Hot Lists Sunday, June 17th

Where to watch the World Cup in Herefordshire

Hot Lists Sunday, June 17th

Where to watch the World Cup in Herefordshire

After some deep thought, and a few pleading Whatsapp messages, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no definitive list of Where To Watch The Euros In Herefordshire.

Given England’s previous showings, it’s probably best to rule out high buildings.

And, just as a general rule, pubs serving artisan charcuterie on wooden boards are best to avoid if you're there to watch the football, at least if you want a bit of buzz. Ditto for timber-framed country gastro pubs that will likely wheel out a freeview TV from the back like a supply teacher.

That said, over the six major tournaments I’ve been legally old enough to drink during, I've learned you’re always better prioritising atmosphere over screen size.

You may miss Sterling's 8th consecutive corner failing to beat the first defender because Big Dave walked in front of the tele, but long after the final whistle and inevitable depression sets in, Dave will be around to talk 4-4-2 diamonds with over warm lagers.

And that’s just as well because, rightly or wrongly, Herefordshire has a bit of a shortage of the kind of American ‘sports bar’-style pubs that have popped up elsewhere with their 27 iwdescreens and all-you-can-eat chicken (chicken*) wings. There's more now than there was for the last Euros, but it's still pretty limited to Commercial Road in Hereford.

As always, the best answer may to fire up the grill, stock the fridge and watch it at home. Although - with a load of England's fixtures falling on school nights and the fact that following Gareth's Boys at a World Cup now trails only watching Love Island as an example of genuine communal activity in the modern age - why not bust out your white-and-red face paint.

If, like me, you would rather shuffle out with the masses and find a darkened corner of the county to watch the games, here are a few suggestions:

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Hereford

The Left Bank – Big screen out in the courtyard for all the England games - which is usually used to show Love Island - loads of bench seating, and outdoor bar and pies on the menu. Get there early for big games - the screen can be a victim of glare from the sun and you're best getting aseat close to it.

Yates - Always a busy spot for the football, their refurb included a load of big screens, and you can now book a table online ahead of time - and order one of their famous beer towers so you don't miss a John Stones howler while you're waiting at the bar.

Hogarths - Yates' Commercial Rd neighbour feels less Gin Palace-y the further back you go. The big selling point is their booths, complete with TVs, and a massive beer garden kitted out with teles and, currently, flags from across the world. Perfect for this Columbia-esque heatwave.

The Oxford Arms – A Hereford FC-favourite, The Oxford Arms has screens both inside and outside in its beer garden, and is doing halftime curry and chips for the Tunisia game.

The Rose & Crown – With a separate Sports Bar and a big screen, it gets lively down this Tupsley pub for the football. Just be warned, their will be United fans telling you Phil Jones is the new Beckenbauer.

The Litchfield Vaults - Great city centre pub, with low ceilings, Greek food and decent sightlines to the tele from the bar. They show loads of sport and have a Sky license in case you want to get down early and watch higlights of Tommy Fleetwood's final day at the US Open.

Leominster

The Chequers  - Long a Leominster institution and card-carrying Proper Pub, it refurbed part of the premise specifically for showing sports. It's a Wye Valley Brewery boozer as well, serving £2.50 pints if you're an ale drinker.

The Bell – Found on Etnam Street, the Bell has three TV’s showing the games and Hobsons, Doombar and Wye Valley on tap - all of which are included in the Happy Hour prices until 8pm.

Ross-on-Wye

The Eagle Inn – The Broad St pub has eight screens for you and are putting BBQs out in the back for all the England games. And nothing says 'fifty-two years of hurt' like a well-done cheeseburger.

The Kings Arms - Serving pitchers of Amstel and Fosters during the games, you shouldn't miss a minute of the action at the Gloucester Rd pub. Depending on your bladder size.

Ledbury

Brewery Inn – A proper local on Bye Street, this is a two-bar town pub that shows sports with timber frames dating back before Alf Ramsey was born.

Ledbury Rugby Club - The egg chasers are also fond a bit of round-ball action as well - and the club, just on the edge of town, has a great bar, a  big screen and is putting on halftime food during all England games. (*note: pre-season training starts at the club on Tues July 3rd, so you may be joined at halftime by some sweaty rugby lads)

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