Lads-lads-lads, play-up Pompey, REFEREE. Um, that’s about my limit. Football is a closed book, a bunch of millionaires running round a stadium, and if that’s what you’re after then do it properly and let’s feed Sir Philip Green to the lions or something else funny. But while the offside rule may as well be written in Sanskrit, I do understand sipping rosé on a rooftop terrace, downing canapés and socialising, so maybe the World Cup won’t be all that bad… If you’re a sports nutter, or you’re a normal, reasonable, person, there’s something for everyone this World Cup, here’s a selection…
Famously a city with literally no interest in ‘soccer’, New York is the inspiration for Dirty Bones’ private World Cup screenings. The Kensington restaurant will be throwing screenings in their private room for each match, calling it ‘the ultimate World Cup match crash pad’. With deals on booze, plus food and drink from the regular menu or their own World Cup menu, all in their swanky private room, and you’ve got a pretty decent World Cup option.
Where: 20 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, W8 4EP
Sing When You're Winning
Singing and football go hand in keeper’s glove, remember Baddiel and Skinner’s Three Lions? Vindaloo? Or just plain old ENG-ER-LUND, ENG-ER-LUNG? However, over at Studio 88 they’ll be offering a more refined take. Along with all the live action from Russia on screen, the in-house band will be taking audience requests to see you through the action. Football with tunes? Music to our ears.
Where: 47 Whitcomb Street, London WC2H 7DH, UK
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus (0.2 miles)
Be A Bad Sport
The team at BASEMENT, the bar at The London EDITION have an alternative way to watch the world cup. Rather than just wheeling in a telly and serving Stella and chips, they’ve gone and roped in Bad Sports. These guys know how to host a sports event and they’ll be putting on quizzes, cocktails and (best of all) food, not to mention DJs, at the hotel for the duration of the event.
Where: 10 Berners Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 3NP
Nearest station: Oxford Circus (0.4 miles)
Website: Click here for tickets...
Served In A Highball
To St Martin’s Lane and the Philip Stark designed St Martin’s Lane Hotel, where Blind Spot, the bar, will be mixing up cocktails representing the countries playing. Already Blind Spot’s party trick given their menu is a global melting pot with world flavours from Mumbai to New York, expect them to whip up some special cocktails for the games.
Where: 45 St. Martin's Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4HX
Move Over Football, Here's To Some Archery
Forget oranges at half time; The Arch London has transformed half time refreshments and no, we’re not talking about pork pies and a scotch egg (as good as that sounds). Instead The Arch will be serving up steak burger or Margherita pizza, with a couple beers, ideal fodder to get you through a second ninety minutes of footballing. Or, if you’re staying over, why not lie back in bed and order room service with a special menu developed by Head Chef Gary Durrant.
Where: 50 Great Cumberland Place, Marble Arch, London, W1H 7FD, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Marble Arch (0.3 miles)
The Bro Code Now Involves Rosé
Bros plus rosé equals Brosé… So say Selfridges, who will be hosting a rooftop rosé terrace in partnership with Veuve Clicquot. If the rosé Champagne wasn’t a big enough draw (and for the record, it is) then they’ll also be screening the World Cup games, while serving canapés. If you want a bit of the footy action yourself then fear not, there’ll be table football.
Where: Selfridges, Oxford Street, London, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bond Street (0.2 miles)
After a hard day in The City why not stop in at 1 Lombard Street and their beautiful domed bar where the World Cup will be screened both in the bar and in the private dining room. In the latter, enjoy a three course meal or sharing platter which is perfect for groups. And, of course, there’s also the option to stick around for a slap up dinner at the city restaurant.
Where: 1 Lombard Street, London, EC3V 9AA, United Kingdom
Nearest station: Bank DLR Station (0 miles)
Football's Coming Home
Football might not be coming home this time round, but you can head to the home of football, Wembley. Hilton London Wembley will, of course, be putting on a show for the World Cup and special menu for the individual countries taking part. So England will be fish and chips (obvs), no surprises that Australia have roasted skippy with kangaroo burgers, Germany sausages and so on. You get the idea.
Where: Lakeside Way, Wembley HA9 0BU, UK
Nearest station: Wembley Stadium (0.2 miles)
Ice See You
Okay, now we’re talking. Football just got interesting. Queen’s are hosting a human zorbing experience where you become the ball. Oh, and it’s on ice. Their permanent 12,500 metre square ice rink has been transformed into a (slippery) human football pitch. And after some slithering around, enjoy a post match glass of Prosecco at MEATliquor’s bar.
Where: 17 Queensway Bayswater W2 4QP
Nearest station: Queensway (0.1 miles)
Big Game And Big Games
The Rubens At The Palace will be entertaining us all at bbar and restaurant. Bbar (not a typo) have an impressive selection of beers and spirits (essential to enjoying the football) and have gone one better with their signature cocktails and list of wines. During the World Cup ignore the ‘colonial cool’ vibes big game on the walls, and instead focus in on the big game on the screen.
Where: 39 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, SW1W 0PS
Nearest station: London Victoria (0.2 miles)
Sports And The City
My favourite sports bar namely because it downplays the sport will be embracing the lunacy of the World Cup and going all-out for the football-fest. The mirrors in the main bar will flip and become TVs, screening the action, while upstairs the screening rooms will be jam packed with football fans.
Where: Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, The City, EC2N 1HN
On Your Marksman
Voted as Michelin’s Pub of the Year in 2017, Hackney’s Marksman is the perfect pub for enjoying football where it’s meant to be enjoyed. In a pub with a curry. Billing itself as “the perfect alternative to overcrowded pubs” this might be the badger when it comes to finding a place to endure the tedium of the World Cup.
Where: 254 Hackney Road, Hackney, E2 7SJ
Let’s face it, the football is going to happen wherever you are and whatever you’re doing; so the best solution is to try and mitigate it by maxing out on the fun. Which brings us to Last Days Of Shoreditch and their Enchanted Garden. The Garden has a tropical beach area, swinging hammock beds, a tree-house, specially commissioned sound installations and more, including one of the biggest World Cup screens in London.
Where: 288 Old Street, Clerkenwell, EC1V 9LA
I’m assuming that India aren’t in the World Cup. Can’t be bothered to check, but it seems like a fair assumption. While that already endears them to me, Brigadiers in Bloomberg Arcade will be cooking up an Indian barbecue for the World Cup, and for that they’ve already won me over. COME ON INDIA!!!
Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, City of London, EC4N 8AR
It’s all about the ball skills. Not the latest penalty shootout on the big rooftop screens at Skylight, but the croquet and petanque. They’ve added indoor and outdoor screens showing all the action, but of course there’s all the fun of Skylight to enjoy too. Which makes this an ideal place to go and enjoy the World Cup.
Where: Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street entrance, St Katharine's and Wapping, E1W 2SF
SUSHISAMBA, purveyors of fine Brazilian, Japanese and Peruvian food will, of course, be backing their team in the kitchen, meaning all Brazil games will be celebrated with shimmering samba dancers, refreshing caipirinhas and a special Brazilian menu.
Where: Heron Tower, 110 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AY
Slip And Slider
To The City, where The Anthologist is always worth a look in, but especially during the World Cup when sliding tackles on the pitch can be accompanied by tackling sliders on the plate (geddit? I’m proud of that one). Part of the Drake and Morgan group, The Anthologist and its sister pubs The Allegory and The Refinery Bankside, will be serving a special feasting platter of 20 sliders, 2 trio of fries and a bucket of 10 beers for a very reasonable-sounding £95.
Where: 58 Gresham Street, The City, EC2V 7BB