♡ LIFE ON THE GOLBORNE ROAD ♡
I couldn’t think of another London street I would rather be living and cooking on - so convenient for forgotten ingredients, with fruit and veg bang outside the door and the old fashioned string of shops – the butcher, the fishmonger, the baker and the post office. And it’s hard not to be inspired by the Moroccan street food smells and people eating on the streets.
The Golborne Road W10, right at the top of the Portobello Road, is famous for antiques, custard tarts and its infamous tower, now immortalised on countless cushions, mugs and plates.
Time Out calls Golborne “Ladbroke Grove’s shabby cousin” - but it’s a shabbiness and charm that gives Notting Hill an edge. The area was put on the map during the Industrial Revolution, with the creation of the Grand Union Canal and Great Western Railway in 1837. After being heavily bombed in WW2, it became a hub for immigrants from Spain, Portugal and of course, the Caribbean, due to cheap housing. Many of their businesses remain – thankfully the likes of Accessorize and All Saints have not snuck up here.
The Trellick tower was completed in the seventies by Erno Goldfinger, a prominent but notorious architect. He was one of the leaders of the Brutalist movement and allegedly not the nicest of blokes. My favourite fact about the Trellick Tower is that Goldfinger tried to sue Fleming for libel, after naming his Bond villain after him. The similarities between the fictional and real Goldfingers were unmistakable – both were car-loving womanisers with Communist leanings.
They did finally reach an agreement that the fictional Goldfinger must only ever be written down as Auric Goldfinger. But so incensed was Fleming at having to curtail to the architect’s demands, that he tried to change the character’s name to Goldprick. He failed. By the way, don’t be tempted to try sneak in and check out the view after a night out … there be scary security guards who will chase you down a million stairs!
I’ve been most inspired by the people and ingredients I've met, particularly the Moroccan shop Le Maroc and the tiny independent Cash n Carry selling every single grain you’ve never heard of. Whenever I freak out because I've forgotten a crucial ingredient, I run across to Moustapha in Le Maroc and come away with yet another new ingredient to play with. Some of the recipes I've discovered, thanks to random purchases in Le Maroc and the Cash n Carry are in my next post (Golborne Discoveries).
Driving home a different route one night, tucked away behind Golborne Road, I discovered the headquarters of Sally Clarke, West London's top bakery. I just had been worrying about where to find the best bread for my sandwiches, so it was pretty fortuitous. I'm now a daily fixture at the crack of dawn collecting my posh baguettes.
If you’re reading this and you’ve never been up here, whatcha waiting for?!
Start your trip with a coffee and banana bread in Lowry & Baker, followed by the yellowest of scrambled eggs in the Golborne deli. Shop for furniture in Phoenix or Bazar, buy some mouldy carrots from the blind grocers of E. Price & Sons, grab a vintage frock in the super cool Found & Vision or check out the amazing lace in Jane Bourvis. Don’t forget to pop into Lisboa to stock up on custard tarts for tea, and finish yourself off with long lunch in Pizza East.