I went to Danish bar forward of Euros conflict, I solely discovered mad photographs and Englishmen

Inside Nordic Bar it is quiet. In fact, there’s no one else here at all.

I’ve come just after opening at 4pm on a Tuesday, two days before England and Denmark are set to clash in the group stages of Euro 2024. The bar is at the top of Google search rankings for London-based Danish spots and on arrival, I’m welcomed by supervisor Neil Tucker, 35, who until recently was himself a regular here.

This certainly isn’t Scandinavian minimalist chic. The walls are adorned with cartoon depictions of Vikings, a central theme in the bar’s makeup. It’s dark inside, the only natural light coming from the window at the front of the subterranean spot where the steps come down to cellar level from Newman Street, a few moments from Oxford Street and the capital’s central shopping district.

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I’m hoping to meet some Danes in the bar and get talking about the game, similar to a recent visit to Serbian restaurant Fulham Kitchen, ahead of England and Serbia’s clash on Sunday (June 16), but there are none to be found and no Danish beers on tap.

Nordic is a classic cellar bar
Nordic is a classic cellar bar

“We’re a small bar in comparison to others but certainly make up for it in personality,” Neil told me.

“We do ping pong, beer pong, we’ve got free-to-use arcade games and show virtually any sport imaginable.

“We’re known for our shot wheel, our wheel of misfortune, all of which are mixed in front of you and we have a massive selection of spirits. Generally, we don’t take ourselves too seriously and we hope no one else does either.”

The 'wheel of misfortune' sees punters charged a fiver for a mystery shooter
The ‘wheel of misfortune’ sees punters charged a fiver for a mystery shooter

And what of the Nordic connection? Neil says that the bar was originally founded by a woman from Finland. “The company that owns this one, each of their venues has a theme, one is circus-themed, another Latin-themed,” he said.

The bar’s appreciation for historic Nordic culture is clear to see, Neil said: “We’ve got signs up saying who wants a night in shining armour when you can have a Viking in bloody chainmail?”

Apparently, it’s heaving on Fridays and Saturday nights, open until around one in the morning. Right now there isn’t anyone to speak to but Neil assures me that despite not being Danish-owned, it has become something of a community hub.

This is a proper cosy inner-city dive bar
This is a proper cosy inner-city dive bar

“We do get quite a few Danes in. I watched the England game on Sunday with a Fin, a Dane, a Spaniard and two Italians.

“It’s not just the Nordic element, we have a massive international clientele. We just welcome in everyone.”

It’s not exactly Little Copenhagen then, but it does seem that the bar has a tendency to attract expats and tourists from the Scandinavian nations.

He tells me they are expecting a “fair few Danes” for the England game on Thursday (June 20), cheekily adding, “I don’t like disappointing customers but they are going to leave disappointed.” Neil, from the West Country, is most certainly an England fan, then.

Viking graphics are all over the bar
Viking graphics are all over the bar

His score prediction? “3-1 England, hopefully, we’ll wake up a bit. You can’t discount [Jude] Bellingham.”

As well as Danes, he said they were “massively” expecting England fans through the doors for the match. “Because of the Nordic connection, we will have Danes in, we’ll also have Finns and Swedes, so we’re going to have a very healthy mix. Everyone mixes well and so it will be a good atmosphere.”

And is he expecting any problems between the rival fans? “Not here and not in general.”

Games and sport-watching are among the top of the bar's priorities
Games and sport-watching are among the top of the bar’s priorities

A poke around the bar reveals full-blown pornographic images covering the walls of the toilets. Behind the bar their infamous “wheel of misfortune” – which charges punters £5 for a shot of whatever the wheel chooses – offers homemade shooters with equally lewd names like “blow my horn,” “nymphomaniac,” “sink the pink,” and “baby batter.”

As I head back out into the afternoon light I feel a pang of frustration at the time of day I’ve come and resolve I’ll be back the next time I’m in need of a late-night bar open past regular hours.

Pornography adorns the toilet walls
Pornography adorns the toilet walls

I don’t think this is the most authentic Danish venue out there, but it certainly seems a good bar. Tucked beneath the shunt and grind of the capital, this is a proper inner city spot with a late-night movie feel and lighthearted atmosphere which clearly does the trick for many Scandanavians who reportedly choose to call it their local.

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