The Nottinghill carnival is coming to London this Bank holiday. It brings with it, many recallections of my misspent youth - walking through Nottinghill, gorging on food from the food halls, stalls and pop up tents. Those were the days!! It was even more special because the food was accompanied by amazing music ranging from House and Garage (fave), RnB, Soca and Reggae.
Hysterically watching policemen trying to get in on the action attempting and failing to twerk, did not take away from the sheer elation I felt as London, our great city celebrated diversity and multiculturalism.
Times have changed and there is a more subdued tone.
The policemen don’t join in as much and there isn’t such a “ je ne sais quoi “ attitude as before..
The many horror stories from Belgium, France and Germany have left people under high alert, weary and not as relaxed as before.
I will not be attending the Carnival this year – my ever expanding brood has made navigating the carnival almost impossible. However, I will be encouraging as many people as possible to attend the Carnival and bring the spirit of the Carnival back to London.
This week, we spoke to Mel Adams, the current Passista at the Pariso School of Samba for her 10 top tips to get Carnival Ready. We love tip #4.
- Have a basic plan. There are loads of maps produced on the run up to carnival, giving detailed information on the location of the floats, mass bands and Samba schools. There are lots and lots different genres or music and each have their own bases. If you have not been before, plan ahead to identify where you would like to be based.
- If this is your first time, try and find somewhere with a birds eye view – nothing is better than seeing the parade below. If you see a float you like and enjoy the vibe around it, follow them!! Most of the Samba schools have a live link that helps you and follow and locate the parade.
- Wear trainers – you will thank me.
- Bring as much rum punch as possible.
- A knapsack is a must!! Fill it up with all your festival essentials - whistles, flags, drinks. Although readily available, prices for the essentials are now very extortionate. As you get into the Carnival spirit, you will want a whistle and flag.
- Have a good breakfast – you will be sampling many rum punches and various liquid concoctions! Revellers are always ready and willing to share – line your stomach.
- Designated meeting place – If attending with friends, have a designated meeting place and time in case you lose each other in the crowd!
- Take an umbrella you are happy to part with – the last Carnivals have seen some rain.
- After parties! The Carnival winds down fairly early – around 7pm but there are loads of after parties. Again, plan in advance and do your research. Stay away from unlicensed or illegal parties and pre book tickets where possible. The door charges are a joke!
- Most importantly – Enjoy yourself.
I will be there with my CurlyEllie Moisturings Detangling spray to spruce up my hair and keep it hydrated. Pop over and say hi. I might even give you a glass or 2 of my rum punch !!