With blanket coverage on the television, media frenzy in the press and conversation down the pub becoming more and more obsessive, it’s tempting to give in to apathy and pizza for the duration.
But if you’re not a slave to the Beautiful Game, why not go out and about and enjoy the deserted attractions of town? There’s plenty to choose from and you probably won’t have to queue!
Theatres are slashing their prices around World Cup time – “Miss Saigon” at the Bristol Hippodrome is down to £20, and in the West End, “We Will Rock” you is down to £25, a saving of £30, both with Ticketmaster. The TKTS booth in Leicester Square is especially good for a bargain, with big discounts on “Phantom” and “Les Miserable” expected on match days. Matinee tickets for the 10th, and evening tickets for the 15th and 20th are available for the fantastic “Market Boy” at the National, “Craig’s got the Ballroom” at The Soho, and “Whistle Down the Wind” at the Palace for only £10 courtesy of Lastminute.com.
Culture vultures might want to head to the Royal Academy, reintroducing a season of “cushion concerts”, which take place in the Summer Exhibition galleries. On Saturday June 24th, you could forget all about the football to the sound of the Doric string quartet playing Beethoven and Mozart. The usually crowded Summer “The Summer Exhibition would make a great alternative thing to do if you’re not into the World Cup” said an RA spokesperson. It’s expected to be much less busy on match days.
If luxury is more your thing, indulge your inner footballers wife at a spa. A day of indulgence at the Atheneaum Spa including a relaxing massage is on special offer at 2 for the price of 1. “We recognise that not everybody will be gripped by football fever. In particular, we have seen spa days being snapped up by woman wanting to spend quality time being pampered instead of being in the pub’ said Paul Shaw, the lifestyle director for lastminute.com.
Finish your day with a delicious meal at a usually hard to book into restaurant. Several London top spots have openings – pick a night with an 8pm game and try your luck. On the 24th, there are tables and a special offer at the Savoy Bar and Grill that’s so good it might tempt football fans to set the video and watch the match later. For £30 you get a three course set menu of sublime cooking, under the direction of super chef Marcus Wareing. Or try the French treat that is Elena’s L’Etoile on Charlotte Street – on the 24th you’ll get 50% off your bill if you reserve your seats through toptable.co.uk.
One place you can’t rely on World Cup madness to get you into though is the Ivy – “Nice try” chuckled the reservation man; “but no luck! I’m afraid, World Cup or no World Cup if you want a mid evening table for dinner you’ll have to book now for December”.