2014 World Cup: The ELL guide to watching the game in pubs and bars across all four boroughs

Brazilian Flag. Photo: Jefferson Souza Fenandes

Brazilian Flag. Photo: Jefferson Souza Fenandes

It’s time to lay those rivalries aside and unite as a country to support England in the 2014 Brazil World Cup. Whether you love or hate football, there’s no escaping what will be a feverish four weeks once the competition starts on June 12, 2014.

Here at ELL, we’re not the only ones eagerly awaiting the World Cup. People from all around the world are taking to Twitter to express their excitement:

In the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa, most games inconveniently fell within working hours for fans in the UK. Nevertheless, the UK clocked in an average of 5.3 million viewers per game. Viewership is predicted to be even higher for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. With the majority of the games being played at either 5pm, 8pm and 11pm, football fanatics will have more freedom to head down to the pub with their mates.

The Home Office has taken this into account by extending the license to sell alcohol until 01:00 BST when England games kick off after 20:00 BST. Pubs can apply for this one-off late license for just £21. This will be crucial when England faces off against Italy on June 14, 2014 at 11pm.

Statistics released in the British Beer and Pub Association handbook have shown a steady decline in beer sales over the last decade as the price of each pint has become increasingly more expensive. Since this has taken a toll on the numerous watering holes in this country, many venues are looking to take advantage of the business opportunities this upcoming month. Pubs have been setting up their projectors and fine tuning their menus; we’ve selected a list of the best places to watch the World Cup across the four boroughs. Among these, you will find a Ghanian restaurant, live samba dancing, and other unique venues for an unforgettable World Cup experience.

We’ve mapped out our selection for your convenience, with further pub details listed below each borough’s tab. Under “Other,” we’ve included World Cup related apps we recommend trying out.

The exterior of Bar Kick in Shoreditch. Photo: Gerard Puigmal

BAR KICK 

126-127 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE
Broadcasting at least three matches a day throughout the second half of June, Bar Kick offers one of the most comprehensive World Cup coverages in Hackney. General Manager Lee Jones sad: "We've invested £20,000 in new TVs for the World Cup so we have six screens, four of which are massive at 80 inches. There aren't half measures here." Of course, if you're feeling inspired by the World Cup, there's always the opportunity to play a quick round of table football during commercial breaks at Bar Kick.

CANDELA CLAPTON
159 Lower Clapton Road, London E5 8EQ
For those who can't make it to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup, Candela Clapton might just be the next best option. This Latin American inspired restaurant is serving up Brazilian food alongside projections of the games. The owners are serious about the World Cup as live samba dancers will join in on the festivities!

MEZCAL CANTINA
127 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2PB
Cheer on Mexico at Mezcal Cantina. Nominated as a runner up for Best Mexican Restaurant in Britain by The Lukas Awards 2014, the restaurant bar serves authentic Mexican fare while the games are projected on a large screen. World Cup specials include four Coronas for £10, so you'll be hard pressed to find a better deal elsewhere.

BUEN AYRE
50 Broadway Market, London E8 4QJ
If watching football and consuming large quantities of red meat sounds like the ideal combination, there's no better place to do both than at Buen Ayre. This Broadway Market restaurant, which counts former England manager Fabio Capello among its many fans, will be showing the Argentina matches on June 15, 21, and 25. The venue is small and only allows parties of two, so grab a mate and book those tables in advance.

PUB ON THE PARK
19 Martello Street London E8 3PE
Located along London Fields, Pub on the Park has become a solid institution in east London since it opened in 2010. With three screens (located both inside and out) broadcasting every England game, Pub on the Park is sure to draw in large crowds. This pub offers five hand pull pumps on rotation, so expect to see offerings from local microbreweries. 

THE THREE COMPASSES
99 Dalston Lane E8 1NH
The Three Compasses have rolled out a full schedule on June 13th. This pub, located on Dalston Lane, will be showing three games throughout the day. A special appearance from Southern Rhythms will involve live bossa rumba music, so expect a bustling dance party after the the Spain v Netherlands game at 8.

The Albion in Goldsmiths Rom. Photo: Paull Gillett

Copyright Paul Gillett, licensed for resuse under this Creative Commons Licence

ALBION
94 Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QY
Named after the West Bromwich Albion Football Club, this pub is self described as "a football pub for real football supporters". Decorated with memorabilia from various clubs, the Albion is an unpretentious local pub full of character. While the food and drinks are not particularly memorable, your basics are covered at the Albion. Head over to Goldsmiths Row if you fancy a down to earth atmosphere and a good chat with other serious football fans.

AMERIGO VESPUCCI
25 Cabot Square Mackenzie Walk Canary Wharf E14 4QA
Serving Italian food for 17 years along Canary Wharf, Amerigo Vespucci is an up market restaurant. With two large screens available in their private outdoor alfresco bar, this venue is suitable for large groups of friends who want to keep things low key. Prosecco based cocktails and a large selection of finger food will be available. Groups of ten or more will receive free hot and cold starters, so book in advance.

THE BIRDCAGE
80 Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2 7QB
Known for their late night karaoke events, The Birdcage knows how to throw a good party. This Columbia Road watering hole will be showing World Cup games in their recently renovated ballroom downstairs. An initial schedule has been released on their website, which warns England fans to show up early on June 14 due to limited capacity. The drinks are cheap here as well, so that's an additional plus.

STAR OF BETHNAL GREEN
359 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 6LG
Described as "the grown up raver's boozer of choice," the Star of Bethnal Green is a spacious venue for those who are down to have a good time. In preparation for the World Cup, this pub has a projector as well as a new plasma screen set up. Affordable drink packages are available from £75 to £499, so this is definitely a good option for large groups looking to get some heavy duty drinking in.

The Rye, quintessential modern day pub. Photo: Simon Adams

THE RYE
31 Peckham Rye, London, SE15 3NX
Renovated back in 2012, The Rye was transformed into the quintessential modern day pub. Boasting outdoor seating as well as a large back garden, the Rye ticks off all the proverbial boxes for great food and drink.

LITTLE CROWN
New Cross Road, Deptford, London SE14 6TQ
This Irish pub boasts real ale, a small patio garden and Sky TV and wifi. The usual food selections are also available here. While Ireland may not be part of the world cup, Little Crown will be on hand to provide all your viewing needs during the World Cup.

THE OLD TIGERS HEAD
351 Lee High Road, Lee Green, London SE12 8RU
The Old Tigers Head boasts an impressive seven screens. The pub also has a large beer garden and function room if you want to keep your party private.

THE CATFORD RAM
9 Winslade Way, Catford SE6 4JU
Often described as Catford’s hidden gem, this is one of the best pubs in Lewisham with extensive selection of real ale. The Catford Ram offers live music that varies from week to week to suit all tastes. A great range of World Cup matches will be shown on multiple screens.

The Spread Eagle, popular destination for locals. Photo: Robin Butler

THE SPREAD EAGLE
39-41 Katherine St, Croydon, CRO 1NX
This traditional British pub was originally a Bank. Located a stone’s throw away from Croydon’s bustling retail centre on Katherine Street, The Spread Eagle is easily accessible, with sufficient links to public transport and parking facilities nearby. If you get hungry during a match, be sure to order one of their famous specialty pies. Manager Robin Butler said, "We are really looking forward to it, should be good fun for all the nations."

RILEY SPORTS BAR & Bingo Club
63 Frith Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 1TB
The Croydon branch of the Rileys franchise can be found near the heart of the town centre. Food here is served around the clock, and the bar boasts a 3-metre HD screen. Tickets must be purchased in advance to view World Cup matches; each ticket includes a complimentary pint.

GREEN DRAGON
60 High Street, Croydon, CR0 1NA
The award winning Green Dragon is known for its lively atmosphere and eclectic array of modern dishes and traditional British cuisine. With multiple plasma screens and real ale on tap, Green Dragon is a suitable venue for World Cup viewing.

THE BUILDERS ARMS
65 Leslie Park Road, Croydon, CRO 6TP
The pubs namesake originates from the 19th century when it was established to serve the men working on the local railway links. Part of the Fuller’s chain, The Builders Arms provides nothing but the best ales and beers that can be found.

GIPSY MOTH
619 Purley Way, Croydon, CRO 4RJ
Conveniently located on the Colonades Retail Park off Purley Way, this contemporary pub and restaurant is nothing but friendly and inviting. Serving the best in brewed ales and traditional pub cuisine, Gipsy Moth is the ideal location for friends and family to watch the World Cup on plasma TVs. There’s also free wifi access for those who want to keep up with the football coverage via social media.

THE LIONS INN
182 Pawsons Road, Croydon, CRO 2QD
A traditional family run pub, the Lions Inn serves homemade style dishes that can be ordered all day. This pub is locally known for its exceptional quality of food. With five screens on offer for sports coverage, it’ll be difficult to miss any of the World cup fixtures.


Here is a list of handy World Cup apps you can download:

Official FIFA app (free)
fifa-app_2933805j Available on both the iOS and Android platforms. This app is jam packed with essential World Cup information, from profiles of team managers to live updates.

 

FIFA 14 (free)

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This is the ideal app for any football mad fan and best of all, its free! Included will all the features you would expect from the fifa game.

 

Panini online sticker album (free)

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Remember collecting cards and stickers as a child? Take a walk down memory lane with this great app released by Fifa. You  can collect and trade stickers of World cup players with other online usurers, does it get any better than that?

 

BBC Sport (free)

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Where would sports coverage be without BBC sport? This app gives you live updates and keeps you in the need to know. There's no way you could possibly miss a thing with this app.

 

SportsYapper (free)

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How about some goodhearted banter to go along with the matches? Sports Yapper is a great app for those of you who like to interact with other sports fans whilst watching it, just don't get your feelings hurt!

 

SKY GO (free)

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On the move, at work, wherever, don't miss a moment, the highlights don't give you the same feeling. Sky Go will keep you connected where ever you may be.

 

FootballAlbum (free)

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How else can you show support, by making a football album of you and your mates of course! This app lets football fans chat in one place without missing a single detail as is also provides live updates.

 

Fantasy iTeam (free)

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Every football fan has at one point thought they could do a better job than the managers. Put your yourself to the test and come up with a fantasy football team. Play your team against others and see how far you get.

 

Forza Football (free)

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This live updates app will keep you informed along with allowing you to share your opinions, the best feature of this is app is the "live bracket" feature that uses info graphics to show possible match outcomes and group stage results  based on the amount of goals scored.

 

Brazil 2014 - World Cup (free)

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This is the all round app for information thats extensive yet fun to use.

 

 

Answer our poll below to let us know where you stand:

How excited are you for the world cup?

 

I’d give my first born child to watch the World Cup in Brazil!
I’ve got my tables booked and the face paint is ready. GO!!!!!!!
I’ll be sure to catch the finals and a few games here or there. Otherwise, I’m not that invested
I guess the World Cup will serve as small talk material with my coworkers. That’s something.
I’m going to unfollow anyone on Twitter who so much as mentions football
What? The World Cup is happening? When?

Poll Maker

By Blondelle Baima, Thomas Bristow and Jessica Chia

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