LONDON is gearing up for the World Cup and the city is awash with interesting and sophisticated places to enjoy the games – if you know where to look.
If you’re based in Canary Wharf, Tompkins is launching in the nick of time. This stylish waterfront restaurant and bar in the Pan Peninsula development is offering all the matches on big screens for £50 pp, including unlimited beer, wine, soft drinks, mini burgers and hot dogs. If you’re in the City, Kanaloa is transforming its tropical hideaway-style interior into a football paradise with 50” screens (£35 pp minimum spend for a table of 10) and Old Billingsgate is hosting a special event for England v Algeria on 18 June with dinner and celebrity pundits for £129. Out west The Hurlingham Club has a similarly impressive afternoon event for the Slovenia game, with tickets at £150 or £250 for VIP.
For a truly unique experience, you could try buoyant new club The Yacht, moored by Somerset House. All-inclusive packages are £52 pp and you can also watch alfresco on the deck with views to boot. If open-air watching is appealing, The Langham’s new Terrace Garden is offering a chic outdoor option, with the adjacent indoor lounge bar covering all the action if there is a soggy pitch. It will also be hard to beat the seven screens set up in the Spanish Garden of The Roof Gardens in Kensington (Friday and Saturday night games only).
In Mayfair, The Red Room (at Les Ambassadeurs) could be the biggest gem of all since you can watch the games on giant projector screens in the style and comfort of the vividly-hued, luxuriously-appointed chamber. Other members clubs worth trying to sneak into would be the cinema rooms at Eight Club, Soho House and the Hospital Club.
Sketch is showing the first half of the tournament in the Glade but if England (or France) make the semi finals they have promised to use the Gallery’s 360 degree projectors: surely incentive enough for Rooney and the boys. For more wall-to-wall action the impromptu Fever Pitch bar in Fulham will be popping up especially for the tournament with nine screens to cover all angles. Other notable mentions include the Electric Brasserie on Portobello Road and the new Shaka Zulu in Camden.
If you would prefer to avoid the football at all costs, The Terrace at the Sanderson is providing a safe haven for ‘Football Widows’ with champagne dinners every night England play and no sports talk allowed.... each to their own.
Tim Badham is the Managing Director and Founder of Innerplace, the leading specialist entertainment and lifestyle concierge in London. Membership from £40 per month. www.innerplace.co.uk