The long awaited Notting Hill Carnival is around the corner, with a line-up of activities, music selections, and street vendors as far as the eye can see ready to make the event the standout success it has become to be.
However, with events as large as these, many people tend to be ill-prepared to take in everything such a festival has to offer due to minor discrepancies.
Since we, at The Presidential Serviced Apartments, aim to make your stay in London as enjoyable as possible, we have setup a list of tips that may come in handy before the big two days.
During the Carnival, a number of Underground stations will be temporarily shut down to avoid massive congestion. In that regard, plan your commute to and from the festival in advance in hopes of not missing out on important events.
Stay away from driving on both days of the carnival, and put the Transport for London’s Journey Planner to good use.
DITCH THE FANCY SHOES
It is not a surprise that events such as these will demand a lot of leg work, thus comfort is the name of the game. Comfortable shoes are a must; and let’s not forget: this IS a carnival! So wear your most colourful clothes, and dish out all your accessories such as flags, hats, and bags.
A LIST OF ESSENTIALS
Be prepared for anything! You never know where a food disaster might happen, or you’re in a portaloo and need tissues, keep them with you.
It’s well known that August is considered the warmest month in Britain, thus keeping yourself hydrated will prove to be a key comfort, especially if you’re dancing under the sun.
Keep yourself informed by picking up a carnival route map to avoid closed roads, as well as to get an insight on the events, vendors, and music line-ups that will be popping up throughout both days.
And last but not least, sunscreen and sunglasses are essential, not just for protection, but also suitable for a Caribbean-style event in the sun.
BRING THE KIDS
What’s a carnival without the laughter of children gleefully floating in the atmosphere? Bring your little ones to join in on the fun during this Caribbean fete, especially to the annual Children’s Day on Sunday.
We would recommend that you arrive early with your kids to see the children’s group parade and take part in family-friendly activities – it’s quieter and more relaxed than Monday.
COORDINATE WITH FRIENDS
Managing to locate your friends or family members when the carnival is in full throttle will be a tricky and time consuming thing to do, especially with all the road closures and the streets full of revelers.
We recommend that you either head to the carnival in groups or meeting up at a designated spot, and a visible one to avoid sending “where are you?” message on the temporary WhatsApp group.
FIND A GOOD SPOT
If you’re rather active on social media, or just enjoy snapping a couple of photographs of the carnival or even just want to be part of the action, it is essential to find a good spot to stay on.
Stand by the judges’ platform and you’ll see the groups really pull out all the stops, but for a more informal vibe, secure a front-row spot along the main route.
There are always plenty of lively sections and quieter places, so it is possible to find the right one for you.
It wouldn’t be a street festival without having yummy street food, and you’ll never be far from the delicious aromas brewing in the distance, especially the barbeque during the Notting Hill Carnival.
Jerk chicken and rice is the dish of the day, alongside other favourites such as goat curry, ackee and salt fish, vegetarian patties and corn on the cob, so as the title suggests: ENDULGE!
PICK YOUR VIBE
When strolling down the festival, there will be a number of sound systems blasting out different variations of music, such as reggae, groove, house, samba and more. So do your homework, pick your vibe for the day and just enjoy the beats and melodies.
There are also a number of live bands and performances that will take place throughout the festival, so we suggest you give them a gander.
The Notting Hill Carnival is a lively, fun, and welcoming festival to all walks of life, but as such with any huge events staying aware and alert is important.
Avoid pickpockets by keeping your valuables out of sight and out of easy reach. If possible, steer clear of congested streets or wait until the blockage has cleared.
If anything goes wrong, inform your local police officer, they’re never far from you at the carnival.
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL
ROYAL BOROUGH OF KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
25 – 26 AUGUST 2019
6AM – 10PM
6AM – 10PM