The opening two disciplines, fencing and swimming, were contested in the Olympic Park. The public domain is dominated almost as much by the world's biggest burger bar as the stadium itself.
But it was different when we got to Greenwich, venue for the equestrian events, and the shooting and running which would determine the medals.
In the shadow of the Royal Observatory was a discrete stand proclaiming that champagne and lobster were available for those and such as those.
The media work room was perhaps among the most splendid ever. We were ushered into the National Maritime Museum and led through a travertine rotunda designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens for Dundee shipping magnate Sir James Caird, and into the library. The stunningly beautiful stained glass, rescued from the Baltic Exchange, has been transported and splendidly restored.
It was a stylish setting, but there was to be no champagne or golden finale – not even a puppy – for Scotland's world champion, Mhairi Spence. Choking back tears, she left the arena unable to confirm whether she would continue in the sport. Perhaps harder to bear was that her Lancastrian team-mate, Samantha Murray, who had taken world bronze behind her, powered through to claim silver, Britain's 65th and final medal of the Games.
Murray started the combined shoot and run eight seconds down, in fourth place, picking off two places, but the winner, Lithuanian Laura Asadauskaite, sped clear to an Olympic record of 5408 points. Murray was 13 seconds and 52 points behind. Brazilian Yane Marques, on 5340, took bronze. She complained afterwards, having lost three places on the ride, that her horse was old and had an eye defect. The international federation president Joel Bouzou, indignantly denied this was possible. But he had not ridden the horse.
Spence was 11th equal after the one-touch epee round (19 wins, 16 defeats) in which each contestant fights all the others for one minute. Then she moved to ninth with 2:16.51 for the 200m freestyle.
She still had an outside chance until she drew a recalcitrant brute of a grey. Coronada's Son was not kind to the 26-year-old from Inverness.
Holding back tears, Spence said: "I didn't have a good horse draw, but that's the way the pentathlon goes. You don't know what you are going to sit on. I had an unlucky draw with that horse. It's not often the horse gets the better of me, but he definitely did today. I was partially out of control. I was just pointing and hoping for the best – nothing I could do. I did the best I could with what I got.
"Then I had a malfunction with my target. Everything went wrong. I'm a little embarrassed that I could not put on a better show for such a great crowd.
"I'm gutted. I proved a couple of months ago [winning world gold] that I am good enough to stand on the podium, but not today. This sport is a great leveller and definitely knows how to break your spirit at times."
Spence almost quit three years ago and was rewarded at the world championships for continuing, but how did she feel about that decision now? "I think it's best if I don't answer that question right now. I'm full of emotion. I don't know.
"I don't feel much like a world champion now," she said, welling up.
Nobody had the heart to ask about the puppy. Her mum, Evelyn, had promised her one if she won a medal.
n Nick Woodbridge finished 10th in the men's event the previous day, with Sam Weale 13th. David Svoboda of the Czech Republic took the gold on Saturday.