We are a few days away from carnival, my favourite summer activity in London. Every year promises to be a big, crazy party and this year it looks like the weather will actually be bright and dry. Although never get your hopes too high. That brings me on to a few tips for anyone going, especially the first timers. Although they do say that the best times are the ones that are not planned, with Carnival you should have some preparation to make sure you make the most of these two vibrant day in London.
- Be weather conscious
When you wake up on Sunday and Monday, check the weather. If there is any chance of rain, even the small 10% then I suggest you bring your trendy raincoat with you, after all, this is England .
2. Invest in a hip flask.
Hip flasks save lives and bank accounts. It also saves all that time you would spend queuing up for a drink. Carnival is a street party so you really are not restricted to what you bring. I always have a full bottle of rum and coke and then a hip flask for that ultra-important top up
3. Know your sound
At Carnival you have the main parade route which is led by the colourful dancers and floats, you can follow this and listen to the up beat Soca music. Then you have the different sound systems splattered across Notting Hill where different DJs and artist play and perform to your favourite music genres. It is always worth having a look at what sound systems are on and where they are so that you know where you are headed. It is so easy to get lost in the sea of people and you do not want to waste any second on the day deciding what to do. Rampage is always a great choice if you like R&B, Hip hop and a bit of dancehall. However, it also has been slightly more notorious for having fights break out in the past, just come with good vibes everyone! For the full map and details have a look on Time out here.
4. Know your bladder
Chances are you aren´t going to carnival on your own and friends bladder will not be in sync with yours. My advice is to all go to the toilet at the same time, whether you need to or not. The queues to the toilets are long so you might as well all go and wait in line together so hopefully you won´t need it for another few hours. Speaking of toilets, there are portable toilets all around the carnival grounds. However, if you can´t think of anything worse than a porta-toilet, like me, then you can look out for signs on homes that let you use their more hygienic toilets for 1-2 pounds (totally worth it). The queues are also relatively shorter!
5. Have fun and be safe
If you are heading to Carnival with your family, go on the Sunday as this is the more family friendly day. Make sure you keep a close watch over your children as it is so easy to lose people in the crowd. Monday is always more chaotic so make sure you are always aware of your surroundings. But finally, just have fun, dance and taste the flavours of the Caribbean!
I hope everyone enjoys their bank holiday and lets all keep our fingers crossed that the weather stays like this