Looking to recreate your favorite rom-com scene? Here’s my personalized guide and everything you need to know for a visit to the Notting Hill Travel Bookshop. Enjoy!
We all know the scene. Julia Roberts slow pursue through the Notting Hill Travel Bookshop. Hugh Grant’s infamous eye-turn and blushed slew of book recommendations. The rom-com that hit London lovers by storm has all the nostalgia of Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts romance tucked into a quaint bookshop, in you guessed it, Notting Hill.
If you’re a Notting Hill fan like me and looking to turn your on-screen vicarious romance into real life — the Notting Hill Travel Bookshop is calling your name. Rom-com lovers have flocked from all parts of London (and abroad) to relive the Notting Hill scene. And if you’re reading this, I’m guessing you want to do the same.
Without further ado here’s everything you need to know about the Notting Hill Travel Bookshop. And to add to your Notting Hill obsession, I’ve popped in some of the movie quotes throughout the blog (definitely not a superfan).
William : I live in Notting Hill. You live in Beverly Hills. Everyone in the world knows who you are, my mother has trouble remembering my name.
Anna Scott : I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.Notting Hill
The travel bookshop sits pretty right off of Portobello Road at 13 Blenheim Crescent, London W11 2EE. The exteriors are hard to miss, with bright blue exteriors that match Hugh Grant’s infamous blue door (located at 280 Westbourne Park Road).
How to get to the Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill, London
The Travel bookshop in Notting Hill is around a 10-minute walk from Notting Hill Gate station. One of the easiest ways to reach Notting Hill Gate (or anywhere in London really) is Citymapper. I rely on it endlessly and if you just pop in “Notting Hill Gate” you’ll get there without a hitch.
William : Would you like something to eat? Something to nibble? Apricots, soaked in honey? Quite why, no one knows, because it stops them tasting like apricots and makes them taste like honey… and if you wanted honey, you could just… buy honey. Instead of apricots. But nevertheless they’re yours if you want them.Notting Hill
When to go & What to buy at the Notting Hill Travel Bookshop
Of course, due to it’s popularity, any time you go has the potential to be crowded. But I’d suggest going in the morning and pairing it a brunch in Notting Hill (Farm Girl Cafe if you’re wondering).
Although the shop originally exclusively sold travel books, they expanded into nearly every area of publishing (though travel is still the main focus). They’ve also got tons of beautiful gifts to get your hands on if you’ve got a super fan waiting at home. So in addition to recapturing your movie moments — I’d definitely suggest buying something while you’re here.
Notting Hill Bookshop Scene
I’m assuming if you’re reading this blog that you’re just as well-versed in this rom-com as I am. But just in case — here’s the bookshop scene. In the movie, Will (Hugh Grant) works in the travel bookshop where he meets Anna (Julia Roberts) a Hollywood Actress from America visiting London for a movie shoot.
As all rom-com’s go, one thing leads to another, they fall in love, the end. But there’s something about the movie and the bookshop that’s timeless. And if you’re a London lover like me, a visit to the Notting Hills Travel Bookshop will give you all the London feels again.
Anna Scott: You know what they say about men with big feet
William : No, I don’t, actually. What’s that?
Anna Scott : Big feet… large shoes.Notting Hill
A Quick History on the Travel Bookshop, Notting Hill
Before the bookshops claim to fame the Notting Hill Travel Bookshop was just a charming local bookshop on the streets of West London. The director Richard Curtis used to pass the bookshop all the time, promptly inspiring him for the set of the film. But when asked to use it as the filming location for Notting Hill…they refused. So he ended up recreating the bookshop on set, and the rest is history.
Although the filming location took place elsewhere the location was quickly recognized as the heart-throb central it was — and thousands of fans flocked to the shop each year for their Notting Hill moment (me very included).
The store ended up closing in 2011 (after a long campaign to keep it going). However it was bought by The Book Warehouse after the Travel Bookshop owner Simon Gaul realized his children weren’t interested in continuing the family-business. But the Book Warehouse made sure to keep the spirit of rom-com alive with the Notting Hill odes and the name, The Notting Hill Bookshop.
To clear up some quick confusion for my movie fans — the bookshop in the actual film is called “The Travel Book Company”, but the real store it’s based on was called “The Travel Bookshop”. Glad we got that out the way.
Anna Scott: Can I stay for a while?
William: You can stay forever.Notting Hill
Proposals at the Bookshop
My rom-com heart melted when I found out just how many proposals take place in the bookshop! The owners told press that many couples come to drop on one knee and they even help with the planning process sometimes to make it extra special (definitely not giving you ideas).
But if you can believe it — people really do come from as far as America (hey!) to Asia and Australia to make their Notting Hill I do’s.
Favorite heart-melting stories include….
- A couple from China having their wedding photos taken inside the shop (goals)
- A German couple combining Notting Hill and Harry Potter sneaking an engagement ring inside one of the books (I know he got brownie points)
- An American couple coming back to the Notting Hill bookshop for their wedding anniversary (goals…and anniversary goals!)
Oh God, this is one of those key moments in life, when it’s possible you can be really, genuinely cool – and I’m failing 100%. I absolutely and totally and utterly adore you and I think you’re the most beautiful woman in the world and more importantly I genuinely believe and have believed for some time now that we can be best friends. What do YOU think?Honey, Notting Hill
Exploring the Notting Hill Area + Other Film Locations (Market Scene, Blue Door etc.)
If you’re in the Notting Hill area it’d be a waste not to see the rest of the area. Personally, I suggest taking advantage of Portobello Market and popping into a pub like the Churchill Arms. And of course, grabbing a fresh read at the travel bookshop (you know… “just in case browsing turned to buying”).
If the Notting Hill fandom moves ya, here are all the addresses of the film locations for the movie.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m off to watch Notting Hill for the 11th time.