For many, this is the best British summer on record. We’re daring to dream England might actually win the World Cup (or at least not lose disgracefully), the nation’s sweethearts Jack and Dani are going strong in the Love Island villa, and the weather is uncharacteristically brilliant all the time.
Things are alright.
But while we work out exactly who we need to thank for this hat-trick of good luck, the England team are prepping for their almighty clash with Sweden this Saturday in the World Cup 2018 quarter finals – and you need to be ready for it.
So with that in mind, we’ve put together some tips for the ultimate World Cup-watching experience.
1. Prepare a selection of English and Swedish snacks
While England are battling the Swedes, make sure your snacks reflect this. Obviously your football allegiance lies with England, but your taste in food is allowed to wander. To really set the scene, set the table with a smorgasbord of Swedish snacks alongside your pies, burgers and burnt sausages. Smash the salmon gravlax, smash the game.
If you don’t want to cook or source too many ingredients, IKEA stocks a selection of Swedish biscuits, crisps and snacks you won’t find anywhere else. Just like their furniture, their snack selection is enjoyably cheap too.
2. Make your own ‘IT’S COMING HOME’ banner
If the World Cup 2018 so far has proved anything, it’s not that England can now win a game on penalties, it’s actually that our meme output as a nation is nothing short of spectacular. World Cup related memes are everywhere, and show little signs of stopping – so why not incorporate these into your DIY banner? We’re talking collages, meme-based bunting and all the print outs you can manage. Failing that, just go with shiny or coloured card, some letter stencils, and a ball of string to create a unique banner your guests will want on their Instagram pronto.
Other decorations don’t have to be homemade. A quick browse of Amazon throws up results for world flags, football balloons, patterned tablecloths, and themed masks and glasses.
3. If you’re going out, pick the right place
With so many football fans filling up the best spots, choosing the right pub is difficult without a little planning. The biggest screens and the roomiest roof terraces will be the most popular, and some pubs make far more fuss than others.
To avoid a let down, these three football hangouts are the best choices in the capital:
Soho’s Da Hems allows groups to book a table for match days, so you don’t have to stand in a crowded scrum for 90 minutes. Their pre-order packages include beer pitchers, cocktails, sharing platters, and burgers.
If the weather is hot (which it should be), this pub in Stoke Newington has an outdoor space perfect for World Cup-watching. With a massive choice of drinks, from wines to craft ales and fancy gins, you can please pretty much everyone. There’s even a stonebaked pizza menu, so you don’t have to move for hours.
Source: Match Pint
With a huge HD screen, football decor, live music, and an “electric atmosphere deserving of the hero that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic”, there’s nowhere quite like it to watch the World Cup. Tickets for this Saturday 7th July are £10 and include one beer or wine.
4. Look the part
Gareth Southgate has transformed expectations of appropriate football-watching attire, bringing a real sense of style to the sidelines in a sharp tailored look that makes the old trackies and t-shirt seem a little lacklustre, even if there are three lions on it.
This is a momentous occasion, so come on England – brush off your waistcoats, iron your shirts, remember how to tie a double Windsor and get smart.
Dapper for the win.
5. If you’re going to a friend’s place, play by the rules
You’ve been invited around to a friend’s to watch the action unfold. Great! Less cleaning up and your carpet will stay in tact. But be sure to follow these simple rules to ensure you’re invited back if/when we make it to the semi finals:
- Come with contributions: you think homemade banners, Swedish snacks and a TV license are cheap? They are not, but you just might be if you come empty handed.
- Be humble (and if you can’t be humble, be quiet): Yes, you know a lot about football and the tactics we need to win. But, plot twist: everyone else in the room thinks they do too. There’s a time for commentary and there’s also a time for incomprehensible cheering/groaning noises. Go for the latter if you think your chat is ruining the mood.
- Know when to leave: if the worst happens and we’re beaten on the day, read the signs. Your best mate Gary’s huddled on the floor, uncontrollably crying after defeat? It’s time to go home. Your friend Sarah, in a bid to comprehend the magnitude of what’s just happened, is now aggressively pulling up Youtube videos of Southgate missing that penalty all those years ago? Get the hell out of there. Or maybe you find yourself starting to genuinely wonder if somehow, in some way, Sven-Göran Eriksson is actually responsible for this all? ABORT ABORT ABORT.
Anyway, where were we? Ah yes; IT’S COMING HOME, IT’S COMING HOME, FOOT-BALL’S COMING HOME x infinity.