02.17.2012
By Terry Flanagan

This Week in London: Where to Watch Six Nations Rugby

This coming weekend sees Ireland against Italy, and later in the day, the headliner match: ever-stalwart England versus the ever-surging Welshmen. Didn’t get your tickets for Twickenham on time? Can’t make it back to your Cymru-heavy home pub? Make do at a watering hole whose atmosphere will do your native enthusiasm justice.

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For a massive screen to shout at, snag a table at the Clapham Grand (21-25 St. John’s Hill, Clapham), home of the city’s biggest screen, measuring in at a massive 8 feet wide and 6 feet high. To ensure that you don’t miss a second of the match, six 50-inch plasma screens surround you. With drink specials and dozens of draughts at the ready, you’ll have every reason to keep your eyes peeled for that try and hand extended for your next pint. claphamgrand.com

Those seeking a more relaxed Six Nations viewing experience can chill out at the Cape Town-inspired Cape (corner of Wood Street & Love Lane, Aldermanbury, City of London). Six screens are placed around the venue, with a giant screen, to boot, but the real bonus in this place is the food. Arrive early to beat the crowds, or book a reservation at a table or at one of Cape’s VIP areas. barracudapubgroup.com

Brimming with neighborhood regulars, the landmark Sporting Page Pub in Chelsea (6 Camera Place, Chelsea) prides itself on being a hub for sports fans, especially locals wanting something more cozy and less adrenaline-fueled while taking in the rugby.  This gastropub offers lunch and dinner, along with an extensive wine, spirits, and beer list. And of course, every  match in the tournament will be screened here. thesportingpagechelsea.co.uk

For a more stoutly Irish atmosphere, head to the West End, where Waxy O’Connor’s (14-16 Rupert Street, West End) has a long list of draughts, whiskeys, and wines, a generously hearty menu, all the better to keep your belly full as it cheers on both matches this coming Saturday.  Get there early for a table or a seat; this popular pub promises to become very crowded, very early (an Irish pub in Soho that opens at 9 a.m.–consider yourself warned). waxyoconnors.co.uk

A more refined, considerably less rowdy experience can be found at The Coat & Badge (8 Lacy Road, Putney). Set away from the Putney High Street and adorned with a garden (though given recent freezing temperatures, that may not be a good idea), this venue takes a turn toward fine wines, fine food, and a quieter atmosphere. Large screens, of course, will be sure to broadcast Six Nations action. geronimo-inns.co.uk

Distinctly hitting the middle ground between refined near-stuffiness and the more rough-and-tumble environment of some pubs, the Barley Mow offers a convivial pub atmosphere combined with a relaxed, nicely appointed interior. Equipped with a beer garden for the summers, this Chiswick spot offers a long list of brews, spirits, and well-turned out food to accompany you, your mates, and the match. barleymowchiswick.com

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