It’s August Bank Holiday which can mean only one thing: it’s time to wiggle your tail feathers because it’s Notting Hill Carnival time baby! (Oh, and it’s a three day weekend too, woohoo!). With the carnival comes thousands, and thousands of eager Londoners, day-trippers, and tourists all wanting a piece of the action, and if you’re looking of things to do while in and around the area, while still soaking up the carnivalesque atmosphere, we’ve rounded up the very best of London’s festivities for you.
Grab your feathered headdress, glitter up your face, and get ready to dance the weekend away, carnival style…
We love Notting Hill Carnival for many reasons, and one is definitely it’s an excuse to drink copious amounts of rum! Lucky for us, the wonderful team at The Duppy Share have teamed up with Trailer Happiness to create the ‘Notting Chill’, a rum punch infused with hibiscus, mango, lime and nutmeg, for the lively Notting Hill Carnival goers! So it’s time to crack open the rum and get this carnival party started!
The cocktail is on offer at Trailer Happiness throughout August, and you’ll find a pop-up Duppy bar on the carnival route
Where: 177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY
If you fancy ditching the crowds over in Notting Hill, why not venture over to Mayfair for COYA’s Peruvian carnival spin on their bottomless brunch? Word on the street is that, COYA Mayfair are stepping up their flamboyant brunch game an extra notch with a towering margarita fountain and frozen mojitos to sip on, as well as show-stopping performers wiggling their feathers, all while tucking into your fave brunch dishes. This three-hour affair is flamboyant, bottomless, and a fab way to soak the carnival atmosphere whilst ditching the crowds!
Running Sunday 25th August
Where: COYA Mayfair,
After skanking the afternoon away for the last two years, tradition dictates Red Bull are back for their third year running at Pleasance Park. Heading the event this year is dancehall queen Spice, winner of the 2016 Red Bull Culture Clash, who will be joined by London favourites Sneakbo and Yxng Bane. This party ready blend of tune will be topped off by appearances from up-and-coming UK artists as well as some established special guests. All partied out? Well, grab yourself a can of our favourite energy-boosting tipple as Red Bull are here to stay! The Red Bull Music Festival lasts until September 14th, with a range of special events taking place throughout the city. For full details and to bag yourself a spot, visit redbull.com/london
Where: Pleasance Park, W8 6TN
If there’s one restaurant that does brunch right, then it’s VIVI. We’re talking candyfloss cocktails, eggs Royale, and a whole lotta waffles! And, to celebrate Notting Hill Carnival, ALR Music be bringing the carnivalesque tunes, let’s get boogieing in London’s prettiest pink resto!
Running Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th August
Where: 11 St Giles Square, London WC2H 8AP
Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road (0.1 miles)
Pick up where the carnival left off over at the Lounge Bar at the Mayfair hotspot, Novikov, this Sunday with one hell of an extravagant party. Novikov will be bringing all of the Notting Hill festivities to Mayfair, expect dancers grooving their tail feathers, DJs bringing the roof raising tunes, and drummers clanging late into the night. Of course, there’ll be some killer colourful cocktails knocking about too!
Running Sunday 25th August, 9pm onwards
Where: 50A Berkeley Street, Mayfair, W1J 8HA
Close out the big ol’ carnival weekend at The Curtain with a live performance from New York singer and Canadian rapper Tommy Genesis, who’s been paving her way to the top of the rap scene. Join Tommy at her exclusive London show and see out the carnival weekend by partying the night way in the LP club.
Sunday 25th August, tickets available here
Where: 45 Curtain Road, Hackney, EC2A 3PT
It’s not a festival unless you’re covered head to toe in dazzling glitter (or so these millennials seem to think anyway…) But if you’re looking to get your glitter fix this carnival weekend, head over to ibis Styles Gloucester Road, where the Go Get Glitter team will be on hand to add a little sparkle to your weekend. With biodegradable glitter pots and stencils in hand, these guys will leave you with mermaid scales, unicorn dust and lightning bolts.
Sunday 25th August, 9am – 1pm
Where: ibis Styles Gloucester Road, 110 Cromwell Road, SW7 4ES
The party animals over at Corsica Studios in Elephant and Castle will be hosting their sixth annual London Carnival afterparty extravaganza, and you’re invited! Joining the team all the way from Amsterdam are Lumberjacks in Hell crew, plus a special guest appearance from Crate Digger’s Zernell. Continue to party it up festival style, and enjoy some good ol’ tunes that’ll keep you dancing the night away.
Where: 4-5 Elephant Road, Elephant and Castle, SE17 1LB
Spice up your carnival weekend with a cocktail or two at The Parrot at The Waldorf at their one-off carnival-inspired party. Grab yourself a fruity cocktail, boogie to some live Afro-Caribbean Calypso music, and soak up the magical carnival-vibe floating through the air. There’ll be a variety of Caribbean-inspired small plates created specially by Executive Chef, Karl Richardson, including akcee and salt fish, fried plantain, and jerk chicken wing.
Saturday 24th August, 8pm – midnight
Where: The Waldorf Hilton, Aldwych, WC2B 4DD
Innocent's Carnival Survival Pop-Up
Need a quick fix for that hangover? No problemo! Innocent will be giving away free drinks to carnival goers a their pop-up in Powis Square. The team will be there with face paints, free drinks, and some dodgy dance moves while you rest your feet on their deck chairs…
Running Sunday and Monday, 11am-4pm
Where: Powis Square, Notting Hill
Get Mad Entertainment know what’s up! They’ve got two killer carnival parties this Saturday and Sunday that’ll keep you boogieing all weekend. Their Scandalous Saturday party will get you pumped up ready for the big Sunday bonanza in Notting Hill, before you make your way back over to The Venue for Careless Sunday. Bring your flags, carnival costume and good vibes only.
Where: 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN
Website: Tickets this way
Looking for somewhere to get pumped up for the carnival? Pop Brixton will be hosting an all-day spectacular filled with superb DJ sets, pop-up street food vendors, and, of course, a banging good time. Mama’s Jerk, Halo Burger and Studmuffin will be serving up delicious food, while there’ll be a live PA from Mercury Prize nominee Terri Walker, as well DJ sets from Mr Thing, Maura Miller, Billy Biznizz, to name a few.
Saturday 24th August, 12-23:30pm
Where: 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PQ
Carnival not you thing? Here’s what else to do this weekend…