Places to watch Russia

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Places to watch Russia

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Places to watch Russia
Places to watch Russia
Places to watch Russia


Russia's biggest contribution to football in London is undoubtedly the millions of pounds poured into Chelsea by Roman Abramovich. The introduction of the Russian billionaire to the English football scene has arguably changed the sport as we know it. Transfer fees are ever-growing, wages are astronomical and seemingly only clubs with similarly rich owners can genuinely compete for top honours (Manchester City being a case in point). The population surge in Russian visitors to the UK during the early 21st century led to the terms 'Londongrad' and 'Moscow-on-Thames' being coined. Given the huge amounts of Russians in the capital today (estimates say around 61,000), there should be a strong following for the Russian national team this summer. Dick Advocaat's Russia were the surprise package in 2008, shocking the Dutch on the way to a semi final place. Their form since then has been patchy and they failed to even qualify for the World Cup in 2010. Much will rely on the talent of Andrey Arshavin and the finishing of Roman Pavlyuchenko – two players that Londoners will be familiar with with their links to Arsenal and Tottenham respectively.

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Russia Games


Friday 8th June, 7.45pm – Russia 4-1 Czech Republic

Tuesday 12th June, 7.45pm – Poland 1-1 Russia

Saturday 16th June, 7.45pm – Greece 1-0 Russia



Borshcht 'n' Tears

Tel: 020 7589 5003

46 Beauchamp Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW3 1NX

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


A visit to this South Kensington haunt will certainly provide the Borshtch – but whether or not there'll be Tears will depend on Russia's performance in their three group games. Judging by the form of midfielder Andrey Arsharvin, punters will be able to cry into their soup on three occasions before the Russians crash out of Euro 2012. Often voted London's best mid-range Russian restaurant, Borshtch N Tears is a real institution – serving up healthy doses of karaoke, live music and traditional Russian food. Thankfully, the friendly service is far from Soviet-style, the vodka is cheap for central London and the atmosphere is superb. What's more, the place is showing all Russia's Euro 2012 games live on HD plasma screen – which should be a hoot for anyone with Russian ties or simply in the mood for a party. The football may not be pretty, but the support should be quite something.


Sobranie Russian Bar & Restaurant

Tel: 020 7233 7000

8 Fountain Square, Victoria, London, SW1W 9SH

Tube: Victoria Station


The Russian word 'Sobranie' means a gathering or the act of getting together in English – which bodes well for football fans wishing to watch Russia's Euro 2012 games this June. Indeed, this Belgravia establishment promises to be a popular spot for the tournament – with Russia's games (not to mention all the other matches) being shown live with Russian commentary. Every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday sees karaoke come to Sobranie, so expect fans to be in fine voice should Russia beat local rivals Poland in their second group game on Tuesday 12th June. The restaurant itself has a wonderful tagline: dine like a Tsar without your wallet turning Bolshevik. The menu includes authentic Russian fare such as caviar, borsch, herring, salmon, Siberian Pelmeni, Tabaka and Chicken Kiev – all washed down with some intriguing Georgian wine.


The Russian Bar

Tel: 07916 119541

267 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, London, E2 8AS

Tube: Old Street Station


Formely known as A10, The Russian Bar boasts cheap beer, an eclectic clientele and great DJs - making it a popular spot in Shoreditch. Granted, it may be rather insalubrious, seedy and grimy (more gulag than oligarch), and it may have a reputation with the locals as 'the' place to go when there is nowhere else to go – but this adds to its ostensible charm, giving it almost a cult status in Hoxton. The whole Russian theme is entirely tongue-in-cheek, with Soviet lettering and the famous hammer & sickle bordering on total parody. As such, The Russian Bar is not exactly a destination venue for proper Russians in London – but with a large screen in their main room, we expect the late-night venue won't miss a trick by not showing Russia's games during Euro 2012. Best check first, though, to avoid disappointment.



Tel: 020 7928 1111

74 Blackfriars Road, South Bank, London, SE1 8HA

Tube: Southwark Station


The swish Baltic Restaurant between Waterloo and Southwark is showing all Euro 2012 games but promises an extra special atmosphere for Poland's group games (and free shots of vodka should things go the way of the co-hosts). Formerly known as Wodka, the delightfully renovated and revamped Baltic can seat 150 and stand 400 under a wonderful 40-foot-high roof, meaning it has the right ingredients (not to mention acoustics) for live sport. Of course, this isn't footy viewing in a dingy basement bar – but doing it in style, with owner Jan Woroniecki's modern take on classic central and eastern European cuisine coming with high praise. What's more, Baltic boasts over 60 varieties of vodka (including some intriguing home-made flavours) so you'll be spoilt for choice come the celebratory shot at the final whistle. Now all we need is for Poland to win...


Nikita's Restaurant & Bar

65 Ifield Road, SW10 9AU

65 Ifield Road, Earls Court, Fulham, London, SW10 9AU

Tube: West Brompton Station


This Russian restaurant is a lively spot, with a special place reserved in the evening for chilled vodka, of which there is a good selection. The food is traditional with the emphasis on blinis, caviar and the like as excellent starters. The main courses, traditionally prepared fish and steak, are competent but the real attraction of the place is the jolly atmosphere. At any time, weekend or midweek, you will find your hosts extremely friendly and nothing delights them more than an impromptu song and dance from the regulars. This is a wonderful slice of traditional Russian fun, where you’ll be made to feel happy and welcome, and what’s more, fed well. Be warned, it’s tempting to spend rather a lot.

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