Philanthropic jewellery designer Pippa Small shares her favourite haunts in Notting Hill
For Canadian-born fine jewellery designer Pippa Small, wanderlust runs in her blood. Her mother’s thirst for travel took her across Spain, India, Africa and the Middle East as a child, where she was exposed to handcrafted tribal necklaces; curious pebbles and inspiring rocky landscapes. Today, London-based Small travels around the world to source her precious stones, working with local charities and artisans. Most recently, her Kabul-based diffusion line, Pippa Small Turquoise Mountain, was founded to help create and sustain jobs within Afghanistan’s jewellery making industry.
Small studied anthropology at university while making jewellery on the side, before turning her hand fulltime to her craft. She initially showcased her travel-inspired treasure from her vibrant Fulham flat before opening a boutique on Westbourne Grove in Notting Hill in 2012. Her name is synonymous with ethical, eye-catching precious stones; striking, handcrafted necklaces, pendant earrings and stacking rings in glistening aquamarine, vivid peridot, moonstone and diamond (to name a few). Small herself is the brand personified, laden with necklaces strung with vivid hues and stacked bracelets in shell and iridescent stone.
Small took a moment out from her ethical empire to reflect on what she loves most about her Notting Hill neighbourhood.
Pippa Small on.... her boutique
It was very fortuitous that our first shop came to us through friends who were relocating and passed us the lease. I had always loved the area and felt it was the perfect fit for us. It is neighbourly yet international and has a wonderfully mixed community.
...On what she loves most about Notting Hill
I love the trees. In spring, Westbourne Grove (where our shop is located) is covered in blossoming trees. I love the sense of community, yet it attracts people from all over the world. It is one of the few places left with specialised shops, like the spice shop, the cheese shop, the independent book shops. They all make it a wonderful place to explore by foot and discover new things on back streets and at the markets.
I love the antique markets, the great fashion shops on Ledbury Road, like Aime, Caramel (for children’s clothes) and Matches, as well as The Cross on Portland Road. The Icon gallery in Clarendon Cross is another great find.
...On food & drink
202 Westbourne Grove is a mix of great food, clothes and books: Daylesford for organic, delicious juices and food and The Pantry on Ledbury road for Mediterranean choices. Golborne Road has a wonderful gathering of cafes; Lisboa is always a favourite to sit outside and watch the market and world go by.
...On her Ideal Notting Hill date spot
There is a sweet, very quiet restaurant called Inaho on Hereford Road that has very few tables and is a lovely place to chat and take your time.
...On how the area has changed
There are certain parts that have remained very community driven and other parts like Westbourne Grove that have transformed due to the demands of rising property prices. Many small local businesses have been driven out, so there are more chains, and high-end shops.
...On hidden gems
The Lacy Gallery next to us (a joyfully painted yellow building) has the most fascinating frames ranging from Medieval and Renaissance to Picasso's framer’s work, as well as some that are under £10 that sit outside to pick up and transform a painting. They also sell beautiful paintings by Russian artists that feel so different and timeless. I am always having to tear myself away from their windows and I have a dream list of paintings and frames that I would love.