Notting Hill, United Kingdom

Notting Hill attracts hip city-breakers for its mix of bohemian charm and west London gloss. The riotously colourful Portobello Road market (held each Saturday) is full of life and a must-visit if you find yourself in need of Indian shawls, hand-carved bowls or antique silver trinkets. Just one street away, Westbourne Grove has boutiques of a posher persuasion; the whitewashed fronts of Joseph, Daylesford Organic and Aesop are reassuringly refined – the locals would accept no less. For brunch, head to all-organic café Farm Girl, where head chef Benoit’s vegan bacon – made from coconut, of all things – is almost better than the real thing (and certainly better for your waistline). The best time to visit this iconic borough is during August, when the Notting Hill Carnival shakes and shimmies into the neighbourhood.

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