Calling London Home
In 2013, the last official census, counted well over 100,000 Australians living in the United Kingdom. Needless to say, thousands of these Aussies are calling London home and refusing to leave their identity back home. During years, you could find the heart and soul of the Australian community at the Shepherd’s Bush Walkabout, where many got together for 10£ pints and to watch AFL finals. The pub embodied everything about Australia and it had become a piece of home. Since its closing, however, Australians have flocked to other places to hang out.
Let’s step back in time for a second - for years, the Australian residents of London were none other than young exchange students or adventurers who had left everything back home to find a thrilling ride abroad. They were drinking their salaries away on weekends and could not care less about leaving London. Yet they all grew up. They became professionals, they got proper jobs, they started families. With this shift, came London’s Australian community shift. Instead of looking for pubs, they’re now looking for restaurants to remind them of home. Instead of spending their weekends partying, they are taking walks at the park, visiting nearby cities and spending time with their families.
This has made the Australian scene completely different. As one Aussie expat puts it in The Traveller, “The expats I’ve met in London in the last few years are far more likely to drink real ales at traditional British boozers than guzzle snakies at a Walkabout. They want to eat at good local restaurants rather than find a place that does a decent pie and mash. And they want to spend weekends taking cheap flights to continental Europe rather than do a Sunday session at the Aussie theme pub.”
So today, Australian expats in London are no longer standing out as much as they are blending it - and it is perfect.