Portobello Saturdays

Saturdays were always about going for a wander up to Portobello Market. These days with one thing or another I don't go as often as I'd like. So last Saturday I left the husband and Matilda at home, took a couple of hours break and hotfooted it over to the market known the world over. The tourists didn't disappoint, crowds of them taking photos outside Notting Hill Bookshop, made famous by Notting Hill the movie.

One of my favourite bookshops in London, I can spend hours here daydreaming of exotic climes and dishes.

Then I hop over to the Spice shop for all those recipes I've been fantasising about! You can find anything in this teeny shop - it's a cook's paradise!

I can never resist popping into this Toyshop to reminisce about my childhood. I bought a beautiful wooden animal stamp set for Matilda for Christmas.

Portobello has such a friendly vibe, music blares from the stalls, people simply come and hang out for day chatting to friends, neighbours. I spent a lot of time hanging out here as a teenager, especially when I began my Portuguese Theatre Group at the Royal Court Young People's Theatre, based there many moons ago. I love the atmosphere, the variety of stalls ranging from prepared food from across the world, the fruit and veg stalls, the jewellery stalls, the Antiques and Second Hand stalls to the obviously 'fallen from the back of a lorry' stalls that all make for a vibrant ambience. As a family we often went up to the Golborne Road to the Portuguese Deli and Cafe, I would sneak off with my dad for a wander down to the market, whilst my Mum filled her basket with Salt Cod, Chorico, Parma Ham and my favourite Portuguese Porridge.

And this has got to be one of the most inspiring bookshops in London, they have a great collection of children's books, art books and postcards. I can never come out empty handed.

Aren't these the most beautiful roses in London? Of course a few made their way into my basket.

The area has always been a real melting pot of nationalities, firstly by the Caribbean community, then quickly followed by the Portuguese and Spanish, then the North Africans. Now, there is something for everyone in Portobello from the, sadly disappearing, Independent shops to the Antique Markets to the Exotic Spice and food shops on Golborne Road. Despite the arrival of larger chain shops, the market does retain its bohemian feel where youngsters dress up in their trendiest outfits to go meet their friends and where fashion designers can still be inspired by the London street fashion. I, for one, will never stop going to Portobello to get my fix though I do worry that it's unique personality may be become a little lost.