Forget The Brady Bunch and The Waltons. Forget smiling robot-mums in red-and-white checked aprons and slippered dads with pipes clenched between their teeth. And forget their perfectly freckled and faultless offspring.
Notting Hillbilly families are anything but the nostalgic nuclear unit of yesteryear. City sophisticates, but still with a delightful dollop of cheekiness, the youth of the ‘hood can be found flipping through seven- and 12-inch singles at Rough Trade, and putting up fliers to find other budding musicians keen to join start-up bands. You’ll also spot young ‘uns with their iPad-clutching folks outside the Duke of Wellington, tucking into fish ‘n’ chips coated in Young’s beer batter.
To show high culture hasn’t passed them by, children love perusing what’s on offer in Lutyens & Rubinstein bookshop-cum-literary agency. The books are always spot on, as the staff canvass adults and children about what they’d like to see on the shelves.
At this back-to-school time of the year, flowered pencil cases and i-Phone covers are scooped up at Cath Kidston, followed by biscotto (cookies and cream) gelato from Dri Dri in Portobello Road. T-shirts and pumps are ticked off must-have school lists at Jack Wills by the more preppy crowd, while the truly groovy hit charity emporium Fara in Elgin Crescent for punk jackets and retro boots.
Where do the best Hill families reside? The crème-de-la-crème are found on private garden squares (with Ladbroke and Lansdowne two of the most feted), where kicking footballs into carefully tended hedges and building dens in trees tagged by aboricultural experts from Kew is de rigueur. Off-square townhouses along Kensington Park Road and Gardens, and Stanley Crescent are also deemed super family-friendly.
And if your mum’s a fashion designer and Dad manages a hedge fund, a funkier existence in Ledbury, Artesian or All Saints Roads within easy cappuccino-swirling distance of Westbourne Grove will probably be on the early pages of your CV.