October 2018 - The Stay Club
Top 7 Markets in London

Top 7 Markets in London
by Nina Christopoulou

1. Camden Market

It’s doubtful that you will be able to find any one place in London that boasts such versatility or richness of options as Camden. Having shaped the cultural and artistic scene of London, and with a global reputation, the area of Camden is renowned for its market that is split up into many pieces. The Buck Street Market is your go-to place for memorabilia, the Stables Market is ideal for vintage clothing and jewellery while there is also the main Camden Market, a foodie destination in all of its glory. Take a stroll in the packed market during the weekend and discover an entirely new part of London!

2. Borough Market

This one boasts a longstanding historical tradition, dating back to the 12th century! It consists of a wholesale food market with many street food options for any taste and offers an amazing experience for foodies… It has a laid back vibe and is surrounded by some amazing pubs to have that afternoon beer, while Tate Modern is a mere 10 minute walk from the market… All in all, it is one of the must-see options in London!

3. Apple Market

The name is quite deceiving, as apples are not on the menu in this Covent Garden market. The Apple Market has a wide selection of over 40 stalls, selling amazing souvenirs for your loved ones, unique fashion pieces, quite a bit of art and some incredible antiques. It’s situated right at the heart of Covent Garden, and is ideal for your weekend strolls as it is surrounded by amazing bars and great restaurants. The beautifully decorated Covent Garden swings are perfect for your touristy photo (let’s face it, we all want one of those), while a variety of street performers are always to be found somewhere in the area!

4. Brick Lane Market

This one you will find open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and you should definitely save a Sunday for it! Its main attraction is – what else? – food, with so many options to choose from you’ll be drooling endlessly until you decide what you want to eat. The Boiler House Food Hall is the perfect spot for international cuisine, but it also boasts a very nice and relaxing area to hang afterwards, with an awesome beer garden and a lounge bar with seating around the great chimney. The Backyard Market on the other hand is the “creative community” of Brick Lane, bringing together designers and artists of all sorts. In reality, there are very few things that you won’t be able to find at Brick Lane…

5. Portobello Road Market

It’s highly unlikely that – no matter what country you come from – you haven’t come across a photo of the colourful Notting Hill houses. Right there in the heart of Notting Hill, the Portobello Road Market attracts tons of tourists and Londoners alike every weekend! The market has a reputation as the world’s largest antiques market, which is evident upon a quick stroll. Among the 1000 stalls, however, you are bound to come across so many different little treasures, from books to vintage fashion and accessories! There is also a very well curated selection of stalls with international street food for that moment when you need a little pick-me-up to continue your shopping!

6. Columbia Road Flower Market

Unlike all the other options on the list, this one is dedicated to one thing and one thing only. Care to guess? Arguably one of the most visually pleasing markets of London, the Columbia Road Flower Market takes place in East London and it is quite the spectacle. It is immensely busy during the weekends, but the cute restaurants and cafes that you will come across when walking the side streets of the market make up for the mayhem of the flower-filled central display.

7. Old Spitalfields Market

Open 7 days a week, the Old Spitalfields Market has quite the reputation for its variety of products that cover antiques, clothing vintage or otherwise, bespoke child’s toys and of course plenty of food options! A short walk from Liverpool Street Station it’s ideal for your afternoon walk, but we also have an insider’s tip: head to the market on Thursdays, when the Old Spitalfields Antiques Market is set up, to be dazzled a little bit more than usual!

Most Popular Questions of our Residents

Most Popular Questions of our Residents
by Nina Christopoulou

As our new arrivals flood the Stay Club, our awesome reception team begun to notice a few questions being tossed around often by our residents. That’s why we figured it would be prudent to have them all answered in one place (you know, for future reference!).

1. Can my friends/relatives come visit?

Of course – and we couldn’t have it any other way! However, we do want to be considerate of all of our residents and keep the fuss down to a minimum, so we have set a six-day maximum free stay per month for your visitors. After the six days you can prolong the visit, but each night will cost you 10 pounds. A little incentive to make sure that we are all considerate of the Stay Club community!

2. Am I allowed to have pets in my room?

As much as we love our furry friends, we think it’s best if our residence is a pet-free zone.

3. How do I report maintenance issues?

We have an awesome maintenance team which is around every day (yes, that is including weekends) to assist you with anything you may need… If you want them to give you a hand all you have to do is log in to the Stay Club portal and let us know. But if you would rather let us know in person, you can always head down to reception and we’ll arrange everything for you!

4. How can I book the cinema room in Colindale?

We have an amazing in-house events team that handles all the bookings for the cinema room, so all you have to do is send a quick email to events@thestayclub.com. Let them know the date and time you will need the cinema room for as well as the number of people and they will get back to you asap with an availability status!

5. Do I need a guarantor or will I go through a reference check if I wish to book?

We try our best to make your booking with us as hassle free as possible, so we don’t request a guarantor or a reference check from you. However, if you are under 18 years old we do require your parents’ details!

6. Do I have to be a student to stay with you?

This one depends on which residence you are interested in! The Stay Club Willesden and Colindale are not exclusive to students, but the Stay Club Camden does require a full-time student status!

7. What services can I find around the area?

Well, that is a very interesting question that has a different response for each one of our residences. So let’s break them down:

– Camden: This Stay Club is located right opposite the famous Camden Market, and it is surrounded by a multitude of shops, supermarkets, restaurants, pubs and services to make your everyday life as smooth as possible. Camden Coffee Co. is right across the street so you can grab your daily caffeine dose, Hygge Pygge is to your right and is ideal for that avo toast you were craving whereas Gino D’Acampo is right next door and boasts an amazing selection of Italian dishes. You can pop over to The Monarch on Friday nights, or head over to the Camden Market next door for a quick bite and a stroll.

– Colindale: Although our Colindale residence boasts an amazing sky view restaurant on the 7th floor, there are also other services around the area that you can make the most of. The Stay Club Colindale is less than a minute away from the tube station and ITJL is around the corner to take care of your breakfast or coffee break! If you are in the mood for some great pizza or drinks in a relaxing space, Spaccanapoli is just the thing for you. Last but definitely not least, Pure Gym is less than a minute away from the Stay Club and will get you in the mood for that workout you’ve been postponing.

– Willesden: The beautiful Willesden residence has everything you need close by. Various supermarket options, an Argos to grab your gadgets and of course Park and Kitchen to satisfy your appetite!

All of the services mentioned above offer Stay Club exclusive discounts, so our residents can take advantage of lower prices and more perks! There are also many more partnerships which we have established and you can find all details here: https://www.thestayclub.com/partners/.

8. Do we have a gym in the area?

We wouldn’t have it any other way! Pure Gym at Colindale is a breath away from our residence and has a wowing 20% discount on your 9-month membership. So you can blow off some steam during those stressful deadline periods on a budget!

9. Are my bills included in my rent?

Our price reflects all your bills, including electricity, high-speed WiFi and water. There’s also an extra charge called Council Tax which full time students are not burdened with, but at the same time are required to apply for the exemption. To make your life a little easier, we take care of the application for you, just hand us your student status confirmation! However, do keep in mind that laundry and housekeeping are separate services!

10. Do we have TVs in our rooms, or can you have your own?

You will find anything from SkySports to PS4 in our lobby, with its huge TV and extra comfy couches where you can enjoy time with friends as well as your favourite TV shows. The Stay Club rooms do not include TVs, but our lobbies do and our Colindale residence has a 100-seater cinema which is essentially the only thing you will need throughout the year!

Top Things to do this Halloween in London

Top Things to do this Halloween in London
by Nina Christopoulou

Halloween vibes have rapidly surrounded us in the form of ghoulish costumes, spooky food and pumpkins across all supermarkets! Halloween therefore translates into a weekend of endless fun, with tons of options when it comes to partying. We are here to give you a helping hand when it comes to choosing your Halloween weekend partying spots…

7. Nightmare on Inverness Street

Right in the heart of Camden, Duo will host a Halloween extravaganza on Saturday the 27th of October. Start times are multiple, so that’s something you need to double-check, but here’s what we can guarantee: it’s a spooktastic event filled with great music, zombie dancers and blood shots. The cherry on top? Tickets start from £10.

Credit: @Halloween

6. The Copycat

Full disclosure: this one is not exactly partying… It’s an immersive horror experience for the Halloween lovers out there! The COLAB Factory has set up the perfect hunt for a serial killer, that is bound to frighten you beyond expectation. This one already started on October 10th, so grab your tickets before they’re gone!

Credit: @Halloween

5. Even Stranger Things: The Halloween Experience

Any Stranger Things fans out there? Well this one is for you… E1 is one amazing venue, with a capacity of 2,000 which had one of the greatest Halloween ideas of all time: to split its areas up in 2 spaces giving us the thrilling Snow Ball Room and of course the Upside Down! If you would like to be on the lookout for Demogorgon attacks on Friday the 26th, this is the place to be!

Credit: @Stranger Things

4. The Crystal Maze Halloween Edition

The Blood Baron has arrived at the Crystal Maze to spruce things up a bit, and get you spooked out of your mind. The time vampire will be after you, trying to manipulate you and get you to turn on your team as your attempts to get out of the Crystal Maze become increasingly difficult. That’s a whole other level of Halloween fun!

Credit: @Halloween

3. Pumpkin Decorating Workshop

You know all those perfectly carved pumpkins that you see adorning the Halloween decorated areas of London? Well, now you can replicate them with this awesome workshop at the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. Classes take place daily and are a mere £7, so definitely worth the money! What could be more Halloween-y than learning how to carve your very own spooky pumpkin?

Credit: @Halloween

2. A Buffy the Vampire Halloween

Well, this one is reserved for those that treasure a bit of nostalgia. Buffy the Vampire slayer is the ideal Halloween theme for a party filled with fear, Sunnydale cocktail specials and of course 90s (what else?) dance tunes to complete the nostalgic vibe. The Book Club in Shoreditch will be expecting you on Saturday the 27th to get you spooked and entertained all at once!

Credit: @The Eleanor Store

1. The Stay Club Halloween Party

There is no other event that seemed fitting to take the first spot of this list! The Stay Club has organised an amazing Halloween night on Saturday the 27th in all three of the residence’s lobbies, which are bound to entertain you endlessly! The spooktastic decorations have already been put up, but there’s more to come. Incredible music, a cool Halloween themed buffet for all to enjoy and of course, many awesome neighbours to enjoy Halloween with… What else could one ask for this Halloween weekend?


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!


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!


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