I live in the Notting Hill area. Even though I do not like the chaotic revelry typical of Notting Hill Carnival, I always feel like I can’t miss the event, just pop in and take a look. The crowd flowing on the way to the parade is overwhelming, suffocating. Many bring forward “the drinking affair” and get drunk at home. It’s a big mess. There must be something good in the carnival of Notting Hill, though.
In my opinion nothing but colors, some lovely happy faces and – no doubt – the elegant neighborhood with a good variety of quality restaurants. After my brief carnival experience I head to Pizza Metro in Notting Hill Gate to test and taste what is claimed to be the longest pizza in London. Long and very good, I’d say. Always made with fresh dough from the finest wheat, this pizza is hand-stretched and cooked on the stone of a wood burning oven. Italian ingredients, italian chefs.
Before I come across this delicious pizza place I force myself to linger in the carnival area, willing to see something amazing. If you judge the artistic side of the event, the Carnival Parade is pretty modest compared to any other carnival. The scene is mostly animated by teens wearing I-do-not-know-what. Feathers and sequin costumes draw the crowds. The music is tribal. You must be drunk to appreciate all that. Despite more arrests were made during this year’s Notting Hill Carnival than in 2011, the parade flows in peace.
Needless to say the show is colorful and quirky. But also full of smiling faces. Apparently many have real fun and I could also enjoy few minutes of hilarity: it’s not only a matter of alcohol and crazy outfits. 15 minutes after the joyful moment, I’ve already seen and experienced enough. Time to sneak out, reach the main street, Notting Hill Gate, and taste a warm pizza.