"I had a room near Notting Hill Gate. Do you know it?"
A major West London thoroughfare, Notting Hill Gate is where the Jewish painter tells
Sasha he roomed when he met the mixed-race woman emotionally battered by racism
, another one of Rhys’s stories within the novel to illustrate her belief in the innate cruelty of human beings.
In the 1930s, Notting Hill Gate was shabby, slummy, desperately downbeat and home to many immigrants, especially West Indians (Rhys herself being a Creole woman, or white West Indian) whose presence would increase greatly in the both Notting Hill Gate and the wider area in the post-war years.
Despite some remaining pockets of the counterculture that thrived there in the 1960s and 1970s, Notting Hill Gate and Notting Hill itself are now largely gentrified and home to the wealthy.