Category Archives: Sport
Where to take part or spectate sporting events in London.
It’s that time of year again. The whole country goes tennis mad for two weeks as the Wimbledon tournament kicks off from 1-13 July. If you haven’t been lucky enough to get tickets, then you can still enjoy the action and get into the sporting spirit at one of the Wimbledon screenings on in the capital. As well as the action from SW19, there’s also a host of other sporting events over the summer, including Tour de France, The Ashes, the US Open and the Cricket World Cup. Many of the screenings are free, but seats aren’t usually reserved so it’s recommended to get there early if you want to a guarantee a good spot.
Here’s a guide on where to watch Wimbledon and other sporting events on the big screen in London this summer.
- 1 June – 2 November : Summer of Sports – Wimbledon @ Flat Iron Square
Head to Southwark’s street food hub to watch the matches on a 100in big screen in the garden. Flat Iron Square will also be screening the Ashes and the Cricket World Cup during the summer and the Rugby World Cup from September onwards. Free entry. Flat Iron Square, 68 Union Street, Bankside, SE1 1TD. Nearest station: Borough, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Flat Iron Square website.
- 5 June – 16 August : Big Screen @ Broadgate
Broadgate as hosting a bumper summer of sports screenings, featuring the Wimbledon, Cricket World Cup, US Open, French Open Tennis, various Grand Prix, Africa Cup of Nations, Queens Club Fever-Tree Championships, Tour de France, Netball World Cup, British Open, England vs Ireland Test Match, Glorious Goodwood and The Ashes. The BBQ pop-up Club will also be serving food. 11am-11pm. Free entry. Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BR. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Broadgate website.
- 10 June – 25 September : Summer Screens @ Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf will be hosting open-air screenings of many sporting events over the summer, including Wimbledon, ICC Cricket World Cup, Tour de France, Women’s Ashes, British Open Golf, The Ashes, US Open Tennis, FIBA Basketball World Cup and UCI Road World Championships. Times vary. Free. Cabot Square and Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 1 – 14 July : Wimbledon @ Merchant Square
Grab a deckchair or bean bag and watch the games while lounge canalside. Grab strawberries and cream or other grub from the street food market. 12pm-9pm. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 1 – 14 July : Wimbledon @ Bluebird
Soak up the sun while watching the tennis on the big screen in the courtyard. Food and drink available from the Bluebird. Times vary. Bluebird, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest stations: Fulham Broadway, South Kensington or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Bluebird website.
- 1 – 14 July : Wimbledon Screenings @ North Mayfair
Watch the matches on the big screen in the heart of Mayfair. Grab a deckchair and order food and drink while checking out the tennis. 11am-8pm. Free. Brown Hart Gardens (Duke Street Entrance), Mayfair, W1K 6JQ. Nearest station: Bond Street or Green Park. For more information, visit the Mayfair and Belgravia website. Read the rest of this entry
If you’re a big fan of tennis, or perhaps just like the atmosphere surrounding the Wimbledon tournament, then Big Screen on the Green could be right up your street. Setting up at two stunning sites in south-west London will be a premium festival of sports, film and live music over 13 and 14 July 2019.
The weekend festival will be setting up in two locations. The first at Fulham Palace Private Gardens, a National Heritage site by the Thames. The second will be located at Morden Hall Park, the sprawling grounds of a Georgian manor house.
Big Screen on the Green will host live screenings of the Wimbledon Ladies and Men’s Singles and Doubles finals, as well as highlights of the Cricket World Cup Final and Formula 1 British Grand Prix. As well as the sporting displays, there will also be live music to keep you entertained during the breaks.
There will be a host of premium food and drink on offer, including a Champagne lounge, summer cocktails; gourmet food; and strawberries and cream. There will also be a VIP marquee available and a premium viewing zone for the best seats in the house.
The ticket-only event will raise money for several charities, including Parkinson’s UK and Mind, while supporting the National Trust. Big Screen on the Green will also be plastic-free this year with its sustainability partner the Ocean Bottle, committing to funding the collection of x1,000 ocean-bound plastic bottles per item purchased during the event.
- Big Screen On The Green takes place on 13 and 14 July 2019 from 11.30am. At Fulham Palace Private Gardens, Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham, SW6 6EA. Nearest station: Putney Bridge and Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden, SM4 5JD. Nearest station: Morden. Tickets starts from £20. For more information and tickets, visit Big Screen on the Green website.
To find out what else is on in London in July, click here.
To find out about more Wimbledon screenings in London, click here.
One of the country’s most exciting sporting competitions is returning to the capital this summer. The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival is back at the London Regatta Centre on Sunday 30 June 2019. Around 10,000 visitors from the UK and internationally will be heading to the banks of the Thames for a free family-friendly celebration of sport and culture.
The annual LHKDB Festival offers the chance to experience Chinese culture in London. Over 40 competing club, corporate and amateur teams will be battling it out on the river. Novices will be bravely taking on some of the UK’s most experienced paddlers in the bid to win one of the six cups.
Meanwhile, on dry land, visitors can sample some of the culinary delights at a South East Asian food festival while being entertained by live music, martial art displays and traditional Chinese lion dancing on the East West Festival stage.
Dragon boat festivals date back to the banks of the Yangtze River in ancient southern China around 2,5000 years ago. The 2019 festival is the 24th in London and is organised by the London Chinatown Lions Club and is supported by Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, The Hong Kong Executives Club and The London Chinatown Chinese Community Centre.
- London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place on Sunday 30 June 2019 from 10am-6pm. Free entry. At Royal Docks Adventure/London Regatta Centre, Dockside Road, Docklands, E16 2QT. Nearest station: Royal Albert or Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the Dragon Boat Festival website.
For the latest what’s on guide in London in June, click here.
Want to go ice skating in London? Here’s a guide to the capital’s open-air ice rinks (and permanent rinks) this festive season.
The countdown to Christmas in London means many things… mulled wine, lots of tinsel and open-air ice rinks. With the trees, decorations and twinkling lights making the capital looking rather festive, taking to the ice at this time of year can seem rather appealing.
Here’s where to find London’s pop-up ice rinks this Christmas and winter season, with details of prices, times and how to get there.
- 20 October – 6 January 2019 : Skyline Skating @ John Lewis
Skate on the roof of the John Lewis department store. Along with Sipsmith ice rink, there is also Mypies fresh pies and hot gin being served. Sun-Wed 12pm-9pm, Thu-Sat 12pm-11pm. Tickets: £8pp. John Lewis rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- 25 October – 6 January 2019 : Natural History Museum Ice Rink
A 1,000 square metre rink in the gardens of the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. Opening hours vary. Session times last 1 hour. Adults from £12.65, Children 12 and under from £8.80. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. To book, visit the Natural History Museum website.
- 1 November – January 2019 : Skylight London
Skate on London’s rooftops with views of the City of London’s skyscrapers. Features alfresco and covered bars, fondue and ice hockey slap shot. Open Thu-Sun only. Free entry to Skylight. Skating tickets: £10 (45 minutes). Skylight, Tobacco Quay, Pennington Street entrance, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For booking, visit the Skylight London website.
- 2 November – 16 February 2019 : Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Skate over ice in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Non-skaters can watch the action from the bar or street food stalls. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £9.95-£16.95, Children £9.95-£10.95. Canada Square Park, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
- 14 November – 13 January 2019 : Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason
One of the original pop-up ice rinks located in the historic courtyard of Somerset House. As well as general skating, they also host club nights on ice and skate lessons. Session times last 1 hour and are from 10am until 10.30pm (later for club nights and New Year’s Eve). Tickets start from £11. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. To book, visit the Somerset House website.
- 15 November – 23 December : Winterville Ice Rink
Clapham‘s alternative winter attraction features an alfresco ice rink over 600 square metres. Mon-Fri 12pm-10pm, Sat-Sun 11am-10pm. Tickets: Adults £14, Children (under 12s) £9.50, Teens £12. Clapham Common, SW4 9DE. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For more information, visit the Winterville website.
Read the rest of this entry
QUEENS Skate Dine Bowl has added a new attraction to its versatile venue – a rinkside bar and diner. The Sin Bin offers beers, cocktails and burgers just moments from the action on the ice. What’s special about QUEENS is that you can do more than ice skating on its indoor rink – it also offers opportunities to play ice hockey or go ice karting or curling.
I went along to the launch last week to try the Sin Bin’s cocktails and burgers and make my second attempt at curling. Despite being rinkside, the bar is thankfully lovely and cosy with heaters warming you up after you’ve been chilling on the ice. The long, slender space has a dive bar vibe with plenty of seating, including many stools looking out on the rink. The rinkside setting means people who don’t feel confident on the ice can watch their companions in action from a more comfortable, non-slip space.
When it came to drinks, we decided on cocktails from their menu of creative originals, mostly reasonably priced around the £7.50-£8.50 mark. I tried a lovely, sweet Silver Angel (Finlandia vodka with peach and passion fruit topped with fizz), while my boyfriend opted for a St Lawrence (Woodford Reserve with maple syrup, lemon juice and a dash of bitters). I continued the vodka theme with a Henrietta Fizz (Grey Goose Poire vodka with pear, strawberry and fresh lemon topped with fizz), which was deliciously light, something that would make a great aperitif.
The food menu is from MEATliquor, who have already established a diner at QUEENS. MEATliquor’s full menu is available to Sin Bin diners, including popular favourites, Hot Mess (hash browns with blue cheese sauce, jalapenos, buffalo sauce and pickles), deep-friend mac ‘n’ cheese, and chicken wings. During our visit, my boyfriend and I had the cheeseburger (beef patty, cheese, red onions, pickles, lettuce, French’s mustard and ketchup) and the halloumi and mushroom burger (halloumi, mushroom, red onions, pickles, lettuce, French’s mustard and ketchup) respectively. When it comes to food of a ‘fast’ nature, I don’t always have high expectations, however we agreed our burgers were really tasty and I could have easily eaten a second. Our burgers were accompanied by some delicious Cajun fries, with the seasoning really giving them an extra something.
During the evening, we stepped on to the ice for a spot of curling. I had tried it a year ago and was pretty bad. However, this year the shoe grips were slightly different and I felt a bit more stable on the ice. This time, we also had access to brooms as well as the curling stones. We were given instructions by experienced curlers and managed to pull off a pretty good game for a bunch of amateurs. It was a lot of fun and definitely offers something a bit different to your usual night out with a group of friends.
As well as the various ice activities, MEATliquor and the Sin Bin, QUEENS also has a bowling alley and arcade. There’s currently plans to expand the site further with five private bowling lanes, the Liquor Lanes, in the near future.
- The Sin Bin @ Queens, 17 Queensway, W2 4PQ. Nearest station: Queensway or Bayswater. Open Sun-Thu 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am. For more information and booking, visit the Queens website.
If watching the FIFA World Cup action from Russia leaves you feeling competitive, there’s a fun new activity coming to the capital that could be right up your street. This summer, QUEENS is launching London’s first human football zorbing on ice. This special World Cup edition sees players getting to climb into 12ft tall inflatable footballs and compete against each other on the ice. Players will be challenged to battle each other out to be crowned the winner’s of the QUEENS’ World Cup. People can play in two teams of three players with ‘normal’ football rules applying.
Once you’ve bounced and steered your way around the ice rink, you can head to the on site MEATliquor bar for a refreshing post-match glass of Prosecco or beer. Each player ticket includes gaming sessions and one free beverage. While you’re there, you can also take advantage of some of QUEENS’ other attractions, including bowling alley, curling, arcades or dining at MEATliquor.
- Queens, 17 Queensway, W2 4PQ. Nearest stations: Queensway or Bayswater. Zorbing on Ice is available on 22 June, 6 July and 13 July 2018. Booking slots from 4pm-11.20pm. Tickets: £29.99 per person. For more information, visit the Queens website.
For a guide to what’s on in London in July, click here.
For a guide on where to watch the World Cup on the big screen in London, click here.
For the 2019 guide, click here.
It’s that time again… The FIFA World Cup kicks off on 14 June until 15 July, while Wimbledon is on from 2 – 15 July. They’re not the only sports on this summer, with the Tour de France, British Grand Prix and Royal Ascot also taking place. Around the capital, venues and parks are transforming into spectator villages with big screens broadcasting all the action live. Be aware, these screenings are likely to be incredibly busy, especially during England football games and finals, so get there early to guarantee a seat or entry. Here’s a guide to some of London’s alfresco sports screenings this summer.
Now updated with even more venues (1 July 2018)
- 14 June – 15 July : World Cup @ Skylight London
Watch the football on the big screen against the backdrop of the London skyline. Skylight features three bars, street food, law games and DJs. Undercover areas too in case of bad weather. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry, but table bookings recommended during the games. Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Skylight London website. Read Metro Girl’s review of Skylight.
- 14 June – 15 July : World Cup @ Merchant Square
Watch the action beamed live from Russia by the waterside on comfortable seating. There will be food and drink available from the on-site bar, street food stalls and nearby restaurants. Free. The Lawn, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website.
- 14 June – 15 July : World Cup @ Flat Iron Square
Head to Southwark’s street food hub to watch the matches on a 100in big screen in the garden. Free entry. Flat Iron Square, 68 Union Street, Bankside, SE1 1TD. Nearest station: Borough, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Flat Iron Square website.
- 14 June – 15 July : World Cup & Wimbledon @ Spritz & Giggles pop-up
Watch the action beamed live from Russia and SW19 at the Aperol Spritz pop-up in Broadgate. Book a table for the indoor screenings, enjoy a game of table tennis or foosball during the breaks and drink from the full menu, including wine, beer, and Aperol cocktails. Times vary. Spritz & Giggles, 37 Broadgate Circle, City of London, EC2M 2QS. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Moorgate. For more information, visit the website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the pop-up.
- 14 June – 15 July : World Cup @ Vauxhall Street Food Garden
Check out all the matches on large outdoor screens at this hidden urban garden in Vauxhall. Also featuring a street food market and licensed bar serving wine, beer and cocktails. Bookable areas for large groups. Opening hours vary. Free entry. Vauxhall Street Food Garden, 6 South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, SW8 1SP. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall Street Food Garden website.
- 18 June – 14 July : Wimbledon & World Cup @ Plateau
Football and tennis fans can enjoy the action while sipping on refreshing summer cocktails on the terrace at Plateau. Booking in advance advised. Plateau, 4th Floor, Canada Place, Canary Wharf, E14 5ER. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information and booking, visit the Plateau website.
- 18 June – 22 July : Summer Screens @ Canary Wharf
Canary Wharf will be hosting open-air screenings of many sporting events over the summer, including Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, Royal Ascot, Tour de France, Wimbledon and the British F1 Grand Prix. Times vary. Free. Cabot Square and Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.
- 18 June – 31 August : Big Screen @ Broadgate
Broadgate as hosting a bumper summer of sports screenings, featuring the Wimbledon, Grand Prix, cricket, golf, rugby, Championship Athletics (but not the World Cup). The Hamptons pop-up bar will be serving drinks. Times vary. Free entry. Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BR. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Broadgate website.
- 19 – 23 June : Royal Ascot @ Bluebird
Watch the horse-racing on the big screen in the courtyard of the Bluebird. The café will also be serving cream teas and champagne. Bluebird, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest stations: Fulham Broadway, South Kensington or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Bluebird website. Read the rest of this entry
This summer, a celebration of Chinese culture and a good old-fashioned sporting competition is returning to the capital. The 23rd London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival comes to the Docklands on Sunday 3 June for a free day out for all ages.
The main focus is the dragon boat race itself, with 40 competing club, corporate and amateur teams taking part. Spectators can watch the spectacle as the paddlers fight to take home one of the six cups. The history of the dragon boat races dates back to ancient China on the banks of the Yangtze River, around 2,500 years ago. Today, the sport remains a popular water sport in its country of origin and around the world.
Meanwhile, on dry land, stalls will be selling a range of culinary offerings from China and South East Asia. There will be plenty of entertainment, including live music, martial arts displays, dance performances, Tai Chi and traditional Chinese lion dancing.
The festival is organised by the London Chinatown Lions Club, which raises money for its nominated charities. The event is supported by Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, The Hong Kong Executives Club and The London Chinatown Chinese Community Centre.
- The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place on 3 June 2018 from 10am-6pm. Free entry. London Regatta Centre, Dockside Road, Docklands, E16 2QT. Nearest station: Royal Albert (DLR). For more information, visit the Dragon Boat Festival.
For a guide to what’s on in London in June, click here.
This post is taking part in #CulturedKids, sharing cultural blog posts aimed at children. Thanks to Diary Of A Londoness for getting me involved.
Ever thought about curling? It’s likely you may have watched it on TV since the sport has been an official game at the Winter Olympics since 1998. However, when it comes to winter leisure activities we’ve actually done, it hasn’t reached the popularity of ice skating, skiing, snowboarding or sledding. However, that could be set to change with curling club Sliders pitching up at Queens this winter.
Following their successful run at Roof East in Stratford last year (and back again this winter), Sliders is going west at Queensway’s versatile leisure venue Queens. Known for its year-round indoor ice rink, Queens is also home to cocktail and burger haven MeatLiquor, a bowling alley and arcade following its recent £4million refurbishment.
I went along last week with a group of friends to try out the new curling experience. We started off in MeatLiquor first for cocktails and burgers. The restaurant is diner style, spacious with low ceilings featuring a mix of sofas, stools and chairs, with the options to order to your bowling lane. I opted for a Bristol Fizz cocktail (Grey Goose vodka shaken with pear, strawberry and lemon juice, topped with fizz), which was fruity, sweet and easy to drink. People with special dietary requirements (halal, gluten-free, etc) will be pleasantly surprised to see plenty of menu options. I ordered a really good halloumi burger, with a generous halloumi portion which was cooked perfectly so it wasn’t tough and chewy. I find many restaurants overcook halloumi so especially enjoyed the MeatLiquor one.
Following our meal we headed to the rink for a spot of curling. All four of our party were novices and admittedly hadn’t watched much of the sport on television. A portion of the rink has been transformed into curling lanes, with coaches on hand to explain the rules. As you would expect, it’s pretty cold so coats, hats and gloves wouldn’t go amiss. Unlike ice skating where you’re likely to keep warm through movement, there are periods during curling where you’ll be standing still on the ice, so make sure you’re wrapped up. Before entering the lanes, we were given grips to help transform our shoes into ice-suitable footwear.
Curling is a game which requires balance, strength and mental dexterity. I like to think (hopefully!) I have an adequate amount of all three, but needless to say, I wasn’t too good at curling. The game involves hurling a stone towards the target area. If you end up in the target, you can’t always be certain you’ll remain there during the round as you can get knocked out by a rival team or even your own teammate. My friends and I played against another team of four. Despite our team managing to win by 1 point, I was probably the weakest link and didn’t get any stone near the target. However, we all enjoyed the game and I would be keen to return in the hope of improving. By the end of our curling, we were pretty chilly so headed to the handily located ringside café, with hot drinks and heat lamps which were much appreciated.
While so many festive attractions in London are outside, Queens offers a range of fun activities inside. You could easily spend hours here with your friends drinking, eating and showing off your sporting prowess… or not so much. My group had a great evening and would be keen to try curling again… hopefully with better results. See you on the ice!
- Queens, 17 Queensway, W2 4PQ. Nearest station: Queensway or Bayswater. Tickets: From £12.50pp for teams of 4 or 8 (including curling, grips, drinks service and welcome drink). For more information and booking, visit the Queens website.
For a review of Queens’ rinkside bar and diner, the Sin Bin, click here.
Following its launch earlier this year, Skylight became a popular summer destination for rooftop drinking, food and games. Although many rooftop venues have closed for the winter, the Tobacco Quay destination has had a festive makeover. Launching last week, Skylight has been transformed for the winter season with the installation of an ice rink. Although smaller than other alfresco rinks, the Skylight one’s unique selling point is it offers fabulous views of the London skyline while you skate.
I went along to the launch last week having previously visited the venue in the summer and was impressed by how much it had changed. Despite anticipating it would be chilly and windy, I was pleasantly surprised. The top level features two bars – one enclosed in a heated tent and a pergola – heated too – with plenty of seating and blankets if you’re feeling cold. The lower-level is enclosed and include a fondue station, bar, lots of neon and alpine-esque furry seating and day beds. It’s a warm and cosy place which makes a great retreat after a whirl on the ice. There’s also an ice hockey slap shot outside if you’re looking to let off some steam.
The bars serve a wide range of beers, cider, spirits, winter cocktails and mulled wine. We tried the Apple Crumble, a rum and apple concoction that certainly gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling. Meanwhile, cheese fans will be in their element with the fondue station.
Overall, it’s a great, versatile destination for a wintry night out. The abundance of heating means you’re unlikely to be cold for long, which would usually be my main aversion to outdoor winter venues. There was plenty to keep us occupied and it was a nice change to have a great view while ice-skating. Instagrammers will find there’s plenty of material to pose against with Skylight’s neon and stunning vistas.
- Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. Free entry to Skylight. Under 18s allowed until 6pm. Open 2 November 2017 – 14 January 2018. Skating tickets: £10 (45 minutes). For booking, visit the Skylight London website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in December, click here.
For a guide to London’s open-air ice rinks this winter, click here.