The Notting Hill Carnival

22 Aug

The Notting Hill CarnivalKing Prawns

BOOOOO… it’s the last bank holiday of the year but HOORAH…. that means it’s the always anticipated Notting Hill Carnival! What more do you want from a long weekend than to finish it with the favourite people in your life with Music, amazing food and some daytime drinking, with the added wish of sunshine to pop that cherry on the bank holiday cake!

It’s a last grab at the diminishing summer strands before the kids go back to school and the work life completely takes hold once again….. Hopefully a few more weeks left to enjoy alfresco dining, “tightless” legs and we will wear flip flops til our little toes get icicles on them!

So here is a bit of history to The Notting Hill Carnival….

The Notting Hill Carnival is an annual event that since 1966 had taken place on the streets of Notting Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London.  Each August bank holiday weekend it is led by members of the West Indian community. The carnival has attracted around 1 million people in the past few years, making it one of the largest street festival in the world.

The roots of the carnival occurred in response to the depressing state of the race relations at the time. The previous year there had been wide spread racial attacks (The Notting Hill race riots). The original carnival was held by Claudia Jones – often described as “the mother of The Notting Hill Carnival” in her capacity as Editor of Britain’s first black newspaper, The West Indian Gazette and was directed by Edric Connor. It showcased elements of a Caribbean style carnival and brought in the steel bands, beauty contests. I love how it hasn’t lost its traditions and culture throughout the years and you still feel like you’re having a taste of the Caribbean now!

Talking with the PG team about their favourite thing about the carnival, it’s nice to see it varies between us but we all repeat the same 1 thing….. FOOOOOOOOOOD! Yes…. The PG team love food and especially Caribbean style food. The flavours and cooking styles just have us daydreaming at our desks…. Mmmmm Jerk Chick, Curried goat, rice and peas, barbecued Prawns….. Mmmmmmmm! Ooops… sorry, where was I…
Becca describes herself as a magpie and her favourite thing is the colourful costumes and sequins that catch your eye as the parade passes by.
Cocnut babyEmily and her very good friend Roli have their own memories as Roli’s family come from the Caribbean, it is a very special weekend for her. A firm favourite is their “coconut baby”….. this basically involves a coconut that is nurtured and fed with rum. Coconut and Rum…. From a coconut….. with a straw…. WINNER!! I can definitely see why they are so fond of this!

Julie and I both agree that our favourite part, aside from the food, is that anything goes at the carnival. You can escape from London but you’re still very much in London. Everyone is there to have an amazing time and celebrate the amazing carnival and even the police get involved with the fun and banter.

Anyway…. Enough talk about it…. Let’s go and enjoy it! Wishing you all a wonderful Bank Holiday and I hope you’re able to enjoy the, frankly wonderful Notting Hill Carnival. Send us your pictures of the carnival and especially the food or Coconut babies!