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Notting Hill Carnival: A Whine Doesn't Mean Wine And Dine...

Words by André Larnyoh. Photography by Luke Alland, using Leica's Q2 Reporter.

I didn’t really have a lot planned for this summer; my overall aim was to get some much-needed rest after what had been an already busy year. However, London is not about resting. There are summer screenings outside King's Cross; Towpath Cafe finally reopens; and there are countless invitations to get a pint in the sun—it's an endless cycle of socialising and drinking which ultimately results in you (and your wallet) feeling spent. And then there's work the next day.

It's safe to say that the concept of rest had well and truly eluded me. However, instead of wallowing, I looked forward to the idea of release. Notting Hill Carnival had been circled in my calendar since January. For those that may not know, it is the glorious bank holiday weekend in August where any Londoner worth their salt chooses to stay in the city and, for two whole days, forgets about leadership races, failed summer romances and rising energy bills. Instead, they surrender themselves to a Bacchanalian atmosphere of rum, curry goat and whining that'd break down even the clingiest of wallflowers (chances are those walls will be covered in someone else's piss anyway). For most, it marks the climax of the summer.

On my way over to Westbourne Park station from Baker Street, the platform waiting for the

train that would take carnival-goers to the promised land was buzzing with energy. The resulting roar from the crowd when it finally pulled in was the kind you only hear during a World Cup match.

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