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Notting Hill, London

England's insider take:

Once the byword for bohemian, Notting Hill is simply posh and aspirational now. It encompasses Portobello Road and its famous market—whose northern extremities past the Westway to Golborne Road still retain vestiges of seediness—but Westbourne Park Road and Lonsdale Road are as much the centers of gravity these days, with expensive, desirable designer wares behind every vitrine and superbly dressed moms wheeling infants. Lining the confusingly curvy streetlets are massive stucco wedding cake-style Edwardian and Victorians, many with private communal gardens secreted behind. North of Westbourne Park Road, smaller brick terraced houses predominate. The weekend market is still worth a visit—better for bargains on Friday mornings—and the huge Notting Hill Carnival that takes place on the Bank Holiday at the end of August is a phenomenon where the entire neighborhood momentarily reverts to the Jamaican-bohemian enclave it was 30 years ago.

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