June 19, 2012
Stuck in dreary London during this year’s football festivities? Don’t worry – so are we. England has managed to stave off losing thus far and will be relying on Wayne Rooney to help carry them into the quarter finals tonight. And while London is not hurting for want of a good pub, if you’re in the city and fancy catching a match with a slew of screaming fans (and bandwagon jumpers), we’ve rounded up a few places for you to go:
Shaker & Company have constructed a pop-up sports bar in their basement. The Hampstead bar features a Cinema screen, surround sound and ample seating. You can hire a fully-stocked fridge (for a price), should the thought of trudging away from the game to refuel is too much for you to handle. And what’s a Euro themed bar without a football pitch? Unworthy, in Shaker and Company’s eyes – so they’ve had one installed for the duration of the tournament, complete with astroturf. After the games, visitors can stay to play Nintendo Wii FIFA or Table Football.
In Bethnal Green, Rich Mix is running a month long festival in celebration of the European Championships. Billed as a festival for Eastern European art, film, music and of course, the football tourney, events kick off at 5pm on weekdays and run all weekend long. Matches will be shown on a 10 x 15 foot screen and once FT has been reached, the fun begins. Expect DJ nights, art exhibits, album launches and spoken word mash-ups.
Down on Borough High Street, near London Bridge, the Roxy bar and screen is showing all the matches on their massive 4 metre wide HD screen. All games, (with the exception of England ones) are free to watch on a first come, first served basis. If you want to root for Welbeck and Carroll, it’ll cost you £2 in admission.
Bar Kick in Shoreditch is another hotspot for catching football matches. They’ll be screening every 3D match possible in their basement. Famed for table football, you can have a go with fellow fans whilst waiting for matches to begin. You can also try going to Cafe Kick in Exmouth Market – they’ll also be showing all the games (but not in 3D).
Germany looks set to go all the way to the final. Head over to one of the two locations of the Bavarian Beerhouse for their popular football nights. Featuring steins of German lager and sausages, it’s wise to book in advance. On the day of Germany matches, guests are charged £10 a head and are encouraged to make reservations. To avoid the recklessness of English fans, they are offering a 5-1 beer promotion if England reaches the final.
The Famous 3 Kings pub in West Kensington is popular during Premier League season, so expect it to be packed during the European Championships. Good thing then, that they have three huge screens and ten plasma televisions.
Finally, BoxPark in East London have teamed up with the aforementioned Bar Kick and have had some fun exploiting stereotypes – until June 22nd you can play foosball on a custom made ‘hipster foosball’ table. If that’s not your thing, they’re showing all the England games, as well as most of the other matches. Hipster foosball, Euro football, heated umbrellas and ample food and drink choices – who says retail parks can’t be fun?
June 6, 2012
The biggest football event of the summer is set to start this Friday, June 8th. 16 teams battled through qualification rounds and are now all vying for a shot at winning the European Championship trophy. Spain triumphed in 2008 under the direction of Luis Aragones. They come into this tournament as the favourite, helped by a World Cup title in 2010. However the absence of key players Carlos Puyol and David Villa will certainly hamper their efforts somewhat. Germany is the other key team to watch. Hungry for revenge after a 1-0 loss to La Furia Roja four years ago, they will be looking to capitalise on their opponent’s weaknesses. Winning the title is not out of their reach, especially with a team that boasts talent like Mesut Ozil, Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klos.
Poland, Czech Republic, Greece, Russia
Netherlands, Denmark Portugal, Germany
Spain, Ireland, Croatia, Italy
Ukraine, France, Sweden, England
And lest you get tired of all this footballing speak, there are lots of other sports events taking place this week, most notably the French Open. As we write, Nadal and Murray are playing for spots in the semi-final. After an outstanding display of athleticism yesterday against Tsonga, Djokovic will face Federer on Friday. On the women’s side, Australian Samantha Stosur will play against Sara Errani tomorrow afternoon while Maria Sharapova faces Petra Kvitova for a place in the final.
The IPL is over but the ICC Test Championship has England meeting the West Indies tomorrow.