Sunday, November 4, 2012

Super Sunday (or, in memorium for the Red Lion)

As with Hong Kong, watching live sport is very easy in the Desert. Generally speaking the pubs and bars (and indeed some of the restuarants) will have the English premiership on during Saturday and Sunday afternoons and on Monday night. Due to the time differences, European Cup footbal is less easy to see on a "school night"(although I was of course able to watch Chelsea's triumph in Munich in May!).

When I first arrived here, the closest bar to our villa where the footy was shown regulaly was the Red Lion (5 minutes by Taxi) in the Metropolitan Hotel. It was a fairly rough and ready place (although not as rough and ready as the Rattlesnake night club next door...) and was in fact one of the oldest pubs in Dubai around which the Metropolitan had apparantly been built in the late 70s/early 80s. The Hotel also had a garden where there were large screens showing the sport. When the weather cooled down in the winter, watching the footy outside was a very pleasant way of getting some fresh (ish) air and catching up on the premiership (or the 6 Nations or indeed any major sporting event including the World Cup). I also met R. here for the first time when dad and I watched the F A Cup final in 2010 (missing the first half due to a mix up over the time differences).

After R. moved down to JBR we used to alternate between the Hilton on JBR and the Red Lion during the football season although for the big matches we generally ended up at the Red Lion.

The pub itself was very much in the mould of a traditional English boozer with a bar in the centre, and very dark and smoky, with a dart board in one corner (which was usually dominated by enthusiastic locals). There was also a pub quiz on the Tuesday evening (which included a killer "flags" round which generally ended with us getting nil points so we eventually started going to the Fibber McGhee quiz - a post all of its own).

Apart from the garden (which also had a number of bars), there was also a very good (albeit rather expensive) Indian restaurant (which Dad took my Uncle Kevin to with some success during his visit a year or so ago) and "Al Capone's" Italian Restauarnt which E and I went to a couple of times. There was also a cinema next door (although we never actually went to it), so all in all a very good facility to have pretty much on our door step. However, all good things must come to an end and earlier this year a wrecking ball was taken to the Metropolitan Hotel and the Red Lion as the owners decided to raze it to the ground and build three new hotels in its place.

As a consequence, it has been necessary to find a new "local" and after experimenting with various local hostlry's we have more or less settled on the Dhow and Anchor (scene of Chelsea's European triumph) at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel (the "Wave")which, apart from being more or less equidistance between me and R., also has a great outdoor seating area and a (tough) pub quiz which starts at a more user-friendly time than Fibbers. Hopefully this one will not be knocked down in the near future.....

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