Since it’s inception in the oh-so-swingin’ 60s (waddup dude!), Notting Hill Carnival has come to be a hotbed of fun and frolicking (the whole weekend is virtually a Dutty Wine masterclass) every August bank holiday weekend. People flock in their droves to enjoy the bright, feather and gem embellished Carni-vibe outfits (of which Rihanna rules, no contest!), sublime music and the mouthwatering drinks and cuisine that carnival has to offer. Obviously at this point we’re going to refrain from mentioning the Monday morning headaches - but those are also part of the carni experience! Just grab a Perrier to make sure you stay hydrated too, obvs!
But what is Notting Hill carnival and why should you care about West London’s annual hullabaloo? Use our go to guide to find out why Carnival should be penned in your calendar every bank holiday weekend.
You probably know the upmarket area of Notting Hill from that Julia Roberts flick of the same name. “I’m just a girl, standing in front of” — yeah, you get the jist. I mean, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have a baby with an A-List celeb that you met in a book shop (unless it’s Tiger Woods…), but there is a guarantee that you’ll be having the best party that W10 has to offer. Spread across Notting Hill and it’s surrounding areas, have a walk around West London and enjoy the good times.
TIK TOK, ON THE CLOCK
August Bank Holiday weekend of course, meaning you’re more than free to slurp up all the cocktails your heart desires and not feel guilty about it.
Well, it’s kind of one of those things that should be on your bucket-list. The parade itself is an explosion of colour, with huge sound systems blasting out a plethora of bouncy beats and plenty of extravagant dance moves (imagine a live action Beyonce video over the course of a weekend) for you to try and imitate. You have to try the street-food, which is undeniably unrivalled aka the best post night-out takeaway you’ll get your grubby hands on . Carnival is also descended upon by many familiar faces, previous guests have included a mega smashed Lily Allen, Florence Welch and Bel Powley, to name a few.
Well, it’s the largest street festival in Europe for starters, but the whole carnival experience is pretty extraordinary in itself. However, there are some gems within the festivities that have an extraordinary edge. The sights you see are out of this world — imagine the trippiest dream you’ve ever had and times it by ten. Sometimes Notting Hill Carnival can be like a journey into a scene from Alice in Wonderland. Down the rabbit hole you go.
Words: Ryan Cahill