I'll be in London all summer with three buddies and need to know - what are the best pubs to watch the games for some hardcore soccer fans? We want to catch all the action, so would love a place with multiple screens. I'm guessing the best pubs there get massively packed -- any places that let you reserve a table or anything?
Okay, so here's the catch, London has great sports bars with big wide screen and lots of space. These are great to experience different sports especially when you are not so keen on either team winning. If you want that 'heartbreak and tears' kind of environment, then you must choose the pub in accordance with who is playing. If you go into a particular community's neighborhood on match day, the fun will be much more intense.
And yes, you can call in advance to book tables in most places, or arrive 30mins before match-time. Note that some of the bigger venues will have a ticketing system.
Here are a few 'generics':
The Alexandra, Clapham Common
The Globe, Marylebone
Rileys Sports Bar, Haymarket
Sporting Page, Chelsea
Bar Kick, Shoreditch
Walkabout, Temple (also good for Australia matches)
A few examples of more team/nation - oriented options:
Guanabara for Brazil, Covent Garden
Octoberfest Pub for Germany, Fulham
Fisherman's Arms for Portugal, Willesden Junction
Earlham Street Clubhouse for USA, Covent Garden
You can also enjoy the World Cup atmosphere by joining the many city wide celebrations. The Vaults in Waterloo is showing matches in a party environment (must get tickets) and the close-by The Refinery Bar will have outdoor screenings. Moreover, a pop-up called Fever Pitch Pop-Up Pub in Fulham has both indoors and outdoors screens. Last but not least there will be outdoor screenings (free) in Exchange Square and other city parks.
I just found out about this site that may help you as well: http://fanroom.co.uk.
Enjoy the football... and London!
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