Written by Eileen MacCallum

Sea top view image

If you’re a Londoner, true or temporary, you might be feeling un peu gloomy about this coming weekend. Because, sadly, the environs of Notting Hill won’t be throbbing with the addictive beats and feather-shaking glamour of its annual festival. Another COVID casualty, the famous carnival is leaving the streets to go digital for 2020.

As Bloobloom HQ is in the area, we’ll miss the party vibe, processions and awesome street eats. Team member Harriet is a keen carnival regular. Her highlights include getting paint-soaked on the colour runs, dancing in the streets (naturellement) and popping into local people’s houses to use the loo (for a fee). Then staying on if there’s a party in full swing...

So how else can you savour the city this bank holiday weekend?

  • First, check out NHC 2020 Access All Areas – this year’s virtual version of the festival. Okay, so you can’t groove alongside the parades. But you can hear Brazilian, Mas and steel bands, watch Soca performances and even learn to prep to-die-for Caribbean food and drink at home. Vive le Notting Hill Carnival!
  • NHC 2020 Access All AreasOutdoor cinemas are big this summer, um, obviously. From Alexandra Palace to Waterloo, there’s plenty of parking choice. Fill a cool box with treat food, chill those drinks and get into the apart-but-together spirit watching a classic movie outside on a warm summer soirée.
  • Walk it out.... London’s sprawling sun-baked parks have sustained us over the past few months and are always worth a wander through. Break up a stroll with some people-watching aperitifs on South Bank. Or stock up on lovely things you don’t really need but adore at one of London’s many markets.
  • Galleries and museums are safely welcoming feet through doors so now’s your chance to see Gauguin and the Impressionists at the Royal Academy of Arts or Chinese artist Cao Fei’s sci-fi fantasy Blueprints at Serpentine Gallery. We recommend Barbican’s Masculinities: Liberation Through Photography exhibition. Try to explore their lush tropical conservatory while you’re there.
  • Don’t wanna go out? There’s a truly boggling array of virtual concerts, gigs and cultural happenings instantly available online. Or pull up a deckchair/sofa and take a virtual London tour without putting your shoes on. Just click.

Alas, 2020 is NOT the summer of spontaneity. As we’re all painfully learning, it pays to BOOK BEFORE heading out on an expedition, however tiny. So check those links before you go.

Allez – go!

PHOTOS: Unknown
WORDS: Eileen MacCallum