How To Hula Your Way Around Hawaii Without Leaving London
Written by Jaillan Yehia
Hawaii might be all about sunshine and fresh air in the warm waters of the Pacific, while London is more drizzle and dirty air alongside the polluted waters of the Thames – but you can say aloha to an entire day of island life in the capital, here’s how to do it…
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9 am – Breakfast at Kua Aina
Grab a classic Hawaiian brekkie to set you up for one hula of a day (sorry) at Kua Aina (pronounced Koo-a eye-na). This high class burger joint has a whopping 17 branches in Japan and 2 on the island of Hawaii itself in Haleiwa and Honolulu but luckily for us Londoners it has a branch just off Carnaby Street and one on Goodge Street too. I discovered it to be a dangerous place to pass on your way back from a fitness class at the nearby Marshall Street gym.
26 Foubert’s Place, London, W1F 7PP
0207 287 7474
Noon – Hawaiian Paddle Boarding
Hawaiian paddle boarding has come to London thanks to WakeUp Docklands and Active360 in west London who are introducing us Brits to this ancient Hawaiian sport. Actually called Stand up Paddleboarding (SUP for short) it’s apparently one of the fastest growing watersports in the world.
G17, Waterfront Studios, 1 Dock Road, London, E16 1AG
07789 395 160
Cowleaze House, 39-45 Cowleaze Road, Kingston Upon Thames, Surrey KT2 6DZ
07761 015 360
Price from £25 per session, but taster sessions are available.
3 pm – A late liquid Lunch at Trader Vic’s
After all that paddle boarding you deserve a drink. It was at the original Trader Vic’s restaurant in Oakland, California that the signature cocktail the Mai Tai was invented – going on to become the most famous rum cocktail in the world. Apparently the Tahitian word for good is ‘Maita’i’ which is what the inventor’s friends exclaimed when they tasted the drink. In it’s heyday there were 27 Trader Vic’s around the world, but this branch at London’s Hilton on Park Lane has been a stalwart since 1963. Grab some bar snacks with your Mai Tai in the shape of a Pu Pu Platter.
London Hilton on Park Lane, 22 Park Lane, London, W1K 1PN
0207 208 4113
5 pm – Shopping for Hawaiian print sarong dresses at Vivien of Holloway
For all this Hawaiian entertainment you’ll need a great outfit. The place to go for this is Vivien of Holloway for her Hawaiian print dresses. Originally situated above a railway arch in Camden Town the flagship store (they also sell online and in little boutiques) has rightly moved to Holloway Road. These 1940’s dresses are inspired by starlet Dorothy Lamour who starred in a number of South Pacific-themed films and musicals during the Golden Era and come with little bolero jackets to keep out London’s very non-Hawaiian chill.
Vivien of Holloway
294 Holloway Road, London N7 6NJ
020 7609 8754
7 pm – Dinner at Trailer Happiness
This retro den with a tiki twist is a great place to grab a light dinner while people watching and partying with the Portobello crowd. They also have a once-a-month rum club which has spawned off-shoots all over Australia.
177 Portobello Road
London W11 2D
020 7313 4644
9 pm – Drinks at South London Pacific
The brilliantly named South London Pacific bills itself as a warm tropical paradise – albeit set nearer Battersea, Brixton and Balham than Bali Hai. You can learn the Hukilau Hula Dance at a session on Sunday evenings, come for one of the vintage scene’s most famous dance nights in the form of Hula Boogie or head here for any night for tiki-themed cocktails. Try a Mai Tai or go truly Hawaiian with their Gin, Almond Sirop, Fresh Lime and Pineapple Juice called The Royal Hawaiian
South London Pacific
340 Kennington Road, London SE11 4LD
020 7820 9189
Midnight – Clubbing at Mahiki
You must have been living under a rock in a far flung corner of Hawaii itself to have not heard of London’s premier tiki joint, Mahiki. Billing itself as ‘a Polynesian Paradise, in the heart of London’ Mahiki became synonymous with celebrities especially the young royals soon after its opening in 2006 – you haven’t sampled Hawaiian London night-life until you’ve fallen out of this club and been papped, Pacific style.
1 Dover Street, Mayfair, London, W1S 4LD
020 7493 9529
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