Tuesday, August 28, 2012

...and the street parties continue!

My work week has begun on a Tuesday, my legs are tired, and it's the last few days of August.  This can only mean one thing: Carnival!!!

Looking back, 2012 really has been London's year for street parties and celebration.  First we had the Queen's Jubilee, then the Olympics and now this bank holiday weekend saw hundreds of thousands of people descend onto London's streets for the 48th annual Notting Hill Carnival. 

This vibrant two-day Caribbean street party takes place every August bank holiday on the Sunday and Monday, and features colourful, exotic costumes, music, dancing and lots of delicious food.

This year, I went along with some friends on the Sunday, which is traditionally the family day, and features mostly children in the carnival procession.  It was loverboy's first Carnival, and thankfully the weather was on our side, so we basked in sunshine for most of the day.

We walked along the procession route for a while, looking at the costumes, taking photos and running into friends along the way.  We also stopped by some sound systems, including Gaz's Rockin' Blues, which had a Jungle Book theme this year, and Norman Jay's Good Times, which is one of my personal favourites.  We even managed to sneak in some cheeky salsa dancing!

One thing I can never resist is jerk chicken, rice and peas, and I made sure to fill my boots!  I was also lured by the sight of frou-frou pineapples being sold as 'piña colada' - but in reality, they were actually just filled with fresh pineapple juice.  Yummy, yes, but nevertheless lacking the essential additions of rum and coconut!  Luckily, I went well-prepared with a handy little flask-sized bottle of Malibu...

The Carnival route stretches three and a half miles, so you can imagine that after six straight hours of walking and dancing, our leggies were knackered, so we made our way through the crowds and headed home - and let me tell you that laying in bed after Carnival is one of the best feelings!

As ever, much fun was had, much booty-shaking was witnessed, and much jerk chicken was consumed - a success, I would say!

You can see more colourful photos and thoughts on previous Carnivals in my posts from Carnival 2010 and Carnival 2011.


  1. I have never made it to the Carnival, probably too busy for me! Loved seeing your photos, thanks for sharing and glad you had a great time!

    1. Thanks! It is definitely something to experience, at least once! :) If you don't like crowds, you can still go for a couple of hours in the morning, as it really doesn't get busy until later!