Whilst back in England recently I watched this rom-com with Gwyneth Paltrow. Well, obviously not with her but I did view this 92 minute film and recognised many of the locations from the nations capital so when I travelled down to London a few days later I set about finding some of the locations. Continue reading
Another year has passed and despite my reservations about the future of such ‘top 10……filming locations’ this time last year, I have managed to do enough locations to warrant another list. It’s quite 007-centric and has in the main included just topping up pre-existing entries. Here then, in no particular order, is the Top 10……filming location trips for 2014…
1) Entrapment, 1999 (Click here)
2) The Hangover Part II, 2011 (Click here)
3) The Man With The Golden Gun, 1974 (Click here)
4) Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997 (Click here)
5) The Wolverine, 2013 (Click here)
6) Godzilla, 1954 (Click here)
7) Notting Hill, 1999 (Click here)
8) The World Is Not Enough, 1999 (Click here)
9) Skyfall, 2012 (Click here)
10) Quantum Of Solace, 2008 (Click here)
For the best filming locations for other years please click on the links below:
Despite the huge success of ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral‘ in the mid-nineties, that film totally bypassed me and it wasn’t till five years later that I actually saw any kind of Hugh Grant film. That movie was of course ‘Notting Hill‘ (1999) and what do you know but 15 years on, my wife and I found ourselves staying at a rented apartment on Ladbroke Grove which is right in the heart of where much of this 1999 rom-com was shot.
Now, this is not the first time some of these pictures have appeared on here as there was a Rom-Com special in December 2012 which cobbled together my efforts not only from ‘Notting Hill‘ but also from the aforementioned ‘Four Weddings & A Funeral‘ (1994) as well as ‘Love Actually‘ (2004).
Straight up on 2 minutes is Saints Tattoo Parlour (below) on 201 Portobello Road which a guy emerges from in disbelief that he got an ‘I love Ken’ tattoo.
Another place to get the briefest of references is the failed restaurant of William Thacker’s (Hugh Grant) mate Tony; an architect turned chef who ploughed all of his money into the business. That place is seen on 3 minutes and is actually an art store (below) called Portfolio. The address is 106 Golbourne Road and it’s a short walk north of Ladbroke Grove Underground station.
Anyway, what you really want to know is whereabouts the next couple of filming locations are. The famous blue door (below) of the house where William and Spike (Rhys Ifans) live is 280 Westbourne Park Road. It first appears on 3 minutes as William heads off home from Portobello Road which is just a few meters away. It’s Spike though who steals the limelight outside the door on 80 minutes when he poses for the paparazzi in his underpants!
Just around the corner from their flat is the book shop (below) where normal guy William works and indeed first meets the very famous Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). It is seen for the first time on 5 minutes and is at 142 Portobello Road. Its now aptly named Notting Hill whilst the actual travel bookshop on which it was based is at 13 Blenheim Crescent.
The interior scenes of the shop were actually shot at Universal Studios in Hollywood(below) along with a few other inside shots. There is a facade of the shop on display in the theme park which I have visited twice; in 2002 and 2011 respectively.
Having got his coffee at 303 Westbourne Park Road (below), William proceeds to turn the corner into Portobello Road on 11 minutes where he spills his coffee all over Anna. It’s still a coffee shop but these days it’s home to a branch of Coffee Republic.
William turns up at The Ritz (below), where is Anna is staying, on 22 minutes and gives an impromptu interview on behalf of Horse & Hound magazine to Anna as well as her co-stars. The high class establishment features again on 51 minutes.
The first place William and Anna go on a date is to his sisters birthday party at 91 Lansdowne Road (below). This is the home to Max and Bella and as well as that first appearance on 33 minutes it is also seen at dinner time half an hour later.
The Coronet Cinema (below) at 103 Notting Hill Gate plays host to a couple of movies within the movie. First up on 48 minutes is when William and Anna watch something with the former wearing a snorkel mask/goggles and on 56 mins he is alone as he watches Anna starring in sci-fi film ‘Helix‘ in the wake of discovering her husband is in town.
After that first cinema scene, William and Anna go to Japanese restaurant Nobu (below) on 49 minutes whereby Anna gives as good as she gets. This expensive place is part of the Metropolitan Hotel and is located at 19 Old Park Lane.
The final ‘Notting Hill’ location is The Savoy (below) at 1 Savoy Hill on the Strand which appears on 108 minutes. All good rom-com movies need someone chasing after their true love and this one is no different but rather than the usual dash to the airport we see William and friends driving through busy London traffic to get to the press conference in the Lancaster Room where he very publicly proposes.
Many thanks to Tony Reeves For other London filming locations click on the links below:Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Trainspotting Mission: Impossible Lara Croft Tomb Raider The Bourne Ultimatum Harry Potter & The Philosophers Stone James Bond About A Boy Quadrophenia Bridget Jones’s Diary Goodnight Sweetheart Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels Basic Instinct 2 Batman Begins/The Dark Knight The Italian Job Snatch Rom-Com Special Skyfall The World Is Not Enough
When it comes to romantic comedies the combination of writer Richard Curtis and actor Hugh Grant have come up with a fair few crackers with London often at the heart of them albeit a more rounded and well polished version of the capital. As I’m missing a few pivotal locations from each movie I thought it a good idea to cobble together the likes of ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral‘ (1994), ‘Notting Hill‘ (1999) and ‘Love Actually‘ (2003) together into one super rom-com special.
Somerset House (above left) is a short distance from Temple tube station and appears as scenery footage on 4 mins in ‘Love Actually‘ but for me it was more famously used in two Pierce Brosnan-era Bond films; ‘Goldeneye‘ (1995) and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies‘ (1997). The Ritz (above right) at 150 Piccadilly is where some memorable press interview scenes were filmed in ‘Notting Hill.‘ Japanese restaurant Nobu (below left) at 19 Old Park Lane was used in the same film and was where Julia Roberts confronted a couple of guys who she was being slagged off by. Hugh Grant’s flat in ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral‘ is 22 Highbury Terrace (below right) across from the park of Highbury Fields. Andie MacDowell turned up there in the rain at the climax of the film.
It’s now a boring office but in ‘Love Actually‘, 26-27 Great Sutton Street (above left) was the nude gallery of Christmas art by Mark (Andrew Lincoln) as seen on 35 mins. The fourth and final wedding in ‘Four Weddings…‘ took place at the Church of St Bartholomew the Great (above right) close to Smithfield Market by Barbican tube station. Two ‘Notting Hill‘ locations below with the blue shop pictured below left the more interesting one as it was here that normal guy Hugh Grant worked in the ‘Travel Book Company’ where he met the very famous Anna Scott played by Julia Roberts. Its now, perhaps aptyly, named Notting Hill and is on 142 Portobello Road. The actual Travel Bookshop on which it was based is at 13 Blenheim Crescent and the picture which I’m outside below right was taken in 2002 at Universal Studios in Hollywood where much of the movie was actually made.
Further along Portobello Road at number 201 is Saints Tattoo Parlour (below left) which could be seen in the opening montage of the same film as a drunk guy exits the shop wondering why on earth he got a tattoo saying “I Love Ken.” The Salvation Army building (below right) a couple of doors along at number 205 is where the ‘Notting Hill’ four seasons sequence ends in Spring.
56 mins into ‘Love Actually‘ Mark (Andrew Lincoln) emerges from the back entrance of Oxo Tower Wharf building (above left) on Barge House Street after Juliet (Keira Knightley) discovers his real feelings for her having seen his wedding video of close ups of her beautiful face. Dido’s ‘Here With Me’ provides the soundtrack as he leaves feeling gutted and continues on through the courtyard (above right) and on to the banks of the Thames River. Close to Bayswater Underground station is Whitley’s (below left); the department store seen at the start of the film on 4 minutes when there are still 5 weeks to Christmas. The Millennium Bridge (below right) is briefly seen about 18 mins in.