We’ve all been glued to the TV, except for the lucky few who have had tickets to watch the Olympics live, and have enjoyed wall to wall sport – especially as the wonderful Team GB have won so many medals! However, there is a lot more going on in London than just sport as there are themed exhibitions, shows, concerts and the National Hospitality Houses.
Most nations with a team competing in the Olympic games set up a national house to be their headquarters for the officials, dignitaries, people visiting from that nation and for medal celebrations. The houses are a chance to showcase their nation to the world in London and they are open to all visitors, although some do charge.
I’ve visited several and heard about many more so here’s a quick peek at a couple I have enjoyed. Denmark have set up camp in St Katherine’s Dock and to call it a ‘house’ is not quite right as they have taken over the Dickens Inn and the area around it for the Imagine Denmark show. Anyone can stroll in and enjoy the food, the exhibitions and watch their teams compete on Danish TV. There are lots of typically Danish things there such as: a wind turbine made completely out of Lego; a Viking boat you can sit in with sailors in traditional costume; a summer house decorated in Danish style; and, a wonderful schooner called Danish Crown that has come from Denmark full of bacon for us! The Danes in the crowd got very excited when their medal winner arrived and he was full of smiles having his photo taken with everyone! I watched handball with the excited Danes who kindly explained the rules to me. The food and drink on offer is excellent too with cooking demos celebrating their culinary successes and authentic hot dogs a real must, topping off a great interactive experience.
Have a look:
Another of my favourites was Jamaica House at the 02 Arena. This is the place to go for a party with big screens, a great sound system and live music and DJs. You can pick up some tasty Jamaican patties or a full meal with dumplings and wash it down with Red Stripe or Appleton’s rum. There is an outdoor terrace to enjoy the warm evenings and heaters just in case the temperature drops a bit. On the terrace you can enjoy BBQs, DJs and another bar. Back indoors there’s a beach for kids and a great shop with everything in Jamaican colours and their wonderful Blue Mountain coffee. You have the chance to scream and shout as the Jamaican sprints screech down the track. I was lucky enough to see Yohan Blake run and then Veronica Campbell-Brown and everyone was on their feet – I can’t imagine what it’s like when Bolt wins! The sounds were cranking up as I left and I could tell the party would be going on well into the night!
It’s a great time to be in London and I’ll bring you more tales soon.
Bye for now