them. They sift through the odds and ends at an antique market and pick up gems from the past.
Today the antique market is experiencing a boom, and Portobello Road Market is prepared for it. Found in Notting Hill, London, they’re the world’s largest antique market with a history that goes back more than 300 years. Today the market has more than 1 000 traders.
When you browse through the stalls of this splendid market, you realise how rewarding it can be – a colourful market presenting top quality items from different countries – offering something for everyone.
High-quality Antiques on Offer
Apart from there being plenty of stylish lodgings in the area, many people opt to stay at the newly refurbished 5-star Royal Lancaster London Hotel, loving the idea that the hotel has a long-standing history, two restaurants and beauty treatments on site. One of the restaurants Nipa Thai is one of few with the distinguished Thai Select award from the Thai Government.
The hotel is conveniently located near the likes of Hyde Park and of course, Portobello Road Market which offers trendy pubs and restaurants apart from all those exciting bargains. With the market stretching 2 miles along, the atmosphere and attractions seem to be never-ending.
The Metamorphosis Starts
Who can believe that this buzzing market once was a country path known as Green Lane. There was a farm too, known as Porto Bello, with the market getting its name from this farm. The farm got its name after the town of Porto Bello which the British captured in 1739 from the Spanish.
The farm area remained pretty much unchanged for decades really, and then slowly residential development began to change the landscape. Wealthy people began moving in and beautiful homes started emerging along with ordinary terrace homes being built for the working class. It was the northern end of the road that was the last to see development, with the opening of the Notting Hill Station.
A Mixed Bag is Offered
At first Portobello Road Market mainly sold food, but in the 1940s other traders moved in, among which were antique traders. Antiques are essentially what Portobello Road Market is all about, and Saturday is the top trading day. Today, while it is still known for its amazing antiques, other traders have come in selling a wonderful mix of fascinating clothes, scarves, shoes and other things too – ensuring the market’s vibrancy lives on.
Thanks to the film Notting Hill, this famous market is a tourist destination too, with Portobello Road attracting visitors from all over the UK and the world, and you want to be counted in next time you visit London.