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Notting Hill Turns 20: What Makes London a Rom-Com Hotspot?

It’s one of those feel-good movies that everyone loves; Notting Hill always succeeds to melt our hearts every time. Next year, this classic romcom will turn 20 years old and in turn make us all feel old. The love affair between Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts had us all believing in the power of love and solidified London as the dream location for the perfect date. But the question is, why London, or more specifically, why West London? And does it still endure 20 years later? Let’s look back at this iconic movie and explore some of the most romantic places in London to take your beau on a perfect date.


London is for lovers

Many romcom movies in the 90s and 00s made London the place to be when it comes to modern romance. Think about it, Notting Hill, Love Actually, Bridget Jones and so many more were all based in London and to this day people are still going gaga over them, so much so that there is even a romcom themed tour of London for fans to take. It may be a bustling, fast-paced city which can be overwhelming, but there are plenty of places to stop at and enjoy a romantic moment together and remember your favourite romcom spots.

This is one of the main reasons why London remains one of the best date locations to live out your romcom dreams even 20 years after Notting Hill. London is a city which is both constantly changing and remaining totally classic, with many of its best venues popping up on the daily and old favourites standing the test of time.

Whether you have an anniversary to celebrate or want to make a great first impression on a date, if you’re in London there is so much to do. From the classic venues of Notting Hill to some of our favourite hidden gems, here is a comprehensive list of the best romantic spots to have you living out your own rom-com that should belong on the silver screen.


Coronet Cinema

One of the places Notting Hill helped put on the map is the Coronet Cinema, which is located just a short walk from the tube station. This is the place Hugh Grant’s character William watched the sci-fi movie Helix which Julia Roberts’ character starred in. Its name has now changed to The Print Room at the Coronet which has now been converted into a theatre, which was the original purpose of the building, and you can take your date along to a range of live performances whether it be a poetry reading, musical performance or an off-West-End show which is sure to impress!


If sushi is your thing and you have the cash to flash, Nobu is the place to be. It’s the same place that William and Julia Robert’s character, Anna, went for their dinner date in Notting Hill (and Anna gave those tourists an earful), and if that’s not enough to impress your date, then perhaps the fact that Robert DeNiro is a co-owner will sway them!

Myddelton House Gardens

It’s not just Notting Hill that has it all, there are plenty of places in London which are oozing with romantic overtones that will make you feel like you’re a million miles away from the crowds of the city. Myddelton House Gardens is a stunning place to take someone special and admire the beauty of nature together and be transported back in time. If you don’t have a special someone to take along, then don’t worry, dating in London with Badoo can help you find someone, friend or otherwise, to show off this hidden gem to so there’s no excuse not to visit!

Little Venice

You don’t need to fly out to Italy to feel like you’re on holiday; London has its own Little Venice which will make you forget all about the stresses of the big city. Just a short distance from Paddington tube station, Little Venice has everything you need to feel like you’re in a quaint village, and whether you take a boat tour down the canals, go for a bite to eat at the local cafes or simply go for a stroll, everything is 100 times more romantic!

Basement Sate

Speakeasy bars are still very much a thing and London is home to many you’ve probably never even been aware of. In Soho, behind a very nondescript door down a side street, you’ll find Basement Sate, a speakeasy which serves not only some of the best cocktails in the city but the best desserts. Their banoffee pie will change your life and the soothing mood lighting combined with delicious cocktails is sure to make sparks fly.

Portobello Road Market

This place is a Notting Hill gem which is the largest antiques market in the world where people from all around the world come to see what’s on offer. It’s a fun date idea to go along and fawn over beautiful pieces, laugh at the ugly ones and play pretend that you’re furnishing an imaginary mansion! The pretty colourful houses of Portobello Road are the perfect backdrop to the hustling and bustling market and make for a great background for a cute couple selfie.


Duck and Waffle

London is one of the most beautiful cities in the whole world, so make sure you get a great view over it by heading over to the Duck and Waffle. This restaurant is the highest 24/7 restaurant in London and you’ll be guaranteed to get some cracking shots for your Instagram account! Their speciality dish is, of course, the duck and waffle but they serve up a storm of lovingly cooked and totally delicious meals which are worth every penny. Just make sure to get your glad rags on as this place has a strict dress code and you won’t be let in if you aren’t dressed smartly.

Electric Cinema

Shoreditch isn’t short of trendy and unique places to go and the Electric Cinema is no exception. This cosy venue adds a level of luxury to any movie date with spacious and comfortable leather seats, lamp-lit drinks tables and even a cosy blanket if you want to cuddle up. They play everything from the latest box office releases to niche indie films so whatever your date’s tastes are, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Just a word of warning, the seats are so comfortable, you might just fall asleep and miss some of the film!

Victoria Park

London isn’t short of green spaces and one of the best in town has got to be Victoria Park, which you’ll find in South Hackney. Nothing can beat a warm summer day with a picnic on the grass, a boat ride on the lake or a stroll around the fields. Spanning across a massive 86.18 hectares, you’ll have a lot of exploring to do, and depending on what time of year it is, you may just stumble across one of the many festivals that are hosted there!

The Travel Bookshop

This article wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention The Travel Bookshop. This place was, of course, one of the key locations in Notting Hill as it was William’s bookshop. While the address used in the movie isn’t’t actually the address for this place, it was based on this bookshop which is very close by. It is no longer called The Travel Bookshop and has now been renamed as the Notting Hill Bookshop, but if you or your date is a fan of the movie, then you’ll probably still refer to it by its former name!


Notting Hill may be almost two decades old now, but it is still one of the greatest modern romance stories ever, and London serves as the perfect setting. Even now, years later, London is still presenting some of the most romantic date spots which are both from the movie and brand new. Next time you want to impress that special someone, you have plenty of places to take them and live out your own Notting Hill romance together!

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