A few weeks ago, I met my friend Lauren in London, and she took me to her old stomping grounds in Notting Hill. It was later in the day, and unfortunately we had just missed all the action of Portobello Market. “You have to come back and experience it,” she told me.

So that’s what I did on Saturday! Christopher and I boarded the Oxford Tube and headed to London bright and early (I mean, 9ish) to experience the bustling street market for ourselves.

The market stretches for about two miles on Portobello Road which is in the heart of Notting Hill. On Saturdays, street vendors set up shop and the crowds swarm the displays of antiques, new goods, and delicious food. I used to go to work in Times Square every day and can say that there were more people on this one street than the Crossroads of the World (except for on New Years Eve… that’s just ridiculous.)

I spy Christopher in the crowd.

We went in with the goal of buying an antique tea pot to take back to the States with us. We’ve been trying to buy something from everywhere we go, but are quite possibly the worst shoppers ever and have only bought one official keepsake from our travels so far: a painting in Paris. We failed yet again and did not leave with a tea pot this time. But there were a lot of really great ones all over the market (another reason why I’m embarrassed we’re so bad at this…)

Teapots at Portobello Market in London
So many choices!

This antique doll house was one of my favorites things I saw all day. I secretly wanted to play with it all day but Christopher wanted to keep going, and also I’m 30. Sigh…

Vintage dollhouse at Portobello Market, London
Which room would you choose?
Then we came across some old-timey cameras–they were cool, but not Instagram friendly.

Vintage cameras at Portobello Market, London
Say cheese!

I wish you could smell this picture (one day they’ll invent that technology, I’m sure!) Street vendors making paella. We opted to keep going since we can make that at home thanks to our Barcelona adventures.

Paella at Portobello Market, London
Use your imagination to smell this pic.

Speaking of smells…. aren’t these flowers absolutely lovely?! Just wanted to share this little sneak peek of spring since we’re all in desperate need of that hope right now.

Flower stand in London
Can you feel the warmth coming?

And then we happened upon the Notting Hill Bookshop made famous by Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant in one of the best rom-com scenes ever. Here, let me reenact it for you….

Writer Julie Pennell at Notting Hill Book Shop in London
“I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

My friend Lauren was right–I’m really happy I experienced this world-famous market. Have you ever been? Hopefully you walked away with more that we did (which just involved pictures taken on our iPhone, but that’s okay.)

Stay tuned this week to find out what we did in London after the Portobello Market–I’ll give you a hint: Christopher got to pick the place and it involved skeletons!