October 2018 - The Stay Club
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Tips to Organise the Perfect City Break!

Tips to Organise the Perfect City Break!
by Nina Christopoulou

By now it feels like I justify every single post with the phrase “we all know how hectic student life can be”, or a paraphrase of the sentiment in some form. From my recent experience, I cannot argue with this point, however, what I can say is that it is also filled with opportunities which you should grab every step of the way. One of the major parts of student life is travelling, and it is undoubtedly one of the greatest periods of your life so it’s important to fit as much travelling as you possibly can in one go. We have the tips for you to do so in the best manner possible as a student in London!

1. Choose the Bus

If you want a weekend around any of the immensely beautiful British towns – and there are plenty of those – then perhaps coach may be the way to go! Oxford, Cambridge, Brighton and the list goes on and on; they are all cities massively worth the trip, and National Express Coaches will take you there easily and low-budget. The bus takes a little longer than your other travel options, yet the price highly makes up for the minor delay. What’s more you have Wi-Fi, plugs to charge your tech gear and comfy seats to snooze in!

Credit: @CAMBRIDGE LITTLE GEMS

2. Some things need a little extra preparation

The Eurostar option is quite popular among travellers, and in recent months has added Amsterdam to its list of destinations, making it a favourite among students in particular. The thing with Eurostar though is that it’s not ideal for that last minute getaway. Prices are quite steep if not booked early on, so we suggest you go ahead, have a look at potential destinations and book waaay in advance (and by that we mean asap!).

Credit: @Eurostar Official

3. Know where to look

Personally, before I came to London my only source of booking info was Skyscanner. Which, albeit user-friendly and to the point, is not the sole platform out there! The two that have passed our test are Kayak and TravelSupermarket. TravelSupermarket is worth a little clarification: this one offers the ease of letting you know what packages are available for your preferred destination and compares prices in one click. Lastminute.com is also ideal for Eurostar packages and of course any other last-minute options on a budget!

Credit: @TravelSupermarket

4. Discount Codes

Yes, you heard that one right. It’s not always fruitful, but you can never know until you’ve tried. Groupon has tons of frequently updated travel offers, while Voucher Codes and Voucher Cloud are places where (with a little bit of research) you can find deals for your upcoming travels. A little bit of research can go a long way when it comes to cashing in on a travel bargain!

Credit: @Commemorate Your Travels

5. Arrange the short trip!

A city break does not require going a long way from home. You can take a city break simply by organising a one-day trip to explore London a little more than usual. As you grow into the city gradually you will realise that all the things you aimed to do and see fade into the distance as routine and student life catches up with you. So arranging a visit to Kingston, the Greenwich observatory, the Richmond Park or even the Mayfield Lavender Fields (sadly closed for the time being but you can have them in mind for next year) is a simple, budget-friendly way to take that much deserved break and explore away. Never forget that it is all a matter of changing perspective, not necessarily changing the city you are exploring!

Credit: @Visit London

Top 7 Things to see about British Royalty

Top 7 Things to see about British Royalty
by Nina Christopoulou

One of the most well-known facts about Britain, is that it has a strong hold to the British Royal Family. So it makes sense that royal attractions are some of the most popular tourist destinations in the British capital… Whether you are planning a tourist tour for your friends that are visiting and want to learn more about London, or would like to discover London for yourself, this list of royal attractions is definitely a must!

1. Buckingham Palace (duh!)

Ok, so we did not kick off the list with something original, but it wasn’t possible to place any other spot on Number 1! Buckingham Palace is THE most famous royal attraction, perhaps in the whole of Britain, and for good reason. If you were paying attention to our summer guides, you already know that the palace opened its doors from July until the end of September, so visitors could roam through the royal halls and gardens. But even if the Palace is closed to the public, a selfie in front of it or even the Change of Guard ceremony should definitely be on your bucket list!

Credit: @Greg Kolz

2. Kensington Palace

Kensington Palace is one to put at the top of your “London Attractions” list… The Palace was the former residence of many royals, among which was also Diana Princess of Wales. It is currently open to the public so you can walk through its majestic interior, explore the royal gardens and enjoy the numerous exhibitions that it hosts. Currently, Kensington Palace hosts both “Victoria Revealed” and “Diana: Her Fashion Story”, unraveling the stories behind two of the most emblematic royal figures.

Credit: @jeeven

3. Windsor Castle

This one is a short commute from London, yet worth the time. The largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, Windsor Castle is also the Queen’s favorite residence. For an insider’s tip: Don’t miss out on St. George’s Chapel which is the burial ground of 10 monarchs!

Credit: @Kasia Wencel 🎀

4. Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is an incredible addition to your sightseeing list, but it does require an entire day (perhaps two, depending on how thorough you would like to be!). It boasts an extraordinary interior, but it is mostly known for its enchanting gardens, and the Hampton Court Maze. Definitely a must-see!

Credit: @Exploring London 🇬🇧

5. Tower of London

The Tower of London is quite central, and quite something… The reason being is that it is not merely an incredible structure, but it also hosts the Crown Jewels! Prepare to be mesmerised by the collection, while roaming around a former prison, zoo, armoury and royal palace! Currently, it’s a World Heritage Site and a visit will make you understand the reason why (although, be warned: ticket prices are quite steep for this one).

Credit: @Nicky Klemich

6. Westminster Abbey

It’s highly unlikely that you haven’t heard of this one. Westminster Abbey has a longstanding history, spanning over 1000 years of royal coronations and weddings! If the name rings a bell but you don’t know where from, then we should probably inform you that it was the wedding setting of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The coronation of every English monarch from 1066 has taken place in Westminster Abbey, and it is also located opposite the Houses of Parliament, so there’s a lot of things to explore around Westminster!

Credit: @Westminster Abbey

7. Somerset House

The hub of a great number of cultural events, Somerset House is located just off Waterloo bridge. The Strand was the area where plenty of aristocrats resided and Somerset House was the central Tudor Palace among them. Today, it is home to the London Design Biennale, London Fashion Week, and a great big ice ring during the winter time to name just a few of its events! The architecture on its own makes the short trip worthwhile, but we recommend attending one of its many events as well, as the list of events is well-curated!

Credit: @Somerset House

Top Things To Do in London This October

Top Things To Do in London This October
by Nina Christopoulou

September was full of events signalling the beginning of the academic year… So it’s kind of normal to assume that October would be a little bit more quiet comparatively. And yet it’s London, and London never disappoints nor does it slow down for that matter! As per usual, we picked our favourite events out of a sea of them, and placed them all in one blogpost for your convenience…

1. London Cocktail Week

Did someone say cocktails? You can count us in! You will have one entire week (Oct. 1-7) to head over to the Old Spitalfields Market and get your cocktails for a mere £6 – if you are wearing the special wristband that is! The event boasts over 300 bars across the city, and of course amazing tasting sessions, pop ups, masterclasses and anything else you may be able to think of! We are definitely convinced…

Credit: @Maria Z

2. London Film Festival

Any movie freaks out there? You are really in for a treat with this one! The London Film Festival will be back for the 62nd time to entertain us. The biggest celebration of international cinema will take place from the 10th up until the 21st of October. Even if you are not willing to splurge on a viewing, we recommend passing by the red carpet; it’s an experience all on its own!

Credit: @BFI

3. London Restaurant Festival

As if London didn’t offer enough opportunities for food lovers, the London Restaurant Festival will land at the beginning of October and all throughout the month. This one is quite extravagant, with numerous restaurants offering curated menus for the Festival, at great prices. Tasting menus, restaurant hopping tours and so many more are also available during the month, and it is exciting for us and our taste buds as well!

Credit: @London Restaurant Festival

4. Frieze London 2018

The moment that Regent’s Park turns into an art gallery is back and we couldn’t be happier! Frieze is the event that brings together over 160 galleries from around the globe and dazzles us with the amazing art. Yet you shouldn’t limit yourself to the art, but research the talks and curated events that take place alongside the exhibition… They are equally enticing, if not more!

Credit: @Frieze Art Fair

5. Yayoi Kusama

You know that level of excitement when you are on the verge of doing a Friends-reminiscent happy dance? That was the reaction of most art lovers to the news that Victoria Miro will host a second Yayoi Kusama exhibition. The Queen of Polka Dots, as she is most well-known, will create a brand new infinity mirror room with paper lanterns that we honestly can’t wait to see! From October 3rd up until December 21st you will have the chance to visit the exhibition, which may require pre-booking (just fyi!).

Credit: @Yayoi Kusama

6. Halloween!

Halloween is coming on Saturday, October 31st! We suggest you start the preparations early on for this one, as Londoners go all out… But that’s also the case for The Stay Club, which will have its very own Halloween extravaganza for our residents and their guests – but wouldn’t want to let everything slip so early on, would we? Stay tuned for more info!

Credit: @THE STAY CLUB

7. Natural History Museum Ice Ring

Although the Ice Ring at the Natural History Museum has been associated with Christmas vibes, it opens up at the end of this month (probably to get us in the festive mood!). While you will have an opportunity to arrange your visit up until the beginning of the coming year, we understand that it is hard to contain the immense enthusiasm that beautiful ice rings tend to cause!

Credit: @Natural History Museum