Words: Rebecca Kent
It’s trendy and has no shortage of places for a pint, so it’s no wonder Aussies flock to Clapham (above).
Priced out of Earl’s Court (once nicknamed Kangaroo Valley) and gradually drifting away from Shepherd’s Bush, Aussies have made cosmopolitan Clapham the number one honey pot.
Take it from Twitter user @RuettigerPStone, who says: “You can’t breathe oxygen in Clapham without sharing some with an Aussie.”
Ed Hulme, at Winkworth estate agent, Clapham, suggests Aussies dig the entertainment factor.
“They like to enjoy themselves, don’t they? And Clapham’s got bars and restaurants galore. Plus, the sprawling common provides the outdoorsy aspect,” he says.
BEST FOR FOOD The Loft for views over the high street in a warehouse-style bar and restaurant.
BEST FOR DRINKS Boogie at the funky cavern bar, Arch.
TUBE/RAIL Clapham Junction, Clapham North, Clapham Common, Clapham South
AVERAGE FLATSHARE £650pcm
Australians choose this pocket of London to live alternatively, away from the ‘Aussie hotspots’, yet the contingent continues to grow.
Shoreditch is an arty, edgy, sometimes grimy place that gets mobbed on a weekend. Prices are creeping up, but still affordable, says James Dainton of The Space Station estate agent.
“You can get a large loft for half the price you’d pay in the West End, and there’s hip little bars and an underground clubbing scene. It’s electric,” he says.
Additionally, there’s Brick Lane for top curries and a vibrant Sunday market, or, for a steamy blur of Vietnamese spring rolls and noodle soups, Kingsland Road.
For a great bar, try the pub/club/arts collective Queen of Hoxton – it’s an institution. Shoreditch is where the cool kids are.
Aussies have also rooted themselves in the genteel streets of Fulham. They straddle gritty estates, making for an interesting
mix of residents.
It’s Fulham’s young crowd that appeals, says Geordie Ogilvy, of KFH estate agents.
“The sharehouses are ample and everyone’s like-minded; they’ve got disposable income to spend it at bars
– and there’s plenty of those,” he says.
Aussies mainly occupy the terrace houses in the small streets sandwiched between Fulham Palace Road and North End Road, where a street market offers a real slice of London. The river is also close by, but the fun stretch is Fulham Broadway, packed
with bars for thirsty antipodeans.
Angel is close to the City and rammed with vibrant pubs, bars and eateries. As such, Aussies of a hipper, wealthier variety congregate here. They have everything on their doorstep, too – fashion, shopping, cafes and live music.
“Angel and Islington are convenient,” says Paul Williams, of Savills estate agent, Islington.
“It’s only four stops to Oxford Circus and you’ve got the nightlife of Clerkenwell and Shoreditch close by.”
The 19th-century King’s Head pub, with a theatre built in, is worth a visit.
Shepherd’s Bush, W12
Shepherd’s Bush is gradually pricing Aussies out, but it still has one of the largest ex-pat communities in London.
It might have something to do with the Walkabout, at the top of the rather grotty green, which, along with the Vesbar and kebab shops in between, tends to keep them corralled.
Russell Chilvers, of Winkworth estate agent, Shepherd’s Bush, says moving in is uncomplicated.
“You could easily move into the properties above shops because landlords weren’t picky with references.”
The giant Westfield mall is Australia’s biggest export here; the long-standing Shepherd’s Bush market provides the contrast.
BEST FOR FOOD Princess Victoria for rustic fare in Edwardian surrounds.
BEST FOR DRINKS Party in a converted Victorian toilet at Ginglik.
TUBE Shepherd’s Bush/ Market, Goldhawk Road
AVERAGE FLATSHARE £700pcm