Golborne Road

It had been a while since I'd been to Golborne Road. A couple of years ago, when I was going to Morocco quite regularly and coming back craving different ingredients, specialties, I was going every week, to buy Aicha jams, tomato puree; Moroccan olive oil; amazing coffee imported from Tetouan; to pick up freshly made M'Tissimen pancakes from L'Etoile; Moroccan oranges from the fruit and vegetable market and so on. I also liked visiting the studio of designer Rana Salam, who designed the amazing identity for Comptoir Libanais. Sadly for us, though not for her, Rana moved to Beirut. As ever in London, a lot happens in nine months - for various reasons, I hadn't been up to Golborne since August 2010 - and I was surprised to see the Moroccan presence turned down, as the Portuguese presence before it had been turned down. In its place, a creeping gentrification: the odd gallery or two, a clothing boutique, two Soho style coffee places conflicting with the rough and ready old school Portuguese and Moroccan cafes, an interiors shop called Phoenix on Golborne, far removed from the usual scruffy 'flea market' antique furniture shops elsewhere on the street. It was always going to happen, especially as more and more Notting Hill/ North Ken couples seem to move North to Kensal Rise/ Green and Queen's Park when they have kids, creating a need for the Portobello trends of recent years to follow them up there. Inevitably, the top of Ladbroke Grove and Golborne will in time become the smooth segue between the two neighborhoods , which is already sort of happening at the top of the Ladbroke Grove with Tom Dixon's water tower home in the making and his shop/ restaurant (although when I had dinner there, I found it chronically disappointing) and now over at Golborne, with the slow gentrification. That said, for now, my favourites are still there on Golborne: Lisboa with its heavenly Pasteis de Nata; Le Marrakech and Le Maroc with their Moroccan deli treats; L'Etoile patisserie with the Moroccan sweet tooth goodies.


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