USUALLY, a that a trip to London entails travel by car or train to a hotel, usually somewhere in the centre, near the shops.

But have you ever thought about ‘living like a local’?

Skip the hotel and live in someone’s house for your stay and sample the delights on your doorstep.

With Christmas just days away, the shops were bursting in Oxford Street, but I was a couple of miles to the west soaking up Notting Hill and the beauty of Hyde Park.

Home for my three-day stay was a delightful but expensive £2million mews cottage literally a stride away from Park in the Lancaster Gate area. The modern interior blended perfectly with the quiet cobbled street exterior that seem a world away from the hectic city.

My trip was organised by HouseTrip, a new kid on the block but rated as one of the fastest growing businesses in London. It’s simple, you register your property on their website and then wait for people to flock to rent it, bringing in lucrative earnings.

And it is an ideal way of taking a holiday. My mews home slept six and had all mod cons including fully-equipped kitchen, flat screen TV, comfy beds, sitting area and two bathrooms and the freedom to come and go as you please.

On the doorstep was the charm of Notting Hill, with its own micro population. I visited it on a Saturday morning and followed the crowds to Portobello Market.

Getting there

  • I stayed at a mews house in the Lancaster Gate area. At £290 a night, the house slept up to seven people – which still puts it at a reasonable £41 per head per night.
  • We took a local tour with Context Travel, which offers walking tours in a number of major cities around the world. For more details visit