As a born and bred Londoner, Jemima Jones knows her way around the capital, especially when it comes to its foodie hot spots – she co-founded the boutique catering company Tart London in 2012 with her business partner Lucy Carr-Ellison, where their clients have included Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and Sienna Miller, and the duo opened their own restaurant, Wild by Tart, in Belgravia in 2019. Jemima Jones now splits her time between London and Somerset with her husband Ben Goldsmith and their three children. With six years living in Notting Hill under her belt, she reveals her favourite spots in the buzzy west London neighbourhood.
Notting Hill has some of the best restaurants in London. My absolute favourite is my close friend Jackson Boxer’s place, Orasay. It’s a beautiful space – the lighting was done by Rose Uniacke and it has these incredible natural wood floorboards. The food is delicious too, all seasonal, British and locally sourced. There are dishes that feel quite English, but then there are others that mix lots of different spices, like spicy Szechuan crab noodles with seaweed from the Western Isles. It’s not pretentious but it’s also not rustic – this is somewhere to go for a special meal. Jackson is so passionate about what he does – you’ll be eating and he’ll come out and talk you through the food, discussing the beetroot and how you can taste the mud from the farm. You get a real experience when you go there, which I think people want more and more now.
For a romantic meal, Osteria Basilico is an old favourite of mine – Ben and I used to go all the time when we were first dating. It’s on the same street as Orasay and there are a few Italian restaurants along that stretch, but I think it’s the best of all of them. They’ve always got the same specials on, and there’s one in particular – the pappardelle with ragu – that I always order. Everything there is really fresh and they do a griddled squid dish that’s very similar to how the River Café does it, but a much more generous portion. It just feels like that really cosy, romantic local restaurant that everyone wants in their neighbourhood.
My favourite secret local spot is the Tin Shed on All Saints Road. It’s not fancy or anything, just a little local spot run by lovely people, but it reminds me of somewhere in the West Village, from when I used to live in New York. When I first moved to Notting Hill I lived across the road from it, so I’d wake up and go there for breakfast. Another favourite breakfast spot is the Golborne Deli – it’s a little more rough and ready, but you can get amazing scrambled eggs and crispy streaky bacon with a cup of builder’s tea. It’s more down to earth than a lot of other places in Notting Hill, and they sell great produce too.
There are a few new openings in the area that I’m really excited by. The first is Layla Bakery on Portobello Road, which serves great sourdough – that’s something that was missing from the area before they opened up. Klear Labs on Golborne Road only opened last year but it’s already become one of my favourites places to go for coffee. They’re really careful about where they source everything from – all their dairy is from Neal’s Yard and their coffee is from Assembly Coffee in Brixton. I’m also a big fan of Sumi, which serves incredible sushi. When you sit down, someone comes around with a tray of beautiful little ceramic bowls, and you can pick which one you want to have your soy sauce in. It’s the little touches that really set it apart.
Some of my best evenings have started off at The Cow pub. I love going there for a pint of prawns and a plate of oysters, and in the winter, you have to order their fish stew – to me, it’s literally the fish stew of dreams. I always go there in the lead up to Christmas and order a big bowl of it. If I’m looking for a debauched night out, I’ll go to the Globe. It still has that dive bar feel, which is missing in so many parts of London now. You can get up to whatever you want to down there in that basement. If I’m in the mood for an elegant night with some cocktails, I’ll go to Gold. The upstairs space is just so beautifully done.
When it comes to tracking down vintage fashion pieces, you can’t beat Portobello Market. I’ve found so many amazing things there over the years and I love trawling through the stalls on a Friday. If I’m looking for a special vintage piece, I’ll head to Rellik on Golborne Road. This is somewhere to come when you need something incredible for an event, like a couture piece from the Seventies. I also love popping into The Cross – I’ve been going there for years but recently I’ve noticed their offering has become more bespoke. There’s someone downstairs who’ll embroider your initials onto whatever you buy from there, which I love. It’s a great place to go to find beautiful clothes from interesting designers or presents for friends – I always walk out with something.
Golborne Road is the place to go for great furniture and interiors shops – whenever I walk along there my eye is always caught by something. One of my favourites is the Cloth Shop – it’s this wonderful little family-run store that sells reels of gorgeous fabrics, as well as beautiful washed linen napkins and cushions. I went there the other day to buy some old reels of textured French linen with this lovely brushed quality. I’m going to use it to make some new tablecloths.
When I want somewhere to get away from it all, I’ll go and watch a film at the Electric Cinema – it’s one of my favourite cinemas in London. The building itself is just so beautiful, and I love that they have a bar at the back so you can take drinks in with you. It’s the perfect place to dive down deep into a few glasses of red wine and sob your way through a movie. I also really like that you get a cashmere blanket and a footstool when you go there – you can basically just go to sleep!
The Space NK on Westbourne Grove is one of the best beauty shops in all of London. They used to have the most incredible spa there, at the back of the store, where I would always go for facials. Not that many people knew about it, but it was genuinely one of the best spas I’ve found in the city. I haven’t found anywhere else as good to replace it since it closed, but the shop is still my favourite place to pick up brilliant make-up and skincare.
The most effective workout I’ve ever done was at Bootcamp Pilates near Royal Oak. I’m not someone who goes to the gym but I do like a good exercise class, and this is the best one I’ve found. It’s reformer Pilates but the teachers are really militant and make sure you’re getting stuff done, and there’s loud music pumping. The classes are only 50 minutes but you really go for it while you’re there. After just a couple of weeks of going twice a week you notice a big difference.