World Cup Fever Goes Foodie

World CupWhether you’re fussed about football or not, there’s no avoiding World Cup fever this summer. If you’re in the former, free-kick-loving camp we’ve got the score on some of the best spots showing the games in the capital when it kicks off on the 12 June. If you’re in the latter, what better way to fake your interest than with a themed cocktail or two? From on-the-ball burgers to a Clerkenwell cabana, here’s our World Cup round-up.

Grand Union Unites Football Fans

As the world’s largest sporting event hits London screens this summer, football fans can be sure not to miss a single kick at Grand Union. With a line-up that includes limited-edition national burgers and cocktails, indoor and outdoor screens, fantastic private hire options and special promotions, Grand Union provides the ultimate World Cup viewing experience. Kicking things off is Grand Union’s all-star team of World Cup Burgers (£9), specially crafted with different toppings to represent eleven of the participating countries and international cocktails from £5. For those wishing to enjoy the game with a little more privacy, step away from the crowds and into Grand Union’s Thai beach huts, found at Brixton, Camden and Wandsworth. Decked out with screens, the huts are available for groups to pre-book for each match, and fans can also take advantage of a range of all-inclusive food and drink packages.

Pass It To Paramount

Paramount Dining RoomDon’t get stuck in a crowded sports bar for the big game – elevate your viewing experience at Paramount, 32 floors up atop the infamous Centre Point building at Tottenham Court Road. With flat screens showing all the games, grab yourself a space at the Tom Dixon-designed bar and take in a cocktail while you enjoy the action. And if you’re feeling peckish, no need to resign yourself to crisps and pork scratchings; Paramount’s menu of bar snacks include satay lamb skewers and BBQ pork ribs. For those looking for an even more exclusive experience, a range of hire packages are also available in the Red Room, Paramount’s chic private dining space with views out towards the London skyline.

Give It Some Welly At The Well

Latin American spirit comes to the City when The Well on St John Street opens its own Clerkenwell Cabana! From 29th May, the popular gastropub’s subterranean cocktail lounge will be transformed into an exotic cabana sponsored by Havana Club Rum. Bar snacks will receive a Brazilian kick with street food-inspired chicken coxinha and traditional pork and bean stew washed down with a menu of zingy, zesty cocktails including an authentic Havana Club Mojito or special Tropical Cabana Club Daiquiri blended with fresh pineapple. And of course, those all-important England matches will be shown on-screen. Open evenings Wednesday through to Saturday, or available for private hire, make the Clerkenwell Cabana at The Well your summertime hotspot…spra caramba!

Drake & Morgan On The Defensive

The RefineryFootball mania will be hitting Britain hard this summer and The Refinery on Bankside is celebrating with the Great British Summer — a homegrown holiday hotspot bedecked with striped deck chairs, white picket fencing & screens on which to watch films and the grand football finale! There’ll be pop-up bars to keep you in the manner to which you’ve become accustomed, plus a VIP area for private bookings — the perfect place to linger until the final whistle. Make sure you try a taste of Rio with the World Class Beach-Bum World Cup Cocktail (£6.95), a beautiful South American concoction made from Abelha Cachaça, lime juice, agave, red chilli, mint leaves, splash of soda and an ice-cube boulder available at The Refinery and Drake & Morgan’s seven sister restaurants across the city.

World Cup widows wine and dine at Yamal Alsham

Let’s face it, football’s not for everyone. And if you’d rather be shopping than scoring, head to Yamal Alsham at 48 Knightsbridge for a pick-me-up after a hard day in Harrods and Harvey Nicks. Just a stone’s throw from every girl’s favourite department stores, mezze is served aplenty in bright surroundings and without a football scarf in sight. But why should thise in Rio have all the fun, order a shot of South America’s finest tipple – Cafe Patron tequila – and give yourself a heady coffee boost before embarking on more retail therapy!

Las Iguanas

Brimming with Latin American charm, Las Iguanas have created a limited edition cocktail available throughout the tournament (from 12th June – 13th July). The Victory – a playful nod to the World Cup – is indeed a triumph, combining ice-cold cava with Absolut Mango, passion fruit syrup and edible silk gold all served in an elegant champagne flute. And even though this delectable concoction may contain gold, you won’t have to spend a lot of yours on it, The Victory is very reasonably priced at £6 for one or £9 for two. If you’re feeling hungry after all that football (watching) and in the mood for something traditionally Brazilian, Las Iguanas also serve flavour-packed, authentic curries. Dig into their Xinxim (creamy peanut lime chicken) and be transported straight to the World Cup’s host countryRio.

Goat Drink & Dine

Had enough of headers for one day but still want a day out with the lads? Get a group of girls together and head to Goat in Chelsea for the ultimate football-free zone! This June, Goat’s secret speakeasy – The Chelsea Prayer Room – will be transformed into a haven for any football widows looking to escape the testosterone fuelled main bar, DRINK, which will be showing all of England’s football games, as well as the semi-final and final matches. Ladies will be admitted to the hidden members’ bar, The Chelsea Prayer Room, for the ultimate girly get-together with Cosmopolitan masterclasses (£5 per head), Sex and The City on the big screen and plenty of girlie music. The chaps may have the footie to keep them entertained and plenty of beer on tap, but I think we all know where the real party’s at!

Benito’s Hat Presents The Bur-ROY-to!

BH BurroytoRoy’s boys are off to Brazil to give the world a taste of English football and popular Mexican restaurant group Benito’s Hat are giving them an honorary send-off. Introducing the tastiest way to support your team: the Roy Hodgson inspired bur-ROY-to! The limited-edition burrito is filled with succulent roast pork with crunchy crackling and zingy apple sauce salsa – guaranteed to get patriotic punters and burrito-lovers dribbling! Available in London stores now, Benito’s Hat will keep the bur-ROY-to in play as long as England are. As if that wasn’t enough, hungry supporters who buy two burritos during the football festivities will score their third completely free. Make sure you grab an exclusive Benito’s Hat-Trick loyalty card from your nearest restaurant to ensure you don’t miss out on all the burrito banter.

Kicks in the City

Surrounded by restaurants, cafes and bars, Exchange Square is the perfect place to celebrate a Summer of Sport. With themed menus and outdoor BBQs, there will be plenty of choice for match side refreshments. This will include new street food concept StreetDots, which will see some of the capital’s best-loved traders serve a mix of global cuisines at different locations accross the Broadgate campus.
Accompanying the action on the big screen, Exchange Square will host a series of mini sport events, from simulators to the real thing – test your own tennis, football, cricket and cycling skills against your sporting heroes. Keep an eye on for confirmed dates and screen listings.

Emily Cleary

Emily Cleary

After almost a decade chasing ambulances, and celebrities, for Fleet Street’s finest, Emily has taken it down a gear and settled for a (slightly!) slower pace of life in the suburbs. With a love of cheese and fine wine, Emily is more likely to be found chasing her toddlers round Kew Gardens than sipping champagne at a showbiz launch nowadays, or grabbing an hour out of her hectic freelancer’s life to chill out in a spa while hubby holds the babies. If only!


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