Futebol! Football with London's Portuguese fans.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Last night, I went to South Lambeth Road to watch Portugal play Hungary and cheer along with the Portuguese fans.

Portuguese football fans, London

London's Portuguese football watching venues have been written about before, but I've been wanting to go since I went to Portugal earlier this year. I wanted to see if the food would be any better than the not-so-tasty Portuguese fare.

All the bars along the road were showing either the Portugal match or the that and the England match (and any other match they could fit in).

The first bar - Estrella - was all very animated. People were happily chatting and drinking, but not really paying too much attention to the match. A middle-aged woman sat in the corner reading a book.

A man with a crutch came in, making a lot of bluster and noise while ordering his beer. When Portugal scored soon after, he dropped the crutch, jumped about, did a little dance with his arms aloft. So much for the crutch!

He later started talking to me (in Portuguese). When he realised that I wasn't from Portugal, he started to tell me a very rambling story about Coimbra University. It was fascinating!
Portuguese football fans, London

At half-time, I took myself off to a second bar - Grelha D'Ouro - with more fans watching, chatting and not really paying great attention. One complained (in English) that the Portuguese players were just wasting time. Another kept trying to engage me in conversation, in Portuguese. It was all very social.

The match continued on, but it was rather dull (or is it that I don't actually like football that much?).

And, for the record, although I didn't actually eat, the food all looked pretty similar.