Top city venues have been given over to competing nations so that they can inform and educate the people of London about their culture. Each of these National Houses will be equipped with giant screens so that visitors need not miss any of the games. Parties are planned; celebrity chefs in place and famous sporting and entertainment faces look set to attend to support their nation to boost both trade and tourism to their distant shores. Many of these houses are open to the public for the duration of the games.
Austria – At Trinity House, Tower Hill, Mayfair
The Austrians are following a winter theme in their location overlooking the Tower of London. There is a marquee in place in front of Trinity House into which the public are invited. The Austrians have installed an Alpine Garden and an ice bar to their Hospitality House as well as drifts of fake snow.
Belgium – Inner Temple, Holborn
The Belgian contingent has secured one of the most historic buildings in the city as their Hospitality House. Over eleven thousand visitors are expected to visit the Belgian House including members of the Belgian Royal Family.
Croatia – Pelham Hotel, South Kensington
Every room at the hotel, all 58 of them have been booked by the Croatian contingent who will be in attendance for 22 days. Considering that the minimum room price at the Pelham is more than an average Croatian’s take home pay every month, they must be hopeful of doing well in the medal table and boosting tourism to their homeland.
Czech Republic – Business Design Centre, Islington
The Czech contingent are hoping to promote their culture by offering a range of daily attractions and exhibitions and are utilising some UK based Czech sportsmen such as footballers Petr Cech and Tomas Rosicky.
Denmark – St Katherine Docks, Tower Hamlets
‘Imagine Denmark’ is filled with events during the games, including an authentic Viking ship! There will be lots of food and drink available too including demonstrations from some of the world’s top chefs.
France – Old Billingsgate Market
The market will be filled with pop up French restaurants, bars and boutiques, bringing a little piece of Paris into the City of London. They will be open to the public every day so that everyone can get a taste of France by the side of the Thames.
Germany – the Museum of London, Tower Hamlets
The Fan Fest area of the ‘Deutches Haus’ has been turned into something of Bavarian Beer Festival venue, where visitors can enjoy German Beers and as much bratwurst and pretzels as they can eat.
Holland – Alexandra Palace, Wood Green
If you visit any of the Hospitality Houses make sure it’s this one, it looks set to be the most fun of all with a festival atmosphere and flowing beer.
Ireland – The Big Chill House, Spitalfields
Visitors will be walking into one large celebration of everything Irish; live music and comedians as well as roof top barbeques and plenty of Guinness.
Italy – Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster
Welcome to Casa Italia – food, wine, cars and beautiful models are all on display here as well as some amazing food and drink.
Russia – Perks Field, Kensington Gardens
Traditional folk music and dance as well as a range of sporting activities await visitors to this Hospitality House. However there is a charge for entry and for the activities.