In our house growing up, we had an extensive and eclectic record collection. One of the vinyls was a copy of Bedknobs and Broomsticks, so I grew up enthusiastically singing in Portobello Road in my best baritone.
It has been more than a decade since I have ventured to this part of London, but with the excellent Clarke-Bolton sister duo, we headed down for a wander.
It may not have all the legendary treasures that were boasted of in this song (Sadly, we were not offered any bruised Botticelli’s or solid gold toothpicks from Henry the VIII). However, there were still many treasures to discover. From extensive vinyl collections and 90s ski jackets, to taxidermied creatures and phrenology ceramics, you might not find what you are looking for, but you will find many other things you might not have imagined. I don’t know if Portobello Road still peddles the “stories of mystery and dreams” as the song poetically proclaims, but it is definitely a great way to spend a day in London.
Bonus: While you are in the area, check out the Museum of Brands, Packaging, and Advertising. For £9/£7 (student), you can walk through the last 350 years of marketing, which is quite fascinating!