August Bank Holiday Weekend in London

From the rum-soaked hedonism of Notting Hill Carnival to Spitalfield’s canine fashion show, for London’s final summer Bank Holiday the city is falling over itself to entertain. Eat, drink, dance, just don’t stay in!

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Notting Hill Carnival

Since its inception in 1964, Notting Hill Carnival has been one of London’s most joyous weekends. Yes, it gets crowded and getting there can be a pain but the exuberance of the party and the flamboyance of the spectacle are absolutely worth it. Arrive in good time to watch the parade; a rainbow-hued river of fantastic be-feathered costumes and wildly decorated floats soundtracked by samba, soca, reggae, calypso, hip-hop and more. Sunday is ostensibly children’s day and the parade is slightly shorter but in reality, the party has already started. On both days, the parade begins at 9am and winds its way from Great Western Road along Chepstow Road, down Westbourne Grove and onto Ladbroke Grove. Spectating aside, you can join in the party at one of the many soundsystems that set up camp throughout the neighbourhood. Hit Sancho Panza for electro, house and breaks; Norman Jay Good Times Bus for happy beats; King Tubby’s for reggae, dancehall, bashment and R&B. Finally, be sure to graze and sip your way around the hundreds of stalls selling Caribbean food and rum cocktails.

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25th and 26th August; Parade begins at 9am and finished around 7pm; Tube stations: Latimer Road, Holland Park, Notting Hill Gate, Bayswater (Westbourne Park); FREE ENTRY; thenottinghillcarnival.com

Bookstock-on-Sea

For some tongue-in-cheek seaside fun slap bang in the middle of Shoreditch, The Book Club is your place. This is the third annual Bookstock festival and this year, the theme is nautical. A beachy soundtrack will be provided by disco band Odyssey, hip-hop duo The Nextmen, Prince tribute Princeless, piano man Davos T and Disco Bloodbath’s Ben Pistor. You can choose your vibe from three arenas: The Promenade, The Pier or the lazer-filled basement, Under the Pier. There will be seaside silliness galore in the form of a slow motion ‘Baywatch’ running competition, a knobbly knees contest, a human Punch & Judy show, an amusements arcade, musical seaside bingo, ice cream floats and sea salt cocktails.

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August 25th 12pm-9pm; The Book Club, Leonard Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A; FREE ENTRY; wearetbc.com/bookstock

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Spitalfields Paw Pageant

Dolled-up dogs in designer togs will be taking part in a fashion show to raise money for the Battersea Dog and Cats Home in Old Spitalfields Market over Bank Holiday Weekend. The pageant begins with a catwalk show, during which dogs will be modelling outfits from canine couture designer Lilly of LoveMyDog while their human consorts wear designs by NW3, Mischa Barton, Albam, Jigsaw and Oliver Bonas. After lunch, members of the public get the chance to parade their pooches, competing for titles such as Dressed up to the (Ca)nines, Jimmy Chews (the naughtiest dog) and Mini-mutt (the smallest dog in show). Battersea Dogs and Cats home will also be present on the day offering advice, free micro chipping and dog tagging.

August 26th 1pm-3.30pm; Old Spitalfields Market, 16 Horner Square, London, E1 6EW: Free to watch; £5 to enter your dog in the paw pageant or £8 on the day; oldspitalfieldsmarket.com/events/paw-pageant-2013

SW4 Weekender

Now into its 10th year, the SW4 Weekender has been extended to two days instead of one, so popular is the dance music extravaganza on Clapham Common. For those who love the festival atmosphere but can’t be doing with camping or, in fact, leaving London at all, this could well be the answer. The party is laid back but banging nonetheless and the line-up is always stellar. On Saturday the decks will be presided over by Carl Cox & Loco Dice B2B, Armin van Buuren, Laidback Luke, Marco Carola, Solomun, Carl Craig, Sander van Doorn and others. Sunday’s line-up includes Example, Knife Party, Groove Armada, Eric Prydz, Boys Noize and Erick Morillo.

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August 24th and 25th; Clapham Common, SW4 9DE; Day tickets £50; southwestfour.com

HayDaze Weekender

For Bank Holiday Weekend, Proud’s converted stables, terrace and gallery spaces will be transformed into a market fair with 50 bands, circus performers, DJs and pop-up market booths. A rotating program of stalls will include a vintage clothes boutique, vinyl record shop, silent film club, psychic readings, hot tubs and a tie-dye workshop. During the day, a circus troupe will provide dazzling entertainment and, by night, the party will up tempo with DJ sets from MTV’s Laura Whitmore on Saturday and a drum-off remix marathon from London Guns (featuring Gary Powell of The Libertines and Adam Ficek of Babyshambles) on Sunday.

August 24th- 26th; Proud Camden, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Rd, London, NW1 8AH; FREE ENTRY 1pm-8pm; Saturday and Sunday evening tickets £8 in advance, £10 on the door; proudcamden.com

Real Street Food Festival

Celebrate multicultural London by way of your taste buds as you drift along the river beside the Southbank Centre sampling some of the country’s finest street food. The Real Street Food Festival promises to invite only Britain’s best vendors to share their wares, cooking up fresh ingredients in front of you and selling gourmet bites at a fraction of the price you’d pay for sitting down in a restaurant. Expect Malaysian, Korean, Taiwanese and Vietnamese specialities, made-while-you-wait Italian pasta, Spanish Paella, Churros and chocolate, French crepes, Indian pani puri, bhel puri and curry and artisan Polish smoked sausages. Plus, live bands will be entertaining throughout the day.

23rd – 26th August 12pm – 8pm Friday and Saturday, 12pm – 6pm Sunday and Monday; Southbank Centre, Queens Walk on the Riverside, Belvedere Road and Queens Walk, London, SE1 8XX; FREE ENTRY; realfoodfestival.co.uk

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