by Andrew Crawshaw
As you all know by now I met Walter and the other Belgian Supporters at the North Greenwich Station on the London Underground Jubilee Line and accompanied them to the Emirates Stadium. This is an easy start for anyone coming from the near Continent, good road access from the Ferry or Eurostar terminals and easy parking (even if Walter’s sat-nav directs him on a different route towards and away from London).
By the way, If any other readers are coming over to London and would like me to meet them in the same way, I will be most delighted to do so. I don’t drink alcohol though so am not the best person to ask for advice on pubs.
My pre-meeting catering comprised a cup of coffee at one of the standard high street coffee chains that has a branch just outside the Station and close to the O2 arena entrance. Standard coffee and perfectly acceptable.
We negotiated the Underground system, this time Jubilee Line to Green Park and Victoria line to Highbury and Islington and walked up the Holloway Road to the Stadium. I did have to keep looking round to check that everyone was still together and on more than one occasion found myself on the opposite side of a road to the rest. No traffic coming so like most Londoners I ignored lights etc and crossed. Walter said that none of them dared follow me!
At the stadium most of the Belgians disappeared into the Armoury shop whilst Walter, and I led a sub-group off for lunch.
We had pre-arranged to meet Tony and Blacksheep at The Swimmer at the Grafton Arms. This is situated in Eburne Road, which is a backroad one street off the Holloway Road, it is about 15 minutes walk from the Stadium (Belgian pace). Here is a link to the Time-Out page for the pub –
It was a most excellent choice. They had a good selection of European and English Beers, and sufficient choice of non-alcoholic stuff for Walter and I. The Belgians chose Guiness, Tony had a Belgian Beer, Blacksheep a London Ale.
The Pub had a good menu of food all cooked to order and between us we ordered a variety of burgers (beef and lamb) with chips, a portion of chicken and leek soup and some smoked Mackarel pate. There was no pressure for seats and we could hear each other speak. All in all a very good venue and well worth visiting again.
As Blacksheep said, a traditional English Pub in a fairly quiet street behind a busy main road with high class gastro food.
Thumbs up all round.
After the game I had my usual cup of tea in the Master Chef Cafe on the Holloway Road whilst I let the crowds dissipate from Highbury & Islington Station. Always value for money – 70p for a mug!
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