The Five Most Intriguing Pop-Up Venues For London 2012

A rash of new pop-up venues have appeared in London to coincide with the London 2012 Olympic Games – some offer dining experiences, while others give you the whole 9 yards – a bar, big screen and so on. Here’s a rundown of some of the more interesting offerings:

  • Global Feast 2012 – taking over Stratford’s Old Town Hall just minutes away from the Olympic Park, Global Feast 2012 will offer 20 nights of culinary delights from around the world to 80 guests. Their piece de resistance is the dining table itself – patrons will sit around a brilliantly conceived map of the world. On each successive night the table will move to the next timezone and introduce a new chef, starting off tonight with Chris Massamba and his West African offering, finishing on Monday 13 August with Kym Kamel and a Brazilian night representing the South American continent. Tickets are £55 per person and include a welcome cocktail, canapes, a three-course meal and an entertainment appropriate for the region that guests will be visiting. You can find more details and tickets online here.
  • For the ridiculously well-heeled there’s The Retreat – from 27 July for 17 days this five-roomed hospitality venue based in an old brewery on Chiswell St in the City will offer lots of diversions to those with cash to splash. The Park is their open-air relaxing area while the British Diner will provide breakfast, lunch, a dinner and of course, afternoon tea. There’s also a chic cinema room where you can watch the Olympic activities, the ‘Country Club’, their bar and Backstage, where there will be live entertainments and dancing until the early hours. The catch? A one day membership will set you back £294 while a membership for the duration is an eye-watering £3K! Now you know where the owners of those super-yachts can be found when they’re not lounging on their sundecks…
  • Roof-tops seem to be a popular choice for pop-up venues and we have two for you – the first is Frank’s Café and Campari Pop-up Bar over in Peckham. Frank’s can be found on the tenth floor of an old carpark, and the venue is open from 12 until 11pm every day. Take time to wander around the four floors below this penthouse pop-up because it will be home to the Bold Tendencies art project – a showcase for new art and sculpture from across the world. Entry is a steal at zero pounds and zero pence and their cocktails are only a fiver, so if you’re an art-lover but a little cash-poor then Frank’s is probably the place to be. There’s also wholesome and reasonably priced food on offer from 12 until 2:30pm and 6pm until 10pm each day. I’ll be heading over there during the Olympics and I’ll be feeding back with an update to this post at a later date with my impressions, of both the cocktails and the art!
  • Over in increasingly trendy Dalston, there’s the Dalston Roof Park pop-up garden and bar. They will be featuring small productions from the lovely Arcola Theatre just down the road, hosting outdoor movie nights and live music. The bar opens at 5pm and apparently the highlight of the venue is their frozen margherita machine – all the better in this hot weather. The Dalston Roof Park has a nominal membership fee to gain entry – this helps to support the local Bootstrap Charity whose aims are promote the social, physical and economic environment of the people of Dalston and Hackney. It sounds good!
  • Another venue close to the Olympic Park is the Fringe- based out of a warehouse conversion on Swan Wharf overlooking the Olympic Park, this multi-function venue has several restaurants, bars and lounges and also offers workspaces and free wi-fi. If you’re able to do some mobile working but want to stay close to the action this sounds ideal – there are also big screens around so that you can keep an eye on all the activities just 200 metres away. Again this one’s a bit pricey though, with memberships set at £75 and £50 per day, with an after-hours price of £35.
global feast 2012 london olympics stratford old town hall

Part of the ‘world map’ @ Global Feast 2012 in Stratford Old Town Hall