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Where to eat and drink during the Notting Hill Carnival

Carnival spirit: head to Cottons on Notting Hill Gate for jerk chicken and rum cocktails (Press handout)
Carnival spirit: head to Cottons on Notting Hill Gate for jerk chicken and rum cocktails (Press handout)

Notting Hill is home to some of the best restaurants in London — nearly all of which will be closed over the weekend of the August Bank Holiday, when two million people descend on this corner of west London to turn it into the biggest street party in Europe.

The roads of W10 and W11 within the Carnival route will see around 250 pop-up vendors selling Caribbean-inspired street food: jerk chicken, of course, but also Trinidadian roti wraps with spicy fillings, Guyanese pepperpot — stewed beef, pork or mutton, heady with cinnamon — plus saltfish cakes, plantain and sweetcorn.

Options for sitting down offer slimmer pickings, but below we’ve selected a handful of places worth dropping in for.

The Laslett

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

This boutique hotel near Notting Hill Gate tube is hosting a Carnival brunch on its terrace between noon and 3pm on the Sunday and Monday of the bank holiday weekend, with jerk chicken waffles and brioche buns washed down with rum punches, pina coladas and mojitos.

8 Pembridge Gardens, W2 4DU, living-rooms.co.uk

Cottons

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

Notting Hill Gate’s Caribbean restaurant claims to celebrate Carnival spirit all year round; see for yourself over the bank holiday weekend when there will be spicy chicken from a jerkpit, live DJs and takeaway rum cocktails.

157-159 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3LF, cottons-restaurant.co.uk

The Ladbroke Arms

On a quiet side street halfway between Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park tubes, this civilised pub is likely to be busier than usual this Carnival, as the nearby Mitre pub will be closed. Expect Old World wines by the glass, Timothy Taylor Landlord on tap, and food from a barbecue.

54 Ladbroke Road, W11 3NW, ladbrokearms.com

Sunday in Brooklyn

 (Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)
(Daniel Hambury/Stella Pictures Ltd)

If you’re heading to the UK National Panorama Steel Band Competition on the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend, this New York import will be serving its famous brunch before closing for the rest of the weekend.

98 Westbourne Grove, W2 5RU, sundayinbk.co.uk

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

Overgrounding it to Kensal Rise and entering (or exiting) the Carnival via the north end of Ladbroke Grove? Break the journey at this spacious gastropub which will be offering takeaway food along the lines of burgers and jerk chicken and rice or hang around for cocktails and live music. Note there’ll be an entry charge of around £5.

19 Kilburn Lane, W10 4AE, theparadise.co.uk

The Whippet Inn

 (Adrian Lourie)
(Adrian Lourie)

If you’re determined to have something approaching a proper meal, head to this bistro-looking gastropub in Kensal, which s serving brunch on the Saturday of the bank holiday weekend and a roast lunch on the Monday. Sunday, meanwhile, will see a Carnival after-party from 7pm.

64 Chamberlayne Road, NW10 3JJ, thewhippetinn.com

And if you just want a drink…

Trailer Happiness

This longstanding cocktail bar, which opened on Portobello Road 20 years ago, will be serving rum punches and rum in a coconut from two outside stands, while Equiano rum is hosting a ticketed Carnival afterparty on the Sunday evening.

177 Portobello Road, W11 2DY, trailerh.com

Little Yellow Door

 (Press handout)
(Press handout)

This All Saints Road site was formerly the Mangrove, the Trinidadian café that was the unofficial head office of the Notting Hill Carnival but, to paraphrase the old Nat West advert, is now a trendy cocktail bar. It will be serving drinks from an outside bar on the Saturday and Sunday of the bank holiday weekend.

6-8 All Saints Road, W11 1HH, thelittleyellowdoor.com

@mrbenmccormack