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Feeding the public well is key to a successful Games

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Adrian Warner | 16:52 UK time, Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, takes lunch with children as he visits a US fast food chain restaurant in the Olympic Green in Beijing in 2008.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, takes lunch with children as he visits a US fast food chain restaurant in the Olympic Green in Beijing in 2008. Getty Images.

The world's media is in London this week to probe 2012's plans for the Games.

So, 2012 officials are spending the week schmoozing with the movers and shakers of the global press and persuading them that all their needs will be catered for next summer.

I've been along to listen in to the world press briefing and there's no doubt that London 2012 have done their homework. They realise what the media will need every day, from basic internet access to transportation to the venues.

This matters because it will be the world's media which will decide whether London has put on a good show next year or not.

Key figures in the International Olympic Committee have told me that detail is one of London 2012's strengths. It has helped that the same chief executive and chairman, Paul Deighton and Lord Coe, have been in place since London won the Games.

That hasn't always been the case at previous Games because of high-profile dismissals and it is certainly a major advantage for London.

But, I had to chuckle at the detail 2012 have already published about the food which will be on offer to journalists during the Games.

I know it's never a good idea to hold a press conference with a bunch of hacks who haven't eaten, but 2012 have even brought out a special guide to Olympic nosh this week.

I am not sure how much of it really will have been understood by my foreign colleagues.

I can reveal that the media and broadcasting centre will serve a full English breakfast with "Freedom Food pork sausages, Sussex-cured back bacon and Bury black pudding".

Main courses will include "Herefordshire Red Tractor beef cottage pie, braised Gloucester old spot Freedom Food pork belly with apple puree, and fresh pea and Oxford Isis cheese tart".

Do you think the Japanese and the Koreans, or even the Australians, will get all these references? I don't, for a start. Is Bury black pudding better than anywhere else?

But there's more.

In addition to international dishes on offer such as curries (that's British too, I suppose), stir fries, and pasta, the guide tells us that the cafes in the press centre will have an extensive range of hot paninis, fruit salads and yoghurt granola pots.

A trolley service will also circulate around all workroom areas every morning and afternoon and you can even get deliveries of alcohol and special occasion foods ("for example, doughnuts and cupcakes").

A full wine list for hospitality will be available for designated meeting rooms.

We are told a main course will be between £4.95 and £5.75 and a cup of tea will cost £1.30.

While I want all of my colleagues to be fed properly because they work extremely long hours at the Games, I do hope the public get the same treatment in the Olympic Park.

So often at previous Games, the food on offer to the public has been terrible.

So 2012, let's hear soon in detail what's on offer to the public apart from the ubiquitous hamburger and fizzy drink. And let's be told how much meals will cost the public too.

Visit: London 2012

Twitter: @BBCLdnOlympics


  • Comment number 1.

    Did'nt see much to chuckle about there,what did you want MacDonalds?.
    Obviously you were'nt going to get Burger King eh.

  • Comment number 2.

    As per usual under the 'Security for all' banner I hear that the public will be banned from taking food & particularly drink into the stadia.

    Yes I am aware there will be plenty of water fountains to refill bottles etc BUT there will also be the extortionate cost of buying the preferred Olympic drinks for kids (on what will hopefully be a hot & sunny British summer).

  • Comment number 3.

    Just a note about the Koreans, regional produce is a proud talking point in Korea with certain dishes being famed to come from specific cities. People will go to these cities just to try the dishes, so yes, they will understand these references to regional produce!

  • Comment number 4.

    It will be the public who decides whether the Games are a "good show", not the media.

  • Comment number 5.

    Nothing at all to chuckle about for the fans who actually paid for a ticket. The vision notes that the mugs will have to pay over the odds to subsidise the privileged few who will be provided with free food and drink to go with their free accommodation and cleared roads.

    It doesn't say "mugs" of course, but that is what ordinary fans are being taken for.

  • Comment number 6.

    Adrian everytime you write a blog that provokes healthy discussion it is moved to the blogs list and off the main page pics within an hour!

  • Comment number 7.

    I wouldn't hold your breath on the selection of food outlets at the olympic park. In beijing there weere two macdonalds or you could buy a glorified pot noodles or pop corn. macdonalds pays a huge amount as tier one sponsor and don't like other food being available.


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