Having moved over from America myself I specialise in working with expats and international families, and help them find their perfect home. In this article I am going to talk about the three top neighbourhoods that expats really love to live in and why you might want to consider them.
First up is Notting Hill, this neighbourhood was made super popular by the 1999 movie staring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. One of the most famous scenes in the movie is when they sneak into that private garden in the middle of the night. Now make sure you don’t try to sneak into one of these gardens, as they are for the exclusive use of the homes that border the gardens! This is one of the things that make Notting Hill so special, are these private gardens squares where only the residents along the square have access, they’ll have a special key to use it. Some of the gardens on the square will be all different sizes, some may even have private tennis courts.
It’s most popular destination is the Portobello Market and Portobello road, where you find fantastic antiques, and all different kinds of vendors selling all kinds of things, and the shops that go along that street are really particularly cute and charming as well.
Notting Hill is also really popular for it’s central location, beautiful homes, and private gardens that I have mentioned. Notting Hill has some incredible pastel homes and Mews Properties that really make it so distinct. So while you’ve got the white stucco fronted options, you’ve got the beautiful streets with these pastel coloured homes. As you stroll along streets like Chepstow Villas, Clarenden road, and Portobello road, you will come across these beautiful enchanting pastel coloured homes that make Notting Hill so special.
You’ve also got these white stucco fronted Victorian mansions or homes, and some off them have been converted into flats. Walk along Labdroke Gardens and Kensington Gardens to see some of the most beautiful homes as well as the gardens and parks that makes this area, really one of the best places to live.
Notting Hill is also incredibly famous for its fantastic dining and restaurant options. From the upscale and chique “Core” by Claire Smith, she’s a former Gordon Ramsay chef patron, to the “Electric Diner” which serves up American style hamburgers, hot dogs, milkshakes and other things you’re going to love. For green space you’re going to have Kensington Gardens and Holland park nearby.
Next up is South Kensington, this area is popular not just with Americans, but the wealthy around the world. It’s a very upscale part of London, located in South West London just south of Hyde Park, South Kensington borders Chelsea, Knightsbridge and Belgravia, some of London’s most upscale areas.
When you think of white stucco fronted homes think of South Ken and then add high end shopping, restaurants and venues.Some of South Ken’s most popular restaurants include Daphne’s on Draycott Avenue, Blake’s Restaurant on Roland Gardens and Claude Bosi at Bibendum at Michelin House, Fulham Road.
The concentration of cultural institutions around South Kensington is unrivalled, you’ve got some of the world’s top destinations for museums, arts and culture. There’s V&A Museum, Natural History and Science Museum just along Exhibition Road. In addition you’ve got the Royal Albert Hall on the edge of Hyde Park, you also have the prestigious Imperial College, one of the world’s top research universities located in South Kensington.
In addition, Richmond, The American International School in London has a Kensington campus.
So have you been to Notting Hill or South Kensington? What are your thoughts on those neighbourhoods? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Shifting locations, we are going northwest to St. Johns Wood. St. Johns Wood is truly a wonderful neighbourhood because it’s got this wonderful village vibe, great transport links and fantastic schools. Most notable, the American School in London is located in St. Johns Wood, so it’s very popular with American ex pats. But once you arrive there, you’ll quickly discover what makes the area so desirable.
As I mentioned, St John’s Wood has a great village feel and it has some of the most stately homes in London. You’ve got Hamilton Terrace which is one of London’s most expensive streets, with these gorgeous, villa style homes, but you’ve also got some fantastic purpose built buildings such as St. Edmunds Terrace, providing concierge service as well as all the high end ammenities that you will need. You also have various purpose built blocks and apartments and flats, throughout St Johns Wood. With it’s zone 2 location, located on the Jubilee line, St Johns Wood is highly popular for banking executives and other corporate executives, because you can easily get into stops such as Mayfair, Westminster, as well as Canary Wharf, all on the Jubilee line.
As I keep mentioning, St. Johns Wood really has a very villagey feel and the High Road has a wonderful mix of high end as well as mid-price shops, and restaurants. Some of St. Johns Woods most popular restaurants include The Duke of York pub, The Ivy, and Oslo Court. On a previous video, I also featured Panzers Deli, which is very popular with Americans, as it has a great selection of American foods, as well as other food items, so you definitely want to check out Panzers.
For green space, St Johns Wood is located just next to Primerose Hill and Regents Park, and the views from Primrose Hill can be quite stunning. There’s also Lord’s Cricket Grounds, home of cricket as well as Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded some of their best hits, that Zebra crossing still exists and is a popular destination spot to take pictures!
If you want to know more about London and the best areas to live for your needs, I have created a free London Relocation Guide, which you can download here.
So what do you think about the areas I have mentioned? Are there other areas of London that you want to know more about?