Visit London Blog » nfl Enjoy the very best of London Fri, 15 Aug 2014 09:00:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 5 reasons to watch the NFL in London this year Sat, 18 Jan 2014 11:00:30 +0000 NFL

Forget the Superbowl: London is fast becoming a hub for the razzle-dazzle of America’s National Football League (NFL).

The league has held regular International Series games at Wembley Stadium since 2007. This year, it has made the historic decision to hold three games on London soil for the first time, in a move that some have speculated will lead towards a permanent London NFL franchise.

The Oakland Raiders will play the Miami Dolphins on September 28, the Atlanta Falcons take on the Detroit Lions on October 26 and the Jacksonville Jaguars (dubbed ‘London’s team’) will battle the Dallas Cowboys on November 9.

As tickets have just gone on sale, so here are five reasons to watch the NFL in London this year.

Watch a Real Show

American football games are much more than just sport: they are theatrical shows. We’re talking smoke machines, bursts of fire, mascots, songs and fierce cheering, as the audience is encouraged to go into a frenzy of excitement. And of course, most teams have their own professional cheerleaders, who perform slick routines to cheer the players on.

Hang Out at Fan Events

The NFL is about much more than the three-hour games. Fan rallies and events take place all over London around each fixture and capture the spirit of the NFL in a celebratory environment. Last year, Regent Street was closed to traffic for an ‘All American Block Party’ including live music, mascots, NFL sporting challenges, American-inspired food, cheerleaders and player appearances. News of this year’s fan events will be revealed nearer to the game dates.

Learn the Rule Book

American Football (known as football in the US) evolved from two British sports: football and rugby. While there are still some similarities, the American game has its own quirks and rules which are an interesting evolution of the earlier games. Learning the scoring system and phrases like “touch down” and “the fumble” will make you seem frightfully knowledgeable to your friends at the game. Try the NFL’s beginner’s guide to football to learn.

See the ‘London’ NFL Team

London almost has its own NFL team. The Jacksonville Janguars (based in Florida) are playing four home games at Wembley between 2013 and 2016, and hope to win UK fans. They are owned by Shahid Khan, the owner of Fulham Football club. Teams that challange them at Wembley are nicknamed ‘America’s team’ in what becomes a cross-Atlantic patriotic battle. Catch them at the November 9 game.

Arrive Early For a Party

Traditionally, a ‘tailgate’ party takes place in the hours before NFL games in the US. Held in the sporting venue’s car park, the tailgate usually involves fans holding barbeques, sharing food and supporting their team. London puts its own twist on the tailgate. You can expect something similar to last year’s setup, which took over Wembley’s car park.  Those with tickets to the game could explore NFL exhibits, food and merchandise stalls, have their photos taken with trophies and play mini sports activities.

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London Bar and Restaurant Menus for Thanksgiving Day 2013 Fri, 01 Nov 2013 09:21:15 +0000 With only a few weeks left until the Christmas holidays, Thanksgiving Day 2013 in London is a good opportunity for Americans and fans of the US food and drink culture to give their festive taste buds a trial run. Whether you’re on a tight budget or looking to splash the cash and treat your family to a proper traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner, Thursday 28 November 2013 can be a truly American day in London, if you have a few Thanksgiving ideas up your sleeve.

Budget London: Blues, Football and Pop-Ups

Fitzrovia’s home of live music and big screen sports action, Jetlag, is in a Thanksgiving Day mood for the entire day, screening NFL matinee movies and live NFL Thanksgiving football games later on (Green Bay Packers V Detroit Lions and Oakland Raiders V Dallas Cowboys). To maintain the pace, the Thanksgiving menu includes pumpkin soup with bacon and cheese rolls (£5.50); roast turkey with whipped potato and apple cider gravy (£17.50); and a choice of either pecan pie or pumpkin pie (£6.50) for dessert. The celebration continues after the football with a live classic rock, pop and blues set from Mr Lee.

Blues Kitchen
f Blues is your sweet, sweet thang, head to north London’s home of guitar-based American rock, The Blues Kitchen (pictured above), to check out The Untouchables, champions of raw Chicago blues. The Thanksgiving Day recipe for fun will also include an all-American Thanksgiving meal (pre-orders only) with dishes such as roast turkey with side dishes of roast potatoes, cranberry jelly, cornbread, steamed greens, Mac & Cheese and corn on the cob, with pumpkin pie for dessert, all for only £16 per person. Pumpkin ale will be flowing for the occasion and a DJ will be spinning vintage sounds until 1am.

All four of London’s American Bodean’s BBQ smokehouse restaurants will be screening live NFL football games to complement their Thanksgiving turkey and ham sharing platter with cornbread stuffing, sandwiched between a clam chowder starter and a key lime pie dessert, all for only £22.95. Keep an eye out for the Brooklyn Brewery Pumpkin Ale too.

Grumblings From A Greedy Girl
Grumblings From A Greedy Girl will host a special American Thanksgiving pop-up evening in Tooting Market, for those with an intrepid heart. Here you can enjoy Thanksgiving food such as sweet potato soup topped with floating salted chilli marshmallows; turkey and cranberry sauce burgers with sausage stuffing on cornbread and pecan pie bars (pictured above). Diners can expect Thanksgiving activities like the Man V Food challenge, basketball hoops and a DJ. £30 per person, booking necessary.

Planet Hollywood
London’s star-spangled banner of American celebrity, Planet Hollywood, will have a two-course Thanksgiving Day lunch and dinner menu for £14.95 or, for those with serious American appetites, three courses for £19.95.

Treat Yourself

Joe Allen
Covent Garden’s classic American restaurant, Joe Allen (pictured above), is serving a traditional menu for £40 per person, including the Thanksgiving appetiser pulled pork and duck terrine with spiced plum and sour dough, followed by Sussex bronze slow-cooked Thanksgiving turkey and maple bacon bangers, pumpkin pie and marinated cherries, and coffee with petit fours.

Christopher’s, another classic American restaurant in London’s West End, has an all-day three-course Thanksgiving Day menu which boasts a wide selection of stateside cuisine, such as the slow-cooked ballotine of organic turkey served with side dishes of cornbread, hazelnut and Michigan cherry stuffing, cranberry relish, buttered beans and creamed potatoes. Leave enough room for the peanut butter chocolate tart dessert though. £48 per person, reservations required.

The Northall
The Northall, a grand restaurant in the Corinthia Hotel near Trafalgar Square, requires £65 from adults and £35 for kids in return for its lavish Thanksgiving Day lunch and dinner menu, promising (deep breath, here goes): Maryland softshell crab with southern spices; free range bronze turkey with sourdough, apple and golden raisin stuffing, roast sweet potato mash with raisins and marshmallow, Pennsylvania creamed corn, and pickled red cabbage; plus, lemon meringue pie for dessert; phew!

The Lockhart
One of London’s most recent American home-from-home additions, The Lockhart, is going one better than simple US food from 28 November – 1 December, with a Thanksgiving dinner menu paired with Californian wines. The Thanksgiving menu will be served family-style with starters to share; two main courses – including the traditional smoked heritage turkey; plus desserts of pecan pie with maple bourbon ice cream, and the classic pumpkin pie served with vanilla whipped cream. £60 per person (includes wines and a small recipe book containing tips on how to replicate this Thanksgiving dinner at home).

Also celebrating Thanksgiving Day in London…

CUT at 45 Park Lane is offering a three-course Thanksgiving dinner on 28 November for £90 per person. Stop off at Bar 45 (in the same hotel) first for a special Thanksgiving cocktail, priced at £16, which changes colour using an ice infusion.

Trader Vic’s, a recently-refurbished restaurant, also on Park Lane, will be adding pumpkin and shiitake mushroom eggrolls to the starter menu alongside roasted Diestel Thanksgiving turkey with traditional giblet gravy. Meyer lemon cranberry curd cheesecake is lined up for dessert.

Le Caprice and sister restaurant, 34, will both have Thanksgiving menus which include pumpkin martinis.

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What’s On This Weekend. 25-27 October 2013 Mon, 21 Oct 2013 09:00:04 +0000

This weekend in London is hugely colourful, with spectacular free events in Trafalgar Square, world-leading art exhibitions and plenty of Halloween-themed fun.

Diwali on the Square

Celebrate the festival of lights in Trafalgar Square this weekend. Hosted by the Mayor of London, this colourful annual celebration brings together a vibrant programme of entertainment from the Hindu and Jain communities. A delicious selection of vegetarian snacks will be available to purchase from around the square. Entry is free. 27 Oct

Witch Academy at the London Eye

Take the kids for a Halloween treat this weekend on the London Eye, where the special Halloween Storytelling Capsule allows them to embark on a Halloween adventure while soaring above the London skyline. Each child gets a special badge after they’ve foiled the evil witch. Tickets start from £15.66 for children. 26 Oct-2 Nov

The Candlelight Club’s Halloween Ball

Step back in time at this glamorous vintage ball, hosted by 1920s pop-up, the Candlelight Club. Taking place in a secret art deco ballroom, this masquerade ball features period-style, occult-themed acts including burlesque, magic and jazz, alongside a divinely decadent range of vintage cocktails and a deliciously dangerous speakeasy atmosphere.  Tickets are £25. 26 Oct

Masterpieces of Chinese Painting

See rare works of Chinese art at the V&A’s new exhibition, which has brought together pieces from all around the world. As well as finished works, including some of the earliest surviving Chinese paintings, you can learn about how they were made thanks to a fascinating array of original artists’ tools and materials. The director of the V&A has described this as a once-in-a-lifetime experience – book tickets now (from £12) to ensure you don’t miss out. 26 Oct – 19 Jan

Dark Circus Party Halloween Special

Terrifying fun awaits you at the Dark Circus Party, which features the best of the dark, decadent and debauched. Get in touch with your dark side and watch curious circus performances, listen to mesmerising music and get a spooky makeover. There’s a strictly spooky dress-code at this event and tickets are £20. For more information visit the event website. 26 Oct

NFL Fan Rally

Celebrate the joys of American Football at this popular free event at Trafalgar Square, which is now in its fourth year. Celebrating the impending game at Wembley Stadium between the San Francisco 49ers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, the rally features appearances from NFL stars, interactive games, American food, cheerleader performances and much more. The excitement kicks off at 12pm and entry is free. 26 Oct

More London events

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London Video of the Week: Regent Street NFL Flags Timelapse Thu, 26 Sep 2013 11:17:50 +0000

See the flags being put up overnight in Regent Street, ready for the big NFL party on the street this Saturday and Minnesota Vikings vs Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

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What’s On This Weekend. 27-29 September 2013 Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:37:36 +0000 There are lots of unique shopping events taking place this weekend in London, but if none of them float your boat you could try a world famous film festival or traditional London celebration instead!

The Goldsmiths Fair

Browse exquisite pieces of jewellery at the Goldsmiths’ Fair, an annual event showcasing the work of skilled independent craftsmen. The fair takes place in the beautiful Goldsmiths’ Hall, home to one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies. Admission granted through purchase of a show catalogue, and one week’s entry to the fair costs £10. 23 Sep-6 Oct

NFL on Regent Street

Can’t wait to see the Minnesota Vikings take on the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday? Head down to Regent Street the day before for a special, traffic-free celebration of everything American football. From 12pm to 6pm you can take part in special NFL activities, see cheerleaders perform, sample American food and even see your favourite players. 28 Sep

Canary Wharf Fashion Weekend

Is it time to update your wardrobe? This weekend Canary Wharf is the perfect place to do so, as its annual fashion weekend will be highlighting the best of this season’s collections. As well as enjoying fashion shows, you can listen to music from pianist Tokio Myers and benefit from exclusive discounts in stores. 27-29 Sep

The Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

See London’s other royalty at the Guildhall this weekend, at the Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival.  Resplendent in their pearl-covered suits, the Pearly Kings and Queens – members of a 19th century fundraising society – will be celebrating the bounty of the harvest with traditional entertainment outside Guildhall before proceeding to St Mary-le-Bow church for a service of thanksgiving. The event is free and takes place from 1pm to 3pm. 29 Sep

The Raindance Film Festival

Feted as one of the world’s top 50 independent film festivals, Raindance is a fantastic opportunity to see the newest talent in cinema. Taking place near Piccadilly Circus, the festival will be screening more than 100 films and more than 150 shorts, and also features a bevy of workshops, talks and parties. The festival is known for attracting some of the world’s best filmmakers, and you can secure access to every screening and event by buying a festival pass for £100. Other ticket prices vary, see the website for details. 25 Sep – 6 Oct

More London events

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London Shopping News: Regent Street, Carnaby Street and Fortnum & Mason Thu, 19 Sep 2013 10:00:13 +0000

London Fashion Week might have ended, but there are still plenty of hot shopping happenings in the city this month. Join us in the capital this September for Shop London, a celebration of London’s incredible and varied retail offering. For all special offers and events, click here.

NFL on Regent Street

Swing by Regent Street on 28 September as the traffic-free road will be buzzing with cheerleaders, music, team drum-lines and interactive games, as NFL showcases the best of American football. If you’re lucky, you may even spot players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings, who are playing at Wembley Stadium the following day.

Fortnum & Mason’s Honey Festival

Fortnum & Mason is creating a buzz on its ground floor this month as it’s hosting the London Honey Festival. For one month, Fortnum’s will be showcasing more than 20 of the finest honeys London has to offer. Visitors can sample honeys hailing from everywhere from Hyde Park to Dulwich. Bee experts will also be on-hand to advise on food pairings. Prices of jars of honey range from £10.50-£12.95. The festival ends on 20 October.

Pop-up Forest in Covent Garden

London’s first-ever pop-up forest is arriving in Seven Dials this Saturday (21 September) to celebrate walking and cycling as part of International Car Free Day. For one day only, the streets of Seven Dials will become a traffic-free haven to make way for 60 trees. Amongst the urban forest, there will also be live music, and free food and drink, including pizza slices and homemade lemonade. If your bicycle is in need of a little TLC, Dr Bike will be on hand from 11am to 5pm to offer free cycle maintenance and anti-theft bike marking.

Edible pop-up in Kingly Court

As pop-ups go, this one really takes the biscuit! The UK’s finest food artists are creating a 100% edible pop-up in the form of a magical meadow in Kingly Court, off Carnaby Street. The sweet-toothed public are invited to devour the Wonka-esque landscape, entitled Baketopia, over two days on Friday 11 and Saturday 12 October.  Everything is edible and everything must go! Book priority entry by visiting the Baketopia website or turn up on the day to nibble on the edible wonderland.

Scotch & Soda launch on Carnaby Street

Young Dutch fashion brand Scotch & Soda officially launched their UK flagship store on Carnaby Street last week. The brand is known for its heritage-inspired street, work and casual wear collections.

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Visit London Asks: What’s Your Recommendation for Autumn in London? Mon, 05 Oct 2009 11:29:57 +0000 Autumn by kitty_alex, courtesy of the Visit London photostream

Last week was all about London vs New York: if you read the comments, you’ll find London certainly came out on top!

This morning we woke up to autumn in London. Coats, scarves, macs and umbrellas were all in force on the journey into work.

But autumn in London means more than the occasional early-morning downpour. On the sporting calendar we can look forward to world-class rugby league, a visit from both the NBA and the NFL, and world gymnastics and world tennis championships.

With the weather turning colder, you’ve also got an excuse to check out London’s cosy museums and art galleries: autumn brings the Turner Prize to the Tate, Maharaja to the V&A, and Suburbia to the London Transport Museum.

You can also indulge in the Wine Show, the London Restaurant Festival and the RHS Autumn Harvest Show, bringing the countryside to London’s Horticultural Halls.

So, the weather might be a bit murky today, but there’s a lot to look forward to this season!

Let us know what your recommendations are for autumn in London.

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