Thursday, 28 January 2016

London's bars gear up for World Cup rush... and here's the best of where to watch

Thousands of venues across London  - ranging from the Ministry of Sound to “Fat Ronaldo’s” pop up bar - are preparing to show World Cup matches on large screens from tonight.
Restaurants, pubs and clubs across the capital hope to cash in on the euphoria surrounding the World Cup which kicks off this evening when hosts Brazil take on Croatia in Sao Paolo.
Many will install TV screens as a backdrop to food and drinking, but others are to charge entry fees and create events around the football.
Some of the best known venues on London, such as Indigo at the 02 in Greenwich, the Kentish Town Forum and the Coronet in Elephant & Castle - the heart of London’s Latin quarter - are showing the games, many with additional traditional Brazilian entertainment.
Ministry of Sound in Elephant & Castle is opening up its courtyard from 10pm on Saturday night when England take on Italy in their group D opener.
A number of World Cup pop-up bars will open their doors for the month long tournament including Fat Ronaldo’s in Shoreditch, named after the Brazilian striker who holds the record for goals scored at World Cups.
It is installing palm trees along with deck chairs for fans in two arches close to Old Street underground station to watch the games with samba bands and DJs adding to the entertainment.
Another pop up called Fever Pitch is being set up at at Fulham’s Broadway Bar and Grill with 14 TV screens that covering every wall of the 400 capacity venue.
There are no plans to stage “fan zone” outdoor screens, as during London 2012, because of the potential for trouble.
The screens were scrapped in 2006 after 16 people were injured when fighting broke out in a 6,000-strong crowd at Canary Wharf to watch an England World Cup game.
Instead many venues will be holding World Cup parties in order to show the games.
Brazilian bar Guanabara, near Covent Garden, has already sold out of tickets for the opening game between Brazil and Croatia next Thursday night despite the 9pm start.
Sushi Samba at the top of the Heron Tower in the City, will be showing matches on a big screen and have introduced a £75-per-head menu  which includes champagne, aperitifs and a sushi platter.
At Boteco Brasil Soho, based at The Gallery, there will be “a celebration of Brazil through food, dance, sport and art”, with a series of film screenings, exhibitions, talks and dinners, as well as the World Cup matches being broadcast.
Organiser Constantin Bjerke said: “Most people are very fond of the country yet everyone has a different idea of what Brazil is and often the stereotypes of beach, samba, carnival and football are what comes to mind first.
“These are each great parts of Brazilian culture but Brazil has so much more to offer. There is a cultural richness and depth that is not so well known outside its borders, particularly when it comes to food and the arts, and we want to introduce Londoners to this side of Brazil too.”
Other Brazilian venues include Guanabara in Holborn, which will screen every Brazil match and most England matches, plus entertainment from samba dancers and capoeira performers.
“Floripa in Shoreditch is showing matches, while Cocobamboo in Chalk Farm is also offering prizes, including free shots for every goal and a chance to win a trip to the winning nation.
As expected, almost every pub in London will be showing World Cup matches.
But for a more exclusive experience, Polo Bar on Bishopsgate, which has been refurbished to include a new private bar, ‘Phil’s Office’, can be booked out in advance for £300 per match, including 20 beers and half time snacks.
Fans are also being offered the chance to watch games in a number of luxury locations including the former Victorian grand hotel location 8 Northumberland next to Trafalgar Square, the Grade II-listed venue The Brewery in the City buildings of Whitbread’s 18th Century beer-making empire, and the Artillery Garden at the Honourable Artillery Company in Chiswell Street, with tickets going for up to £1,788 for a table of ten including dinner and entertainment.
Cucina Asellina in the ME London hotel near Somerset House will become a hub for Italian fans for the first World Cup match against England, with Italy’s public national broadcaster RAI Italia  broadcasting live from the restaurant.
Others will likely head to Bunga Bunga Italian bar and pizzeria in Battersea, while the Whirled Cinema in Brixton is hosting its own Whirled Cup, with 28 matches being screened, as well as classic football films and documentaries, a Fifa14 video game tournament, and food and drink.
Zebrano cocktail bars in Soho are screening all matches and offering specially crafted menus for each country, while The Vaults in Waterloo is having a World Cup Carnival, complete with an enormous 5m screen.


Post a Comment

(The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

<< Home