Going to the Emirates
A short guide to where to go for a drink before or after a match at the Emirates
We're proud to be within walking distance of the Emirates Stadium and it's a real pleasure to welcome Arsenal fans from all over the world. One question I'm often asked by our overseas visitors is where to go for a pint before the game and mix with real Arsenal fans. So leaving aside questions of authenticity in football fan culture here's a personal guide to pubs I go to with friends when we're going to the match.
The Faltering Fullback
One of my favourite pubs, not just around Finsbury Park but of all time! A staple of the week for over twenty years our football team takes part in and sometimes runs the Monday night quiz. It's a family run boozer and if you want to watch sport on the big screen the back room of the FB is the place for you. The famed Ewok Village is a smoker's paradise and there are nooks and crannies if you want something a bit quieter. There's a decent selection of beer, including a couple of real ales if you want something typically English.
But what about match day?
Match day gets busy with local fans and though the barstaff are seasoned pros expect to have a bit of a queue at the bar if you want to get served. Arrive early for a table or join fellow fans in the street. But do try and be civilized - remember people live here too! It's a 20 minute stroll to the ground or you can take the tube from Finsbury Park to Arsenal if you're in a hurry.
The WB Yeats
A relative newcomer but a favourite of late. Another Irish-run place and in my opinion the beer is superior to the FB (don't tell Pat I said that!). As well as the usual lagers and good range of real ale there's craft beer and good food. There's a small garden out front if the weather is good and even on match day the bar isn't so busy that you'll have to wait an age to get served. It's tucked away on a side street so popular with locals - you're guaranteed to be in a retro shirt paradise. Again, it's about a 20 minute walk to the ground or a short cut via the tube. Oh, and they have free wi-fi if you want to keep up with the scores.
The World's End
Nearer the ground so you'll have to drink out of a plastic cup but a good atmosphere. Oodles of beers to choose from and some decent bar food. They have live music at weekends so not a bad place to go after the match if you want some noise.
Handy from town
Sometimes you want to combine the match with a bit of sightseeing in the morning. Or you may be meeting friends coming from the north. Or you might want to mingle with fans of other clubs coming to see their team play in London. These are a few option that you can go to that will still get you to the Emirates after a ten minute tube journey.
The Scottish Stores
Newly reopened after spending years as a strip club the Stores is a hipster-ish venue for an ever-changing stock of beer. On the intimate side so you'll likely end up chatting to fellow football fans if you like. It's a short stroll to King's Cross tube.
The Parcel Yard
Inside King's Cross station so handier than the Stores but convenience comes at a price - the beer is more expensive. It is however a roomy place and you can get a bite to eat while surrounded by railway memorabilia.
Like the Parcel Yard it's in the station, this time St Pancras. Superior food to the PY but again relatively pricy. You can stay inside where there's a warren of rooms or take advantage of one of their two outside terraces. Out front you get a spectacular view of Gilbert Scott's Victorian masterpiece, the Midland Hotel while at the back you sup trackside to the glamorous Eurostar terminal. Ignore the snoggers statue if you can.
The Bree Louise
Just around the corner from Euston station so handy for the Victoria Line the Bree Louise is a beer afficianado's venue of choice in this area. The added bonus is being a stone's throw from Drummond Street where you can get excellent Indian food at rock-bottom prices. It's what Brick Lane is meant to be but isn't.
So that's a quick guide, if you have other favourites get in touch and maybe I'll check them out and add them to the blog! If you want to see where I'm talking about go to the Google map below ...
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