Did you hear the Olympics are coming to town? Have you been warned not to leave your house? Have you seen the new dedicated traffic lanes? If you are like the vast majority of Londoners I know you are already experiencing raising fury and that famed London grump face so let’s focus on the good, not the bad, ugly, planes, trains and (delegate filled) automobiles. The upside of hosting the world’s biggest sporting event is that the officials want to sell our city and make sure that the rest of the world see it for the amazing multicultural, fascinating, experience-rich place we know her to be.
All across town pop up ventures are, well, popping up! The Barking Bathhouse is one such offering, opening on 26th July, CREATE has commissioned the Something & Son design company to produce a venue offering detox (spa) with retox (a bar). There are a variety of treatments on offer, using produce grown by local allotment gardeners, a traditional wooden sauna, a cold room with a ‘dry ice’ chiller and a beach inspired shingle sunbathing zone (fingers crossed!!!).
Meanwhile, numerous national hospitality houses are setting up camp all around town. Countries from around the world will take over well know sites, show events on large screens and proudly exhibit their national cuisines, cultures and successes. The best tips? As the next Olympic venue and carnival aficionados Casa Brasil at Somerset House will bound to buzz, meanwhile Russia.Sochi.Park will be throwing back the vodka in Kensington Gardens.
Finally, The Retreat is an “exclusive members’ club” which you can actually buy your way into. This pop up hospitality venue is based at The Brewery, a grade 2 listed building in the heart of the city which aims to provide a base for both visitors and permanent city dwellers. It opens at 630am each morning through the games and “members” have the option to come and go throughout the day. Olympic events will be screened, live music will be played, food served and drinks clinked. There is a pampering area and a night club for after dark celebrating. A day ticket will set you back £294, evening membership is just £150 or if you are feeling a little flush 17 day membership is set at the princely sum of £3000.