The best places to be when the NFL comes to Twickenham
The NFL is coming to Twickenham for the first time ever this weekend as the home of England Rugby hosts the clash between the Los Angeles Rams and New York Giants.
Twickenham Stadium, the world’s largest dedicated rugby union stadium, takes great pride in its sporting atmosphere and the same can be said for pubs in the vicinity on matchdays.
But is the area set to fully embrace American football and the accompanying culture?
Sports Gazette took a tour of Twickenham and were met with optimism and excitement from most staff members and owners of the pubs visited.
Even though nobody is 100 percent sure of what to expect, most are predicting big crowds to flock to the area and are therefore approaching the event as they would on a normal rugby day, but with a few special themed elements and features to mark the NFL occasion.
So if you’ve got tickets and want somewhere to go pre- and post-game or if you just want to be in Twickenham to absorb the atmosphere as you watch on TV, here are the top locations you should check out depending on what you’re after.
Best Location: The Cabbage Patch
The Cabbage Patch is perfectly located for Sunday's NFL game.
“The most famous rugby pub in the world” (as it calls itself) is only a drop-kick from Twickenham – just 10-15 minutes’ walk from the stadium.
The pub is even named in honour of the now-historic venue, which started out as a cabbage patch.
But staff will be getting into the NFL spirit by wearing fancy dress and there'll also be both great giveaways and a pop-up shop for fans to enjoy.
Cheapest pint: Fosters £4.05
Best for Groups: The William Webb Ellis
Fans have been flocking to The William Webb Ellis for years, and understandably so.
This rugby-centric establishment, named after the creator of the game, is ready and raring to welcome a different crowd - hoards of NFL fans - this weekend.
Spacious, well-staffed and with TV screens on almost every wall, this is the ideal location for groups.
Cheapest pint: £4.85
Cheap and Cheerful: The George
If you're on a budget, look no further than The George.
Prices for a pint start at just £4.35 with Carlsberg being your cheapest option.
As it's further from the stadium, you're also more likely to be able to get a table and a comfortable seat to view the game.
Best Food: Blue's Smokehouse and Chicago Rib Shack
An American sporting event calls for American food so check out either Chicago Rib Shack or Blue's Smokehouse.
Fantastic food, first-rate service and friendly atmospheres - you can't go wrong!
Cheapest pints: Fosters £3.95 (Blue's Smokehouse) and £4.20 (Chicago Rib Shack).
The Best of British: The Eel Pie
The Eel Pie is known as one of the best pubs for before, during and after rugby games and it should definitely be one of your go-to places this weekend.
Off the beaten track, cosy and with friendly staff, it offers a range of classic British dishes.
If you want to make a whole day of it, The Eel Pie is even opening early for breakfast which will set you back just £9-10.
Cheapest pint: Amstel £4
Best Overall: The Shack 68
The Shack is fully embracing the Rams and Giants game by holding three days of events.
Decked out with American flags, there'll be a friendly atmosphere in true NFL spirit.
From running numerous competitions to showing live NCAA college football as well as holding a Kevin Cadle book signing meet and greet and staging the NFL after party, The Shack is the hottest ticket in town this weekend.
Wristbands are selling thick and fast so get yours soon to avoid disappointment!
Cheapest pint: Fosters £4.20