Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Greece V Argentina: The Ultimate World Cup Pub (bar & restaurant) Crawl

By Claire Williams

When I go out to watch the football in London I usually end up covered in cheap smelling beer, singing football songs (loudly and ear-shatteringly badly), and getting in a heated discussion with the bloke next to me about who should be playing in defence. And that’s before the game has even kicked off. I embrace my inner-bloke and drink pints like the rest of them (although I draw the line at lifting my t-shirt above my head and sliding along the floor when my team score).

But with so many football games this World Cup, there comes a point when I get tired of ending the night looking like a shadow of my former self and I yearn for somewhere clean and comfortable to watch the football in peace.

Juju is one such place. Located on the Kings Road in Chelsea, Juju is a sleek upmarket bar that serves cocktails galore. With its 6ft projector screen and comfy seats, a selection of Pan-Asian tapas style dishes, and a cocktail or three, Juju seemed the perfect venue to watch the Greece vs Argentina game that evening. It’s just a pity that the cocktails were more interesting than the football. On paper, the game looked exciting – both teams wanted to win (Greece more than Argentina, granted) and I was interested to see Messi play. Predictably, Greece spent the game defending and before long Argentina got the ball in the back of the net where it belonged. Not once, but twice.

Still, we had seats directly in front of the screen and a selection of refreshingly well-cooked Pan-Asian dishes to feast on which went down surprisingly well. The dishes were interesting and a welcome alternative to the recycled ‘Pub Grub’ dishes that are usually on order. The soya beans with Himalayan salt were a worthy opponent to the standard sweaty peanuts that are usually the only thing on offer in the pub. And oh, the toilets!

With a range of World Cup offers that differ week to week, Juju makes watching the football upmarket, luxury fun. Who would have thought I’d enjoy nibbling on skewered tiger prawns with peanut dressing whilst reclining with a Champagne cocktail and enjoying the game?! Not me. Just don’t tell the lads.

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