The atmosphere at Notting Hill can only be described as joyfully chaotic.
It was pouring with rain and incredibly busy, but this all contributed to the boisterous but charming vibe that makes Notting Hill such a unique experience.
Penned as Europe’s biggest street carnival, there’s the main parade route with floats, sound systems, gloriously colourful costumes (the effort that people put into their costumes even knowing they were probably going to be walking around all day in the pouring rain is insane) and everybody just kind of wanders around taking it all in.
The food is excellent quality traditional Caribbean street food and you can buy beers and cocktails from makeshift stalls at the side of the roads which is ideal if you don’t want to lug around your booze all day.
There was a vast range of music, and most of the sound systems are extremely well put together, especially the ones on the back of the lorries that people follow down the main pathways.
The porta-toilets are decent, which is good because many restaurants and cafés and people that live along the parade route charge people to use their bathrooms (£3).
There was A LOT of police at Notting Hill, as in multiple officers at every street corner, which I suppose is a good thing as it helps to keeps crime levels as low as possible.
We had heard that it can get pretty rough. The news coverage in recent years has tended to focus on the high level of knife crime and acid attacks.
Our group didn’t witness anything major apart from a few fights.
The majority of people are overwhelmingly friendly, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your belongings.
Sunday is the family day, and although still a bit rowdy it’s far more suited to small children than Monday’s main parade.
It’s worth buying tickets for the after parties beforehand as it can feel like a bit of an anti-climax when all the music suddenly turns off at
Overall Notting Hill was a lot of fun and I’d definitely go again even though I had to pay £3 use the bathroom in somebody’s basement.