Fear not my home-sick, London-dwelling, Australian-born friends, for I have found some of Australia’s most popular foods and favourite past times right in the heart of London. If this doesn’t ease your homesickness pains, then nothing will (unless you also follow my other home sickness tips, obviously).
Of course I plan to move to London with the idea of completely immersing myself in the English culture, and ‘doing as the Romans do’ (if Romans were actually Brits), however it’s completely normal if you have grown up with certain foods, sports, or music in your life that you will miss not having it around.
AFL London is arguably the “largest and most mature AFL league outside of Australia. The League started in 1990 and is very strong, perhaps because of the number of Aussies in London (the biggest community of Aussies outside of Australia) and also due to the involvement of the ‘natives’ – those poms playing the game!”
You can spot the following Socceroos and Aussie soccer players in the English Premiere League:
Tim Cahill – Everton FC
Brett Emerton – Blackburn Rovers FC
Vince Grella – Blackburn Rovers FC
Chris Herd – Aston Villa FC
Brad Jones – Liverpool FC
Mark Schwarzer – Fulham FC
Lollies & Chocolates
Australia Shop – This store stocks all the glorious Australian junk food that you could possible miss, including red skins, cherry ripes, caramello koalas, twisties, cheezles and violet crumbles. YUM.
You can buy online or visit the store at 27 Maiden Lane Covent Garden, WC2E 7JS, London
Foods & Drinks
Thankfully, Milo and Vegemite can be found at most supermarkets, so there’s no need to bring your own along.
I recently saw a blog post by woolfeitdown with photos of a table full of Lamingtons at the Borough market, which brought a smile to my face and reassured me that I can find them if I need them.
You can buy Australian wine at selected bottle shops, or you can also buy it online at:
Aussie BBQ – The Aussie BBQ has grown to become the biggest showcase of Australian music in the world, with 10 events on 3 continents.
The annual event has been held at the London’s Cargo in Shoreditch for the past 3 years. Check out the official website for more info.
You can also keep up to date with concerts and gigs by Australian artists in London by checking out the Australian Times music page.
Luckily in this day and age, most magazines and newspapers are available online including:
Australian Financial Review
Alternatively, The Australian Times is Britain’s only media outlet specialising in connecting with Australians living in the UK. It has great articles from Australians who are or have previously lived in London.
“The Barbican’s popular London Australian Film Festival, is an eagerly awaited annual landmark on both the London and UK wide film calendar. Throughout its history, the heart of the Festival has been its showcase of the latest Australian feature films and documentaries, providing UK audiences with a unique overview of Australian cinema today.”
For more information or to purchase your tickets, visit the official website.
Bars & Pubs
I can’t write a page on Australia in London without mentioning the famous Walkabout pubs in London.
“Walkabout is an authentic Australian bar chain with 36 venues across England, Scotland and Wales. The Walkabout brand prides itself on providing customers with a relaxed Australian atmosphere, boasting an authentic Australian food and drinks menu, the best in live sport and entertainment, huge sport screens and live bands and DJs.”
Some of my favourite Australian brands that can be found in London:
Aesop – http://www.aesop.com/uk/
Becca – http://www.beccacosmetics.com/uk/
Zimmerman – Found at harveynichols.com, austique.co.uk, oxygenboutique.com
Seafolly – http://www.seafolly.com/international Find your closest stockist in London here.