05 June, 2008

Where to Watch Euro 2008 in London

As has been thrust down the throat of every sports page reader in the country, there will be no representation at Euro 2008 from the British Isles. This sad fact shouldn't hinder the fun to be had while watching the football, as plenty of nations with alcoholic tendencies are going to be playing and, well, drinking. Since STT is London based and lacking a team to cheer for, we thought it would be a good idea to go down the local tapas bar or bierkeller and soak up the atmosphere with a different bunch of national fans, but it turns out that a number of random pubs in town have nailed their colours to some very bizarre flagpoles:

Austria

Austrian fans will be found in their tens watching their team get their arse handed to them at The Crown and Two Chairmen on Dean Street, one of Soho's more notorious thoroughfares. Why the Austrians have chosen one of the better known pubs in Soho is not clear, but it's certain that they can get a cheery rub-and-tug in any of the adjoining flats offering 'new models'.

Croatia

Out of all the countries represented at Euro 2008, Croatia probably boasts the smallest expat community living in London. Their isn't a defined Croatian area of the capital, nor are there any clear Croatian bars, but one ex-Hammer may swell the ranks of Eastern Europeans moving to the East End - one Slaven Bilic. This is pure speculation, but it would be great to see the chain-smoking metal playing geezer in charge at Upton Park. You can join the locals down the Boleyn Tavern near the stadium, watch the game, talk about the great man and then meet the ICF!

Czech Republic

Where better to join the Czechs than in Bar Prague? It's in the heart of Shoreditch, where it's possible to get anything or anyone if you ask the right guy on the street!

France

If you fancy joining the French fans in cheering on sulky men, then head down to The Fulham Tup this weekend, which is right by the epicentre of French snootiness in West London - Stamford Bridge.

Germany

If it's some knackwurst that you fancy as you cheer on the bildesmannschaft, then the only place to go is the Bavarian Beer House on City Road, again in Shoreditch. Here, the wenches are buxom and the beers most quaffable.

Greece

Watching a game with Greeks is a bit like having electricity run through your gentials - it's an unpleasant experience, but some people love it. There are plenty of Greek places to enjoy the reigning champions play (expect to hear that fact over and over again) while drinking retsina and avoiding broken crockery, but The Real Greek in Clerkenwell is one of the classiest.

Italy

Where else could you support the Azzurri in London other than Bar Italia, on Frith Street in Soho? The Italian quarter in London is nothing compared to some cities, but so much is crammed into such a small space. The Nastro Azzuro will be flowing and the hand gesticulation will be massive, as seen by the incredible scenes here as Italy won the World Cup.

The Netherlands

If you want to watch the Netherlands play Italy on Monday night, but don't fancy joining the world cup holders, then head down to the Lord Wolsley on White Lion Street in Islington, where the Arsenal supporting landlord has converted his pub into the most orange place in the world.

Poland

A number of newspapers and organisations have suggested that Brits support Poland, due to the number of Poles living in the UK, making it the closest to a 'home side' at the tournament. A number of pubs around the capital will have a massive Polish element during games, but it's likely that the focus will be the Polo-Disney vodka haunt near Holborn called Na Zdrowie.

Portugal

Stockwell in South London is home to a large Portuguese community, numbering up to 27,000 people. There are plenty of great bars and eateries along the South Lambeth Road, but we recommend Cantinho de Portugal for food, football and Cristiano worship.

Romania

Romanians will undoubtedly flock to 32 Old Bailey, near Smithfield market for their games. This classy place should be rammed during all 3 of Romania's games in the tournament, as they struggle to qualify from the Group of Death.

Russia

Unless you're watching the game with an oligarch with a helicopter, there isn't much choice for a Russian supporting fan in London. The only true Russian themed bar in London is the cleverly named A10 on the A10 (The Kingsland Road in Shoreditch), where the vodka flows freely and the Soviet decor is dusty.

Spain

The hordes of Spanish tourists in London are an annual bain to anyone wanting to get anywhere, but they are tolerated, if not welcomed. Bradley's Spanish Bar just off Oxford Street is a pretty good place to watch a Spanish game, due to the fact that it gets so hot downstairs, it feels like you could cook paella in your pants.

Sweden

Swedish fans are always popular at international tournaments. STT was fortunate to be in Germany for the last World Cup, where we witnessed 3 hot Swedish ladies being eye-raped by a gaggle of crotch-grabbing Portugeezers who had only one thing on their mind. More strapping blonde nordic types can be found at the Harcourt Arms in Marylebone, which is heavily influenced by the nearby Swedish embassy.

Switzerland

There aren't an overwhelming number of Swiss expats in London, nor are there many Swiss bars. One place that will be showing all of Switzerland's games is the beautiful Swiss Church in Covent Garden, which has staged similar events before. Although it's not technically a bar, we believe God is a drinker and wouldn't mind you smuggling tins of fizzy hops juice into His house.

Turkey

God may be a drinker and millions of His flock consume his son every Sunday, but it's a fair assumption that Allah is teetotal. Even though Turkey is a Muslim country, it's not as dry as others, but there is still a lack of Turkish watering holes in the capital. There are plenty of top notch cafes, restaurants and kebab shops, though, so it's best to wander down to your local kebabby with a telly.

If anyone manages to visit all these venues during the tournament, they will have our greatest respect. Everyone needs a drinking challenge now that Jeff Stelling's off our screens.

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