Suzi Dixon from www.bournemouthnews.info gives the lowdown on the town’s hotspots for live sport this summer…..
It’s finally upon us, the World Cup, Russia 2018 – the finest footballers in the land are heading to the former Soviet Union to do battle WW2 style on the pitch in a tournament that’s bound to be full of drama from the dressing room to the cold coach home.
Support England as far as you can: who knows, the colder climate may suit our players! But whatever happens, you can’t beat the atmosphere of a live game involving any of the nations.
Sadly, more than half of Brits (57 per cent, out of 2,000 respondents) who responded to a survey by The Ice Co said they would be watching the games at home. Nearly half of those polled (45 per cent) think the pub is too “laddy”, with a similar number (43 per cent) saying they’d rather watch it in a more civilised environment.
But who’s to say a Bournemouth bar can’t be ‘civilised’? We’ve got some of the best bars (and best bouncers) in the country and the atmosphere of the World Cup is something you can only experience once every four years – so make the most of it at the following watering holes.
It’s no secret that this is my favourite place for cocktails – Bournemouth’s only loft bar – and the massive stage area that has hosted the likes of James Morrison and Craig Charles is the ideal setting for a memorable World Cup.
If (when) England let you down, why not adopt Brazil? The Samba Kings kick off Canvas’s World Cup coverage this Sunday with a match against Switzerland in an environment not to be missed. Bournemouth’s thriving international community (including students) mainly live in the BH2 area, not far from the language colleges and, of course, Canvas’s prime Poole Hill location. Expect the dancefloor to fill at the final whistle.
Tickets are £5 (£7 on the door) and that includes a welcome drink from 6pm and a selection of Brazilian snacks. Caipirinhas (made with cachaça, sugar and lime) are on sale two-for-one during every Brazil game or hit happy hour (5pm-7pm) during other matches where all cocktails are on offer.
Bear in mind that, due to their opening hours, Canvas will only be showing the evening games throughout the tournament.
Buy tickets at www.canvasbournemouth.com.
Best of the rest…
A big hit with students, Inferno is ideal for all ages to watch the football due to its impressive square footage. There are not one but two big screens: I remember getting up at stupid o’clock in 2002 when Japan hosted the tournament to bag the banquettes in front of the lower level big screen for me and my Paragon Publishing colleagues. So arrive early for the best seats (though at least the games aren’t at 6am this year).
Start the day with a £2.50 smoothie before raiding the cocktail menu: pitchers are available from £9.95 to save you going back to the bar several times. We like the Godfather – Jack Daniels and Disaronno – so sophisticated!
60 Million Postcards
Our favourite burger bar is under new management and, as well as live music and the ever-popular quiz, they are going all out for the World Cup.
We recommend booking a booth and arriving early to work your way through the burger menu (two for one on Tuesdays).
Bored of beer? Try one of their Shakes and add a shot to make it more fun. Choose from Oreo, Peanut Butter, Strawberry or Vanilla, from £4 (add £3 for a shot of a selection of alcoholic brands).
If you like pool… watch the games at Sharkeys (Old Christchurch Road)
If you are in a big group… head to Walkabout (also Old Christchurch Road)
To reserve a booth for the big games… book at Bar So, just £21 including six beers (Exeter Road)
Fun fact – according to the abovementioned Ice Co survey, when it comes to the ideal drinks to serve at a World Cup viewing party, beer comes out on top. The top 10 drinks are:
1. Ice cold beer (47%)
2. Soft drinks with ice (35%)
3. Cider in chilled bottles (25%)
4. Prosecco (24%)
5. Cocktails (23%)
6. Extra chilled wine (22%)
7. Gin and tonic (16%)
8. Red wine (11%)
9. Baileys on ice (9%)
10. Whisky on the rocks (6%)
Read more about The Ice Co’s findings in a new report by food and drink futurologist Lyndon Gee, called World Cup 2018: We’ll be playing at home, not away! Lyndon has also created World Cup drinking personalities, including the Penalty Taker who loves drinking games and the Referee, who tries to organise everyone and make sure all glasses are filled equally.
About the author ‘Suzi Dixon’
Editor in chief of bournemouthnews.info Suzi Dixon studied at Bournemouth university, went away for a while to work at The Daily Telegraph, then moved back to the sunny South coast for a quiet (er) life. Now, amongst other things, she guest writes for us at Lets Go Out!