Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Spain V Honduras: The Ultimate World Cup Pub (bar & restaurant) Crawl

By Rebecca Brett

I trotted along to the trendy Shoreditch area again this evening, this time to watch Spain vs Honduras. I’m really taking a liking to the area, even if I haven’t quite got the eclectic chic thing down to a tea. I just said ‘down to a tea’ for example, surely that’s not cool.

One place that has got it down (is it better without the tea part?) is Bar Kick on Shoreditch High Street. The modest bar reminded me somewhat of a hostel that I once stayed at in Barcelona. With many different nationalities dining and drinking there, the bright and breezy atmosphere and décor, table football, or Babyfoot as they call it, the flags of the world, the random artefacts decorating the walls, and the huge range of imported beers available, it’s hostel-chic, in a good way.

The food is just as laid back, with the menu written on a huge blackboard above the open kitchen, as well as specials updated daily. The choice of food ranges from goats cheese salad to bangers and mash, a diverse mix of English, Brazilian, Spanish cuisines and more – perfect for the World Cup.

My housemate ordered the steak sandwich, which gave me immediate food envy as soon as I saw it. I ordered something that I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone try to spell but it was a black bean stew served with rice – not the most aesthetically pleasing but good on the taste buds. Desserts are a no go on World Cup night, which was a bit of a shame; I was feeling virtuous after the stew. I wanted something bad to satisfy my ever-growing appetite.

Half an hour before the match and the bar was filling up with a lot of Spanish fans adorned with flags and face paint, plus a few Honduran fans, the busiest I’ve ever witnessed a Monday night out in the capital. Then, with 15 minutes to go, the manager opened the barrier to the downstairs bar and with it a huge rush of people went down to get their seats before kick-off. So the upstairs and downstairs were fully packed, it seems this is the place to be for Monday night matches or any evening match I reckon.

My housemate and I hadn’t seen each other all weekend so we have a lot of catching up to do, not easy when they are over a hundred Spanish fans shrieking at every near miss that Ramos, Xavi and the newly fit and newly hair-dyed Torres had. Even more so when Villa scored the first goal after just 17 minutes.

The atmosphere was electric, to say the least. Cheers rung out from upstairs, downstairs and even outside – where the huge windows are open so the smokers can see in. My housemate even got in to the spirit with some whooping.

Spain looked good and so did a lot of the punters at Bar Kick. A massive range of people go there, from suits to skinny jeans, anything goes. I even saw a girl with a belt made of rope. Note to self, if I’m going to fit in round here, I must invest in rope.

The second half starts and everyone pours back inside, it would seem a lot of the supporters here like a smoke, either that or they like fresh air. Just five or so minutes in and Villa gets a second goal, followed by a lot of flags and arms being waved around in Bar Kick.

We were deep in conversation when everyone started shouting not long after. This was followed by an eerie silence: a penalty. Villa steps up to try and make it three. And misses. There are some quiet cheers from the Honduran fans.

The game finishes 2-0 and the majority of the drinkers and flag wavers are very happy to say the least. Then they continue to drink as if Monday is just an extension of the weekend. I’d like to make it so but it’s time for us to get off.

On our way home we passed another pub showing the football, where nobody was watching it. So, it is just Bar Kick that is pulling in the crowds for the football in Shoreditch. I’ll definitely be going back especially if Spain get to the knock out stages.

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