PHOTOS: Inside London’s Houses of Nations: The next best thing to Olympic venues

Fans react after the U.S. mens swim team wins in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

London has an extreme case of Olympic fever and the medicine for it is beer.

For the thousands of fans who did not score tickets to events, London has set up multiple public viewings, where big screen TVs show the events live. Nothing makes a better match than drinking and sports and that’s where the Houses of Nations come in.

These unique pop-up venues dot the city map, each offering a familiar place for fans of many countries, with traditional fare, screenings of events with local athletes — and don’t forget the beer.

“If you haven’t got tickets, you get the atmosphere here, which is better than watching at home on your couch,” Andy Pronger, a Team Great Britain fan told Metro from inside a giant tented bar next to London Tower. White leather couches and strings of lights across the ceiling would give off the impression of an nightclub, if it weren’t for the sports coverage being aired on giant projector screens.

Ping pong tables and arcade games bring fans from all countries together in their own friendly competitions. Some Houses of Nations are hangouts for all international fans, others are geared toward specific nationalities. Fans can find Casa Brazil, Czech House, French Olympic Village, Russia Park and many more across London. There isn’t a specific place for Team USA fans, but many Americans find their way to one of the two “come one, come all” Houses of Nations.

“I really like it here,” American student Rachel Eldridge told Metro as she drank Pimms with other American and British friends. “It’s a cool venue to watch the games, enjoy it and be a part of it, and not have to pay for the £200 tickets.”

At the Africa House, set up in Hyde Park, little boys playing soccer weave between visitors watching the Olympic events on a screen. Other fans stop at the booths where individual countries showcase their culture’s food, music and traditions.

Inside the Deutsches Haus at the Museum of London Docklands, beer flows and fans gobble bratwurst or roasted pork with pickled cabbage. Cheering erupted when the German equestrian team took gold in eventing.

“It’s very exciting because our fans are all together and they enjoy the success of our teams,” Rita Winter said, a German fan who traveled to London for the games. “We won two gold medals and a bronze today.”

Kelton Scott and his wife Heidi came to the House of Nations not for a drink, but to get a photo with an official Olympic torch — one of the many incentives the pop-up bars offer to bring fans in from off the street — but that’s not to say they, and many other fans, haven’t spent plenty of time in London’s rich pub scene.    

“Drinking is a big part of the culture of England, as you know,” Scott reminded Metro. “You can’t pay to get into every venue of every sport, so this is good for the local businesses.”

Check out these super fans enjoying everything London’s Houses of Nations had to offer today:

(All photos by Cassandra Garrison/Metro)

German fans celebrate their team’s win in eventing.

Inside the Deutsches Haus for German fans.

Fans enjoy the food of their countries at Houses of Nations, like this bratwurst.

Olympic enthusiasts of all countries are welcome at the House of Nations near London Tower.

Americans Rachel Eldridge and Nicole Mendez with friends at House of Nations

French fans pose with their Olympic torch.

Fans from the Netherlands take in the atmosphere.

Kelton and Heidi Scott, from England, pose with an official Olympic torch.

The Africa House features booths from many different countries.

Traditional African fare.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.