How To Celebrate 4 July In London

Image by CdL Creative in the Londonist Flickr pool.

Image by CdL Creative in the Londonist Flickr pool.

For Americans in London looking to get over their disappointment after last night’s epic World Cup clash with Belgium, the good news is that it’s only two days to go before Independence Day. Beyond watching Will Smith defeat aliens with his laptop on repeat all day, here’s a bunch of cool events to celebrate that great day in history when England decided to set the USA free. Just kiddin’ yeah? We know y’all really do get irony, right? Alright already, here’s what’s on:

The Blues Kitchen — hosts a hot dog eating competition (as much as you can stuff in your face in 30 minutes) while blues singer Marcus Bonfanti sings live. It’s going to be messy. 134 Curtain Road, EC2A 3AR

Benjamin Franklin House — serves cake and champagne at lunch-time on 4 July to commemorate the years the founding father lived here (between 1757 and 1775 since you ask). 36 Craven St, WC2N 5NF

Steam and Rye — the huge all-American bar with the mechanical bull run by Nick House and Kelly Brook celebrates the day with American tribute bands and dancing cheerleaders. There will also be food giveaways and US President themed cocktails. Open till 3am. 147 Leadenhall Street, EC3V 4QT

Independence Day Picnic in Portman Square — this annual event run by the Democrat party takes place on Sunday 6 rather than the day itself. It includes a barbecue with burgers and hot dogs, a tug-of-war, crafts for kids and live music. Only US citizens can buy tickets but they can bring along limey friends too. 6 July from noon to 5pm. Portman Square, W1H 7BH

The Diner — this chain of, um, diners with seven outlets across London has a specially-priced Independence Day menu (£9), the highlight of which might just be its smoked pork mac’n’cheese lollipops with chipotle mayo. Open till midnight. 18 Ganton Street London W1F 7BU

Founding Father Walking Tour — visit sites in Bloomsbury and Holborn connected to Benjamin Franklin’s time spent in London during the 18th Century. 1pm start, lasts 45 minutes. Starts on 4 July by the orange information kiosk outside Holborn station.

The Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley — a special screening of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, presumably because of the scene in which a gigantic shark attacks Americans celebrating 4 July on the beach. The film starts at 11.45am. 52 High Road, East Finchley, N2 9PJ,

The Lockhart restaurant in Marylebone celebrates with a two day-long feast on 4-5 July. Try some of Mississippi-born chef Brad McDonald’s fried catfish and collard greens washed down with Summertime punch (£24 for lunch and £35 for dinner). 22-24 Seymour Place, W1H 7NL

The Whitechapel Bell Foundry — this metal-works is where the Liberty Bell was forged, said to have been rung to mark the reading of the Declaration of Independence on 8 July 1776 (before it cracked). You can take a tour of the foundry, which still supplies US churches with hand-made bells today. The tours are held every Saturday but need to be booked in advance. 32/34 Whitechapel Road, E1 1DY

Farr’s & Stripes — is a special event at Farr’s School of Dancing based around a 12 course soul food feast that embraces America’s reputation for over-indulgence. Billed as a culinary tour around the states, interesting dishes include: blackened whitefish with maque choux and bacon fat fried chicken with romaine salad and ranch dressing and corn. Tickets cost £35 and can be purchased by clicking here. Starts on Friday 4 July 2014 at 7.00pm

Joes Southern Kitchen & Bar — combines its birthday and a 4 July party. There’ll be Bourbon sampling, a special menu and a hillbilly and Daisy Duke fancy dress competition. 34 King Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8JD

The White Horse American Beer Festival — this sees US craft brewers bringing their produce to Parson’s Green at this excellent pub (aka the ‘Sloaney Pony’). 3-6 July. 1-3 Parson’s Green, SW6 4UL

The Gun “Independents” Day Beer and BBQ Festival – this cracking pub with views over the river towards the O2 promises an assortment of Americana with beers, food and music. 4-5 July. 27 Coldharbour, E14 9NS

The Mayflower Pub — Supposedly the launching point for the Pilgrim Fathers, this dark and atmospheric riverside pub in Rotherhithe should be on every American tourist’s to do list.

Image by M@.

Image by M@.

American Art — A few exhibitions are worth a visit for those less interested in burgers and fries. Richard Jackson brings comedy and colour to Savile Row while Bill Viola has a powerful video installation in St Paul’s Cathedral. Photos by Dennis Hopper can be seen at the Royal Academy.

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