Celebrating the Caribbean community, the annual Notting Hill Carnival returns this August bank holiday. Taking place since 1966, Europe’s biggest street party features loud music, plenty of jerk chicken, extravagant costumes and parade processions.
Corus Hotel Hyde Park is just a short hop on the tube away from the festivities and we’ve got the lowdown on what to expect if heading out west this weekend...
The Carnival takes place in Notting Hill and its surrounding areas, including Ladbroke Grove, Westbourne Park, Westbourne Grove and Bayswater. Roads are pedestrianised to cope with the numbers; 2 million people attend over the weekend every year, so use public transport to get there but make sure to check with Transport for London (TfL) before you travel as some tube stations are expected to be closed due to overcrowding and buses will be rerouted.
Every year, the event is kicked off by Panorama. From 6pm on Saturday 24th August in Emslie Horniman’s Pleasance Park, experience a steelpan extravaganza from the UK’s National Steelband Competition. You’ll need a ticket for this one though!
Sunday 25th August is a family day, with J’Ouvert in Ladbroke Grove, the traditional celebration before the formal start of the Carnival starting at 6am! The Opening Ceremony at 10am in Great Western Road and Children’s Parade, the main event of the day, on the Parade Route, mark the official start of the Carnival.
What do you imagine when you think of the perfect afternoon tea..?
Warm, fresh scones with clotted cream and fruity jam, or carefully prepared sandwiches with delicious fillings? Pots of refreshing loose-leaf tea or a sparkling glass of fizz? At Corus Hotel Hyde Park, you can enjoy all of this and more with our irresistible Traditional Afternoon Tea!
Take a sit in our welcoming Brasserie Restaurant opposite Hyde Park and watch London go by as you relax with the perfect afternoon tea. Delight in our desserts and sample Lemon & Blood Orange Mousse, a Caramel & Hazelnut Nutella Brownie and our almost-too-pretty-to-eat wafer basket filled with honey cream and seasonal berries.
Q&A with Madga
Q How long have you been in your role as a wedding planner?
I took the role of Weddings & Events Executive at The Regency Hotel in September 2018. It was the best time to start the new role, as the wedding season was calming down and I had a chance to meet all my brides and focus on upcoming weddings. It was the best way for me to learn how the team works, how to prioritise. I also get to spend time with our operations team to see how the events are run from their side.
Q What’s the best thing about your job?
The best part of my job is to meet new couples all the time. It is amazing how after organising that many weddings you can still say that every couple, every wedding, is different. It is quite an emotional moment when they choose our venue to host their wedding and they want me to be a part of it. After all, they are trusting me to create their ideal vision of the most important day of their lives.
Q What's your favourite part of a wedding day?
My favourite part of the day is when the couple says their vows. There is always a lot of pressure in the morning of the wedding. Keeping up with the order of the day and time schedule is the key to perfect balance. When Bride and Groom say their vows and you see the smiles on their faces you realise that all the efforts and hard work you put in was worth it.
Q What is your role on the big day?
From the moment of the booking until the big day, I work alongside the couple to answer all their questions, helping them with advice and getting all the needed information to make sure everything goes according to the plan. On the day, I work together with the Event Manager to ensure the day run smoothly and is stress free for the Bride and Groom. I assist all the suppliers to set up the ceremony room and the wedding breakfast according to the instructions. Overall, I make sure that the order of the day and all the timings are kept as planned.
Q What should a couple look for in their perfect venue?
My advice for choosing a venue is to choose a venue that aligns with your vision, know your guest list, remember your budget, consider your guests’ experience, check what is included in the packages and, most importantly, stay true to yourselves…
Q What would be your best piece of advice for a couple starting to plan their wedding?
Planning a wedding can feel pretty overwhelming at first (trust me, I do it for living!). It may be a lot of work, but it is possible to plan your own dream wedding. Organization is the key. You will have so many balls up in the air at once, you will need a way to keep track of everything.
And the most important: have a faith that all your efforts will be worth it!
Q What are your last-minute tips for a bride the night before the wedding?
I know how stressful the whole process of the getting ready in the morning of your wedding can be. There's such a huge lead up to the big day and before you know it you're waking up on your wedding day, excited and nervous. First things first, go to bed early the night before. With excitement and nerves running high, it may take you a little bit longer to drift off, so head to bed a little bit earlier than normal to get a good night's sleep. Have your dress hanging up and your shoes (don't forget those pesky stickers on the sole!) and accessories, lingerie and garter laid out, with the labels cut off all your pretty new things. Make room in your schedule for some pamper time! Have a warm bath with oils (unless you have tan on!) and even flower petals if you wish. Light some candles, play some chilled music and take this moment to yourself to really allow your mind get ready for the day. And the last thing – No more planning!
Q What makes The Regency Hotel the perfect choice for a wedding venue?
The Regency Hotel is the perfect wedding venue in Solihull for your big day, situated in the leafy suburbs of Solihull but also close to major roads and railway networks. We offer a professional and dedicated team who will be on hand to help from the moment you book with us to the moment you get married with us. Our venue offers inclusive packages starting from £2825.00 for an evening reception and £3250.00 for a sit down meal and evening buffet; we would also be delighted to create a more individualised package for you.
I will be available at all stages to guide you and ensure that your day is exactly as you imagined it would be. I will be with you every step of the way, making sure that the little details that make your day perfect are all in hand, from the dressing of the tables to your first dance. Our staff will take care of your guests and allow them to treasure your day and enjoy themselves.
Corus Hotels were created with the belief that warm, friendly hospitality, personalised experiences & inviting settings are essential to a well-travelled life.
Blogs We Love
Our gorgeous blog cover photo is courtesy of ©Beth Sandland Photography, who stayed with us in December 2017. Check out her blog here.