So with the Rugby World Cup just about to start next week Centurion is offering some help and advice on hotels, restaurants, nightlife and how to get to the cities picked to host the matches.
Eleven cities across England and Wales have been selected to host the Rugby World Cup 2015, and we've picked London Newham as our chosen place of interest. Work is currently underway to transform the former Olympic Stadium in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a year round multi-use venue that will deliver a lasting sporting, cultural and community legacy in east London. The 52,000 capacity stadium will reopen temporarily for five matches at Rugby World Cup in 2015, before opening permanently as the new home of West Ham United Football Club and national competition centre for UK Athletics in 2016.
If you're looking for places to stay, eat or go out, we've put together a short guide below to London Newham, to help celebrate the Rugby World Cup 2015.
Wednesday 23rd September - France v Romania - 20.00
Thursday 24th September - New Zealand v Namibia - 20.00
Sunday 4th October - Ireland v Italy - 16.45
Wednesday 7th October - South Africa v USA - 16.45
Friday 30th October - Loser SF1 v Loser SF2 - 20.00
Top places to stay
Premier Inn London Stratford (opposite the Olympic Park)
Located right opposite the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, this brand new Premier Inn is located right next to Stratford underground Station. The hotel is stylish and contemporary with colourful rooms boasting a flat-screen TV and high speed WiFi access. The Thyme Restaurant serves an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet each morning and there's also a contemporary bar on site.
Holiday Inn London- Stratford City (0.2 miles from Olympic Park)
The Holiday Inn Stratford is located inside Europe's largest shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City. It features an on-site gym and business centre and is located just 20 minutes tube ride from central London. The O2 Arena, Canary Wharf and London City Airport are all within 5 miles. The hotel is modern in style and rooms feature air con and free WiFi. Guests can enjoy a hot buffet breakfast and European cuisine in the hotel’s restaurant, or have a cocktail in the lounge bar.
City Gate Serviced Apartments (2.7 miles from Olympic Park)
If you fancy going self-catering during your stay in London, City Gate Serviced Apartments are located just 2.7 miles from the Olympic Stadium and conveniently, the popular Brick Lane is just 900 yards away. The accommodation is fitted with a dining area and a seating area with a satellite flat-screen TV. Each unit has a kitchen and a private bathroom with a bath or shower.
Top places to eat
Westfield: Franco Manca
If you're looking for cheap places to eat close to the Olympic Stadium, you can find a host of eateries and bars within the popular shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City. We'd highly recommend Franco Manca located on the first floor of the World Food Court, a mini chain bringing authentic wood-burning brick ovens, sourdough bases and seriously good Neapolitan-style pizza to London. Busaba Eathai, located on the ground floor in the Chestnut Plaza and Pasta Remoli have both been recommended by The Guardian.
EAT: East Twenty Bar & Kitchen
East Twenty Bar & Kitchen is located within the Olympic Park, so an excellent place to stop off for a light bite before the match. Open daily from breakfast time, serving coffee, cakes and pastries, light lunches and snacks, visitors can sit and enjoy the views from the terrace or relax with a drink whilst overlooking the beautifully landscaped Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.The menu offers a selection of East End inspired dishes – made from fresh seasonal produce and locally sourced, wherever possible.
Situated canal-side in The White Building, Crate is Hackney Wick’s first craft brewery and pizzeria. Built, owned and operated by locals, the converted industrial interior is one of a kind and has been made with reclaimed materials from around the Wick. Since launching in late July 2012, the unique look and delicious offerings have received national and international acclaim. The bar currently serves a range of craft beers from around the world, all brewed on site, to include its very own CRATE Lager, and if you're peckish you can feast off a delicious CRATE stone baked pizza, with seven different varieties including Middle Eastern Lamb, Red Onion-Courgette-Feta & Gremolata and Laksa Chicken, there is one to suit every palate.
Top places to drink
Located on the lower ground floor of the Great Eastern Market in Westfield Stratford City. It may not be the most authentic pub, but it certainly makes up for it with its beer, carrying 16 draught beers and more than 100 bottles. Owned by the people behind The Rake pub and Utobeer stall in Borough Market, the exciting beer range can help you forget you are essentially inside a shopping precinct.
King Edward VII
On the other side of the Stratford Centre, lies this old but well renovated pub divided by ornately tiled walls and frosted-glass dividers. This traditional pub sports a dark-wood saloon bar, a back room and a verdant rear patio, and is a good place to stop in for a pint before or after the match. Known for its pumpkin, carrot and kidney bean curry and couscous, the King Edward VII serves a selection of wines and visitors can also enjoy a pint of Eddie’s Best – brewed for the pub by Nethergate. Described by Time Out as "the best pub in Stratford."
The Cow (Westfield shopping centre)
Located in Westfield Stratford City, The Cow is a light-filled, split-level Gastro pub with a contemporary rustic interior and superb Olympic stadium views. If you're heading to the stadium you'll almost certainly pass the doors of this quirky pub and it's well worth a stop-in, if mainly to enjoy the views. Part of the Geronimo Inns brand, the pub prides itself on good ale to include Redmption Pale Ale, Youngs London Gold, Sharps Cornish Coaster and Adnams Broadside. A nice addition to the Stratford pub scene and a welcome refuge from the shopping madness.
Getting there and away
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park has some of the best transport links in London to include:
• Nine tube and train links
• Numerous bus and coach routes
• Less than 40 minutes to all of London’s major railway stations
• Seven minutes to St Pancras International
• 30 minutes to the M25
• Less than an hour to all London international airports from Stratford station
Public transport is the best and easiest way to get to and from the Park – by train, underground, bus or bicycle.
By train/ tube
The nearest train, tube and bus stops are at Stratford, Stratford International, Hackney Wick, Pudding Mill and Leyton stations. If you are exiting out of Stratford Underground Station - take escalator or lift up to ‘The Street’ (which is the outdoor part of Westfield Shopping Centre) – follow it along, bear right at Fountain Square toward John Lewis and then left at Jamie's Italian. At the end of the passage, cross the road into the Park.
The new 588 public red bus route is now operational and connects Stratford to Hackney Wick stopping at the Copper Box. An accessible shuttle bus from Stratford Regional Station (platform 13 by the Jubilee line) will be running approximately every 15- 20 minutes during events.
There is no car-parking at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park for events with the exception of Blue Badge parking at the Multi-Storey Car Park in the north west of the Park. Customer requiring Blue Badge parking need to book a space in advance with the event organisers
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