Abbe’s Bar

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Walking Street

IF there’s one thing guaranteed to make an Englishman miss home it is football.

It’s not hard to catch up on the latest games thanks to the genius that is cable TV, but there really is only one place for the hard-core fan to see his team.

You’ll hear Abbe’s before you see it. Three-foot speakers hang around each corner of the bar and when a match is on you’ll only hear commentary – there’s no chance of music interrupting the Beautiful Game.

A central bar sees dozens of guys and girls sitting around all looking towards the rear, where a giant screen displays the games. The bar has a football feel, as there are pendants, football tops and flags pinned to the walls and ceiling. They have some character too; where else will you see Colchester United sit alongside Bayern Munich or Ajax?

Erstwhile punters have scrawled messages on many of the flags so you have something to read during half-time, although they’re often not much more profound than ‘dream like you live forever, live like you die today’.

The other benefit of watching a game is that you can marvel at the absurd English weather while sitting holding your ice-cold beer in sky-high temperatures. Oh, and the fact there’ll be a local lady sitting next to you who is just dying to have the off-side law explained to her. Again.

When the game is over, pumping music takes its place and the girls, of which there are plenty, take centre stage. Several pool tables behind the TV screen are an extra attraction.

If you like your sport, then this is the place to come, but even if you don’t, there’s a good chance you will wind up scoring yourself.