As any Londoner knows, the UK capital is awash with Aussies – which is no bad thing in the slightest; that antipodean energy, positivity and can-do-ness contributes much to the city’s rich and diverse culture and society. So, with so many people from Down Under already living in London, it’s hardly like they’ll need tips on the best Aussie-themed and Aussie-friendly leisure and entertainment spots, but what about those visiting them – or indeed just visiting the place on their own?
Sure, wherever you come from, you’re unlikely to visit London just to immerse yourself in where you’ve come from, but so strong is the Aussie vibe here, it’s almost too hard to resist dipping your toe into it while you’re here – frankly, wherever you happen to hail from. Here are some good examples…
A jewel in the crown of the South London nightlife scene, Clapham seems perennially popular and hip – not least with Australians. Once upon a time, Earl’s Court felt like a little Sydney in London (so much so it was nicknamed Kangaroo Valley) while Shepherd’s Bush was heavily populated by Aussies too; nowadays, though, the Clapham area seems to be where they really love to come out and play. And why ever not?
For drinks and dancing: Infernos – a gaudy, happy-go-lucky nightclub that’s absolutely as camp as they come; not least thanks to its dancefloor that may (not) have been borrowed from the set of Saturday Night Fever.
For food: Dairy – just like the rest of Clapham seems to be effortlessly trendy, so does this place, with its Recycled furniture, workshop light fittings and selection of craft beers; however, it also offers quality seasonal ingredients with real finesse.
Don’t miss: Clapham Common – the perfect stretch of green for a relaxing stretch of your legs, a game of Frisbee with friends or a few quiet moments on a park bench.
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Arty, edgy, even arguably grimy in some ways, Shoreditch has quickly become the trendiest place to be on a Friday or Saturday night – and makes for a marvellous melting-pot of weekend revellers from all over the world. And so of all parts of the capital it’s a part of London for Australians that’s terrific (and perfect for checking out if you’re staying at, say, the Montcalm Brewery hotel London). Nearby, you’re highly advised to try the famed Brick Lane area for its curry houses and Sunday market.
For drinks and dancing: Queen of Hoxton (a bar-cum-club with dance DJs and arts installations on three floors, as well as a roof-garden barbecue) or Electricity Showrooms (a laid-back take on a Victorian pub, with cocktails, DJs and a dance floor in the basement).
For food:Hoxton Apprentice is excellent for Sunday brunch with a lovely view of Hoxton Garden.
This area’s somewhat sedate and genteel streets have become home for a good number of Aussies over recent years. Many enjoy flat-shares near North End Road, with its lively and authentic street-market, while many Thames-side pubs and eateries are within walking distance and always popular in the summer months when the sun’s out. The stretch along Fulham Broadway (familiar to Londoners for its Tube station) is also packed full of many recommended bars.
For food: Sapori Sardi – why not go Italian? This pleasant, little intimate place offers fine Sardinian cuisine served on charming, chunky wood tables.
Fashion, shopping, cafés, eateries, live music and clubbing… it’s all here in Angel. Sort of a King’s Road of (almost) North London, Upper Street and its surrounding area tends to appeal to Antipodeans of perhaps a hipper, wealthier type, but being an age-old haunt of this very blogger, he can attest of its plethora of quality bar and restaurant options.
For drinks and dancing: The King’s Head – all right, dancing’s not so much the order of the day at this pub, but the spacious, old Victorian boozer’s an Islington institution, not least because it features a theatre upstairs.
For food: Pasha – an elegant, slightly stylish Turkish restaurant with an always delicious menu and a cosy, relaxed vibe.