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London Bars to Visit on Australia Day

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by Bryony Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Event: -
Beer, BBQ, and Fancy Dress
gigalum, bar
A night at Gigalum

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.

1. Gigalum
7-8 Cavendish Parade, Clapham Common Southside, London, SW4 9DW

One of the top DJ bars in South London, Gigalum's Ibiza-style terrace and beer garden is a perfect oasis an early evening drink or a rocking house party.

Their Australia Day Weekender on the 25th-27th January opens its doors from 3pm until 11pm. There'll be Australian DJs, native beers, and a live feed to all the way Down Under.

2. The Elk Bar
587 Fulham Road, London, SW6 5UA

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.

3. The Lark Inn
425 New Kings Road, SW6 4RN London

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.

6. Geronimo Inns
Click the link above for venue addresses

Geronimo has a chain of pubs across London, which will be celebrating Australia Day with fancy dress, steaks on the barbie, and Aussie Musicians such as Nick Cave, Kylie, and Jason.
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Why? Celebrate Australia Day
When: 25th-27th Jan
Where: Around London
Cost: Free entry
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