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  Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 12:14 GMT
Harlequins - The Stoop
The Stoop memorial ground
The Stoop's impressive east stand
By BBC Sport Online's Ed King

Stoop Memorial ground - Capacity 8,500

The Stoop lies in the shadow of Twickenham, but boasts far more character than its charmless neighbour.

The Quins clubhouse squats halfway on the west side, while the impressive new east stand is a marker of how ambitious this club is.

While the Twickenham neighbourhood can be less than inspiring, rugby's 'glamour' club more than compensates for this with its unique atmosphere.

Where to stand/sit?

The East stand affords good views and access to bars, although can be a little far back from the pitch near the middle.

At each end there is temporary seating, great if it's a balmy afternoon, but if it's raining bring the swimming trunks.

The clubhouse offers good views and bars, but is usually reserved for members and the press.

Pubs to visit:

A Harlequin
The cheerful Harlequin

The Cabbage Patch. Pleasant pub on Twickenham High St, well used to rugby fans. Guinness on tap with beer garden at rear.

Barmy Arms. A rugby pub popular on international days, The Barmy arms sits in a picturesque setting next to the Thames, with beer garden and cosy interior. (15 mins)

Restaurants:

Canyon. Riverside establishment described as 'California on Thames.' Convenient for fans as they serve an 11am brunch. Richmond bridge, Richmond rail. (0208 9482944)

Pallavi. Kerelan restaurant with highly recommended menu, and rickshaw suspended from ceiling. Lunch served from noon. Heath Rd, Twickenham. (0208 8922345)

Brula. Popular French bistro with relaxed feel. St Margaret's rail. (0208 8920602)

Top tip

Half of the seats in the south (temporary) stand seem to be rusted in the shut position, so either bring some WD-40 or sit somewhere else

Directions:

Car: The Stoop is located just off the A316 Chertsey Rd, which leads to the M3 and M25. There is ample parking on fields along the A316, but getting out after the match can be tricky.

Train: Twickenham railway station is a 10 minute walk from the ground, with trains from London Waterloo and Reading running through.

Did you know?

The Stoop Memorial Ground is named after Adrian Stoop, a half-Dutch player who played 182 times for Quins between 1901 and 1939, and won 15 caps for England.

What to do with the other half who hates Rugby?

Twickenham is only a short train ride from the centre of London, which caters for all shopping and cultural tastes.

Closer to the ground, Kew Gardens is nearby, where the famous Royal Botanical gardens are located.

Prices:

Harlequins run a wide range of concessions. Ticket prices range from 2 for U-16s to 25 for adults.

Ratings:

  • Atmosphere: 7
  • Access: 8
  • Toilets: 5
  • Location: 6
  • Bars: 5
  • Pies: 6
  • Disabled facilities: 7

Contact details:

Club: 020 8410 6000


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