At long last, the Premier League is upon us. At 12.45pm next Saturday, August 14, Spurs welcome Man City to White Hart Lane for the first fixture of the 2010-11 season. What a cracking tie it ought to be: the two sides fought furiously for fourth place last year, with Spurs pipping City by just three points. While it would be crazy to make any predictions after the first game of the season, it will be fascinating to see who comes out on top when they were so closely matched last year.
To celebrate the start of the new season, MATCHhotels.com is compiling an away fans’ drinking guide for each Premier League team, so you’ll know exactly where to drink before every match. We’re starting with last year’s champions Chelsea, who face newly-promoted West Brom at Stamford Bridge on opening day. The majority of pubs near Stamford Bridge are strictly home-fans only, and it would be wise to keep away colours under wraps. There are, however, a couple of excellent pubs about 15 minutes’ walk away.
The White Horse
One of the best locations for away fans is The White Horse, “a haven of Victorian grandeur” near Parsons Green. It’s a charming boozer, with a smart dark wooden bar, some great big leather couches and a superb selection of beers (over 135 bottled varieties alone, as well as six to eight cask ales at any time). They also hold four beer festivals a year, and regular barbecues in their spacious beer garden. There are loads of Chelsea fans in on matchdays, but it’s friendly enough for away fans.The White Horse 1-3 Parsons Green, London, SW6 4UL 020 7736 2115
Photo: Iain Buchanan @ Flickr
The Blackbird at Earls Court is one of Fuller’s ale and pie houses, run by friendly, capable staff (which helps on a busy match day). A wide selection of Fuller’s fine ales is available, but not much in the way of cider. The pub has a few nice decorative touches, including an old clock behind the large central bar, set in exquisitely carved wooden panelling, and a large antique mirror with the pub’s name etched into it. All in all, it’s an excellent traditional pub.The Blackbird 209 Earl’s Court Road, London, SW5 9AN 020 7835 1855