An interview with...

Influencer, Sam Robinson

Founder and owner of The Cross, Sam Robinson, gives us an inside look at her Notting Hill.

What do you love most about Notting Hill?
I first discovered Notting Hill Gate as a teenager scouring Portobello Market for vintage finds to add to my wardrobe. The area is so eclectic and full of life. I’ve worked here now for 20 years and still never tire of it. It’s not just full of interesting restaurants, bars, pubs and shops but two fabulous parks, Holland Park and Hyde Park in easy access. Peacock spotting in Holland Park is brilliant fun, last time I was there I saw a peacock up a tree!

Favourite hidden gem?
Leighton House Museum. Former home of painter Lord Leighton, built in1866-95, this eccentric building is worth a visit. Marvel at his 'Arab Hall' built to house his stunning collection of tiles that he collected during his visits to the Middle East.

Favourite place for a drink?
I love to go to The Cow in Westbourne Park Road for a drink. Created by Tom Conran, the atmosphere is warm and friendly. I recommend a plate of oysters and a pint of Guinness!

Favourite restaurant, café?
I have so many favourite restaurants in the area. My new favourite is the recently opened 6 Portland Road. Delicious simple seasonal food and a great wine list...

Best places to shop?
Clarendon Cross of course! Not only can you visit The Cross for fashion and gifts but Summerill and Bishop for kitchen and tableware, Myriad for antiques and L'Maison for houseware. There are a variety of art galleries here also. The Temple Gallery is full of amazing icons, The Lacey Gallery for contemporary art, and Piano Nobile Gallery which specialises in modern and contemporary British and international works of art.

Best way to spend a lazy afternoon in London?
A long lunch in the newly opened Design Museum restaurant, Parabola. Their latest guest chef is Rowley Leigh and the food is excellent. Take a stroll around the museum and walk back through the park...

Top 5 things you recommend to do in the capital?
1: I am a regular visitor to The Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, the shows are great and they have an interesting book shop. Eat brunch at the nearby Magazine restaurant designed by Zaha Hadid, visit the Sackler Gallery next door and maybe hire a rowing boat on the Serpentine if you are still feeling energetic!

2: Visit the Tate Modern if you have not been before. The space is fantastic. The former Bankside power station is one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary art in the world.

3: I would definitely find time to visit London's East End. Visit on Sunday morning to walk down Columbia Road's flower market. Have lunch in Brawn restaurant and be sure to visit the charming and quirky little shops there.

4: Go to The Wallace Collection in Manchester Square. This beautiful London Townhouse has 25 galleries of exquisite French 18th Century paintings, furniture and porcelain. Walk around the corner to The Chiltern Firehouse for lunch and spoil yourself in one of the great local boutiques.

5: Visit The Polish Club in South Kensington and eat delicious Eastern European food at Ognisko Restaurant. Feast yourself on blinis and caviar washed down with one of the many chilled vodkas on offer. If it’s warm, you can eat out on the terrace which overlooks the communal gardens there.

The Cross in Clarendon Cross is an upmarket boutique stocking high-end casual clothing, plus gift and homeware items.