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Melt’s Guide to Notting Hill – An insiders Guide to London’s Most Iconic Neighborhood

November 8th, 2023

Melt’s Guide to Notting Hill

Notting Hill Unveiled: An Insider’s Guide to London’s Most Iconic Neighborhood


Origins of the Name: Notting Hill

How well do you know Notting Hill?  If you have lived there, perhaps you might have thought about where the name Notting Hill comes from. You know its a hill because you climb up and down it every day. But where does the word Notting itself come from. The first and most obvious answer is the name has something to do with Nottingham? Fortunately the answer is no –  because Nottingham derives its name from a Saxon chieftain called Snot, and his area was known as Snotingaham. ( which sounds remarkably like a sketch from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Yes and we are not making this up).


Notting Hill was known in medieval times as  “Knottynghull”.   The Knott section of the name likely deriving from the Viking King Cnute. So KNotting Hill is probably a Viking encampment where King Cnute laid siege to London. He was most likely encamped on Notting Hill while attacking Edmund Ironside and fighting for the Kingdom of England. Which he was to win.

Notting Hill was a Viking Encampment -where the Legendary King Canute gathered his army.

We have recreated a viking encampment in Notting Hill where we can toast King Canute from a luxury tent. Enjoy a Hyyge moment at Melt and its luxury encampment with a delicious hot chocolate. A hygge moment in the Danish Viking encampment.

Melt Yurt

King Cnute has named Notting Hill but who was he? 

King Cnute was the Alexander the Great of the Vikings. He shared many characteristics with Alexander – born of a great king, who then subsequently surpassed him in all his deeds, creating a vast empire which included England, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.  King Canute lived in Palaces in London and Winchester.

Imagine his Holland Park Palace

Insert Holland park Advent Calendar

Born of a Legendary Warrior Family

The Vikings had the best names ever

When he arrived for warrior training – with such an illustrious name – expectations must have been sky high. For he was the son of Svein Forkbeard. Who  was himself the son of Harald Bluetooth, who in turn was a direct descendant of Sigurd Snake-in-the-eye and the legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrok.

Danish Hyyge at Melt Notting Hill.

Nottting Hill Advent Calendar

Canute was a great king and popular with the English, he was a Christian and even went to Rome to try and reduce taxes for the English – sounds familiar? “he had the evil taxes that were levied on the road that goes through France, called tolls or passage tax, reduced by half at his own expense.

Notting Hill Gate continued in this tradition as it was were the toll gates from London were located.


King Canute and the Tide – An act of humility not hubris

“when he was at the height of his ascendancy, he ordered his chair to be placed on the seashore as the tide was coming in. Then he said to the rising tide, ‘You are subject to me, as the land on which I am sitting is mine, and no one has resisted my overlordship with impunity. I command you, therefore, not to rise on to my land, nor to presume to wet the clothing or limbs of your master.’ But the sea came up as usual, and disrespectfully drenched the king’s feet and shins. So jumping back, the king cried, ‘Let all the world know that the power of kings is empty and worthless, and there is no king worthy of the name save Him by whose will heaven, earth and sea obey eternal laws.’ 

Thereafter King Cnut never wore the golden crown on his neck, but placed it on the image of the crucified Lord, in eternal praise of God the great king. So he sat in the sea to show to his sycophants the limits to his power – not out of hubris.



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