With just a week left to go until the final curtain lifts on the London 2012 Olympics, thousands of people will be planning their trips to watch the sporting events – so there will be lots of hungry people around.
Although the venues themselves will have catering for visitors, we know that many will want to make a real day of things, perhaps rounding off with a nice meal at a nearby restaurant. So, we’ve come up with a few ideas for restaurants within easy reach of some of the Olympic venues.
Restaurants near Greenwich Park
The Olympic home for equestrian events, Greenwich Park covers 183 acres and is just 20 minutes from central London.
Davy’s Wine Vaults located right next Greenwich Railway Station on Greenwich High Road, Davy’s Wine Vaults is a traditional wine bar with sloping floors and lots of character. There is a hearty choice of English fare with main courses from around £13.
Bianco 43 is the Greenwich based route to a true taste of Italy and they boast at a custom-made Neapolitan wood-fired oven for preparing the celebrated range of pizzas. Main courses from around £10.
Restaurants near Eton Dorney
Acclaimed as one of the finest rowing venues in the world, Eton Dorney in Windsor will be staging the canoe sprint and rowing events.
Thai Square is a stunningly designed restaurant, situated opposite Windsor Castle. Dining is on two levels with a large conservatory area and garden seating on a delightful outdoor terrace.
Restaurants near Olympic Park
The transformation of an area of East London to create Olympic Park has created a green space for locals to enjoy for years to come and is the location for events taking place at the Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre, the Basketball Arena, the Velodrome, the BMX track, the Water Polo Arena, Eton Manor, and the Copper Box.
The Cow, Westfield is a traditional British pub, handily located right the Olympic Stadium. On the menu are a range of classic pub dishes, with an international twist. Main courses from around £11.
The Real Greek – Westfield Stratford City serving sumptuous Mediterranean cuisine, The Real Greek is set within the shopping centre development overlooking Olympic Park and blends retro charm with a gritty urban edge. Main courses from around £8.
Can you believe that British folk sup their way through 165 million cups of tea every day? In fact, despite the high street chic of coffee, apparently, we still drink more than twice as much tea as coffee.
Of course, the Chinese have been drinking it for centuries – the story goes that the delights of tea drinking were an unexpected discovery made by Chinese Emperor and herbalist Shen Nung, when some tea leaves fell into his boiling cauldron; he tasted the brew and the rest is history. It reached our shores in the mid 1600s at a time when coffee drinking was already popular and once it became affordable to the masses, it took off in a big way.
While tea aficionados get a bit sniffy about tea bags, they now account for about 96% of the tea we drink. There’s an understandable popularity about them because they’re so quick and convenient, but the flavour truly is a world away from some of the finest loose leaf teas that are now quite easily available from specialist importers. We’re currently working our way through the delights of some first flush Darjeeling black tea and a divine white tea with an incredibly delicate flavour, so we know first hand that compared to a standard tea bag brew, it’s like comparing chalk and cheese!
The tradition of taking ‘Afternoon tea’ is credited to the wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford, Anna Maria, who was allegedly partial to a cup of tea and a bite to eat during the mid afternoon to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner and the habit was copied and adopted as a social occasion by many other ladies of the era. It became synonymous with drinking tea from the finest china cups, accompanies by dainty portions of food such as sandwiches, scones and cakes presented on beautiful crockery.
If you want to get fancy about your tea, a proper afternoon tea is an event to be savoured even today and is a perfect way to while away an afternoon after some retail therapy (especially if you go the whole hog and splash out on a champagne afternoon tea!)
Top places for afternoon tea in London
Afternoon tea at the Waldorf Hilton with its historic pedigree, this has to be one of the most prestigious places to head for afternoon tea in London. And there’s no telling who you might be in the company of – all sorts of stars have passed through their doors over the years, Gertrude Lawrence, Elizabeth Taylor, Pavarotti, Pierce Brosnan, the list goes on…
Afternoon tea at the Goring the famous hotel that achieved glittering status when it was selected as the base for the Middleton family wedding party before the Royal Wedding in 2011. For a taste of the ambiance you can tuck into a traditional afternoon tea in Garden Bar and Terrace.
Afternoon tea at Curve restaurant bar– with the afternoon tea for 2 for £30 offer they have at the moment, this is a good one for the budget conscious to enjoy a bit of indulgence whilst overlooking the waterfront at Canary Wharf and there’s even a glass of champagne thrown in.
More afternoon tea offers for London and the UK
If you’ve ever wanted to cook world class Indian cuisine, the New Year could be your big chance to learn at one of the UK’s leading Michelin starred restaurants.
In 2012, Atul Kochhar is opening the Benares kitchen to guests keen to find out more about his culinary secrets.
During a special masterclass, guests will have a unique and in depth lesson about Indian cooking which will reveal some of the secrets to Atul’s delicately spiced dishes, so they can then create some for themselves.
The masterclass concludes with a meal at Benares and guests will also receive a signed copy of Atul’s cookbook, Fish, Indian Style, as well as some other complimentary gifts.
The classes will run on Sundays, from 9.30am on 22nd January, 18th March, 20th May and 16th September. There is a maximum of 10 people per class, priced at £350 per person. Bookings can be made by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and further details are available from Benares Restaurant.
We’ve been lucky enough to see Atul Kochhar at work in the kitchen before and can testify how exciting his food creations are! Of course, if you just want to eat the delicious food at Benares, tables can be booked online.