Vibrant, colourful and stunning – the Notting Hill Carnival has become the largest street party in Europe, attracting over one million visitors. This is definitely THE place to go when you want to enjoy music, dance and spectacle from early morning until late into the night.
Sunday 26 and Monday 27 August are the key Carnival days – but for the dedicated carnival goer there are plenty of pre and after parties too. Sunday is the slightly more relaxed day as this is the family day, when children take centre stage in the parades that wind through the streets of Notting Hill, Ladbroke Grove and Westborne Park, all just a short drive while you are a resident at Presidential Apartments Kensington.
Monday is undoubtedly the climax of the Carnival. This is when the biggest procession takes place with thousands of performers stamping and dancing their way through the streets, clad in brilliantly decorated, elaborate costumes. They have spent all year perfecting their routines and creating the most dramatic, eye catching costumes. Expect around 60 steel bands, plus floats, and mobile sound systems in each procession ending at the Powis Square World Music Stage where music and dance takes place late into the night. The best place to see the parades is near the Judges Platform as this is where all Carnival groups really seek to make an impact and catch the attention of the judges. Elsewhere it can be more relaxed.
But it is not just the spectacular processions involving over 50,000 performers that make the Notting Hill Carnival the biggest and best street party in Europe. Stroll down the side streets and take part in one or more of the many impromptu parties surrounding the countless sound systems pumping out music of all kinds from soca to reggae, calypso to garage.
When you feel like a break, take a look at the street food vendors offering all kinds of Caribbean and takeaway food. Thousands of tourists are expected to stay at Aparthotels in Kensington during the carnival. Try out Caribbean specialities such as rice and peas or jerk chicken.
Everyone can join in the Carnival. If you want to dress up carnival style search out glitter, sequins and fancy dress. Comfortable shoes are essential – expect non stop dancing, walking and a lot of standing around admiring the spectacular parades. This is truly the Caribbean brought to London, together with the atmosphere, food and music.
Allow plenty of time to get to the Carnival. Some tube stations may be shut temporarily due to the sheer numbers of people trying to use them so patience may be required. The streets will be incredibly busy and crowded thought the area. So, If you are in London this August with your family, book a long stay in a Serviced Apartments Kensington and experience the Carnival to the fullest.