Freemasons Arms Celebrates 150 Years of Association Football

Posted: 15 April 2013

Blog category: News, Sport, Pubs, Pub of the Week

If you can’t be at Wembley, there’s no better place to enjoy the FA Cup Final on Saturday May 11 than the Freemasons Arms, in London’s Covent Garden, soccer’s other spiritual home.
The Victorian-built Freemasons Arms pub in Long Acre is a lasting tribute to the founders of the Football Association 150 years ago.
The pioneers of soccer met at the original Freemasons pub over six evenings in the autumn of 1863 to thrash out the laws of a game now played in more than 200 countries across the globe.
Today, the Freemasons Arms celebrates its historic location with a display of Football Association memorabilia and the perfect set-up to enjoy televised football in the modern era. The bar has six high definition plasma TV screens featuring all the top matches, with a split feed so it is possible to show two games simultaneously.
There’s even a special Match Day menu, consisting of hearty snacks such as burgers, sausages, chicken wings, chips and nachos.
Manager John Annetts who follows Liverpool, and his wife Linda, an Arsenal fan, have run the pub for 16 years. He said: “We have a display cabinet on the history of the FA, including a Three Lions plaque which they’ve donated to us, as well as pictures of football legends such as Bobby Moore. We pride ourselves on making the Freemasons Arms a place where customers can enjoy their football in comfort with good food and drink in the place where it all began.”
The Freemasons Arms has a long history as a meeting place and has been used by the founders of Clerical and Medical, the Geological Society and the London Irish Rifles.
The eponymous Freemasons Arms is still used regularly by Freemasons for Masonic dining and also hosts events as varied as quiz nights, beer tastings, training courses, birthday parties and wedding receptions.
Featured in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, the pub serves a variety of authentic Kentish cask ales, as well as distinctive international lagers and a good selection of wines.
There is also a good selection of traditional pub food, including set menus and buffets for people holding events in the pub’s two well-equipped function rooms.
Just 200 yards from Covent Garden tube, a short walk from Charing Cross and with two secure car parks nearby, the Freemasons Arms occupies a prime spot near the Royal Opera House and other tourist hotspots.