What is Notting Hill Carnival? What happens? What can you eat? All very good questions, all of which we’ll attempt to answer in this Bank Holiday weekend themed tasting menu. The good news, wherever you are – is that it’s going to be a scorcher with a strong wave of Caribbean vibes sweeping through the entire nation. And of course, with hundreds of Caribbean takeaway restaurants on Just Eat, the good vibes will come to you.
Notting Hill Carnival has been going since 1959 in one way or another and is one of London’s biggest and best celebrations. Never been before? You’re in for a treat, and that’s just the food. Think colour, music, dancing, singing and costumes like you’ve never seen before. Seriously.
If you’re planning on heading to West London this weekend we’ve got all you need to know below, and if you’re not, keep on reading to find out how you can still get in on the action.
To whet your appetite, consider making yourself a little punch in true Caribbean style (rum is optional). No celebration of Caribbean culture would be complete without someone ladling out large portions of coconut and pineapple-infused rum punch into cups for the masses. Just careful not to spill any when you’re twerking.
Checking for travel updates is a must ahead of Carnival as London tube lines, stations and overground services are often subject to changes to accommodate the large numbers of party-goers. Sunday is family day so bring your kids, nephews and nieces, they’ll have a whale of a time. Monday is where the hardcore party people come out to play; same colour, same noise, just an added attention to the music.
Official advice is also not to wear heels as you’ll be on your feet all day, we’d also suggest:
- Packing a whistle
- Wearing a flag
- Dusting off the face paint
- Making a proper plan (see below)
The main event
So, it’s started. You’ve left the house absolutely shimmering, punch in hand, whistle in mouth. Buzzing. Notting Hill Carnival really is everything a carnival should be; you’re not short of options, be it floats, food, music or conversation you’re after. Our advice would be to experience a little bit of everything, then get to the food!
However, remember carnival can get pretty busy so you may want to read up quite extensively before going, pick out your top 1-2 sound systems or hot-spots, then set up camp for a good few hours there, this will also make you a lot easier to find as mobile phone signals can sometimes dwindle on the day.
Want to walk next to the famous Notting Hill floats ? Good decision, you’ll meet some great characters, dance until your legs hurt and wish you’d have come wearing less clothes. Check out the main carnival route using this handy map.
A break between courses
If like us, you have food on the brain for most of the day and like to sit down to eat your meals – head to All Saints Road where you’ll find an array of options from Jerk Chicken to Curry Goat and the national dish: Ackee & Saltfish. There’s even been a rise in African dishes on sale at carnival in recent years so don’t shy away from the Jollof Rice, you won’t regret it. Then, head left into the nearby Tavistock Gardens for a chill and fill.
There are numerous carnival after parties, like, loads. So make sure you weave one into your master plan and don’t forget it’s a Bank Holiday meaning Sunday is most definitely fun day. If you’re into drum ‘n’ bass get yourself down to Metalheadz at Egg or if you’re keen to stay locked into carnival sounds, make your way to Brixton Jamm where, as ever, they’ll be blazing the sounds of summer all night.
Can’t make it to the party?
Don’t worry! You don’t need to be in the big smoke to get the jerk chicken you deserve, find a Caribbean delivering near you here and treat yourself to something wicked. In West London and want it straight from the source? We’ve got plenty of options right here (just double check delivery times as most streets will be on lockdown during the carnival itself).
If you’re halfway out the door, wrapped in a Jamaican flag after reading this – respect. If you’re at home but excited to try something different, get onto Just Eat and invite the sunshine round for tea tonight. Enjoy.