Kick-off Time: Our Guide to the FA Cup Final

Tomorrow, the FA Cup Final will be shown on television screens all across the nation. But if you’re looking for atmosphere, London is the place to be. The match is taking place at the city’s Wembley Stadium and the capital’s Arsenal fans will be out in their droves to show support, as will the visiting Aston Villa fans.

If you are staying in London while the big game is on, you’ll find plenty of places to observe the action. But before you start planning, check out our guide below.

The teams

Arsenal are the reigning champions and the favourites, but Aston Villa will be looking to knock them off their perch. They will have a tough job on their hands though. Arsenal have succeeded in scooping the coveted trophy 11 times over the years and success tomorrow would push that number up to a record-breaking 12 wins. Arsenal have the best track record in the competition, but that doesn’t mean Aston Villa aren’t in with a shot. Although their last FA cup win was in 1957, they have had other big successes over the years. What’s more, they have been performing very well of late under their new manager, Tim Sherwood. Though they are known as ‘the Villains’, they will want to be the heroes on the day.

Where to watch

While watching the match at Wembley itself is the top of any football fan’s wish list, the great British tradition of watching the football in the pub isn’t without its charms. Pubs screening the FA Cup Final are likely to be full of eager supporters whose passion will be infectious.

Thanks to our location near Covent Garden, you’ll find plenty of great pubs on our doorstep. One of these is the Roundhouse, which will be showing the game tomorrow. Grab a seat and a pint, order some comfort food and sit back and watch. Strand Palace Hotel is only about five minutes’ walk from this pub, making it an easy option on match day.

Hercules Pillars pub is another establishment showing the game, and it’s about 10 minutes’ walk away from Strand Palace Hotel. An archetypal British boozer, it is a brilliant setting in which to enjoy the game. There are snacks as well as heartier dishes on offer to accompany your pint too.

You may also want to stop by the Freemason’s Arms, again less than 10 minutes’ walk away from us here at Strand Palace Hotel. The rules of football were laid down here by the nascent Football Association in 1863 and you will find lots of football-related memorabilia inside.

Of course, these are just a small selection of potential pubs. Thanks to Strand Palace Hotel’s enviable location in central London, match day options are plentiful. Explore the local area to find more or ask at reception for further recommendations.

Are you planning a football-focused weekend in London? Stay at the Strand Palace Hotel. As a hotel near Covent Garden, Soho and Chinatown, you’ll find lots of fantastic football pubs nearby, while also enjoying easy access to London’s major stadiums.

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