I remember the first time I walked down Portobello Road. I was with Lindsey, having just found my flat in London but still living with Mum in Leeds, and we went for dinner at Grangers and Co on Westbourne Grove. We walked all the way down there, to the corner of what is now my old flat, then turned back on ourselves to go down Portobello Road. It’s so funny to look back on a memory like that, where I completely didn’t know where I was, and for some reason just mostly remember the Kurt Geiger on Portobello Road (who knows why). I remember Linds telling me some stories about Notting Hill Carnival and what it gets like round there over that weekend, and not thinking too much about it from that point on. Fast forward 18 months, I cannot count how many times I have walked down that road. At least once a week to go to Snappy Snaps, twice a week to get to the gym, every time I needed milk when I lived in my old flat and Sainsbury’s on there was my local shop. I have stumbled out of bars there, cried on my own walking down there in the particularly difficult months, gotten very irate with slow tourists, and shot countless blog posts on that famous road. I often look back on moments like me first walking down there, when I totally didn’t know the lay of the land and how all the roads connected, but also how I had no idea what would come between then and now in terms of all the memories I have made around those streets.
Now I know the cut throughs to avoid the tourists on a Saturday, know all the Snappy Snaps staff by name, can easily take a walk out on my own without feeling so sad (big YAY to this one). I’ve slid down there in the snow last winter, skipped down in the tiniest dress in the heatwave, watched penalty shootouts in the World Cup, and gotten my nails done every three weeks without fail. Walking down there has been such a big part of my life in London that feels amazing to look back over right now. West London is the only part of London I ever called home, and when I walk around these streets I can’t help but feel like I did pick the best part of this incredible city for someone who mostly likes to get around on foot.
Speaking of being on foot, I got some insoles for my Gucci loafers and they are perfect now! They are so comfy it’s actually criminal and I am loving how they look with everything I wear them with, can’t recommend them enough if you’re in the market for new loafers! I wish they weren’t so wide fitting so I could get the backless ones, but they really wouldn’t work for me.
Photos by Tom Mitchell