A great day out and about doing some of the best things in London. It started at Celebration Avenue near the Olympic Park (the address turned out to be quite hard to find) where we met a guide, Nick Edwards, who took a small group of us on an Olympic Legacy walking tour.
The tour started in what was, in 2012, the athlete’s village and has now become housing. It’s fascinating to be able to see the small architectural details that are added to building when they are funded publicly. On a lovely sunny morning we toured some of the more recent developments and, around lunchtime, through the park itself to the Here East, which was the media centre but has transformed itself into an innovation and technology campus.
One the the highlights was getting to go onto the roof terrace of an, as yet, unoccupied residential buildings to look over the whole of the area that was regenerated as part of the Olympic bid. There’s still plenty to do - even after 10 years - but it continues to morph into a vibrant area. I learned that the people behind Madison Square Gardens are proposing to build a new entertainment venue, The Sphere, on an undeveloped site in the heart of Stratford by the station. The site they are proposing to use was last used as a coach park during the 2012 games.
As the tour finished by the aquatic centre we looked for a lunch stop and decided up Haugen which is a newish wooden builder at one of the entrances to the park. It markets itself as a Swiss Restaurant and, sat outside, the open sandwiches were lovely. After lunch we headed back into central London and stopped in the shade of Russell Square before meeting Phil at the British Museum to visit The world of Stonehenge exhibition. There was a lot less about Stonehenge than I imagined but it was, nonetheless, interesting. The blurb says the exhibition highlights that “the Britain and Ireland of four millennia ago were places of big ideas, commerce and travel”.
Finally, Phil has booked Upstairs At The George for 7pm. It’s a restaurant above a pub run by a chef who has run Michelin star venues before. It styles itself as ‘the best of British’ and even English wines on the menu. The whole experience, from the venue to the attentive staff and the delicious food was a lovely way to end a brilliant day.
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