Australia Day may be for the Aussies, but we Brits played a large part in what has come to be their national holiday. Australia Day, which is celebrated on the 26th January, commemorates the day that Britain's First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788, proclaiming sovereignty over the eastern seaboard.
The day has been celebrated since 1808, although it was not declared an official holiday until 1818. Back then Australia Day meant an extra pound of meat for government works, and a regatta race at Sydney Harbour, but nowadays celebrations include music festivals, fireworks, and barbecues. Unfortunately for you Aussies here in Britain, barbecues in January are definitely off the menu. But that does not mean you can't celebrate. Bars all around London want to be as sunny as your Sunshine Coast. Here are six pubs, bars, and inns to dance, party, and get hammered in.
Forget what I said about no barbecues. The Elk Bar's 'Big Smoke' was so successful in summer that they have decided to continue right through winter. Try their cheesy 'Queen of Fulham' burger, spare ribs & kebabs, or put yourself to the test in their 'man vs food' challenge: 30 chicken wings in holy expletive hot sauce. Winners gets a t-shirt.
The celebrations start early at 9am on the 26th January, with cocktails at £2.95, and Triple J's Hottest Hundred.
Sports in HD, live music, a 3D cinema & karaoke room. And that's just what's available on a regular night. For Australia they will also be holding a raffle, throwing a best dressed competition, and serving Aussie snacks. You can party from 11am-1am.
4. Jetlag Bar 125 Cleveland Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 6QB
Australia Day starts with a movie marathon at 1pm with back to back film screenings of The Castle, Strictly Ballroom, Muriel's Wedding, and Priscilla, Queen of The Desert.
There will be live music from 10pm, and a Australian themed menu that includes kangaroo steak, crab & lobster sliders, and pavlova for dessert. Entry is free until 9pm, after which it is £7. The celebrations last until 3am.
5. Draft House Click the link above for venue addresses
A group of small public houses, the Draft House prides itself on selling quality beer. Between 7pm-11pm on the 26th January, it will be selling the best Australian beers, including Little Creatures, and serving specials such as Pickled Beet Ute Burger and Kylie's Meat Pie.