And this is my 4th of the 4 filming locations I thought I’d share with you from last Friday’s fun-filled day in London. You may have noticed that Hugh Grant has featured in 3 of my 4 rom-coms (with Bridget Jones’ Diary and Love Actually being the other two) although I’m really not a huge fan of his! Honest!
Notting Hill was released in 1999. However, what you may not know is that the house belonging to bookseller William Thacker (played by Grant) actually belonged to Richard Curtis who wrote the screenplay and also wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral. After the film came out, the house’s famous blue door attracted many visitors coming along to write their name on it so the owners decided to replace it with a black door to stop drawing so much attention. However, after some time and new owners coming along, the door was painted blue again and it’s very easy to spot at 280 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill…..although it could do with a lick of paint! If you do go to see it, do check out St. Luke’s Mews which was used in Love Actually and is just around the corner.
Notting Hill has a stellar cast with Julia Roberts, Rhys Ifans, Emma Chambers, Tim McInnerny, Gina McKee, and Hugh Bonneville. And you can imagine that these stars and Hugh turning up to film on these real streets could have attracted significant problems with onlookers and paparazzi photographers! However, to get the locals on side and cooperate, the location manager wrote to thousands of people in the area, promising to donate to each person’s favourite charity and this resulted in money going to 200 charities.
If you’re going to do the Notting Hill experience, you have to check out the famous Portobello market which is open Monday to Saturday with Saturday being the main day when everything is for sale, such as antiques, food, new fashion, accessories, household goods, vintage clothing and accessories, collectables, bric-a-brac, furniture and food. The market features several times in the film including the opening scenes.
William takes his world-famous actress girlfriend Anna Scott to meet his family at the birthday meal for his younger sister (Emma Chambers). Around the dinner table, I love how they each argue about why they should be allowed to have the last remaining brownie and how they have the most tragic life! But my favourite scene is when William and Anna leave Bella and Max’s home after having had a fabulous evening. As the door closes behind them with William trying to convince Anna how well the evening had gone, they can hear the family fall into fits of belly laughter on the other side of the door, no longer able to contain their shock about having THE Anna Scott for dinner! You’ll find their home at 91 Lansdowne Road.
Other locations include The Lancaster Room at The Savoy hotel which was used for the press conference at the end of the movie and the beautiful Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath which is just about 20 minutes away from London. And if you do go there, you’ll be greeted with stunning views of London.
So, it’s been great to check out some filming locations although I still have more to do for my bucket list. I plan to go to beautiful Shere in Surrey which has been used for several films but I found out last night that in the film The Holiday with Kate Winslett, Jack Black and Cameron Diaz, the beautiful English cottage wasn’t real! The set guys constructed its shell, built a fake stone wall and then dismantled it within 2 weeks after filming had ended….leaving behind a field! But The White Horse pub features in it so I’ll go and check it out!
Over the next couple of days, I’ll tell you about two of my favourite places I visited on Friday: The Sky Garden and Borough Market. I really had so much fun and am beginning to think about doing another mega-London day to do some rather quirky things….like visit the Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town!!!!!