Places to watch France
An estimated 400,000 French people have made the trip across the Channel to settle in London, making up one of the largest immigrant groups within the European Union. The vast numbers of our Gallic neighbours makes London effectively the fifth biggest French city and the area around South Kensington has become known as 'Le Petit Paris' or the 21st arrondissement, with Bute Street earning the moniker 'Frog Alley'. Other hugely French neighbourhoods are Notting Hill, Marylebone and, latterly, Bethnal Green all of which seem to be packed to the mansard rafters with frogs, so to speak. It's highly fitting, then, that France's first Group D game in Euro 2012 will be against England. Should France win, expect the whole of London to be kept awake with tooting horns; but should Les Bleus lose, you'll probably begin to doubt that there are even 10,000 French people in London, let alone forty times that amount. Laurent Blanc's squad is packed with outstanding talent such as Samir Nasri, Yann M'Vila and Karim Benzema but whether they can string together a cohesive team performance is another matter. As the World Cup in 2010 showed, the French can self-combust at the drop of a hat. Perhaps this is the year when they finally pull it all together and recreate their success of the late 90s? Bonne chance!
Monday 11th June, 5pm France 1-1 England
Friday 15th June, 5pm Ukraine 0-2 France
Tuesday 19th June, 7.45pm Sweden 2-0 France
- QUALIFIED AS RUNNERS-UP OF GROUP D -
QUARTER FINAL: Saturday 23 June, 7.45pm - Spain 2-0 France
- KNOCKED OUT AFTER QUARTER FINAL -
Tel: 020 7738 0307
7-9 Battersea Rise, London, SW11 1HG
Tube: Clapham South Station
Look no further than Clapham's Le Bar des Magis for your Gallic port of call for the Euros. Adjoined to the popular bistro Le Bouchon Bordelais - which itself sponsors the local French-flavoured Sunday league side the Mavericks - Le Bar des Magis is a genuine French establishment which shows all of Olympique Lyonnais games and has attracted hoards of crowds during France's recent tournament exploits. The drink of choice at this Battersea Rise favourite is, of course, Kronenbourg, while there's even a crθche next door so you don't have to worry about your "gamins" during the games.
Tel: 020 7073 1350
Institut Francais Cultural Centre, 17 Queensberry Place, South Kensington, London, SW7 2DT
Tube: South Kensington Station, Gloucester Road Station
The Institut Francais is putting on screenings of France's Euro 2012 games at the popular Cine Lumiere in South Kensington. It won't have quite the same atmosphere as a bar or a pub, but you'll get a marvellous view on the cinema screen and it's bound to be popular with the locals (ie. the French). Tickets are under £10 but subject to availability so do check the website for booking details. For more information visit www.institut-francais.org.uk.
Tel: 020 73 51 5939
430 Kings Road, Chelsea, London, SW10 0LG
Tube: Fulham Broadway Station
Right in the heart of affluent Chelsea on the Kings Road, Le Troquet is a French Bistro that is very popular with French football fans in the capital. The bistro regularly shows games from the domestic French tournament Ligue 1 and will be one of the premier places to watch France during Euro 2012. And, if you're there for the food as well, the French fare is excellent.