THE BEST SPOT FOR COFFEE
There’s no shortage of major chains selling mediocre coffee near ExCeL, so give them all a swerve in favor of East London’s own Perky Blenders x Goodvibes.
Located a short walk from the conference hall entrance, next to the City Hall building (and overlooking the Royal Docks where you may see kayakers or some very brave swimmers) this quirky independent is renowned locally as having the best coffee in the Docklands area—and, if anything, deserves props for its excellent pun name.
“Perky Blenders is a local favorite and an essential stop for ICE visitors,” says Red Knot partner Romilly Evans. “Pick up one of their pastries while you’re there and thank me later.”
FOR A GREAT TEAM MEAL
A four-minute walk from the Aloft London ExCeL Hotel, Yi-Ban balances excellent traditional Chinese cuisine with a contemporary dining room that is hidden by its unassuming exterior. The restaurant, which seats 380, has food that is only matched by its superb view of City Airport.
“Few folks walk this way, but Yi-Ban is a gem,” says Red Knot founder Andy Clerkson. “It’s most fun on a clear and wickedly windy day where you will enjoy a cold Tsing-Tao and an uninterrupted view of crosswind landings and go-arounds.”
TO IMPRESS A CLIENT
If you’re looking to impress with an air of refined luxury after wearing the shoe leather on the conference floor, there are few better spots than the Clipper Bar, on the first floor of the InterContinental London.
Looking over the River Thames and Canary Wharf, his nautical-themed watering hole is perfect for pre-dinner cocktails and Halloumi Fries at their impressive oval marble bar.
“The Clipper Bar is located near the O2 Arena, which means you get to ride the Greenwich Cable Car and enjoy its incredible views,” says Red Knot partner Camilla Wright. “Your clients, suppliers and partners will love the place. We suggest a round of Dark & Stormys.”
YE OLDE ENGLISH PUB
It wouldn’t be a trip to East London without a visit to a traditional boozer, and few offer the heritage and character of The Grapes. Its Grade II listed building is over 500 years old and located on the banks of the Thames, with balconies at the back allowing you to absorb the sights, sounds and occasional pungency of the river.
Over the last five centuries notable, The Grapes barflies have included Sir Walter Raleigh, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Red Knot partner Richard Thorp, who comments: “The Grapes is the quintessential London drinker. These days there’s real ales, posh ales, rose and a food menu that includes tapas, as well as fish and chips.
“Oh, and the pub is now owned by Gandalf from Lord Of The Rings. Seriously.”
TO BOOK A PRIVATE EVENT SPACE
The Pilot was built over 200 years ago to service local coal workers. These days, it’s a fantastic local pub, with a great menu packed with modern dishes and pub favorites.
It’s an ideal spot for post-conference drinks, and the venue also has private event spaces that would be perfect for private dining and meetings.
Plus, if you’ve yet to book accommodation or ICE, The Pilot is also one of the very best places in the area to stay—and a welcome break from the generic international hotel chains.
“A quick hop over the river on the cable car and you’ll be at one of the best-kept secrets in Greenwich,” says Red Knot Senior Account Director Ryan Bailey.
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