Notting Hill (1999)
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Director Richard Curtis had the idea for the movie Notting Hill (1999) when he was a bachelor. His social life was limited and so every week he used to drive down to dinner with some friends. During the journey he would fantasise that next week he would turn up for dinner with either Madonna or Lady Diana. In his imagination he would turn over the possible reactions of his hosts and their other dinner guests. This scenario, of the surprise celebrity dinner guest, became the nucleus of the movie.
Corner of Portobello Road and Elgin Cresent. Hugh Grant is walking north on Portobello Road toward the Duke of Wellington public house at 179 Portobello Road.
Hugh Grant walks north on Portobello Road toward the Duke of Wellington public house (yellow building left of frame). Colville Terrace is out of frame to the right. The opening scene of Bullet to Bejing (1995) was shot at this junction.
The camera looks north down Portobello Road. Elgin Cresent is to the left and over Portobello Road is Colville Terrace. The Duke of Wellington public house has had a make-over and the shop on the corner over which the man lives is about to become a Kurt Geiger store.
The opposite view, looking south up Portobello Road, as if seated outside the Duke of Wellington bar. Portobello Road is center frame. 142 Portobello Road, used as 'the bookshop' is visible as the blue building just before the left hand side of Portobello Road disappears around the corner. Elgin Cresent is right, Colville Terrace is visible left.
201 Portobello Road. The read and white brick building with the small brown canopy right of frame is the Salvation Army office.
Portobello Road, looking north toward the junction of Westbourne Grove. This is where the antiques markets are situated, underneath these buildings. Presently (2010) the antiques markets are under threat because landlords are receiving offers of higher rent from high-street retailers.
Golborne Road , right at the top of Portobello Road
The Warwick public house.
The Blue Door: Junction of Westbourne Park Road and Portobello Road
280 Westbourne Park Road, the blue door.
The blue door: This time open. You can see that there is no house inside. The passageway leads into the garden and the house is around to the left into the garden. There was only one scene which used the door when it was open and that was shot in the threshold of the door. The other scenes which show the interior of the door were all shot at Shepperton Studios. The exteriors visible through the windows were painted mattes. The real house, through this door is a converted chapel which probably pre-dates all the other buildings around it and may have been part of the large convent and convent gardens which occupied what is now the block on the other side (south side) of Westbourne Park Road between Westbourne Park Road and Blenheim Cresent. The convent building was where the large block of apartments now is, on the corner of Ladbroke Road and some of the fruit trees from the garden still exist in the gardens along Blenheim Cresent.
280 Westbourne Park Road. This photograph is taken from just to the West of the entrance door and entrance tunnel. It shows the interior space of the 'gardens' which the square of houses enclose. The white building visible is the house to which the blue door gives access. You have to walk through the gardens to the house. Originally the house was a convent building.
Portobello Road junction of Elgin Cresent.
The 'bookshop' at 142 Portobello Road, which was until recently (2014) a shoe shop but is now a tourist souvenir shop. Portobello Road is very busy on a Saturday but empty the rest of the week.
The arch was constructed for the movie. The gate leads into a schoolyard. The shop used as the location is to the right of frame. Kingsland butchers shop closed in 2012
As of 2014: 142 Portobello Road, the 'bookshop'. South is right of frame, north left of frame. The gates lead to a schoolyard.
142 Portobello Road, at the junction of Lonsdale Road. You can see the position of the 'bookshop' next to the small lane which runs down to the schoolyard. If you are walking down Portobello Road, you see Lonsdale Road and the café-delicatessen on the corner just before you reach the bookshop, 142 Portobello Road.
Portobello Road, between Westbourne Grove and Westbourne Park Road, showing the main locations used in Notting Hill (1999)
Portobello Road between Westbourne Grove and Westbourne Park Road, showing the location of the blue door and the shop
Hugh Grant has purchased coffee at 303 Westbourne Park Road, and is walking past an empty shop which is now Coffee Republic on Portobello Road.
This scene is the only scene where the real blue doorway is used. The other scenes are shot in an interior created in the studio and the exterior is a painted matte or a facade.
Westbourne Park Road, looking north. Portobello Road crosses Westbourne Park Road, left of frame.
Looking out of the window of the bookshop: Buses do not run down Portobello Road.
The tower of St Peters, Kensington Park Road. This is the reason why this location was used for the roof scene: So that the cameraman would have something in the frame. The house they are standing upon actually fronts Portobello Road.
In the background the white rooves are on north side of Westbourne Grove(/Ladbroke Gardens)
The extensive roof light is in the main hall of Twentieth Century Theatre , the entrance of which is on Westbourne Grove, but extends sideways in an 'L' shape under the feet of the actors onto 113 Portobello road. The large 1960s block in the background is on Kensington Park Road. 1960s blocks around this area are either the result of empty plots being built on or the result of a stray Luftwaffe bomb. One hopes that the Luftwaffe will return soon.
The celestory in the roof to the right of frame is the celestory you can see when you look upwards within 20thC Theatre.
The white roof in the background is the roof of the public house which is on the east side of Portobello Road, junction of Westbourne Grove.
Roof of 20thC Theatre looking across Portobello Road to the Earl of Lonsdale public house
The Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly.
Ritz Hotel, Lobby.
Lansdowne Road. The back gardens of these houses enter into Rosmead Gardens.
Lansdowne Road 91, just to the right of the rear of the Mini
Same view. Lansdowne Road, Notting Hill, north side.
Rosmead Gardens, West entrance.
Rosmead Gardens, showing the location of the gate on Rosmead Road
Most of Notting Hill is laid out around communal gardens. Any public space in London quickly fills up with winos, prostitutes, garbage, junkies, Gipsies, et cetera and so the gardens are surrounded with high railings topped with barbed wire, which means they are impossible to enter. For the movie, the barbed wire was removed and blocks were placed for the actors to stand upon. The metal gate and railings you see in the movie have since been replaced (2015). Whether any one thought to preserve the gate or not I have no idea. When the movie was made in 1999 houses cost around a million pounds per bedroom which means that there is a high concentration of wealth in any one particular street. Lansdowne Road which runs along the south side of Rosmead gardens has its own private security patrol during hours of darkness and so does Elgin Cresent. Disputes between neighbors can develop into million dollar law suits. The present fashion for expansion of houses via multi-level basements has meant that there is a raft of litigation across London's upscale residential areas. The press make out that the movie Notting Hill (1999) was the cause of house prices rising in the area but by 1999, house prices had already risen to levels seen elsewhere in London's upscale residential districts.
By the garden gate looking down Rosmead Gardens to Elgin Cresent
Rosmead Gardens looking south up to Lansdowne Road
The director has mounted lights in Elgin Cresent to light the gap in the houses in order to add some background. The only gaps in the houses surrounding the garden are two gaps on the South side, which means that the couple have to be shown walking in the opposite direction to their direction of travel, which is from the West gate to the park bench and stone at the East end. The gap between the houses is the Easternmost gap, which is between 79 Elgin Cresent (on the right) and 81 Elgin Cresent (on the left).
Ritz Hotel, Piccadilly. This particular (west) elevation of the Ritz Hotel, on Green Park, is pock-marked by shell fragments from WWII Luftwaffe bomb.
Lansdowne Road north end looking toward Arundel Gardens. Rosmead Gardens runs along behind this line of houses to the left of frame.
Corner Kensington Park Road and Elgin Cresent. There are several decent restaurants just to the right of frame down Kensington Park Road. The shop frame left was a Laundromat and is now (2011) a real estate agent. The shop frame right was a toy shop and is now (2011) a brasserie. Notting Hill started the process of gentrification in the mid 1980s and the tenants of shops have reflected the change in the composition of the residents.
Kensington Park Road junction of Elgin cresent, showing Hugh Grant's walk, east, on the north side of Elgin Cresent, to the newspaper shop.
This newsagents on Elgin Cresent is still there (2014)
280 Westbourne Park Road and "The Blue Door", which overlook the north side of the road where Nu-Line plumbers are still present (2014). Westbourne Park Road as a line of latitude marks the absolute northern rim of desirable Notting Hill, just as the line of longitude described by Chepstow Road/Chepstow Place marks the eastern most extremity. North, beyond Westbourne Park Road, is 'Injun Country'.
Back on the roof of Twentieth Century Theatre , corner of Westbourne Grove (south side) and 113 Portobello Road. The rear of St Peters, Kensington Park Road is visible, frame right.
Portobello Road: Roof of 20th Century Theatre, looking North West over Westbourne Grove
The roof of 20thC Theatre looking toward Westbourne Grove
The row of roofs frame right are the rear of the houses facing Ladbroke Gardens/Westbourne Grove.
The houses of singer Adele, model Elle MacPherson, newsanchor Jeremy Paxman and designer Stella McCartney are all within 500m. Elle MacPherson recently moved to Florida. Adele moved within Notting Hill (she used to live opposite Elle MacPherson) and Stella McCartney has moved from Westbourne Park Road to more central Notting Hill). Ruby Wax, Rachel Johnson (sister of Boris Johnson) and Peter Gabriel also live in Notting Hill. Rik Mayall and Andrew Lloyd-Webber are former residents.
During filming, the camera was mounted on a camera crane which was parked in Portobello Road below because the roof of 20thC Theatre is not strong enough to support a camera on a tripod. Items of furniture and greenery were placed on the roof for the scene. On the day of filming, the antiques dealer who lived in the apartment next door decided that because he had not been 'consulted' he would play his stereo loud with his windows open. The film unit tried to persuade him to stop but he refused. Finally he made them write a huge check in favor of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. I am pleased to say that the Mills of God grind Slow but Sure and several years later he was bankrupted as the result of dealings with an expensive antique table which turned out to have a disputed provenance.
The Electric Cinéma , Portobello Road.
The 'bookshop' at 142 Portobello Road. This establishing shot (without any actors in it) was the only establishing shot which the producers had. It had to be used several times, which meant that the mother who is fastening the child's coat in the entrance to the schoolyard is still fastening the coat in every shot.
105 Golborne Road, corner of Bevington Road. Just beyond the telephone booth you can see the junction with Portobello Road
Golborne Road junction of Bevington Road, just off Portobello Road. Camera points south. The Panorama starts and ends on Goldborne Road, East (left) to West (right). Junction with Portobello Road is just right of frame.
South side of Ladbroke Gardens/Westbourne Grove entering Stanley Cresent, driving south. This location was used for a scene in Spectre (2015). Filming for this scene in the Bond movie took place on the weekend of 13/14 December 2014.
Driving south into Stanley Cresent. The roofs of the houses in Stanley Gardens are one of the few high points in central London where you can obtain a view out over the city in all directions.
Ladbroke Gardens (Westbourne Grove) into Stanley Cresent, into Stanley Gardens
On Stanley Cresent looking east along Stanley Gardens to St Peters , Kensington Park Road. This is the tower visible in the background during the roof scenes.
The Hyde Park Corner underpass, looking east along Piccadilly. The office of EON Productions is just on the left at 138 Piccadilly. You can see this stretch of road in the opening scenes of The Ipcress File (1968)
The Ritz Hotel , Piccadilly, looking west across Green Park.
East entrance of the Ritz Hotel .
Driving south, looking east off Haymarket down Griffin Street.
Exiting the Mall and Admiralty Arch into Trafalgar Square.
Admiralty Arch looking south west down the Mall.
East on Pall Mall. The church of St Martin's in the Fields is just visible left of frame.
On Pall Mall looking east past the Canadian High Commission into Trafalgar Square . St Martin's in the Fields is center left and the National Gallery frame left.
Entering Savoy Court which just off the Strand. Savoy Hotel directly behind the camera.
On the south side of Craven Hill Gardens was the Hotel Hempel which closed in 2013. The Hempel Hotel was a 'boutique' hotel which was built in four townhouses. It became a fashionable venue and people like Michael Jackson would hire entire floors of the hotel in classic 1960s rock-star style. The hotel has now been converted back into apartments and houses but there was an auction of the contents, fixtures and fittings of the hotel which were all 'designer'. All the garden squares in Notting Hill are privately owned by the houses on the respective square but events such as wedding receptions and garden parties are held in the gardens.
Craven Hill Gardens
The Hempel Hotel visible in the background on the south side of Craven Hill Gardens
01:54:17 The children's slide on the south side of Rosmead Gardens looking north to Elgin Cresent.
Rosmead Gardens East end looking North West toward Elgin Cresent.
Rosmead Gardens. The bench seat was placed their for the movie but the old stone is still in the same location.
The view from the east end of Rosmead Gardens looking at the location of the stone and the bench, which are in the distance, center frame.
DIRECTIONS: From Notting Hill Gate Underground Station: As you rise to the ticket hall in Notting Hill Gate Underground Station north is to your right as you continue west. At the end of the ticket hall turn to the right and you will come to a paired staircase which runs west-east. You need to continue west. At the head of these stairs you are at the surface and looking west toward New York, down Holland Park Avenue. London and Peking are behind you, to the east. Within a few meters you will come to a large road junction where Holland Park Avenue continues toward New York and Pembridge Road arrives from the North. Turn right into Pembridge Road and stay on the right hand side (Do not head off down the much broader Kensington Park Road which heads off north west toward a church). You will continue for approx three hundred meters down Pembridge Road to the north. After a few hundred meters down a narrow street (Pembridge Road) you will reach the junction of Portobello Road which is to your left, on the left hand side of the road. A public house occupies the corner. After this Pembridge Road broadens out and continues in a long right hand curve until it is pointing directly east down into Westbourne Grove.
When the movie Notting Hill (1999) was released the entire wall of both platforms in the underground station carried the same poster of the actress playing Anna Scott, Julia Roberts, in an advertisement for a major cosmetics manufacturer.
You enter Portobello Road which has a public house at its corner. The first section of Portobello Road is a narrow residential street. The rear of the large 1920s mansion blocks on Kensington Park Road are visible to your left. George Orwell's house is on your right. You come to the junction with Chepstow Villas. Across this junction you enter Portobello Road proper. Appearing on your right after 100m is Alice's antique shop which appeared in The Italian Job (1969) and Paddington (2014) and Paddington 2 (2017). Starting on your left are the underground antiques galleries. Before you reach the end of this section, up to your left above the side entrance to Twentieth Century Theatre at 113 Portobello Road is the roof used for the roof shots where Hugh Grant rehearses Julia Robert's lines with her. The next junction is with Westbourne Grove. Negozio Classico is on the left hand corner. To your left, there are more under ground antiques stalls on either side of Westbourne Grove. To your right after a short section of road between two mansion blocks is the line of shops which used to be antique shops when the movie was filmed but are now upscale ladies clothing boutiques punctuated with a couple of cafes, restaurants, delis, such as "Tom's", run by the son of Terrance Conran, and "202 Westbourne Grove". Westbourne Grove continues all the way to Bayswater and Queensway and is lined with restaurants and shops. Continue down Portobello Road a short distance to the junction with Lonsdale Road, off to your right, which has a deli on its corner. On your left are the thick of the underground antiques markets which you can see in the panning shots from Hugh Grant's bookshop window. On your right is the 'bookshop' used in the movie, next to the lane which leads to the schoolyard.
Geographers A-Z map of Notting Hill and Bayswater circa 1980. The principal locations used in Notting Hill (1999) are inked in in blue
- Sara Tiara Millinery
- http://lunetiervintage.com/ - Vintage and rare sunglasses
- Jess Collet Milliner http://www.jesscollettmilliner.com/ Studio 4, 18 All Saints Road
- Santa Maria Shirtmakers - 55 Ossington Street W2 4LY.
- The French food stall http://unenormandealondres.co.uk/ a few stalls down from the Kurt Geiger shop at the junction of Elgin Cresent. The Savoyard sausages were bought at one of the Paris markets and the quality was decidedly agricultural compared to the Savoyard sausage you can purchase in Haute Savoie (notably La Cheminee at Chamonix ). The prices were a lot lower so the sausages would do for those suffering serious withdrawal symptoms.
- Spanish food store R Garcia at 246-248-250 Portobello Road. There are several Portugese provision stores on Golborne Road.
Map of Portobello Antiques Market
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+ SEE ALSO
- Links for use in London
- Performance (1971) - The exterior of the house
- Blow Up (1966) - Pottery Lane and Princedale Road
- SPECTRE (2015)
+ EXTERNAL LINKS
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ - Film Producer moves back to Notting Hill
+ RESTAURANTS AND CAFÉS AROUND PORTOBELLO ROAD
- Make sure you avoid restaurants over at Queensway
- AT NOTTING HILL GATE
- - http://www.geales.com/ - located at Notting Hill on Farmer Street just behind (south) the Gate Cinema
- - Damaria Londra - Old style taxi drivers 'Caf' located at Notting Hill Gate, opposite Pembridge Road
- - Recipease - At Notting Hill Gate on the corner of Pembridge Road
- - Pizza Metro at Notting Hill Gate, junction of Campden Hill Road
- - Black and Blue Restaurant, - located on Kensington Church Street, at the Notting Hill End
- - Kensington Place - www.kensingtonplace-restaurant.co.uk , - located on Kensington Church Street, at the Notting Hill End
- - Kensington Wine Rooms - located on Kensington Church Street, at the Notting Hill End
- ON PORTOBELLO ROAD
- - Negozio Classica www.negozioclassica.co.uk, on Portobello Road, junction with Westbourne Grove
- - Trailer Happiness Cocktail Bar - Notable for its large collection of rum.
- - Duke of Wellington public house located at 179 Portobello Road corner of Elgin Cresent
- - The Electric Cinéma
- - Mike's Café - Good breakfast
- ON WESTBOURNE GROVE
- - Tom's Deli - www.newtoms.co.uk - Tom Conran, son of Terrence Conran , located on Westbourne Grove
- - www.202london.com -202 located on Westbourne Grove, after junction with Colville Road
- - Otto Pizza http://www.ottopizza.co.uk/ 6 Chepstow Road
- - Tiroler Hut Austrian Restaurant, located on Westbourne Grove (Queensway end)
- WEST OF PORTOBELLO ROAD
- - The Ladbroke Arms, located on Ladbroke Grove, corner of Ladbroke Road.
- - Julie's at the Clarendon Cross, Notting Hill.
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