The Olympics have arrived. Huzzah! Most Londoners have been grimly anticipating it, with many leaving, and others staying at home. I was looking forward to it, despite not managing to get any tickets. It is the only sporting event which I have any interest in, especially now that it has come to London.
How to get there though? The Olympics ticket site is like the seventh circle of hell. Such a tease. You get tickets, you add to your basket, you think you’re about to buy (HOORAY!) and then… you are put in an endless queue, where each and every time, I have lost my tickets. I despair.
Never mind, there is lots of other stuff going on and I plan to see what I can. I loved the opening ceremony, utterly bonkers and eccentric, everything it should have been. I went along to see the bike race towards the end on Saturday. On Sunday, I went to Stratford.
Yes, Stratford! Although hold tight, I didn’t get a ticket. I went instead to the Global Feast. An Olympics fringe dining event, organised by Atmos & Latitudinal Cuisine, and curated by Ms Marmite Lover at the Old Stratford Town Hall. Each night a menu is served by supper club hosts serving cuisines from around the globe, by latitude, supper club style. The meal is served on a quirky table that is a designed from a map of the countours of the world, designed by Atmos and all housed in a marquee on the Town Hall grounds.
I went on the Africa night, with a menu from Arno Maasdorp of the Saltoun Supper Club. Starting with a cocktail of red berries and cognac, several canapés were served, my favourite were the meatballs in a cone. The springbok carpaccio was delicious and tender but the leaf it was served in was too bitter and dominating a contrast for me.
On then to the dinner, we took our places somewhere in Polynesia and started with a bright and fresh sunshine salad. The main course was a bobotie, a classic South African dish and a twist on shepherd’s pie (I only now realise why I have been working on a keema shepherd’s pie recipe this week!). This was superb, and was served with vegetable sosaties (kebabs) from the braai, herb salad and sultana puree.
We finished with a selection of lovely puddings, malva pudding, granadilla curd and melktert cream. I am starting to wonder if I am developing a sweet tooth as I age. I really liked these, none were too intense and all were light. I cleared my plate, which at dessert, for me, is unusual.
There was live music after the main course from provided by Lanré, a Nigerian singer-songwriter and The Venus Bushfires who sang accompanied by a beautiful and very unusual metal drum.
So, for the ticketless, like me, there is an Olympic experience you can indulge in near the games. It runs for 20 nights from Wednesday 25th July – Monday 13th August. Full details are on the Global Feast site. Tickets are £45 incl drinks, £55 at the weekend.
Excuse me while I head back and repeatedly hit refresh on the frustrating and annoying Olympics ticketing site. Wish me luck!
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of Global Feast.