So you’ve made your move and arrived in the “Big Smoke” but are missing the flavour of boerewors and that dry, irreverent, South African humour that pokes a fork in most sacred cows. Or perhaps you just want to hang out with people who know what you’re going through. Thing is, if you have to face your first long, cold winter in the UK, it’s imperative you mingle a bit. Here are some ideas on how to meet SA expats living in London.
Homing beacon for your saffa crew
Places to live
Consider renting a place in the South West of London like Southfields, Wimbledon, Surbiton, Wandsworth, Raynes Park, Clapham or Earlsfield. This is known as the boerewors corridor and you’re like to get your daily dose of South African accents. Just don’t speak Afrikaans on the District Line and expect no-one to understand you, you can be virtually guaranteed that everyone will.
Many South Africans are also attracted to the southern parts of England, which feature wide, open spaces and rolling green country. Consider settling in Surrey, Somerset, Hampshire or even close to the coast in Bournemouth, or Brighton.
Bristol is also a popular South African destination. It’s the UK’s eighth most popular city and is a short drive to some wonderful surfing beaches in Devon and Cornwall. Just take your wetsuit with you when you go.
South Africans that are looking for better weather head up the East Anglia and the cities of Cambridge, Norwich and Ipswich where they have a better chance of sunny skies and less rain.
Places to visit
If you want to hang out with South Africans over a beer or a G&T, you’ll find your tribe in:
- The Aardvark pub is a proudly South African pub where you can relax and enjoy true South African hospitality in the heart of London.
- The Springbok pub is situated in the heart of Shepherd’s Bush, it is where Springbok supporters hang out whenever their team is playing a game.
- Shaka Zulu is a huge restaurant with elaborate African décor and a braai menu of springbok, zebra and exotic meats
- The Slug @ Wimbledon, throw a boerewors roll and you can’t help but hit a South African here – a great to hang out and enjoy a South African beer.
Places to buy food
Are you longing for some boerewors, biltong and iced zoos? Does the thought of peppermint crisps make you drool? Here are the places to go and visit to stock up on all your favourite South African goodies, and you’re bound to bump into a few SA flavour-cravers while you’re there:
- Try Snoggy’s, in Putney, for biltong and all your meat favourites.
- The Savanna sells biltong, boerewors, poitjie pots and everything South African from its many stores around London. You can find them in Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Southfields, London Bridge, Liverpool Street and the stations at Victoria, Paddington and Wimbledon.
- The South African Shop is just like stepping into a store back home. They sell online and also have a shop at Embankment (called Randsavers) and Earlsfield (called Kruger’s Deli).
We hope you find your saffa crew in no time. And, as usual, if you need some assistance with your financial migration, feel free to leave your details for a free consultation.
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