If you’re joining hundreds of other players at this week’s World Poker Tour National UK Accumulator event at Aspers Casino in Stratford, East London, then you’ll be in good company. Celebrities, footballers and poker pros alike will be playing in Wednesday night’s exclusive ‘DT38’ charity event raising money for the Dylan Tombides foundation. With three Day 1 flights on Thursday (8pm) and Friday (2pm & 8pm), you’ll likely be spending plenty of time at the tables in a bid to reach Day 2 with a healthy chip-stack. But when you’re looking for something to pass the time between your efforts at the felt, you won’t want to travel too far. We’ve sourced some of the best ways to use your time in the local area, allowing you to become an EastEnder for the weekend.
Take a Cable Car Ride
A short hop, skip and a tube journey from Stratford is The 02, legendary entertainment venue and well worth checking out in its own right. But close by on either side of the Thames, you can jump on board the Emirates Air Line Cable Car ride. Prices are a very reasonable £4.50 for a single trip, £9 return or £10.70 for the full ‘Discovery Experience’, which comes with a return flight, on-board film tour and free entry to the Emirates Aviation Experience. The Air Line itself is open for the whole day until 10pm/11pm at night depending on which day you decide to fly!
Work the Market
The world-famous Brick Lane market has brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to the East End of London for many years. With the traditional market now a well-organised maze of stalls, shops and street-sellers, you can browse to your heart’s content or seek out a bargain in the area of your choice. From vinyl record to vintage clothes, everyone is well catered for. If searching for valuables leaves you hungry for a pit-stop, the Boiler House Food Hall or Tea Rooms will get you fed and watered and ready for another bargain hunt!
Play at the Park
Opened in the aftermath of the London 2012 Olympics, the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park welcomes revellers just metres from where Her Majesty made her infamous helicopter parachute jump three years ago! With an Aquatics Centre offering all things to all swimmers and the fabled Velo Park doing the same for cyclists, if you’re on a health kick, it’s the perfect place. If you’d rather just chill out with a picnic in the park, the Timber Lodge café has snacks galore and your cabaret is even provided if you enjoy watching the fruits of the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre. The entire park is open 24 hours and completely free!
Shop ‘Til You Drop
Since you can access Aspers Casino from the Westfield Shopping Centre itself, it would be rude not to get the credit card out and do a bit of spending. There are more sales per shop in the multi-floor store than you’ve ever been before, with the big name brands joined by artisan eateries such as bubble tea emporiums. Two minutes’ walk from the cardroom itself, it’s the perfect place to decompress or spend your winnings, with as many eateries as boutiques. You can even buy a pair of sunglasses and a new hoodie if you want to confuse your tablemates after a dinner break!
Ride the Rapids
For the slightly more adventurous, an adrenalin-fuelled day out is yours at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, with the buy-in £49 during off-peak time and £59 at peak times. As the name suggests, you can try your hand at white-water rafting, as well as canoeing and kayaking sessions. Taking on the torrents that have tested some of the world’s best Olympians is a thrilling experience and on the raft adventure, you can fling yourself around with complete abandon to an Olympic standard!
Recent additions to the centre include ‘Hydrospeeding’ (think bodyboarding but stuck on fast-forward) along with Hot Dog sessions which are quite different to a meal from the Aspers bar! If you find yourself reaching for your armbands and a cold drink, the fully licensed café bar has a terrace overlooking the whole course, so you can point and laugh at your friends!
Whether you take advantage of some exercise-based activities or gorge yourself on the food and drink that the Stratford area has to offer, we hope you have a fantastic time during our World Poker Tour week in the East End!
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