ExCeL London – Where to Eat, Drink & Sleep
Visiting ExCeL London – Restaurants, Bars, Hotels and More
ExCeL is one of the most distinguished and highly reputable exhibition centre’s in the UK, that welcomes over four million people per year through its doors, and stages over 400 events of all varieties. Where Olympia has its presence in the West, ExCeL has its territory in East London, located in Canning Town. Built on the northern part of the Royal Victoria Dock, it’s site couldn’t be more convenient, as it is surrounded by a wide range of hotels, amenities and first-class transport links. Inside the venue, there is an abundance of adaptable spaces and services which makes it a fantastic choice to host trade shows and special events. The unique environment can be catered for everyone’s tastes, and everything you need is at your fingertips.
Built in 2000, ExCeL has hosted sport events such as huge boxing bouts, triathlons and most eminently, it was the setting for Badminton, Judo and many sports in the Summer Olympics and Paralympics in 2012. Additionally, it hosts infamous events such as MCM London Comic Con, X Factor, Miss World, Motor Shows, IP Expo, BBC Sport’s Personality of the Year and much more! If you are fortunate enough to be going to an event here, it may be wise to do a bit homework, so before immersing yourself in ExCeL, take a look at my tips on all things eating, drinking and sleeping to enrich your experience.
Restaurants and Cafes
On-Site Opportunities (££ – £££)
Whilst many would welcome the opportunity to explore outside of ExCeL for food, having the option of 27 different food retailers, serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner inside the venue cannot be dismissed. There is a wide range of food you can try, whether its eating scrumptious pastries and cakes at E16 Café, specialised pizzas at Pummaro, or fine dining at The Bridge Bar – serving anything from mouth-watering ribeye steaks, to delicious vegan burgers.
Reputable Restaurants in the Area (££ – £££)
Tapa Tapa, offering authentic Spanish Tapas, and La Barrique Wine Bar & Restaurant, an Italian eatery serving pizzas, sandwiches and gourmet dishes, are two neighbouring restaurants. Both included in the top 5% of all London restaurants (based on Trip Advisor reviews) – and handily just across the road from ExCeL. If you don’t mind exercising a tad bit more, just a 15-minute walk away you can find Nakhon Thai, with succulent food, excellent customer service and, it’s real USP, a superb view overlooking the docks from its stunning outdoor seating.
Drinks with Stupendous Views (£ – £££)
One of the highlights of your stay when visiting ExCeL will be the inevitable ‘after show’ drinks in the several pubs and bars in the Royal Dock area. If you are looking for the finest views and relaxation, then head to the Eighteen Sky Bar or the Clipper Bar, as you’ll be able to get comfortable chairs with a view overlooking Canary Wharf. Cocktails can be on the pricey side, but you are paying for exceptional hospitability that doesn’t come around too often. These two bars are very much on the radar for most people, but another bar to contend with is the Oiler Bar, which is somewhat of a gem and actually closer to ExCeL. If the weather is perfect, then head here instead, as the outside seating gives you breath-taking views of London, and for a slightly cheaper price.
On-Site Bar Options (££ – £££)
If you don’t want to travel to further afield, then ExCeL has plenty of on-site bar options, including Fox@ExCeL, Fox@Connaught, and WXYZ Bar. For the more sophisticated evening, head to the latter located in the swank Aloft Hotel, which has craft ale, cocktails, and some tunes for you to meet with other conference goers in a laid back vibe. You may also catch a time where there are live performers too, which is not common in other bars and pubs in the surrounding areas. Alternatively, if you just want somewhere casual to have a pint, then the Customer House Pub across the road seems go down a treat with the guests.
Self-Indulgent Sojourn (£££)
Top of the recommendations list would be the Sunborn London which is situated at the western end of the Royal Victoria Dock overlooking the Docklands – in a superyacht! Unmissable views from the 136 spacious rooms all with a unique design, and an on-site lobby, restaurant and bars that are as elegant as they are luxurious. You’ll feel it’s special as soon as you walk in the doors, and the best thing is, that it won’t cost you an arm and leg to stay here with affordable prices. Treat yourself, and turn your stay into an unforgettable experience.
Professional Business Stay (££)
ExCeL is surrounded by business hotels such as Novotel, a newly built Aloft, and the Crowne Plaza. These are all located near the doorstop of the conference centre, and are ideal for business getaways. Service is superb from all, as you’ll be looked after from the fine hosts, and the breakfast, room service and on-site facilities (spa & Jacuzzi) will not disappoint. These are premium business hotels, but you can save some pennies choosing Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, DoubleTree by Hilton or even cheaper options which brings us to…
The Budget Friendly Options (£)
Travelodge and Ibis Styles often gets some stick, but how come these hotels are the fastest to sell out in the area surrounding ExCeL London? In one word: value. The rooms will be sizeable, comfortable, check-in and checkout is simple, and above all else, you can book nights at these hotels for less than £40 on most week days. Both of these hotels are just across the road too, so no need to add any extra fees on the subway or a taxi!
If you have some spare time on your trip to London ExCeL, then do consider exploring some of the hotspots in the area. It goes without saying that you can take in the views of the docks, but to maximize your experience, use the Emirates Air Line Cable that takes you up 90 metres for a 1 kilometre trip or enjoy from sea level in one of the operating river cruises. Elsewhere, there is wealth of local entertainment from the Brick Lane Music Hall, to the ‘Locked in a Room’ escape game – the biggest in the UK. Let’s not forget, you are in London after all, so a quick tube ride can take you to any of the biggest attractions. Have an ExCeL-ent time.
If you’re organising an event at ExCeL, we are an event registration company that provide event organisers with registration solutions and award-winning service. Contact us to see how we can help you put on your best event yet at ExCeL London!