I was visiting Sarah, my Paris neighbour and fellow blogger who was coming to the capital for the weekend. Encouraged by our great love of the Velib bike share scheme in Paris we spent all morning on 'Boris bikes' cycling all over the city in the beautiful late summer sunshine then made it our mission to get to the carnival for the afternoon. After arriving in the general area we just had to follow the huge crowds and the rumble of the music being pumped out from the various floats in the parade.
Notting Hill is a fairly affluent area of London. So it's no surprise that all of the designer shops were completely boarded up, the locals had moved out for the weekend, taken their cars with them and even the beautiful bars and restaurants that remained open cleared out all of their furniture in order to fit more people in, create bigger dance areas and save on damages I suppose. The carnival does not often come and go without incident so 7,000 police officers are drafted in, in case any of the 2.5million attendees decide to be a little silly. I have to say though, that as visiting tourists we found the whole thing to be a massive feel good party and enjoyed every second. We ended up dancing the afternoon and early evening away in 'Beach Blanket Babylon'. With it's suited and booted doormen in dark glasses and beautiful interior (normally with furniture I'm sure) I'd say it's normally a rather exclusive venue, but on that day, it's doors were thrown open to a melting pot of people and drinks were served from the bar speedily in plastic glasses. The tunes were excellent and blasted out onto the street which just became an extension of the bar.
We particularly enjoyed meeting the lovely jigging Irish lady in the green cardigan above. She drank from a can of Red Stripe, her dancing with all the boys for hours attracted big crowds and she seemed to be having the time of her life.
When we said goodbye to her Sarah said to me 'so what did you think of your future self?!' LOL. I could do a lot worse.