Notting Hill Nostalgia

Back in the late nineties and early noughties, Richard Curtis films were all any one could watch and talk about:  Notting Hill, Bridget Jones and Love Actually were all based at some point in and around Notting Hill, which at the time was a really trendy and very cool location (still is, but the movies made it more so).  Notting Hill and Love Actually are not necessarily my favourite films but if ever I want to watch a DVD that will make me feel warm and smiley inside I do tend to reach for those two first.
When the film, Notting Hill came out I was actually working at a record company/recording studio in Notting Hill, across the road from the famous blue door to the house Hugh Grant’s character William, lived in.  I loved walking past it every day, imagining to myself that William did really live there and that he ran the little travel bookshop around the corner (also featured in the film).The blue door house was actually owned by Richard Curtis himself, and a year after the film, the blue door was sold at auction. The replacement door was painted black so that no one would recognize it but it’s now blue again thankfully!
The studio where I worked, was based in a lovely Mews that was already quite famous due to the studio’s popularity with recording artists and the fact it was the studio where Band Aid famously recorded ‘Do they know its Christmas?’ back in the 80’s.

Paula Yates also lived in the Mews and we often used to see her walk past with her children (always carrying flowers) sadly she also died there in her pretty little house that was strewn with fairy lights.  So I wasn’t surprised when I saw the Mews pop up in the film Love Actually, in one of my favourite scenes where Mark tells Juliet that he loves her with the word boards.

Love Actually St Lukes mews

Such a lovely scene and it always makes me reminiscent of those Notting Hill days.

There were only about 20 of us working in what was called the ‘Blue Building’, we were like a dysfunctional but loyal family. The record company was instrumental in launching many successful acts in the 80’s and counted Seal as one of its main successes.  I used to sit on reception blaring out Wham or Dirty Dancing – no one seemed to care.

In every room different music played, bands came and went;  if you went next door to the studio it would be no surprise to see Kylie having a cup of tea or George Michael’s dog being fed by the receptionist!

It wasn’t until years later that I realised how lucky I was to have worked there for four crazy years and to be a tiny part of it’s history. Some of the most interesting and colourful characters I ever met were from the Blue Building,  Notting Hill.

If my memory of my Notting Hill days ever fade, I will always have the fantastic films to remind me of them and make me smile.

 

stlukesmews

 

 

 

 

6 Comments

  1. July 28, 2009 / 12:51 pm

    Love both films :) And loved the stories that came from that time. Great bit of nostalgia !!xx

  2. July 28, 2009 / 1:29 pm

    So who would you want playing you? I am still reminded of the Friends theme and the Simply Red songs blaring out when we worked in a certain radio station in North London…

  3. July 30, 2009 / 9:05 pm

    adore both films – not sure if you remember but you actually went to cinema with me to see Notting hill – hours after I had been dumped by D W !!!! love it now but think i wept most of the way through! Crawley x

  4. July 30, 2009 / 11:11 pm

    yes of course i remember – at a cinema that was falling down almost xxx worse film to see when dumped lol x

  5. August 8, 2009 / 12:18 pm

    when he shows up with the cards. awwwwwwwww thats the most romantic thing ever. i love keira in love actually, i watch it every christmas. when she says 'but its all wibbley' in her posh voice. i love this post im glad im not the only one who gets all gooey!

  6. January 24, 2010 / 8:25 pm

    What a fascinating story! I love a lot of the Working Title films such as Four Weddings, About a Boy and Love Actually. Like you my favorite scene in Love Actually is the one in mews where Andrew Lincoln's character turns up with the word boards to tell Kiera Knightly how much he loves her.

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