This English Destination Is Full Of Romantic Activities For A Valentine's Day Trip

As the famous 1999 romcom sharing its name can attest, Notting Hill might just be the most adorable district in all of England. Located in the western part of London, Notting Hill's quirky corner boutiques, cozy coffee houses, specialty chocolate shops, and eclectic bookstores (of course) make this a quiet and picturesque spot to celebrate the day of love. Portobello Road is the bohemian-style center of town where you'll want to spend most of your time. Strolling the cobblestone streets with rows of pastel storefronts draped in ivy, or meandering along the slow-streaming canal makes visitors wonder if Notting Hill was created specifically for an ideal Valentine's Day getaway.

While it may still be chilly in mid-February, why not bundle up and link arms with your sweetie in the cool, misty mornings? Visit Will Thacker's (Hugh Grant) famous blue door, or see the pink home that starred in that other famous romcom, "Love, Actually." While it may be difficult to visualize, Notting Hill wasn't always the upscale, fashionable district it is today. Pig farming and impoverished ranches once dotted the land of this district in the 1800s, before Notting Hill became the community of choice for the elite over a century later. Today, Notting Hill is a cultural hot spot for Londoners and tourists alike, perusing the streets of this unruffled, enchanting community. A short 10-minute cab ride from Hyde Park and just 20 minutes from Soho, visitors to Notting Hill enjoy a near-perfect location within the city of London. 

An idyllic Valentine's Day in Notting Hill

Exploring the secret communal gardens and getting lost among the cozy residential streets is only scratching the surface of what makes Notting Hill a quintessentially romantic European town. It's best to start the day on the earlier side to see, do, and taste all that Notting Hill has to offer.

Nothing says "I love you" quite like a box of chocolates. Melt Chocolates features "London's most luxurious chocolates," crafted with love in the heart of Notting Hill. From the outside, the white-trim exterior makes this shop look like something out of a fairytale, and stepping inside transports guests into a real-life version of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. From fresh bonbons to champagne chocolate truffles, there's a decadent dessert for every couple. For a special Valentine's Day treat, sign up for one of their chocolate-making courses, where professional chocolatiers guide you through the origins of London's premier chocolates and behind the scenes of the bean-to-bar process. Melt also offers additional immersive workshops to curate your perfect chocolate experience. Brownie-making courses, cacao ceremonies, sound healing ... Take your pick!

With its plush red leather chairs, miniature individual golden lamps, and retro-style decor, The Electric Cinema was practically built for romcoms. As one of the oldest working theaters in Britain, the cinema first opened its doors in 1910, a timeless remnant of British film culture. Grab a light bite before the show in the comfort of an oversized booth at the in-house bar or diner.

Stay on trend this Valentine's Day in Notting Hill

As if that weren't enough, try out Ottolenghi, a chic and trendy English bakery that's on-point with aesthetics and flavorful fare. The pastries displayed in the window are eye-catching, to say the least, beckoning couples in to share a piece of their freshly-baked strawberry tiramisu cake. Their in-house deli has mastered the art of crafting the perfect sando. The hardest part is deciding between a baguette or a croissant!

Of course, Notting Hill has its own cookbook shop, crammed with thousands of titles (8,000 to be exact) featuring tasty recipes and Pinterest-worthy photos detailing exactly how to prepare your love's favorite pastry. Foodie fiction, nutrition, chemistry, and biographies are just a few genres you'll find stuffed among the bookshelves in this adorable shop. If you're in the mood for a snack or a spot of tea, sit down to dine in Books for Cooks' cozy cafe.

After a long day exploring Notting Hill, settle in at the luxurious Portobello Hotel, one of London's most well-known boutique hotels. Beyond the elegant white exterior is a blend of old and new interior styles, embellished with cozy textures, one-of-a-kind decor pieces, and polished furniture reminiscent of the mid 1900s. The rooms in this hotel have been reserved by some of London's most iconic artists and celebrities. With luxurious amenities, four-poster beds, standing bathtubs, and their Cloud Twelve Spa, there's no better place to end your Valentine's Day in Notting Hill.