The Rugby World Cup kicked off last Friday in Japan, and we can expect it to dominate much of our weekend plans, dinner conversations, and sick-day excuses over the next six weeks. And, if like us, you’re heralding this as the sporting event of the year, then you’re going to want to ensure you’ve found a reliable watering hole broadcasting every must-see game and catering to that tricky time difference with early morning screenings.
With this in mind, we’ve rounded up the best pubs, bars and hotels in the capital who are opening their doors and offering their screens for die-hard fans. Whether you prefer your viewing experiences accompanied by a Champagne tea or a post-work pint — we’ve got you covered.
Best in Brixton: Canova Hall
The stylish Canova Hall, nestled in south-west London’s trendy Brixton, is consistently buzzy at the weekend, and a firm favourite whether or not its flat screens are in use. A popular cocktails and pizza joint, it is also one of the best-looking venues from which to enjoy the autumn tournament thanks to its fashionable furnishings – think hanging lights and retro stools.
Head over to this handsome venue for all the biggest games, and take a look at the full calendar here. No booking required but, be warned, it’s sure to fill up quickly.
Best in South West: Clapham Grand
The Clapham Grand is a stunning spot to catch the Rugby World Cup. Almost as rowdy as the Japanese stadiums themselves, you can expect fans from all nations to flock here to catch the games. The USP here is undeniably the mega screen — almost 25ft in size — which ensures you’ll have no problem catching the action in this old theatre.
The Grand is showing every England game, as well as every match from the quarter-finals onwards. Tickets start from £4.
Best in South East: Flat Iron Square
The buzzy Flat Iron Square street food market has been transformed into a Japanese wonderland in celebration of this year’s Rugby World Cup. For an easy open-air viewing option with plenty of food and drink choices, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better venue. Plus, it’s hosting rugby-themed pub quizzes every Monday, as well as exclusive Q&A sessions with former England rugby stars Andy Goode and Nick Easter after key matches.
And, as the only Central London venue showing every game of the tournament, its the place to catch every match – no matter the hour! Find out more here.
Best in Soho: Ham Yard Hotel
For those accustomed to the finer things in life, the Ham Yard Hotel is offering the chance to watch all the Rugby World Cup action live in The Orangery. Enjoy a breakfast of champions, with a choice of a Bloody Mary or Bellini alongside a breakfast platter which includes Loch Fyne Smoked Salmon, egg sliders and a summer berry and coconut sundae crunch as the rugby is screened live from Japan.
All matches are available to screen on request, and tickets cost £50 per person including drinks and breakfast platters.
Best in West: The Prince West Brompton
Lovely old Fulham pub the Prince, much loved for its Instagram-friendly interiors and group-friendly table sizes, is welcoming early-rising rugby fans throughout the tournament. The venue is opening its doors at 7.30am on match days, with guests given the option of a breakfast beer and a burger. Wolfpack Lager will also be in residence during the tournament while the Prince has also teamed up with the restaurant Wildcard to offer a RWC brunch menu.
No booking required, but this is a seriously popular spot so make sure you head down early to secure a seat. Learn more here.
Best in East: Tobacco Dock
Head down to Tobacco Dock to see games shown on both indoor and outdoor screens at Skylight. Fans can enjoy brunch while watching the early kick-offs here, before heading upstairs and enjoying one of the best views of the city. Rugby isn’t the only ball game on offer either – guests can also enjoy a game or two of rooftop croquet at their leisure. Bookings available.
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