Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Brazil V North Korea: The Ultimate World Cup Pub (bar & restaurant) Crawl

By Claire Williams

I’m one of those women who jumps wholeheartedly on the World Cup bandwagon. I’d even go so far as to say I quite enjoy the entire tournament, and by the entire tournament I don’t just mean I tune in when Wayne Rooney is on the telly. So I was quite looking forward to watching the match, even though I expected a bit of an easy victory for the Brazilians over the somewhat elusive North Koreans.

Surprisingly, the North Koreans did better than I expected. From what little we know of the team it was easy to assume that the Brazilians would walk (or dribble) all over them. But the North Koreans came out as a strong and confident, and I couldn’t help rooting for them. A goalie slip (I seem to have seen a lot of goalie slips in the past week) in the second half changed the course of the game, and the Brazilians triumphed (somewhat sloppily) over North Korea with a final result of 2-1.

Unfortunately, it was hard to get hugely excited in the Electric Bar and Brassiere. One screen and some poorly placed tables and chairs meant that the best seat of the house (which we nabbed, almost by accident) was half outside (in the non-smoking seating area out the front) and half inside the bar. This meant I was positioned looking at the television screen through a window with my guest’s back to me – a position not conducive to any kind of game analysis, scrutiny of the players’ tactics or general abuse of the ref.

The wine was nice – chilled, dry, fruity Sauvignon that went some way in making me forgive the bad positioning of the tables and the World Cup unfriendly atmosphere. And the wine is probably the only reason I stayed for the entire first half. With one screen and an interior that screamed ‘trendy twenty-something more interested in Cava than football’, it was obvious that any chanting and singing would be about as welcome as a Tottenham fan in the Arsenal end of the Emirates. And although Brazil vs North Korea probably wasn’t a game I was going to toot my vuvuzela for, I’m more into the atmosphere of the beautiful game.

If you like your football in the background, on a screen you can see if you bend your neck, then the Electric Bar and Brassiere on the Portobello road is the place to go. For everyone actually interested in football, there’s a great place next door.

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