Australia Day in London: The best celebrations, restaurants and events

These are the places to head if you want to celebrate like they do down under

Updated on • Written By Ellie Donnell

Australia Day in London: The best celebrations, restaurants and events

Despite any connotations that the name might suggest, you don’t have to be based in Australia to celebrate its national holiday. London plays host to a strong Australian community and certainly isn’t short of Aussie-inspired and owned places to eat. And while it absolutely is a great excuse to have a party, Australia Day is a widely-celebrated event with historical meaning behind it. Read on to find out what the holiday commemorates, when it lands and how it's celebrated.  

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What does Australia Day commemorate? 

Australia Day, also colloquially known as 'Straya Day', marks the historic day when British settlers first arrived in Australia back in 1788. On that day, 11 ships holding British convicts arrived on Australian soil and, after days of exploration in New South Wales, Commander Arthur Phillip raised the flag to mark the beginning of the British colony. 

The meaning of Australia Day has been debated over the years, though, and only came to be known as Australia Day over a century later. Before that, it had been referred to variously as Anniversary Day, Foundation Day and ANA Day, before finally becoming widely referred to as Australia Day in 1935.  

In fact, it was only in 1994 that Australia Day was declared a national holiday, so is a pretty recent thing. That’s because for many people, particularly indigenous Australians, celebrating the day that the British arrived on its shores only served to glorify British colonialism and the subsequent barbaric events that took place. Protests and rallies still take place to this day, but for the most part, Australia Day is considered widely as a cause for celebration and a chance to recognise the contribution of its people to the nation.  

When is Australia Day 2022? 

Australia is routinely celebrated on 26 January, and this year falls on Wednesday 26 January 2022.  

How is Australia Day celebrated?  

Nowadays, Australia Day is considered a day to reflect on, and celebrate, what it means to be Australian, including its history and its people. It involves a full day of celebrations with events such as festivals, BBQs, fireworks, concerts and general partying taking place. But you don’t have to be based in Australia to mark the occasion. Australian communities all over the world come together to mark the day, including in London, with many restaurants and venues putting on special events.  

With that in mind, we've rounded-up plenty of top places in London to celebrate Australia Day, from specific events hosted in celebration to awesome Aussie restaurants where you can soak up the atmosphere.  

Special events in London where you can celebrate Australia Day 

These Aussie spots have planned ahead and organised some cool events to make your celebrations extra special. 

Fugitive Motel, Bethnal Green 

What: Although not inherently Australian itslef, this East London spot is hosting a 'Straya Day Party' on January Friday 28 January to celebrate all things Antipodean. Dance your socks off to a playlist compiled by its resident Aussie bar manager, followed by party vibes from live DJs spinning funky-house and cisco until late. What’s more, ticket holders can grab house cocktails for a fiver from 5-8pm, and there will be lots of games on the night including a beginner-friendly shuffleboard tournament. Need a break from the partying? Check out the festival tent outside, which features heated seating and Cornhole to play under the lights. 
Where: 199 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green Gardens, London, E2 0EL 
Book now: Fugitive Motel 

Bondi Green, Paddington 

What: We knew we could count on Aussie institution The Daisy Green Collection to put on something special to celebrate the big day. This year, it’s hosting a Celebration of Australia Dinner at its Bondi Green restaurant, a one-day event that allows guests to feast on an eight-course tasting menu alongside 11 of Australia’s top wines. The idea behind the meal is to take diners on an immersive journey through its dynamic homeland, with dishes including whole day boat Dover Sole with lemon myrtle, 60-day dry aged T-bone steak with pepperberry sauce and warrigal greens, plus lots of Australian-inspired canapes. Expect celebrations to run until late.  
Where: Brunel Building, 1-2, Canalside Walk, Paddington, London, W2 1DG 

Australian restaurants in London 

London is chock-full of Australian restaurants, many of which are known for serving some of the best brunches in town. Soak up the atmosphere and book into one of these places to get into the spirit of the day.

Lantana, Various locations  

What: An all-day Australian café that’s become a staple for those hungry for Instagrammable brunch plates and healthy salad bowls. There are a ton of veggie and vegan options on the menu and they do a good value bottomless brunch for £36 (add prosecco or mimosas to any brunch item). Why not book in for a boozy brunch to celebrate the day?  
Where: Various locations 
Book now: Shoreditch, London Bridge, Fitzrovia

Wander, Stoke Newington 

What: Wander is a neighbourhood restaurant inspired by the travels of Australian chef-owner Alexis Noble. The plates here are super seasonal and are designed to be shared, including brown crab Welsh rarebit and baby gem with avocado, pistachio miso and parmesan. Gather a group and get stuck into a day of feasting at this fantastic spot.  
Where: 214 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7HU 
Book now: Wander 

Antipodea, Various locations 

What: Australian Jason Wells is the reason we have this group of all-day restaurants in London. The brand pretty much has it all, converting from a laid back Melbourne affair to a hustle and bustling night time dining spot, serving plenty of Aussie-inspired plates. Look out for lamingtons and vegemite on toast, as well plenty of colourful brunch and dinner dishes.  
Where: Various locations 
Book now: Kew, Richmond, Twickenham and Wandsworth  

Granger & Co, Various locations  

What: Granger & Co is the brainchild of Bill Granger, who also has restaurants in Sydney, Seoul, Tokyo and originally became famed for serving up his legendary breakfasts. With branches all over London, this popular brunch spot is known for its laid-back vibe and breakfasts to boot. We’re talking ricotta hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter, sweetcorn fritters and an entire eggs-devoted menu. This is an all-day joint, though, so head here for celebrations at any time of day.  
Where: Various locations 
Book now: Chelsea, Clerkenwell, King’s Cross and Notting Hill 

Farm Girl, Various locations  

What: Farm Girl is perhaps best known for its powerhouse smoothies and herbaceous salads, so if you fancy a health kick before heading into a booze-heavy day of celebrations, then this is your ticket.  
Where: Various locations 
Book now: Farm Girl Soho and Farm Girl Portobello Road 

Don't let the party come to you. Organise a day (and night) of epic celebrations at one of these cool party venues in London