Best of the rest



Home from Rome
Casa Italia will be situated at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre just off Parliament Square and will bring a little taste of Italy to London’s political quarter.

The ground, first, second and fifth floors of the Centre will be open to the public.

Live shows will be staged in the ground floor auditorium over lunch on most days, while the first floor will house an area dedicated to the sponsors (Casa Italia is the only place in the UK where fashionistas will be able to get their hands on official Armani EA7 Olympic merchandise).

The Second Floor has been transformed into the Italian Experience with food and wine tastings from the regions and displays on sustainability, while the fifth floor will feature the an Italian photographic exhibition, Italy and the Italians, with snapshots of life in Italy as captured over the decades by Magnum photographers.

Venue: Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre
Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, London SW1P 3EE

Dates: From 26 July-12 August

Opening Hours: 12.00-20.00

Admission: free


Some Olympic Houses will be exclusively for sponsors, athletes, the media and VIPs.

The Canadian delegation will be based at the newly-refurbished Canada House on Trafalgar Square.

China’s first-ever House is at the Waldorf Hilton London and features exhibitions commemorating 40 years of UK-Chinese diplomatic ties and China’s Olympic story.

Georgia is based at 45 Millbank and will stage some invitation-only events but there may be some public events too.

Japan has chosen 4 Hamilton Place – part of the promotion will focus on Tokyo’s bid to land the 2020 Olympics.

Doha is another 2020 Olympic hopeful so Qatar House at Savoy Place will offer a Qatari experience, with a souk, majlis, music, performances, art and culture. The house will also highlight the progress the Gulf nation has made in sports development, particularly among women. This is the first year that Qatari women will be participating in the Games.

Romania will use 30 Pavilion Road, a splendid Georgian townhouse in Knightsbridge, as their hospitality base for VIPs, sponsors and athletes.

Slovak House will take over the Institute of Directors where a range of events will be held, including a cooking show with Slovak chef Marcel Ihnačák (formerly of Pied-a Terre and Fifteen) and a promotional event for Košice, European Capital of Culture 2013.

The USA has picked the Royal College of Art as their House, but it’s a chill zone just for athletes and sponsors and VIPs.

Above and below: Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre