The Book Club Basecamp
ELLEuk favourite the Book Club over in Shoreditch are hosting their brilliant Book Club Basecamp this summer. Taking over a huge outdoor car park in Leonard Street for the entire Olympic period, as well as all-day screenings they'll be hosting their own fun take on sporting events, with the Social Athletics Club doubles tournaments of King Pong, then later, after a few rounds of ales from London Fields Brewery, a beer pong Slam Jam. There’ll also be basketball, croquet, and the chance to refuel from the delicious bistro-style menu, served up by the guys at Street Kitchen. We’ll see you there.
Address: 100 Leonard Street, EC2A 4RH; Wearetbc.com.
Jimmy’s Supper Club
The fact the world’s eyes will be watching Stratford next week has been a catalyst for the regeneration of the area. Suddenly it’s a hot spot for eateries, and few are hotter than Jimmy’s Supper Club. The warehouse-style restaurant will be hosting an opening ceremony champagne reception as well as serving up typically British fare. Given its location - literally 100 metres away from the main site - you can watch the Olympics on the huge screens they’ve put up, and hear the actual roar of the crowds. Needless to say, the atmosphere is going to be electric.
Address: Jimmy’s At Annex East, 2 Hutchins Close, London Borough of Newham, London, E15
Camden Beach at the Roundhouse
With the non-existent summer we seem to be stuck in, the Roundhouse have decided to take matters into their own hands with the Camden Beach. They’ve shipped in 150 tonnes of sand, filled it with deckchairs and created their very own margarita shack, Tiki hut and barbecue. You’ll be able to kick back with an ice cream and watch the Olympics from the comfort of your own beach. Perfect.
Address: Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8EH; Roundhouse.org.uk.
To celebrate the Olympics, BT London Live is hosting live screenings in three festival sites, Hyde Park, Victoria Park and Trafalgar Square. So, even if you won’t be in the Olympic stadium itself, you can join the throngs of crowds cheering on the athletes, pack up a picnic and get in on the action. The screenings run from July 27th - August 12th and are totally free with plenty of live music, cultural performances and exhibitions dotted about the venues. They're also hosting an opening and closing celebration party in Hyde Park, and if you get in really quick, you can bag a ticket. Prices start at around £60 to watch Duran Duran, Stereophonics and Snow Patrol headline the opening party and to watch Blur play at the closing ceremony.
Address: London W2 2UH; Ticketmaster.co.uk.
Last Mile Festival
Despite having a slightly dubious name, the London Pleasure Gardens is set to be an absolutely brilliant place to watch the Olympics in London this summer. The Last Mile festival will open its doors on July 28th with a grand opening weekend and continue its festivities and live coverage screenings right up until the end of the Paralympics on September 8th. There’ll be endless live music, from everyone from Ska band the Dualers, to the ten-piece East Park Reggae Collective, to DJ sets from the Hackney Colliery Band. As well as cabaret, live acrobatics (including Duchamp Pilot and 13 aerialists), there are ticketed side events for flamenco, poetry, a teeny Ministry of Sound and a travelling cinema. There’ll also be a vintage fun fair, boutique market stalls and plenty of good food (you’ll probably find us at the Oyster grotto...) The best thing, though? It’s completely free. All in all, if you haven’t got tickets to the games themselves, then get yourself to the festival, it’s definitely the next best thing.
Address: London Pleasure Gardens, North Woolwich Road, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 2BS; Londonpleasuregardens.com.
Like the fact that most of our pick of places to watch the Olympics are free? For more ideas, check out our pick of free things to do in London this summer.