See and do
Sure, it's touristy, but there are some great finds amongst the bric-a-brac and old wares at the Portobello Markets. Get there early to beat the big crowds and grab a great British pub lunch after you've snapped up that antique clock, vintage vase or pair of Grensons. The main antiques market is on Saturdays. Portobello Rd, Notting Hill. Mon-Sat.
Notting Hill is littered with great shops and over on Westbourne Grove, you'll find cookshop Daylesford, a top spot for a coffee or an apron. 208 Westbourne Grove. +44 20 7313 8050.
There’s a world of retro consumption at the Museum of Brands, Packaging and Advertising – graphic designers find it particularly inspiring. 2 Colville Mews, Lonsdale Rd. £2.25-£6.50. Tue-Sun.
Sloane Square is only four stops on the circle line tube away and it’s there you'll find the Saatchi Gallery, a must-visit in West London. Right now, check out contemporary Russian artists inGaiety is the Most Outstanding Feature of the Soviet Union (running until Jun 9, 2013). King's Rd. +44 20 7811 3081.
Eat and drink
You'll be hard pressed to find another suburb in London that has as many great pubs as Notting Hill. Cheap beer and good grub is never more than a few blocks away. Make sure you score a table outside at the Westbourne (101 Westbourne Park Villas, +44 20 7221 1332) and head upstairs for a cocktail at the Oak (137 Westbourne Park Rd, +44 20 7221 3355).
Order up some pad Thai at the Walmer Castle (58 Ledbury Rd, +44 20 7229 4620), have a Sunday roast at the Prince Bonaparte (80 Chepstow Rd, +44 20 7313 9491, theprincebonapartew2.co.uk/) and catch an acoustic sesh at the Elgin (96 Ladbroke Grove, +44 20 7229 5663).
Granger & Co is the London outlet of Bill Granger’s Bills empire. You'll need to get in early for breakfast or brunch to get your ricotta hotcake fix along with the best soy flat white in Notting Hill. 175 Westbourne Grove. +44 20 7229 9111. Across the road from the Westbourne, Crazy Homies serves up the great Mexican. Score a table downstairs and not long after you've downed that melting pork picadillo quesadilla, you'll be in the middle of a dancefloor with a lagerita in hand. 125 Westbourne Park Rd. +44 20 7727 6771.
At Pizza East Portobello, you'll get top dishes like the San Daniele pizza as well as a wine list that includes some affordable gems from Italy, like the Montepulciano d’Abruzzo. 310 Portobello Rd. +44 20 8969 4500. Post-dinner Hemingway Daiquiris are to be had at Trailer Happiness, the downright best tiki den on the planet. With your glass of goodness, you'll be served some old-school hip hop and a sans-attitude cool crowd. 177 Portobello Rd. +44 20 7313 4644.
At the Portobello Star, head upstairs to the small, private bar where Monkey Shoulder Rob Roy's are the call. 171 Portobello Rd. +44 20 7229 8016. For a spicy Bloody Mary that will cure any hangover, take a six-minute cab ride down to Richard Branson's Roof Gardens in South Kensington, a bar and restaurant that recently played host to London's freakin'-cool ‘Love Brunch’ parties. 99 Kensington High St. +44 20 7368 3971.
Where to stay
A ten minute walk away in Bayswater, La Suite West is a hip, minimalist 80-room hotel highlighted by its spacious rooms. 41-51 Inverness Tce, London. +44 20 7313 8484. Down in Sloane Square, No.11 Cadogan Gardens features a modern take on quintessential British design that's a tad eccentric. 11 Cadogan Gdns, London. +44 20 7730 7000. If you want to splash out, the recently opened Bulgari Hotel in Knightsbridge is fashionably flash, Italian-style. 171 Knightsbridge.+44 20 7151 1010. Our bang-for-buck pick is the cosy Rydges Kensington Plaza Hotel 61 Gloucester Rd. +44 20 7584 8100.
Virgin Atlantic flies daily to London via Hong Kong. In economy, expect comfortable seats and great entertainment; in Premium it's about more legroom, recline and wider seats; while in Upper Class, it's not just the flatbeds and posh service you'll love – it's the onboard bar where you can pull up a stool and order a martini.
Know more, do more... For more great London ideas, visit www.timeout.com/london.