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Car-nival, where to park it

It’s carnival time. You may be far, far away or here to party, but either way you may need to move your car or somehow get it moved. Even if you are near the carnival route it is still a good idea to park somewhere quieter as cars are sometimes…

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Sunday: family day

Some say the start of carnival is the best bit, but you’ll have to set your alarm for sparrows because kick-off is around 6am or 7.30am by the time the energetic show gets to Ladbroke Grove (route on pic). Carnival opens with traditional Trinidadian paint splattering j’ouvert or jouvay, a sort of…

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Kelly’s Keys to Calm

As August draws to a close and school looms, I was reminded of a recent history class in which our ten-year-old was asked what it was about the Ancient Egyptians that meant they could achieve the incredible feat of building the pyramids. Was it the slave system? Some technological innovation?…

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Notting HIll Post Fab Edit

I Love this Frank waxy rucksack by Ally Cappellino. Great for carrying supplies around at Carnival and would see you through a cold, dark winter. Frank is a British waxed cotton rucksack perfect for cyclists, me or busy people carrying lots of stuff. Only problem is Frank costs £280. allycapellino

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Reggae, calypso and steel bands

There will be some great music at this year’s carnival. Scratchylus, Best Reggae Nominee (pic) is just back from a sell-out tour of Jamaica and The Gambia and will be performing his hit single Reset the Mindset, you can hear it here … youtube.com on the the World Music stage. Also, dance radio station Rinse FM…

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Carnival cleanse

If you have missed carnival altogether it’s best to try to delay getting back until Tuesday morning, when the streets have been cleaned and everything has settled down. If you get home and someone has been caught short and the smell of urine is too much to bear, you can…

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Syrian Pop-Up in Kensington

Most Pop-ups surface in the East End but this one is at The Mosaic Rooms in SW5 (Kensington and Chelsea- hooray). Here you will find a pop-up supper club on Thursday 28th August with guest chef and author Anissa Helou. She will be cooking a three course, Syrian inspired meal. The…

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How to do Nordic Noir

Local Notting Hill love Mariella Frostrup will be interviewing cool Swedish Actor Sofia Helin who played the extraordinary Saga Norin in the excellent TV series The Bridge. This hot date is on September 11th from 7-8pm at the Emmanuel Centre in SW1. Tickets are £25 or you can shell out…

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Support Dyslexia Teaching Centre

On September 13th this year a group will be taking on the “3 Peaks Challenge” in aid of the Dyslexia Teaching Centre Trust. They will be attempting to reach the summits of the three highest mountains in the UK: Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England and Snowdon in…

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The Print Room moves into the Coronet

The Print Room has now moved into its new home The Coronet on Notting Hill Gate. Exploring this vast building is entertainment indeed and the Print Room team has uncovered unknown areas behind the scenes like the upper gallery in the pic. Watch this space for news on the new…

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Kelly’s keys to calm

Still trying to keep steady post holiday robbery episode. I’ve been reminded of the adage that it is only when our hands are emptied that we can receive something new. So it has proved: the Spanish owner of our holiday house has proved a gem of wisdom and kindness –…

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Book now for 5X15 season

The new season of 5X15 evenings, where five amazing people talk for 15 minutes each while you sit and guzzle a glass of white starts on 22 September. Best to book early as they are really popular. The first one has Will Self ranting, Howard Jacobson on the dystopia of…

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Meet your ancestors

There is a brilliant exhibition about ancient Britain on at the Natural History Museum. It shows how the landscapes have changed, what great, great, great, great uncle Alf looked like (pic), There are life size models and loads of specimens and worth a visit before it ends on 28th September….

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London Freecycle

Get on yer’ bike this weekend and join the Ride London Freecycle. An eight mile loop of roads around central London will be closed for bike enthusiasts to pedal round. It is free to join but you have to register (now). Sponsored by Prudential and on tomorrow 9th August from…

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Kelly’s keys to calm

I was robbed last Wednesday. Our son glimpsed a fifty-something dark-haired woman in the bathroom of the Spanish villa we are renting. Assuming she was connected to the house, he greeted her with a cheery ‘Hola’. She rewarded us by taking my beloved slouchy bag holding the ingredients of a…

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Family Bushcraft in Hyde Park

Book your family for a night of Bushcraft – outdoor survival skills – in Hyde Park on 15th August. Learn fire lighting skills, with various modern and ancient methods. Once the fire is lit you can learn bracelet weaving, where you construct your own survival bracelet to take home with…

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Lidgate’s Summer Salad

Ingredients 600 grams Beef Fillet Steak (probably 2 steaks) 300 grams green beans 120 grams mixed salad leaves Half a courgette 3 spring onions Vinaigrette about 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (1 small pomegranate) 3/4 teaspoon soy sauce 1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 3 Tablespoons Olive…

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Carnival in a book

Just in time for this year’s carnival a book, called Carnival, is being launched this weekend. It is the first book detailing the carnival’s history and the photographs are amazing. Written by Ishmahil Blagrove and Margaret Busby, there are short interviews with people who were at the early 1960s carnivals…

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Top showjumpers a bus ride away

This is not right here in Notting Hill but is such a strange happening that maybe a short bus ride will be worth it. Three of Team GB’s Olympic show jumping gold medallists, among them Scott Brash (pic) will be among 30 riders competing in a show jumping competition at…

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Rates bill threatens pop up cinema

Portobello pop up Cinema is under threat of closure having been presented with a unprecedented rates bill of £26,000. Run as a not for profit enterprise by volunteers this huge bill will close the cinema and Aclam village. Project director Tim Burke said ‘It’s desperately sad that our temporary art…

Homes of quality and style

Retrouvius is chock full of the most gorgeous Victorian mahogany cabinetry once used to store envelopes and files in the British Museum and the V&A and teak from school labs, long since replaced with shiny graffiti resistant  resin. All these rescued woods, cupboards and unusual lights and door fittings have…

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1914 at The Gate Cinema

Go back a hundred years to 1914 for a night at the Gate Cinema on 4th August (Queen Mother’s birthday in case you had forgotten). Recline and enjoy a special compilation from the BFI National Archive which recreates the glorious miscellany of comedies, dramas, travelogues and newsreels that would have constituted…

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Notting Hill film set

A splash of Tinseltown glamour has come to Notting Hill with a comedy drama being shot in our midst starring Uma Thurman, American Hustle’s Bradley Cooper (pic) Emma Thompson and Sienna Miller. The working title is Adam Jones and it’s about a briliant cook, Cooper, who returns to London after time…

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Free garden tours around palace

Historic Royal Palaces has such a great range of summer events. How about a free historical garden tour of the gardens around Kensington Palace? The walk includes a talk about the recent development of the grounds and part of the tour gives you exclusive access into the beautiful Baroque-inspired Sunken…

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Brent Cross drive through cinema is back

At Brent Cross the drive through cinema is back for August -1st to 9th. It costs £22 a car no matter how many hot bods you have squeezed in. First check in at the box office where they give you your personal radio frequency then menus for hot dogs and…

Kelly’s keys to calm

From how to sleep to how to wake up: It might seem easy enough, but we know that those who suffer from depression and anxiety are at their worst in the mornings. Psychiatrists call it ‘Diurnal mood variation’; Snoopy said he thought he was ‘allergic to mornings’. For me, it…

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Goldborne Road Festival Sunday 27th July

On Sunday 27th July – this week- Goldborne Road will come alive with its own action packed festival. Live music, dance, market stalls, a sports and fitness zone with zumba and food from around the world will create a bustling, hustling vibe on this eclectic road. Face painting and clowns…

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90s film festival on Acklam Road

‘We Love the 90s’ is a mini film festival from 25th-27th July and 1st-3rd August up on Aclam Road at the outdoor pop-up Portobello cinema. Expect to see 90s classics; Pulp Fiction, Muriels’s Wedding and Higher learning. Tickets are just a fiver and each screening is hosted by some creative…

This Boy by Alan Johnson

I have just read a brilliant book, This Boy by labour stalwart Alan Johnson, chronicling his impoverished childhood in Notting Hill. It is a deeply moving account of the tremendous struggle his mother Lilly had to make ends meet in post war Britain and how his amazing sister Linda coped…

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Jade Waller show at Graffik Gallery

Urban contemporary art has had a boost since Cape Town artist Jade Doreen Waller came on the scene. All her work stems from today’s urban subculture, which as we all know is crammed and chaotic and the title of the show describes what many feel, ‘Overload’. This body of work…

New birthday season at The Gate Theatre

Christopher Haydon is very busy as the artistic director of the Gate Theatre putting together his most ambitious season to date. ‘Who Does She Think She Is?’ is the Autumn (and Gate’s birthday) season and comprises three plays (all UK premiers) which will look at identity through the prism of…

Kelly’s keys to calm

Sleep is such an important Key to Calm that I am returning to the topic. It is particularly relevant to those dogged by anxiety and depression: when we are sleep-deprived, our emotional brain (the amygdala) becomes more active and we can no longer regulate feelings effectively, locking us into a…