Sunday, August 28, 2016

SHOTS FROM LONDON (Part 7): The House with the Blue Door

(This is the last part of our series on the London trip, and i hope everyone had as much fun reading these posts as i had visiting it. Cheers!)

If you are like me, a huge fan of the Julia Roberts / Hugh Grant romantic comedy "Notting Hill", then a stroll around the Notting Hill area is definitely in order. 

First of all, Notting Hill is definitely quite a posh part of town. Lots of huge mansions and handsome flats here.

It's quite easy to search online for 'self-guided walking tours' of Notting Hill, should one wish to see where various spots where the film was shot. And that's exactly what i did on my last day in London, before taking the evening flight back to my home country.

Among the highlights were: 

This was Max and Bella's house in the movie, located at 91 Lansdowne Road. Diehards will recall that Will Thacker (Hugh Grant's character) surprised his friends by bringing Anna Scott (the famous American actress played by Julia Roberts) as his dinner date for the house party. 

The main commercial strip is Portobello Road, well known for its weekend antique market. It is worth exploring, with interesting stores; and an inordinate number of coffee shops and gourmet burger bars. 

Here's the travel bookshop where Will and  his funny assistant Martin worked, located right on this main street:

Well, of course it wasn't a travel bookshop in real life. It's actually a gift shop selling trinkets that hapless tourists fall for.

The highlight of the walk was to check out the famous house with the blue door, where Will lived. If one recalls, he accidentally bumped into Anna on the street, spilling orange juice all over her shirt. He pointed at the blue door, and offered to take her there, where she could change clothes and be back on the street in a "non-prostitute sense." Then they had their "surreal but nice" conversation, and kissed, and ...okay okay, i'm not gonna narrate the whole movie ;-D 

 Write this down. It’s located at 280 Westbourne Park Road. And if you look at the area map closely (see above photo), it is actually featured there.

To digress a bit: The house with the blue door was actually owned by the movie's screenwriter, Richard Curtis. He eventually sold it (after its value went up after the movie, so you could say the movie was the world's most expensive and elaborate real property advertisement ;-D). The new owners got tired of tourists (like me) who search for it, and painted the door black (boo!) and removed the number (boo!). Eventually, they changed heart (cheers!) and now it is back to its familiar blue colour. 

Ah, back to our stroll. Westbourne Park Road intersects Portobello Road, so it is quite easy to find. Here's a tip: It's the junction where there are three coffee shops: 

The house is something like ten steps away from the Starbucks. And here it is. Wallah!

Don't knock, though. Will and Anna are in the US, and Spike is having a hot tub bath. 

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