It’s almost time for Carnival!

 It’s only a few more weeks – 9 to be exact – until my favourite weekend of the year in London, the Notting Hill carnival (August 24th and 25th, 2014). If you’ve never been, this is one weekend (even if you just spend a day at the carnival itself) that must be experienced at least once in your life. And best of all, its right on the doorstep of the Cleveland Hotel and so you won’t have far to go when you need a break from the rhythms, beats, steel drums and delicious food!

Taking place annually, the Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event held in London since 1966 over the August bank holiday weekend. Attracting over 1 million people, it is one of the largest street festivals in the world! Attracting people from all over the city, the carnival is a celebration of the diversity of London, led by members of the west indian community. Packed with steel bands, calypso music and delicious food stalls, Carnival is a huge party and everyone is invited!

Sunday is Children’s Day with a shorter parade route and is the day when the costume prizes are awarded. Monday is the main parade day and has many busy after party options in the evening. With 50,000 performers and 40 sound systems, there is plenty to fill your whole day!
Here are some tips on how to make the best of your visit:
1 – Forget the Tube – many stations shut to avoid congestion and so the best way to enjoy carnival is to walk, especially if you are staying nearby at the Cleveland Hotel!
2 – Ditch the heels – wear comfortable shoes so that you can dance all day and all night.
3 – Plan where to meet – if you’re meeting friends, make sure to choose a convenient location before hand as it gets very busy and mobile phone networks often fail.
4 – Jerk chicken – no day at Carnival is complete without tasting this delicious speciality!
5 – Soca, reggae, calypso, house and dub – make sure you spend some time at the over 40 sound systems set up around the area – arrive early as they also get very busy!
Enjoy carnival, stay safe, and relax knowing your bed is just a few streets away at the Cleveland Hotel!