There’s something about a rugby tournament to lift a country’s spirit. Crowds sprawling out of every crevice in the pub, the migration over to Twickenham full of refreshingly optimistic fans, and that first pint of Guinness at the stadium ready to steady the nerves. It’s always easier when it’s a sport your country’s meant to be good at – sorry football.
If you can’t make it to the matches in person, that’s not to say you shouldn’t still revel in the magic. London’s countless watering holes offer up the next best thing, with venues across the capital waiting to keep you well-fed and well-watered for every game. Something that this city is more than capable of adhering to, is putting on some of the best sporting events regardless of who's playing. Pubs and venues across the capital roll out special Six Nations deals and menus come February and we're expecting more of the same this year. And with iron deficiency in the capital seemingly at an all-time low during the rugby, you can of course expect Guinness to be absolutely everywhere.
The first game of this year's Six Nations is a titanic clash, arguably the game of the tournament, as Ireland take on France at the Orange Velodrome in Marseille on Friday 2 February. England take on Italy in Rome the next day, and it falls slap bang in the middle of peak pub time at 2pm, causing a dilemma for those hoping to turn up as a group of 10 and catch the game. As Benjamin Franklin once said, failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and that’s why we’ve decided to do all the preparation for you. We've found some of London’s best bookable spots to watch the Six Nations, so you can turn up knowing there’s both a table and some decent grub waiting for you. Because whilst we can't guarantee you a Grand Slam, we can guarantee a decent night out with friends.
The Cadogan Arms, Chelsea
What: Rapidly becoming a favourite Chelsea haunt of ours, The Cadogan Arms is the very essence of a modern London gastropub, delivering great food and drink with all the trappings of a good sports pub. The menu runs from classic bar snacks to fish and chips, burgers, and a delicious pork neck curry. Able to cater for 35 seated and 50 standing, this pub gives the option of rousing atmosphere without the claustrophobia. Of course, if that’s still not enough, you can always book the Rose Room for a private screening with new state of the art TVs.
Where: 298 King's Road, SW3 5UG
Book now: The Cadogan Arms
The Faltering Fullback, Finsbury Park
What: Irish pub royalty on Stroud Green Road, The Faltering Fullback is packed out come Six Nations season and is the place to be for guaranteed atmosphere and a good pint of Guinness. If you can brave the cold, there’s a famously massive four-tiered beer garden out the back too.
Where: 19 Perth Road, N4 3HB
Book now: The Faltering Fullback
The Broadcaster, White City
What: This lovely modern pub is as good a reason as any to head out towards White City - every aspect of the experience has been carefully considered, from solid seasonal pub cooking to the interiors, which are light, bright and spacious. The Broadcaster is showing Six Nations Rugby every weekend until March 16th when the tournament wraps up. Even better, if you want a private rugby viewing room for you and your friends, you can hire the Green Room - a private screening room that has its own bar.
Where: 89 Wood Lane, W12 7FX
Book now: The Broadcaster
Gibney’s, Old Street
What: Richard Corrigan is synonymous with great Irish food and hospitality in the UK, so where better to head come Six Nations time than Corrigan’s Irish pub, Gibney’s? You’ll find it tucked underneath Daffodil Mulligan right by the Old Street roundabout, perfect for anyone who fancies a slap up lunch before settling into an afternoon of Guinness and rugby.
Where: 70-74 City Road, EC1Y 2BJ
Book now: Gibney’s
Skylight, Peckham & Tobacco Dock
What: Both Skylight venues hosted rip roaring Six Nations viewing weekends last year, so we’re hoping for more of the same in 2024. Both locations have indoor and outdoor screens, and promise big crowds and plenty of atmosphere as well as easy going drinking food and all the beers and Jagerbombs you can ask for.
Where: 120 Peckham Hill Street, SE15 5JT; Tobacco Dock, E1W 2SF
Book now: Skylight Peckham; Skylight Tobacco Dock
Vinegar Yard, London Bridge
What: Head to the Courtyard Bar at Vinegar Yard for outdoor big screen sports events all year round, from Premier League football to Six Nations rugby. The beauty of Vinegar Yard is that you have loads of great street food options just metres away, and the bar is fully covered and heated too.
Where: 72-82 St Thomas Street, SE1 3QU
Book now: Vinegar Yard
Bbar London, Victoria
What: Get in the sporting spirit with some stellar South African food and inventive cocktails at this eclectic restaurant and bar in Victoria. It's screening all the fixtures throughout the tournament, while a choice of bookable food and drink packages allow you to enjoy unobstructed views of the game. Choose between its main bar area or hidden gem 43 Below and tuck into the likes of its 'Son of a Gun' buttermilk chicken burger, Bobotie spring rolls and BBQ pulled beef tacos. To drink, cocktails get creative, like in its Mexican Truffle Old Fashioned. You don't want to miss this!
Where: 43 Buckingham Palace Road, SW1W 0PP
Book now: Bbar London
What: Brigadiers is one of our favourite spots for sports viewing, thanks to the excellent food and drink and wealth of different spots to watch your sport of choice. Dishes like lamb rogan josh pot pie with garlic naan take centre stage, and there's always room for a Brigadiers coconut kulfi, even if you're watching your favourite team demolished. You can book a booth in the main Blighters bar, or check out some of Brigadiers unque private rooms, which all boast TVs for private rugby parties.
Where: 1-5 Bloomberg Arcade, EC4N 8AR
Book now: Brigadiers
The George, Fitzrovia
What: The George is the slightly more central brother of The Cadogan Arms, but don't worry the genes are strong in this family with an equally as sophisticated feel from its dark wooden interiors and plush green sofas. Not to be outdone, The George also serves famously good Guinness and shows Six Nations throughout the year. The pub grub is especially good, running the gamut of scotch eggs, burgers and some more refined fare if you're up for a proper dinner.
Where: 55 Great Portland Street, W1W 7LQ
Book now: The George
BOXPARK, Various locations
What: Gaining sports night notoriety from its news worthy celebrations during the Euros 2020, BOXPARK remains one of the top spots to head to for the Six Nations. With sites in Shoreditch, Croydon and Wembley, there’s plenty of opportunity to get a seat here no matter what part of London you reside in. One of the few things that beats a BOXPARK celebration, is the selection of food available inside each venue. From the infamous Black Bear Burger to Mikos Gyros, there’s a dish for every mood. BOXPARK usually runs Six Nations events as ticketed entry so make sure you buy in advance to avoid disappointment.
Where: 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY; 99 George Street, CR0 1LD; 18 Olympic Way, HA9 0JT
Book now: BOXPARK Shoreditch, BOXPARK Croydon, BOXPARK Park Wembley
Long Arm Brewery, Shoreditch
What: Long Arm Brewery passes the vibe check for one of London’s best sports bars. Expect enormous HD screens, surround sound, and the sort of food that pairs perfectly with a pint. You may be going for the rugby, but you’ll definitely be staying for the chicken wings and cheeseburgers. It’s also one of the few venues where you can wash your dinner down with beer that’s actually made IN house. Need we say more?
Where: 20-26 Worship Street, EC2A 2DX
Book now: Long Arm Brewery
Want to explore more of London's pubs? Check out our list of London's best boozers.