While Waitangi Day in New Zealand means protests or hitting the beach, for Kiwis in London, the only thing that matters is the famous Waitangi Day Circle Line Pub Crawl. Thousands of New Zealanders will descend on central London on Saturday for a day of well lubricated celebration. Here is what you need to know. More information is also available on the Waitangi Day Circle Line Pub Crawl Facebook page, or at http://drinkclubuk.blogspot.co.uk/.
Where and When
The crawl begins around 10am at the Pride of Paddington pub, before embarking on a journey taking in Bayswater (Bayswater Arms), Notting Hill Gate (The Old Swan) , High Street Kensington (The Prince of Wales), Gloucester Road (Stanhope Arms), South Kensington (Zetland Arms), Sloane Square, Victoria, St James Park (The Old Star), and finally to Westminster. Helpfully, the Circle Line is down again this year, so best bring your walking boots. Many people choose to start in Shepherd’s Bush, or join in around 11am at Notting Hill Gate.
As per tradition, a mass haka will be held around 4pm (give or take) at Westminster. Parliament Square is off limits, so an area will be set aside at Old Palace Yard. Red Lion is the pub of choice, but it will be choker, so anything in the vicinity will do.
Those keen to kick on into the evening should head to the usual suspects – Walkabout Shepherd’s Bush, Temple and Covent Garden. Walkabout Temple will be open until 3am and will cost five quid after 6pm. The Southerner will open for one day only in celebration. Located near Temple, it will also cost a fiver. Look for Daly’s Wine Bar on The Strand. The Chatsworth in Acton will have music into the wee hours.
Common sense would dictate holding on until you reach a pub for a spot of bladder relief. If you can’t wait that long, keep an eye out for public toilets . Don’t use someone’s front gate, and if you really can’t wait, be discrete.
Don’t be an egg
Organisers have been in constant contact with The Metropolitan Police, who are well on board with the event. They will be expecting high spirits and will enter into the fun of the occasion (minus the booze of course), but bad or loutish behaviour will be frowned upon. There is a drinking ban around Westminster, so finish your vessel before you arrive. Make sure you you use a bin, and leave any glass bottles at home.