Visit London Blog » olympic park Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 London Restaurant News: Albion, Fields Bar & Kitchen, Jones & Sons, Unity Kitchen Cafe, Flesh & Buns, Tommi’s Burger Joint Thu, 01 Aug 2013 12:09:15 +0000 There’s no end to the diversity of London’s restaurants and these recent openings are no exception – you can enjoy everything from traditional British fish and chips to Taiwanese steamed buns at these exciting new eateries.

Albion Neo Bankside

Following the success of Albion in Shoreditch, Terence Conran has opened a new British cafe near Tate Modern. Albion Neo Bankside serves British comfort dishes such as sausage and mash, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and Irish stew. There’s a choice of shared or individual tables overlooking the open-plan kitchen, plus a further 45 seats outside on the heated terrace. There’s also a small shop and food market selling British produce.

Jones & Sons

More British fare is on offer at Jones & Sons, a new cafe and restaurant in an old Victorian textile factory in Dalston, which used to be home to the Arcola Theatre. The new East London venue serves Monmouth coffee, meat from the local Well Street butchers and a selection of London beers. Pop in for breakfast from 9am, grab lunch from the deli counter or visit in the evening for dinner.

Fields Bar & Kitchen

Benugo, which runs the V&A Cafe, has teamed up with Sir John Soane’s Museum to launch a new restaurant, cafe and al fresco dining space at Lincoln’s Inn Fields. Fields Bar & Kitchen serves pizzas from a wood-fired oven as well as a range of other main courses, breakfasts, cakes and takeaway sandwiches and salads. Open during the park’s seasonal opening hours, the new restaurant has a 72-seat summer terrace.

Unity Kitchen Cafe

Unity Kitchen Cafe is the first cafe to open at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Based in the new Timber Lodge building, the cafe has one of the UK’s best new playgrounds on its doorstep, along with the beautiful trees, meadows and parklands that proved popular with visitors to the London 2012 Games. Run by the Camden Society charity, Unity Kitchen is a small chain of restaurants that offer training to people with learning disabilities.

Flesh & Buns

New from the team behind Bone Daddies, Flesh & Buns opens on 8 August in Seven Dials, Covent Garden. The restaurant will be the first in London to specialise in Taiwanese hirata buns (do-it-yourself filled, steamed buns). The name translates as “tiger eating pork” due to the appearance of the folded buns with pork inside. Other fillings include Korean lamb, chicken with yuzu koshu and sea bass with coriander miso.

Tommi’s Burger Joint

Icelandic burger joint Tommi’s will open its first permanent restaurant in the UK on 6 August. The chain, which has six American-style diners in Iceland, opened a pop-up restaurant in Marylebone Street in August 2012. The new restaurant, in nearby Thayer Street, will have an informal, vintage feel and serve burgers made from British meat, as well as veggie burgers, fries and milkshakes.

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What’s On This Weekend. 26-28 July 2013 Mon, 22 Jul 2013 13:11:47 +0000

Remember this time last year when London hosted the 2012 Olympic Games? Well, the city is no less spectacular one year later – read on to find out why.

Open East Festival at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Marking the one-year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Games, this festival of street food, local brewing, international music, theatre and family fun is sure to get you back in the party spirit. Foodies can not only browse stands from local food producers and watch top chefs demonstrate their skills in the Real Food Chef Theatre, but also enjoy a locally brewed beer at the Ten Mile Beer Festival, which features ales from Battersea, Hackney and Greenwich. Meanwhile the music stages will feature a huge range of international acts, while leading artists, circus performers, BMX riders and theatrical performers will astound audiences with performances all over the park. Don’t miss Sacrilege, the life-sized bouncy castle version of Stonehenge by Jeremy Deller! Tickets are £9.50 for adults. 27-28 Jul

Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park

Celebrate the first anniversary of the London 2012 Games with three days of world-class althletics. The first two days will see Olympic champions, including Usain Bolt, return to the stadium for the British Athletics Grand Prix, while Sunday is reserved for 2012′s Paralympic stars. Tickets start from £43. 26-28 Jul

Buckingham Palace Summer Opening

What better year to visit the iconic Buckingham Palace than 2013, the 60th anniversary of The Queen’s coronation? You’ll see The Queen’s Coronation 1953 exhibition, as well as priceless historic items from the Royal Collection, including clothing, jewellery, art, sculpture and furniture. Tickets are £19 for adults. Until 29 Sep

The New Fourth Plinth Sculpture, Trafalgar Square

Unveiled this Thursday, the Hahn / Cock sculpture by artist Katharina Fritsch will be an unmistakeable addition to Trafalgar Square. The renowned German artist’s 15ft high blue chicken will replace the current sculpture of a boy on a rocking horse, which has been in place on the fourth plinth for a year. Commissioned by the Mayor of London as part of the UK’s most high profile contemporary art prize, the sculpture will remain in place for 18 months – check it out and let us know what you think in the comments!

Grey Goose Edible Art Class

From lickable life drawing to edible painting-by-numbers, this expert class will guide you through an introduction to art and edible expression using all the senses. Master the art of chocolate model-making or try your hand at edible life drawing, and indulge your creative side in a night of sensory fun with specially created Grey Goose cocktails. Visit the website for ticket prices and more details. 27 Jul

More London events

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London Video of the Week: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – 50 Days to Go Fri, 07 Jun 2013 14:23:34 +0000

To mark 50 days until the one-year anniversary of the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony on 27 July, the London Legacy Development Corporation has released this time-lapse video of work going on behind the scenes at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The north section of the park will reopen to the public this summer, with a variety of music and sports events, including the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games. The park will offer world-class sporting facilities, parklands and more. Find out more at

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What’s On This Weekend. 29 March – 1 April 2013 Mon, 25 Mar 2013 09:00:36 +0000 It’s a long weekend thanks to the Easter bank holidays, meaning that there’s even more to do in London than usual. A selection of great options is below, and you can check out our Easter Weekend page for more ideas.

The BNY Mellon Boat Race

Watch the thrilling race between Oxford and Cambridge universities on the river Thames. The BNY Mellon Boat Race is one of the world’s most famous sporting competitions and sees two teams of eight rowers competing over the Championship Course between Putney and Mortlake. It’s free to watch this exciting annual event, and as well as standing on the riverbank, you can enjoy special celebratory events in Bishops Park and Furnival Gardens. 4.30pm, 31 Mar

Sacred Tarts at Barts, Smithfield

Enjoy alternative Easter treats at Barts Pathology Museum, which is hosting a special pop-up cake shop on Saturday. Taking place from 11am to 7pm, Sacred Tarts is a Christian-themed cake shop and show which offers topical confections such as cake popes, cupcake saints and stigmata cookies. You can also enjoy a holy spirit or two from the Miracle Messiah bar. 30 Mar

The Harlem Globetrotters at Wembley Arena

Basketball legends the Harlem Globetrotters are bringing their family show to Wembley Arena this Saturday as part of the “You Write The Rules” tour. The brand new team, which includes their first female player for two decades, will be demonstrating their skills and entertaining the audience with amazing tricks. Tickets start from £14.25. 30 Mar

The Wandsworth Common Beer Festival

Head to the magnificently eerie Royal Victoria Patriotic Building by Wandsworth Common for one of London’s most popular beer festivals. You can sample more than 120 real ales here, alongside a variety of ciders, perries and English wines. Food and live music are also on offer, and tickets are £4. 27-31 Mar

Park in Progress Tour at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Take a peek behind the scenes of the Olympic Park transformation on this fascinating tour. Not only will you get an exclusive insight into what the future holds for the site, but you will also take a trip up the ArcelorMittal Orbit, from where you’ll have a great view over London. Tickets start from £15. 29 Mar – 6 May

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London Video of the Week: London’s Next Big Thing Fri, 22 Mar 2013 17:23:35 +0000

If you were inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, here’s a video to remind you of all the excitement. But it doesn’t end here – there’s a host of fantastic new major events coming up at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and across the capital. Find out more at

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Things to Look Forward to This Year Sat, 12 Jan 2013 10:30:22 +0000 The tallest building in Europe... almost. Photo: The View from The Shard

Last year set the bar pretty high for events and attractions in London, but 2013 is shaping up to be just as exciting. Here are some highlights you can’t miss this year.

View from the Shard

When? From 1 February

What? The opening of the Shard – that spiky new building that you can see from all over London. You can visit the viewing deck on the (deep breath) 69th floor, where digital telescopes will fill you in on the various parts of London you can gaze at.

Why? It was Europe’s tallest building, until November last year when a tower in Russia inched ahead. But height isn’t everything – the Shard is iconic and will give you giddy views of the city from 40 miles around. If you’re feeling brave, head up to the 72nd floor – it’s partly open air and the highest point you can access.

New London Dungeon

When? From 1 March

What? The London Dungeon is moving to a new home at County Hall, due to building work at London Bridge station.

Why? The move to the South Bank means a refreshed and more scary dungeon – there are 18 new spine-tingling shows to watch, and a virtual 3D Brian Blessed will sentence you to death as Henry VIII.

The Coronation Festival

When? 11-14 July

What? Dust off that bunting from the Diamond Jubilee, it’s the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s coronation, which happened a year after she became Queen. To celebrate, Buckingham Palace is hosting an exhibition featuring more than 200 companies who hold Royal Warrants of Appointment – the mark of recognition for companies who have supplied goods or services to the royal family. There will also be two evening galas celebrating music throughout Her Majesty’s rein.

Why? The goods on show will be the best of British – officially. And it’s in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, need we say more?


When? 3-4 August

What? A brand new cycling festival through the streets of London. RideLondon is made up of three events: a 100-mile road challenge beginning in the Olympic Park, a family fun ride around London landmarks for up to 70,000 cyclists and a city centre grand prix for women’s elite, junior cyclists and hand cycles.

Why? After Bradley Wiggins rode to glory in the Tour de France and then won the Olympic time trial, the appetite for cycling in London is huge – 50,000 people have registered for only 20,000 places in the road challenge.

What are you looking forward to this year? Let us know below.


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Five Things to Spot on Olympic Park Tours Fri, 23 Nov 2012 11:37:01 +0000

The Games might be over but there’s still plenty going on in the Olympic Park.

Free bus tours began this week, offering a great chance to witness the park’s £292 million transformation into a new cultural hub and green space for London, before it reopens in phases from summer 2013. Here are some top things to spot on the trip:

1. Dismantling the Venues

The park is currently a huge construction site – or, more correctly, a deconstruction site. The world’s largest McDonald’s has been dismantled, as has the Riverbank Arena where Olympic hockey was played. On the bus tours you’ll be able to spot temporary venues being removed as well as athletes’ training centres, security areas and temporary seating stands or “wings” being taken to pieces. 

2. South Park Plaza

The area around the distinctive red ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture is being transformed into an urban park the size of 16 football pitches. When it’s finished, the new South Park Plaza will boast fountains, a climbing wall, a 12-metre wide tree-lined boulevard and “garden rooms” created by planting designer Piet Oudolf. During the Games, this space was the first part of the park most visitors saw after entering through the Stratford entrance.

3. Planting the Park

It was already a park to begin with, but over the next year or so the amount of open space in the Park will be doubled to a whopping 252 acres. The planting project includes 4,300 semi-mature trees, over 100,000 new shrubs and almost one million bulbs, which will all be watered by a park-wide water system. Even today the park has plenty of wildlife – you could see swans, ducks, cormorants and coots.

4. The First Neighbourhood

The Basketball Arena is one of the largest temporary Olympic venues ever built, and will be deconstructed between now and next autumn. The entire building can be recycled – from the seating to the floor – and some parts will head over to Brazil to be used at the Rio 2016 Games. Once the area is cleared it will be the site for the first new housing neighbourhood in the park, Chobham Manor.

5. The Stadium

Of course, no trip to the park would be complete without a glimpse of the iconic Olympic Stadium where athletes like Usain Bolt sped to victory this summer.

Tours run on Wednesdays, Thursdays and some weekends, until the Park begins to open in phases from July 2013. To book, email or call 0800 023 2030.

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In Pictures: A Walk Around the Olympic Park Mon, 03 Sep 2012 11:55:44 +0000 Olympic Stadium and the Orbit Royal barge Gloriana Run sculpture in the Olympic Park Velodrome Big screen in the Olympic Park Velodrome View of the Olympic Stadium and the Orbit View of the Velodrome Olympic Stadium

As well as the thrilling Paralympic action, there was plenty going on around the Olympic Park when I visited for the first time yesterday. I was impressed by the architecture and landscaping, pop-up performances and art installations.

Do you have any great pictures of the Park? If so, make sure you add them to the Visit London Flickr pool.

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Olympic Closing Ceremony Highlights Mon, 13 Aug 2012 11:19:00 +0000
Last night saw the London 2012 Olympic Games end in style with a celebration of music, sporting achievement and the fellowship of the Olympic community. I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling mixed emotions at the end of such an amazing time in London’s life.

The show opened with a set featuring iconic London landmarks. I spotted:

This section was accompanied by artists from top West End show, Stomp.

We were then treated to a journey through British music with a focus on artists from the last 50 years including The Kinks, George Michael, Queen, Tinie Tempah, Jessie J, Kaiser Chiefs, Liam Gallagher, Take That and The Who. You can explore the rich tradition of British pop music at the British Music Experience or revel in Queen’s music at We Will Rock You!

The Spice Girls’ performance proved particularly popular and fans can look forward to a brand new musical – Viva Forever – premiering in London in November.

The ceremony also celebrated fashion with appearance of top British models including Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell. You can find many top British designers in London along with some of the world best shopping districts. Fashionistas should also head to the V&A and Fashion and Textile Museum.

There was an injection of comedy with Eric Idle’s rendition of ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’. You can enjoy this and other Monty Python classics in popular musical, Spamalot.

The Olympic flag was passed to Rio ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games and London’s Olympic Cauldron extinguished in a dance sequence starring Darcey Bussell. You can discover more about the cauldron at the current Thomas Heatherwick exhibition.

The athletes thoroughly enjoyed the show and Team GB were celebrating their success. I can’t wait to join them for the Our Greatest Team victory parade in London on 10 September.

Now eyes turn to the London 2012 Paralympic Games from 29 August until 9 September, which promise to be another impressive display of sporting prowess and courage. Beyond that I look forward to the legacy of London 2012.

What was your favourite moment of the London 2012 Olympic Games?

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Video: London’s Olympic Park in LEGO Sat, 04 Aug 2012 15:30:47 +0000

We love this replica of the Olympic Park made from LEGO!

You’ll find this faithful reproduction (even down to the wild flowers!) at Visit Denmark’s “Imagination” exhibition, open until the 12 August at St Katharine Docks.

Other highlights of the Imagine Denmark exhibition include a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale world, more LEGO activities and a special visit to the docks by the Vikings complete with five Viking boats. Imagine Denmark is one of the many National Olympic houses open in London for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Read about more about the National Houses here

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