The Notting Hill Carnival is the largest street festival in Europe. Originated in 1964 as a way for Afro-Caribbean communities to celebrate their own cultures and traditions it now takes place every August Bank Holiday weekend in the streets of London W11. Every year the streets of West London come alive, with the sounds and smells of Europe’s biggest street festival.
This year the carnival is due to take place on the 25th - 26th August and is hoped to be a truly an amazing array of sounds, colourful sights and social solidarity, with costumes galore. However there is nothing quite like the smell of Notting Hill Carnival. With so many wonderful aromas of traditional Caribbean food, the carnival provides the perfect introduction to jerk chicken, rice and peas and rum punch as well as the odd taste of other exotic cuisines. Bring a healthy appetite along to Carnival, as there are patties, curries, jerk chicken and fried plantain from the street stalls to sink your teeth into.
Music is at the heart of Notting Hill Carnival, with traditional and contemporary sounds filling the air for miles around. Historically steel bands, Soca & Calypso Music have been at the heart of Carnival but in recent years these have been overtaken by the static sound systems playing anything from Reggae to R&B, Funk, House, Dub and much more.
Live stages also feature local bands, top international artists and sounds from around the world – Eddie Grant, Jamiroquai, Wyclef Jean, Courtney Pine and Burning Spear have been among the eclectic line up in previous years.
While in the vicinity, why not have a coffee at Beach Blanket Babylon, situated in the heart of Notting Hill on Ledbury Road,