With its iconic music, food and kaleidoscope of colours, Europe's biggest street festival - Notting Hill Carnival - takes place this August Bank Holiday weekend. Expect steel bands, yummy Caribbean cuisine and lots of colourful floats.
The world-famous carnival has been running since 1964 and celebrates the capital's multi-cultural identity with a whole weekend of fun. But if you're not planning on travelling into West London for the two-day spectacle, you can still get in on the action by creating your own carnival at home.
From cooking up fantastic food, hanging colourful decorations and raising a glass of something fruity, you can recreate some of the fun carnival magic without leaving your own garden. What are you waiting for? Set a colourful dress code, gather up a crowd, and throw a party to remember!
decorations are a must
Colourful bunting and balloons easily transform any space from plain to party. And no celebration is complete without a colourful piñata! Loved by all ages, kids (and grown-ups...) will enjoy taking turns trying to smash through the decoration in order to get to the hidden goodies lurking within. Decorated in bright green, pink and yellow neon colours, it's definitely an essential carnival accessory.
As you dance into the night, you'll need some beautiful themed lighting to deck out outdoor areas so the carnival can continue. We love this flamingo-shaped marquee light - perfectly on-theme and great to pull out for all sorts of garden drinks and gatherings in the future.
Pass the punch
Dancing is thirsty work, so chill out with this family-friendly mocktail. Our carnival punch cooler is fruity and refreshing, making it the perfect punch to serve up to your guests. Or try recreating this raspberry and mint punch in minutes. Apple juice, raspberry and mint cordial are mixed together and topped up with lemonade and lots of ice, making it ideal for long, hot summer days.
Need something even more icy in this August sunshine? Try sipping this triple-melon ice slushie in the shade - it's packed with fruit like watermelon, strawberries and pineapple.
Serve up our fruity, refreshing punch inspired by Caribbean flavours in jars, milk bottles or these adorable pineapple shaped glasses. Garnish with cocktail umbrellas for an extra hit of pizzaz to complete the ultimate carnival drinking experience!
It's all in the menu
Colour and spice is key when it comes to Caribbean cuisine.
Start off with these rather tempting mini-prawn kebabs marinated in garlic, ginger and muscovado sugar, which take just minutes on the BBQ. For the main course, serve up the mighty and meaty Jamaican classic: spicy jerk Chicken. Marinated in jerk seasoning, spring onions and honey it's sure to satisfy hungry tummies. If you're eating outside, plate it up in disposable boxes or colourful plastic plates to really help create that carnival vibe.
Serve the chicken alongside some spicy rice burgers, which will get veggies' tastebuds tingling, some tasty plantain chips and Caribbean curry patties with a side of zingy salsa. The fragrant lamb-stuffed pastry bites are only mildly spiced, meaning little mouths can enjoy them too.
For dessert, whip up this fabulous frozen watermelon pud or treat yourself to a sweet and creamy coconut rice pudding. The sunshine tropical topping made with mango and pomegranate means you can sit, eat, and be transported to warmer climates. Yum!