As written here for Hip&Healthy
As an Aussie in London the most common question I receive is “Why on earth would you trade in an Aussie lifestyle for the UK?” Well, London is an incredible thriving metropolis brimming with opportunities and is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to see more of the world. But I will admit, moving abroad has made me appreciate the creature comforts of an Australian lifestyle where it’s easier to drag yourself out of bed to exercise, healthy food is more palatable thanks to the weather and activewear is basically a national uniform. Now don’t get me wrong, according to the latest World Health Organisation figures, Australia is neck and neck with the UK when it comes to obesity rates. But for those of us that are more health conscious there is no denying the benefits of the lifestyle down under when it comes to staying hip and healthy.
An Australian weekend isn’t complete without the smell of “snags on the barbie”, yes that stereotype is 100-per-cent true. While your plates on a Sunday are filled with roast and Yorkshire puddings, our alternative is a good cut of meat teamed with an almost always, avocado laden salad and a fruit platter to finish. No restaurant, even in Australia can ever live up to the DIY backyard barbeque, I recommend ordering some beautiful organic produce online at coombefarmorganic.co.uk if you want to try and replicate the magic. A meat box delivered to your door? I can just about hear the Aussies cheering from across the Indian Ocean. As for sides, head on over to Breads Etcetera and get on the sourdough bandwagon. Australians are obsessed and you’ll be hard pressed not to see a loaf at a gathering in Oz.
Now, Aussies do pride themselves on being quite the breakfast food connoisseurs. Fruit laden pancakes, chia puddings and poached eggs are our jam! We will argue with you until we are black and blue that our brunches are the best in the world. The closest in style, vibe and menu I have found that feels like home, is Brickwood in south London. It would fit right into the Bondi Beach or Melbourne food scenes with ease.
Yes coffee needs its own sub-heading, it is that important! While chain brands like Pret or Starbucks are the easy option here, I know many an Australian who would shudder at the thought. Flat White in Soho is a must visit for the perfect cup, and you’ll find it’s usually teeming with Aussie and Kiwi coffee snobs. Another go to for a stellar brew is The Borough Barista in St James, which is also run by expats from Down Under.
The day begins a lot earlier for many in Oz. Thanks to the balmy climate, early morning exercise isn’t a chore, it’s a perfect way to start the day and get your dose of vitamin D before heading to the office. While many in London head to the gym for a pre-work sweat session, in Australia you’re more likely to hit up the surf or head out to an outdoor boot camp. Thanks to the unpredictable weather, everything in London is just slightly more indoors-orientated. My recommendation to feeling like an Aussie is to run the Thames path from the city right out past Richmond on the south side of the river. In some places the track turns from pavement to dirt making you feel more at one with nature even though you’re right in the city. Team sport is also a very Australian option. Most expats here in London are signed up to their local rugby, netball or dodge-ball team.
Everyone knows Australians are big on comfort with our obsession with flip flops and spaghetti straps (or as we would say thongs and singlets). But it is now almost fashionable to be rocking your latest fit clothes, while picking up the milk (almond that is). While active wear is still an obsession here, it is more of a uniform back home. Hip & Healthy is of course the #1 destination for stylish activewear here in Europe!
Like most 20-somethings, Aussie women buy online. Our favourite go-to fashion sites include Mura boutique, St Frock and Gingham & Heels, all are affordable Australian brands that ship overseas, hallelujah! As for jewellery, if you want one off, hand crafted beautiful Queensland made pieces go no further than Frankly My Dear Store. It is chic, elegant and oh so Australian.
If it’s the wholesome golden glow you’re looking for, Bondi Sands is your saviour. It is the self tanner us Aussies use and I have noticed it popping up in some London pharmacies. For our sun kissed beach hair O&A Surf Bomb sea salt spray is the perfect way to add that windswept texture. As for chapped lips look no further than Lucas Paw Paw ointment, you’ll be hard pressed to find an Australian woman without one (or three) tucked away in her handbag. A must-visit also has to be Content Beauty in Marylebone. It’s a store dedicated to natural, organic beauty and it’s an Aussie heaven!
Most Australians you meet in London have a thirst for adventure. Our whole lives we’ve been incredibly jealous of the fact you can literally pop over to Paris for the weekend. But while many of you make the most of your geographical location, I’ve been blown away by the number of born and bred British who can count the number of countries they’ve visited on one hand. Aussies in London are almost always going to be drawn back to the sea, Spain, Greece, the Italian Coast. We need to get our dose of sun and sand somewhere!
So how do you live like an Australian in London? Steer towards the fresh fruit and salad, sweat it out in the outdoors where possible, trek far and wide for a good flat white, keep the makeup light and bright, and travel travel travel.