Notting Hill Carnival

Notting Hill Carnival

Summer, well what passes for summer is fast approaching here in London and that means sessions with my friend cider in the park and getting among the activities that come to life when the sun burns bright-ish. Last year I arrived a little late and a fair bit broke so am looking forward to a little more fun this time around.

My very first event last year and one I’ll be looking forward to attending again this year was the Notting Hill Carnival. Described as a full-blooded Caribbean Carnival with its stunning floats and costumes, amazing aroma’s of food and various sound systems setup across the entire area you wouldn’t want to miss it.

People are everywhere and I mean everywhere. Imagine the busiest club you’ve ever been in and then take it outside to the streets, it’s utter chaos but so so awesome. Throughout the day we fought our way through the crowds to different sound system setups and danced around like idiots with the masses.

Busy streets at the Notting Hill Carnival

Scattered all around the streets with their fires burning and the aromas just pulling you in were the food stalls. Jerk Chicken, Curried Goat and Rice and Beans were prominent dishes and soon became my new favourite foods.

Jerk Chicken, Curry Goat and Rice and Beans from the Notting Hill Carnival

And the carnival wouldn’t be complete without the vibrant coloured costumes. Unfortunately I missed the floats going past but having seen just a sample of what people were dressed up in, I really want to make time for them this year.

Some of the costumes at the Notting Hill Carnival

I will warn you though, if you have a tiny bladder then learn to either hold it or pay up for the privilege. With a million or so people all partying and drinking in the streets of London, toilet’s are going to be required. The problem? your just in any old street in London and there isn’t any. Many entrepreneurs capitalising on this and opened up their houses for a fee and while some signs did say luxury, after half a day of people tramping through they were far from it.

Paying to use a private toilet at the Notting Hill Carnival

Overall if you haven’t been before and you find yourself in London for the August bank holiday weekend then get yourself up to Notting Hill and take part in the largest street festival in all of Europe. The atmosphere will be pumping and you can’t help but be excited.

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16 Responses to Notting Hill Carnival

  1. RANDY May 9, 2011 at 6:20 PM #

    This sounds like a good time! Don’t think we’ll make it this year, but definitely will try to hit the carnival in the future. I’m a big fan of street fairs, especially ones where you can drink and party in the streets. When I lived in San Francisco every spring and summer each neighborhood held their own street fair and those were always so much fun.

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 10, 2011 at 8:22 AM #

      Randy it was such a good day. Everybody was having fun and even with so many people and drinking etc I never saw one fight or any real problem except for the queues to the toilets.

      I’ve never been to a street party bigger than the Christmas parade back home in my town of 1500 people so to me it was worth the effort.

  2. AYNGELINA May 9, 2011 at 8:11 PM #

    That jerk chicken looks so delicious, I need some now!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 10, 2011 at 8:23 AM #

      haha Ayngelina it was delicious. The food alone would be a good reason to go back in my opinion.

  3. ANNE May 10, 2011 at 8:14 AM #

    Wow the crowd’s massive but that heap of food look delicious!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 10, 2011 at 8:23 AM #

      Anne that was just one street. There were many more streets that looked just like that one.

  4. JEREMY B May 10, 2011 at 6:57 PM #

    I would have never imagined a big Caribbean festival in Notting Hill. Did Julia Roberts attend? 🙂

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 13, 2011 at 8:28 PM #

      Me either Jeremy but sure enough it was there and it was so so much fun. lol no julia roberts bu then it was a big crowd 🙂

  5. CHLOE May 12, 2011 at 12:15 AM #

    Oh I wish I was going to be there then! It looks so amazing. Next year yes yes 🙂

  6. GORILLA SAFARIS IN UGANDA May 12, 2011 at 7:02 AM #

    That food looks appetizing, but what’s with the ladies luxury toilets for 3 pounds is that for real. I think its hilarious!!

  7. ALEX May 12, 2011 at 4:43 PM #

    The Notting Hill Carnival is really crazy indeed. Always a good reason to party, drink Red Stripes and eat delicious jerk chicken. But it’s always really packed and for me it ruins the thing a little. The toilets are a big problem and I’ve always refused to pay for them. But I guess it’s easier for the boys as we can just go in some alleys 😉

    This year if you have a chance try to go to the Beach Blanket Babylon club around 5 after the carnival. They have pretty awesome parties in there!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 13, 2011 at 8:32 PM #

      Alex you gotta love the red stripes 🙂 The amount of guys and girls I saw using someones front yard as a toilet was nuts. Didn’t know about that club so will see if I can find it.

  8. ROY | CRUISESURFINGZ May 13, 2011 at 12:19 AM #

    I live in London for 2 years and somehow managed to miss this both times. But I guess I was in the Caribbean a few months ago so I don’t feel so bad now…

  9. ERIN May 13, 2011 at 4:25 PM #

    dude – i totes went to this festival in 07. its AMAZING! the energy, the colors, the costumes, the people. everyone is happy and dancing and laughing. i love the energy of caribbean music. such a brilliant atmosphere. is it really the largest street festival in europe?? so jealous you get to go again!

    • THE AUSSIE NOMAD May 13, 2011 at 8:34 PM #

      Erin well that’s what the people tell me. It was a pretty big event and I only saw such a small amount of it as well so it doesn’t surprise me.

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