Wednesday, 16 June 2010

New Zealand V Slovakia: The Ultimate World Cup Pub (bar & restaurant) Crawl

By Anthony Lord

Finally. I've discovered how to watch the early kick-offs. A top brasserie sipping cocktails and munching snacks created by a celebrity chef. And get this, there are other people watching with me. Ok, they might not have gone to Rhodes Patron Bar & Rhodes W1 Brasserie to watch the game like I did, but while they were conducting their business meeting or flirting on a date, the males did sneak a glance at the TV when they could. Yes, there was a couple there sharing a bottle of champers...

When the draw pitted New Zealand and Slovakia the world didn't stop in anticipation for this game, and so when I got to Rhodes W1, it wasn't full of Kiwis and Slovakians. This meant I had a whole couch area to myself, with a great view of one of the flat-screen's.

I ordered a cocktail off the South African themed menu put together especially for the World Cup. The S.A. consists of Courvoissier, Passoa, Kahlua, pineapple and cranberry. On the menu it's described as 'A tangy drink, packed with fruit flavours and a nutty finish'. I won't argue with that, but be warned, it's rather strong, especially at twelve o'clock.

There's a music conference happening in the The Cumberland Hotel, so a lot of delegates keep popping their heads in to see the score. And more people arrive when lunch time arrives. But it doesn't have the football atmosphere; no cheering and no smell of stale beer. I m enjoying myself though.

At half time I realise I'm a bit peckish so I order the crispy lamb goujons with mint yoghurt and a curry mayonnaise. Was meant to be a snack, but it's bigger than I thought and was rather filling. Delicious!

The game winds to a close as does my pint of Grolsch, and it looks like Slovakia have this one in the bag. But a goal for New Zealand in the 92nd minute puts an end to that, and a stifled cheer by me has everyone looking my way. I'm not a New Zealander, I just like an underdog...

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