Well, the Six Nations sure did creep up on us… The first of the Six Nations fixtures takes place in the Stade de France where France will take on Wales on home turf on the 1st February. Yes, the 1st of the month, we couldn’t have wished for a better end to this very sober first month of the year… Here’s Pop Up Bar’s Guide to Surviving the Six Nations.
If you didn’t already know, Pop Up Bar Hire, was founded in Wales! The home and heart of Rugby, where the Welsh sing boldly from their chests, swelled with pride and after an undefeated trial in the Autumn Internationals in 2018, we’re sure the support for the boys in red will be just incredible this time round.
The Six Nations is huge. It takes over our lives for 5 weekends, women, men and children can all get involved in the antics and hype of the Six Nations and that’s what really makes rugby so special, despite the gruelling tackles and pile-ups, rugby is a homely and comforting sport for many. However, a lot of us the 5 weekends of the Six Nations is a test of you stamina, we’re sorry to say but the Autumn Internationals was just a warm up for the gruelling day of drinking you have ahead.
Whether this is your first outing for the Six Nations, your 27th or your 75th this guide is for you.
Pop Up Bar’s Guide to Surviving the Six Nations
BOOK A TABLE.
What’s the plan, ladies and gents? Are you booking tickets for the game, do you watch it in your lively local or bask in the noise of home chants and distant toots of those odd plastic horns in the city? Whatever your plan, booking a table for your favourite bar or pub is essential. This should take place weeks, possibly even a month before. Nobody wants to stand around, balancing the precious pints while you roar at the television, barged by passers by, that pint will just keep swilling around and eventually it will end up down your top. Even if you’re watching the game from the stadium, what are your plans for after? Surely you’re not about to head home and surely you don’t want to wander into numerous pubs searching for a surface to sit on? Be comforted with the knowledge that wherever you’re headed there is a table waiting for you. BOOK A TABLE.
Now that all of your planning and organisation has been completed for the big day (Yes, booking a table was it and if you haven’t done it before we’re sure you feel foolish now). The next hurdle is the train. Novelty clothing items, e.g. daffodil hat? Check. Really annoying and unnecessary horn to toot? Check. Team Colours? Check. Beers for the journey? Check, check, check. Where is the best place to start your day of drinking? Of course it’s the train. The likelihood of your group of friends being surrounded by other groups of lads and ladies with the same plan of you is high. It’s all about banter, making friends, sharing beers and singing familiar rugby chants. Get ready, your train has almost reached the platform.
It has to be done. You will not survive the Six Nations if you do not fully prep, I repeat you will not survive. Anyway, what kind of monster doesn’t want a fry up before a big game and day of drinking? It’s the perfect combination, sizzling meats, runny eggs, carb up on that toast too, people. There’s no positive outcome to the mindset, “If I don’t eat, I’ll get drunk quicker,” It’s correct but stupid. What will happen is that you’ll miss the game from either falling asleep, being sick or being too blind drunk to see what’s happening – and there’s always the chance you’ll get caught doing these things live on TV. Congrats, you’re a tool. Be smart, have a fry-up.
Also, is there any better meal pairing for a refreshing, crisp beer than a juicy fry-up? That was a rhetorical question. The answer is no.
Note: Steps 2 & 3 can be swapped to suit your journey | time of game | distance to destination.
You’re at your destination, the fry-up has been consumed. You probably feel like a new person at this point, despite having consumed a few beers beforehand, the fry-up has saved you and it’s time to enjoy the atmosphere of the city/pub you’re in. You may even feel merry enough to have your face painted – we encourage you to do so, it makes for great pictures and if you can’t have an entire flag painted on your face at a rugby game, where can you?! Witness a sea of colours as supporters and rivals come together, annoying plastic horns toot in the distance, your plastic pint is wilting in your hand, it may not be strong enough for this event, but you are… Sink those beers, wear that novelty hat from the back of the cupboard with pride.
It’s simple, it really is. It’s just watching the game, right? Right. However, there are a few rules that need to be followed. Whether you’re at the stadium or a busy bar, get to your seats in good time, avoid the hustle and bustle of other unorganised fans (who clearly didn’t read this blog, it’s OK to smirk at them pitifully) and give yourself a chance to relax. Find your seats, get your beers in before the hoards hit the bar, kick back and relax just congratulating yourself on your all-knowing wisdom and preparation.
Half Time | Or more specifically 10 minutes before
This is the time to get your beers in for the second half, skip the queue. You may miss an unforgettable try, a tense tackle, but missing a tackle is better than being tackled. Skip the queue and leave before half time. There’s nothing more to it than that, JUST RUN.
You want to aim to be this guy…
And not this guy…
The game is over and whether your team has won or lost, the night is only beginning. There’s no way of avoiding the post game crowds, it’s something we all have to do. Be alert, or as alert as one can be after copious beers. Find your way to the nearest pub and get ready to start all over again, except this time we’re out out. If you want to be a little smarter than the others, and you think you have it in you, our advice is to go beyond the closest bar and walk that little bit further to another to ensure you’re not stuck in a situation that we’ve been trying so hard to avoid throughout this blog. You know the one…
This is also probably the best time to get some food back in your system. Plenty of bars in city centres and local pubs serve food. Chicken wings, burgers, hot dogs, loaded fries… Whatever you’ve got to do. Don’t ruin everything you’ve achieved so far, EAT. You’ve got the green light from here, we’re out out! Whilst we do recommend not swapping drinks, we realise its inevitable. There’s only so many pints one can sink in a day and the chances of you switching to spirits is at about 75% and the chances of shots are at about 98%. We encourage you to go to the cheesiest clubs and dive bars for a guaranteed good time, think you’re too good for Popworld? Not tonight you’re not.
It all gets a bit hazy from here on out, we get that. All we can do from here is hope you remember the advice we have given you and wish you good luck on the rest of your journey…
Anywhere from 11pm – 4am
In the words of Matthew McConaughey, “Alright, alright, alright…” We think it’s safe to say it’s almost home time, depending on your stamina that is. Staying out any later than 4am on an all day drinking session is just a bit well, tragic and we can guarantee you’re a bit of a dribbling mess by now. We can also pretty much guarantee you’ll be hungry for something questionable, a 4am kebab? Future you will look back and cringe at the mysterious meat you ate that one night but present you is all for it. We get it, you gotta do what you gotta do not to tipple over into quite horrendous territory, but always, always get a drink. Whether you save it for the morning and guzzle it down there and then, it will help. However, having a drink ready for the morning is essential, we hope 4am you remembers this and purchases one but our hopes aren’t high.
Before you skip off into the darkness with your “food” make sure everyone is with you! This is so important, primarily because the safety of your friends sort of matters… But also, need I remind you of a trilogy called The Hangover? Nobody wants that the next morning.
It was always going to come to this. There’s no scientific evidence to prove there is a hangover cure, it’s down to you. Each hangover process is different, mine is a can of full fat Coca-Cola and the kind of food your mum used to pack into your school lunchbox. For others its chugging water and heading to the gym, yikes… Some popular methods of helping a hangover (note: helping not curing):
- Lucozade Sport
- Full Fat Coca Cola
- Vitamin C/Berrocca
- Take-Out Food
- Films that are so bad they weren’t released in the cinema but somehow made it onto Netflix – you know the ones.
You’re on your own from here…
Disclaimer: We encourage and strongly advise everyone to drink responsibly. Don’t ruin the day for yourself or your friends. Not cool.