ISAW Guide to: Notting Hill Carnival

What is it? Notting Hill carnival is a spectacular parade which takes place every August bank holiday. It spills out of Ladbroke grove (Alexa play Ladbroke Grove by AJ Tracey) and illuminates the streets of West Kensington borough with vibrant colours and an incredible celebration of Caribbean heritage. Not to mention free flowing red stripe to the sound of afro beats. This technicolour display has been running for over 50 years and unites London in one gigantic party in one of its prettiest neighbourhoods. Here’s our low down on this year’s carnival.

Where to visit:

  Bar 58

Away from the main party scene is Bar 58, tucked in the Acklam village at the end of Portobello road market. Here you can find a colourful bar with live music surrounded by the tastiest street food.

Farm Girl

If you need a solid breakfast to line your stomach before a day of partying (everyone knows a latte with a French bull dog on top is a day drinking essential) then Farm Girl is your place. Serving the prettiest brunches around.

 Emslie Horniman Pleasance Park. 

Here you will find the main music attractions for the carnival. Saturday is family day but Sunday and Monday sees the park taken over by Red Bull sound system for a party in the park.

After parties

  If the main parade and tropical cocktails haven’t quenched your carnival thirst then book one of the many lively after parties taking place in London this weekend. We’d recommend the Ministry of Sound, the biggest after-party in London. Your bank holiday weekend won’t be stopping until Tuesday.

What to wear:

The main parade features a band of dancers decked out in glitter, tassels and fabulous feathery head dresses. Unfortunately for us there won’t be a heatwave this weekend so joining the dancers and daring to bare may not be an option on the streets of London, but we’ve still got all your killer carnival looks covered;

This mesh T-shirt dress comes in 5 colours, from black and white to neon. You can choose to let the vibrant hues of the carnival stand out against your monochrome look or join them and go all out in neon.

We are LOVING a co-ord for carnival - take a walk on the wild side with this leopard print mesh co-ord. Pair with neon for extra sass.

Make the most of this summery trend whilst you still can and stay comfy in this Tie – Dye co-ord. Perfect with some oversized sunnies and chunky trainers, you’ll have the perfect chilled bank holiday outfit.

Ditch the heels.

This is a rare bank holiday weekend where heels are definitely not required. With the Carnival taking place in the street and calypso music ringing throughout west London, your weekend will be full of walking and dancing so chunky boots and trainers are a clear winner - here are some of our fave carnival picks:


To complete your London look get your face jewels on and join the dancers. Sparkle with our Gypsy Shrine gems, or if you’re going for the more chilled out look opt for a 90’s vibe with these retro rose tinted glasses.

Here’s wishing you the best bank holiday weekend at Notting Hill Carnival!

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