If you think that watching someone chuck a spear is the height of human endeavour then you’ve either missed the last 5,000 years of civilisation or you’re an Olympics fan.
The quadrennial hotchpotch of school sports day events is back, albeit delayed a year coz ‘rona, and Tokyo is in the midst of one of the strangest Olympics ever. The Japanese capital is currently in a state of emergency lockdown, spectators for the games are banned and the chances of them going ahead at all appears to be on a constant knife-edge. As it stands they are on and the shot-putting, bow-n-arrowing and running away from things will kick off in earnest this Friday at midday UK time (8pm Japan time).
Following on from the success of the Wimbledon tennis screenings at Belgravia’s Eccleston Yards, the space is about to switch to Olympic coverage.
Starting with the opening ceremony, the big moments of the games will be shown on the big screen, best enjoyed from one of the square’s deck chairs with a glass of something cold in hand.
Luckily, spectators can make use of the exclusive Moët & Chandon pop-up bar in the courtyard, which will be serving champagne and cocktails between 4pm and 9pm every Thursday and Friday (midnight and 5am Japan time…) and 2pm and 6pm on Saturdays and Sundays (10pm and 2am in Tokyo).
Where: Eccleston Place, Belgravia, SW1W 9AZ
Westfield Fan Zone
You’re not a real fan of a sport until you’ve pilgrimaged to to a destination shopping centre to experience a ‘fan zone’. Apparently.
The ‘zone’ at Westfield includes a special track for children (they can event train with an actual Olympian), a 40-metre climbing wall, an installation by Wattbike with virtual cycle races against a robot and, most importantly, a bar and an ice cream truck.
The fan zone will be opened by double Olympic medal winner and javelin world champion Fatima Whitbread MBE before the opening ceremony and the free-to-enter zone will be screening the games on a pop-up screen.
Where: Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GF
The outside space at the Bluebird is transforming from a Fever Tree sponsored tennis terrace to the home of all things Lillet (the vermouth people, not the tampons) just in time for the Olympics.
The terrace is kitted-out with big screens and a host of Lillet based cocktail options along with dishes from the restaurant’s summer menu.
Where: 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU
Nearly a decade ago and yet still fresh in the memory, the 2012 London Olympics were a national moment like few others.
Now you can return to the spot where it all happened, from Usain Bolt’s 100m record to Her Majesty The Queen parachuting from an overhead helicopter, to watch the 2021 games.
Set in the former Olympic Park, the summer screen will show a programme of cinema, sports and community-focused screenings. Including, of course, the Olympics.
Where: The Spark, International Quarter, Stratford, E20 1JN
Well duh! If there’s one place that’ll be showing the Olympics in Japan it’ll be Japan Centre!
Between Friday 23 July and Sunday 8 August, head down to Japan Centre and catch live screenings of all the games.
While you’re there, grab fresh hand made sushi, bento, chicken katsu curries and ramen.
Where: 35b Panton Street, Leicester Square, SW1Y 4EA
From being the place that makes the telly, Television Centre is now the place to go to watch it! That’s thanks to pop-up bar and BBQists Solar Pergola.
Fresh from the team that brought us Belgravia’s Pantechnicon and they’ve created this new al-fresco terrace at Television Centre just in time for the sporting action this summer and ideal for supporting Team GB.
The set-up is also perfect for takeaways from nearby Kricket, Flying Horse Coffee, Patty & Bun and Bluebird White City.
WHERE: TELEVISION CENTRE FORECOURT, 1 WOOD LANE, WHITE CITY, W12 7FA