The Fringe is is an exclusive pop-up members club that is opening for 51 days during the Olympic Games.
Located in London’s Swan Wharf in an old Victorian warehouse, which used to serve as stables, it’s a huge space made up of a large forecourt and a four-storey converted townhouse, situated on the other side of the River Lee which runs alongside the Olympic site.
I was invited to take a look (it’s a tough job I know, bit someone had to do it).
Water Chariots will be running trips from marinas in Limehouse and Tottenham Hale to The Fringe, and our evening started on the boat, a small vessel holding around 8-12 passengers which was so blissfully peaceful and spacious compared to anything London Transport currently offers I yearned for a city that had more rivers.
Our Skipper was a charming bloke from Newquay who doubled up as a tour-guide along our route. Upon arrival, to give you an idea of how close The Fringe is to the Olympic Park, I can confirm it is literally a stone’s throw away. However if you’re feeling ambitious, or happen to be Usain Bolt, it equates to a “10 second run”.
It is the closest non-Olympic site and the vision of event manager Simon Thompson (responsible for the interior design of The Savoy). His idea was to create something that reflects the vibrancy and culture of East London, particularly its more trendy, all-hours approach to going out.
The Fringe will only be open a total of 51 days, so the emphasis was to create something that is “contemporary rather than permanent” and the top floor with its rooftop balcony will I’m sure be attractive to corporate party planners and the like. The drink and food menu is something special, as renowned bar operators Sweet & Chilli offered up the best Rum Mojitos I’ve ever drank (I’m not usually a fan) plus their own Olympic signature cocktail, the “Ginford Christie”.
The food was provided by Rhubarb, who specialise in events that want to offer something more than just your average canapés. The cooked salmon cube on the end of a pipette, which you must bite off and then follow up with a splash of soy sauce contained within it, is perhaps the best thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. The catering for The Fringe is one of its best features.
There will be live music, plus some very special guest DJs on the opening night, including Norman Jay MBE. LCD televisions will be broadcasting continuously to bring coverage of the Olympics although I’m not sure the volume will be needed when doing so… There will also be quiet spaces and wi-fi spots for journalists who are covering the events or if people wish to relax from overdoing it (the bar opens at 9:00am).
Boasting bespoke furniture & design, contemporary art fixtures, plenty of space and a decorative testimony to the best of British in the ground floor bar, The Fringe is setting itself up to offer a different experience to the ‘official’ hospitality on offer.
If you want something a bit more edgy, interesting and relaxing after the excitement of the Games, check out it out. Tickets start from £150 per day, which includes all of your food and three free drinks.
For more info visit www.thefringe2012.com