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Notting Hill Carnival - Notting Hill

This is what you need to know about the famous west London bank holiday weekend mega-party (below): the carnival parade is actually really cool and should not be missed; the food is great; Sunday is the family day, so great for chilling out; Monday is the loud and brash party day to check out the sound systems; and it is nothing like that lame-ass fucking Hugh Grant movie.

Free, Aug 25 & 26, 9am-7pm  W11 3HT  
Tube | Notting Hill Gate 
thenottinghillcarnival.com

St Martin’s Courtyard Food and Flowers Fest - Covent Garden

Or more accurately, food, flowers and booze fest, as Covent Garden restaurants such as Jamie’s Italian and Dishoom serve up floral cocktails ‘n’ munch. Mexican restaurant Cantina Laredo is giving away 2000 free hibiscus margaritas, and there’s floral face painting, live music and more. A grand little day out.

Free, July 13, 12pm-5pm WC2E 9AB  
Tube | Covent Garden 
stmartinscourtyard.co.uk 

 

Wimbledon Book Fest - Wimbledon

Just because autumn is around the corner it doesn’t mean the outdoor cultural fun will stop. This literary fest on the famous Wimbledon Common has readings, performances, talks and workshops, as well as all manner of big name stars – An Evening with Michael Palin and the headline event with Irish author Roddy Doyle (The Commitments) are two of the eye-catching must-sees for this year’s event. And there’s a beer tent!

£9+, Sep 28-Oct 13, times vary 
Wimbledon, SW19 
Tube | Wimbledon 
wimbledonbookfest.org

 

Yoruba Arts Festival - Hackney

This not-for-profit charity-based festival – which celebrates its fourth year this summer – seeks to support African cultural identity in London and bring the best of it to the wider community, with a free outdoor music, food, art and dance treat. Get down, get involved.

Free, July 27 & 28, 11am-8pm N16 9EJ  
Tube | Finsbury Park  
yorubaarts.org

London Mela - North London

Last year’s Indian festival of Mela – a feast of “sights, smells, sounds and tastes,” say the organisers – saw 82,000 Londoners celebrating South Asian culture. This year there’s six music stages, including the Eid, BBC Introducing, and the Community stages. There’s the traditional Mela carnival, and also a classical concert among all the young sounds. And if that didn’t sway you, there’s top Indian eats, too.

Free, Sep 1, 1pm-9pm 
Gunnersbury Park, W3  
Tube | Gunnersby  
londonmela.org

 

Hot Caribbean Fest - Chalk farm

Gappy Ranks and General Levy topline the live music, with a carnival parade, dancehall queen comp and more at this event celebrating the Caribbean’s cultural history.

£10, July 14, 3pm-12am 
Proud Camden, NW1 8AH 
Tube | Chalk Farm  
sunbailante.com


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Local summer festivals: From literary love-ins to gin-drenched chap-offs and comedy events
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