Back in the day, the weekend was a dreary affair for the football fan. You’d have to go to the ground, ticket in hand, with friends and family in tow, and have a supremely dull afternoon of cheering, chanting and bonding… But thanks to the glory of TV, no longer! You can just sit at home, with no-one to listen to your moaning, whilst picking pringles crumbs off of last season’s (unwashed) shirt.
If you’re a bit old-fashioned though, and you still enjoy the company of other human beings whilst watching your team lose, again, but still crave the flickering images and tired commentary of trusty TV, then read on for a quick guide on where to watch live (televised) sports in NW6.
The Railway on West End Lane is my top pick. It has a large bar and plenty of seating, though on a big game day it still gets packed out. This means long half-time queues, but good atmosphere throughout. It attracts a mixed crowd, and serves up solid pub food, with 2 main courses for £10. A projector in the sofa area complements 3 LCD screens dotted around the rest of the pub.
Still in West Hampstead (Mill Lane), but quieter and with more of a ‘local’ feel to it is The Alliance. Its central bar splits the pub into two separate spaces, plenty of seating and a large plasma screen on one side, a pool table, second plasma screen and projector on t’other.
The Golden Egg on Kilburn High Road is on the larger side, and has a few screens as well as a big projector at the back. Though it isn’t one, it feels a bit like a Wetherspoon’s, but at least this is reflected in its prices. They also do a decent carvery on a Sunday for a mere £4.99. Note for the younger readers: it is over 21s only, though on a busy match day they might not notice/care…
A little way down Willesden Lane, The Prince of Wales has a dartboard and pool table to go along with its big screen projector. On the down side, the clientèle has been described as being “a bit pikey”, but the pub has lovely old fashioned decor, and the big draw here is that they televise matches with a Saturday 3pm kick-off.
Finally, another over 21s joint, The Cricketers is a mid-sized pub on the corner of Abbey and Belsize Roads, cramming in 3 screens, a projector, a pool table and one of those newfangled touch-screen jukeboxes. A decent option if you’re in the vicinity, and only two doors down from Oscar’s Den, the best party shop in town!