Sochi Park in South Kensington
One of the great things about the Olympics is that it doesn’t only focus on the British culture, but also allows visitors and natives alike to explore the culture of others.
One of those determined to draw attention to their culture are the Russians, who are not about to let people forget about the forthcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014, by setting up a special exhibition called Sochi Park in South Kensington. This allows visitors to delve deep into the Russian culture, giving them a taste of the winter events to come; not to mention they get to experience the winter in the middle of summer!
The impressive 6000 sq. metre pavilion allows visitors to see the mountain range in 4D, making you feel as if you are actually there. Furthermore, and best of all, visitors get to taste traditional Russian food as well as drink after their experience; and if that wasn’t enough, you’ll get to see the rather cute Sochi 2014 mascot, Misha.
Not to forget, there is an ice rink located nearby to enhance the experience, with performances from the best Russian athletes from the recent years. However for this you will need tickets which you can get from here.
Watch out for one little detail though; on entrance to the park, your phone may switch to Russian time, which if unnoticed could cause some havoc; and of course as you leave it may not change back, so make sure you keep that in check!
Located conveniently in Kensington Gardens, right opposite the Royal Albert Hall, the Pavilion is easily reachable for the many Londoners who will not have had the chance to get a taste of the great Russian culture.
To carry on your day out, in true Russian style, a visit to one of London’s few Russian restaurants is essential. Nikita’s Bar & Restaurant offers great food along with a fun atmosphere down in Earl’s Court, or Assorti in Canary Wharf gives you a taste of Russia without the expensive price tag.
If you are after some Rouski nightlife, head over to the Kingsland Road in Dalston, where you’ll find a little Russian-themed DJ bar, surprisingly called the Russian Bar. Not only cheap, but with good music and great atmosphere, it’s the perfect, humble bit of Russian culture in London.
Furthermore, those who have heard of the Russian Tea Rooms concept should head down to a little cafe next to Regents Park called Trojka. The food served is traditionally Russian, as is the vodka, and there’s a range of Russian products to take home for yourself. Well located next to Chalk Farm tube station, it is easy to reach and is another place to enjoy the Russian culture.
It is all well worth visiting if you have spare time, and is something you won’t do that often while living in London.