Russia wants to knock your socks off. Denmark is stylish andsophisticated. Ireland is up for a party – on a budget.There are more than 200 countries at the Olympics, and they havetwo ways to stand out. One is on the medal podium – the other is bypartying.Dotted across London, national hospitality houses offer a basefor a country’s athletes, officials and occasional celebrities.Some are open to the public, showing a festive side to touristsfrom around the world. Others are strictly invitation only, likethe American pavilion at the Royal College of Art.Here’s an eclectic, unscientific guided tour:RUSSIA: 2014 IS OURSRussia, home to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, has pulled outall the stops with two open-air attractions, Russia Park and SochiPark, set in London’s Kensington Gardens.Russia Park is a vast sea of Astroturf dotted with bean bags,ping pong, chess and mini-golf. Medal winners and artists share thestage, with entertainment ranging from Central Asian throat singersto jazz bands to mini-rock festivals.Inside scoop: Admission is free. Blinis and beef stroganoff areavailable but alcohol is not, and you must be able to stomach anendless loop of Queen’s ”We Are the Champions.”WINTER PALACEA 10-minute walk away, Sochi Park is the showcase for theRussian city and region… Read full this story
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