Our London 2012 Experience with BMWWhen I filled out an app on ParkatmyHouse.com's Facebook wall, I did not think for one second that I would end up winning a VIP Olympic weekend to London for two, as guests of BMW...but that is exactly what happened! The package included two nights at the Four Seasons Hotel in Canary Wharf, a morning at Wentworth Park Country Club, tickets to the Beach Volleyball, dinner at the Roux Restaurant, tickets to the Athletics including the Men's 100m final, a host of official Olympic merchandise and all the food, drink and transport required. An unbelievable package by anyone's standards!! Ella was chuffed to be my guest (while my fabulous husband held the fort back home) as we set off to London on Saturday morning to experience first hand the excitement of the Olympics Games!
As we arrived at Euston Station we were met by a BMW chauffeur who drove us to the Four Seasons Hotel at Canary Wharf. BMW had taken over the entire hotel for the duration of the Olympics and it was teeming with BMW employees from across the world who were all invited to attend. We were given details of which group we were part of and we joined the Italian group on their weekend of ultimate corporate hospitality. We were also given a bundle of fantastic official BMW and Olympic merchandise including coats, rucksacks, caps, umbrellas and other goodies. After being shown to our amazing room, with its huge feature window with a view towards the city, we went down to the restaurant for our first meal of our weekend. All the food and drink we wanted was available to us 24/7. We enjoyed a delicious mushroom risotto, fruit salad, artisan bread and a selection of fancy desserts.
We had a bit of time before the first outing on our itinerary and enjoyed a couple of non-alcoholic cocktails in the lounge whilst watching the Olympic action on the big TVs that were set up for the event. Our coach arrived and we headed off to central London to enjoy some fine dining at The Roux restaurant at Parliament Square. At all times we were escorted by our two BMW hosts Becky and Doris who looked after us and lead us as a group to our destinations.
We had a private dining room at The Roux. Ella and I ended up seated with a group of non-English speaking Italian executive types which was a bit awkward! However, we enjoyed sampling the world of posh nosh Michel Roux style! As vegetarians we had different dishes to everyone else. I don't know if they forgot to prepare us a starter and had to hastily knock something up, but where the carnivores had a beautiful looking crab and caviar starter, we had some roughly chopped raw tomatoes in a bowl! Surely not an original Roux recipe?? The main of roasted artichoke and the chocolate cremosa dessert was however wonderful and presented exquisitely!
After our meal we walked to Horse Guard's Parade to attend our first Olympic event, the Beach Volleyball. It was a lovely walk and the weather was lovely, but like an idiot I had new shoes on which rubbed like hell leaving me hobbling...thank goodness for our BMW host and her stash of Compeed!
The Beach Volleyball arena was so impressive. The atmosphere in the place was very reminiscent of the American heritage of the sport. Lots of Mexican Waves, crowd participation with chanting and clapping, a troop of scantily clad dancers who came on between each break in play and lots of great music!
It was real entertainment and the crowd was fantastic. We had a group of Americans in front of us who were fans of the US men's team of Rosenthal and Gibbs. Watching their enthusiasm and the way they leaped to their feet dancing and cheering after every point was such fun! Both the American men's and women's teams won through to the final eight knocking out the Russian and Dutch teams.
While we were watching, news came through of Jessica Ennis winning gold and we enjoyed our first Team GB moment when the Brits in the crowd went wild! It was so moving. News of the 10,000m and long jump successes were also announced and were met with similar stamping, cheering, chanting and clapping! Amazing moments.
We got back to the hotel at midnight and with a 6am start planned for the next morning we hit our incredibly comfy beds in our very plush room straight away.
Part two to follow....