GETTING THERE: Portobello Road is near the Notting Hill Gate metro stop, and buses also service the area. WHERE TO EAT: My choice for lunch is 192 Kensington Park Road, the village eatery. Duck mousse with a small salad runs about $6, fish soup about $5.50. Warm quail salad with mushrooms is about $7.25, breast of duck with port and green peppercorns about $10.
Intime Monsieur Thompson across the street at 29 Kensington Park Road is a more expensive proposition but with equally delicious food. It has a three-course "Le Set Menu" for about $22: artichoke hearts with vegetables and hazelnut oil or melon with mint or mixed green salad, grilled sirloin with bearnaise or red seabream fillet on spicy ratatouille, various desserts. Or try "Le Business Lunch" for about $17: duck terrine, fish mousse with salmon or vegetable and mussel salad followed by assorted fish or leg of lamb or breast of chicken, followed by lemon ice cream or strawberry mousse cake or chocolate gateau.
The unpretentious Gate Diner nearby at 184A Kensington Park Road is for elaborate, clearly Americanized snacks -- hamburgers with salad and french fries (about $7), spare ribs (about $9) and desserts such as pecan pie, ice cream sundaes and banana splits.
Books for Cooks, at 15 Blenheim Crescent, has an experimental kitchen of high quality whose changing table menu lists the source for each recipe. The tiny rear kitchen and offers aubergine (eggplant) and feta salad with homemade olive bread for about $3.25, pasta salad with smoked salmon for about $2.50 and chocolate truffle cake for about $2.