Music, dancing, mouthwatering food and kaleidoscopic colours – it can only be Notting Hill Carnival! Taking place as always on the August Bank Holiday weekend, the world-famous event has been running since 1966, celebrating the capital's multi-cultural identity.
If you're not planning on travelling into West London for the two-day spectacle, don't worry – you can still get in on the action by creating your own miniature carnival at home.
All it takes is some tasty street-food inspired nosh, colourful decorations and a cool glass of something fruity, and you can capture a little carnival magic without even leaving the house. So what are you waiting for? Set a colourful dress code, gather up a crowd, and throw a party to remember!
go all-out with decorations
The best way to instantly transform your garden, patio or balcony for a party? Fairy lights, of course! From pineapples to umbrellas, we have some super-fun options in store. Likewise, strings of colourful bunting and balloons are pocket-friendly and extremely effective.
Consider adding a colourful piñata into the mix – you can fill it with rainbow-coloured treats and let your guests take a swing.
Other ideas? Buy a load of bright paper napkins and plates, cocktail umbrellas and paper straws. Invest in some colourful outdoor cushions or beanbags so you can take a little rest from all that dancing. Find partyware online or in store.
Pass the punch
What could be more carnival-appropriate than a refreshing glass of punch? Whether you go alcohol-free or embrace the rum, a fruity punch is a brilliant idea when you're expecting a posse of guests. Our carnival punch cooler mocktail combines orange and mango juice with lemon, strawberry, banana, grapefruit and mint - all topped off with chilled soda water. Craving something with more of a kick? Try our rum punch instead.
If you're not a punch fan, don't sweat it – we've got stacks of alternative summer drink recipes.
It's all in the menu
Let's not forget the most important element of your at-home-carnival – the food! A Caribbean-inspired menu will be seriously fun (and delicious) to create, with both colour and spice playing a key part.
If you love a BBQ, this might just be the perfect opportunity to fire it up. You could grill prawn skewers, tasty marinated chicken, slices of pineapple or fresh corn. Of course, nothing beats that Jamaican classic: spicy jerk Chicken. Marinated in jerk seasoning, spring onions and honey, it's sure to satisfy hungry tummies.
Don't forget the extras
Make sure any vegetarians are catered for by serving up some veggie extras. These spicy rice burgers are packed with flavour and seriously delicious served with a zingy, crunchy coleslaw.
serve a stand-out dessert
When it comes to carnival-themed desserts, the options are endless. You could knock together a big bowl of fruit salad, banana splits, tropical coconut rice pudding or a sticky Jamaican ginger cake. We love this fruity fro-yo bombe because it looks pretty darn impressive and it's perfect for feeding a crowd.