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Most Instagrammable Christmas Locations in London

Most Instagrammable Christmas Locations in London
by Nina Christopoulou

As the merry period draws nearer, London dresses up in Christmas lights, winter chalet vibes and beautiful festive displays of all sorts. Like any other celebratory event that takes place in the city, London’s many corners will become an oasis for Instagrammers, photographers and amateurs alike. For those of you that are on the lookout for the most beautiful spots of London this festive season, we’ve gathered them all in one place for your convenience.

1. Dalloway Terrace

Winter feels and a mesmerising décor are the first things that come upon you when you enter this famed brunch spot. The white ornaments are everywhere, and the cosy fur blankets neatly placed on the chairs offer the impression that you can enjoy the ambiance for many hours to come. But before you take your seat, get comfy and relax, a photo is mandatory!

2. Carnaby Christmas Lights

Carnaby is situated to the left of Liberty… If you want an extra tip on how to locate it, look for the myriads of people who have pointed their phones upwards to take a snap of the extraordinary Christmas lights! You can find various types of merry twinkling décor around London, including Oxford Street, Regent Street and many, many more. So why would we pick Carnaby Street for this section? The interestingly varied choice of lights and patterns is quite unusual, and thus somehow enthralling.

3. Churchill Arms

Whatever time of the year you decide to arrive in London, Churchill Arms is one of the locations that you will find in any suggestions website you scroll through. It’s beautifully decorated 365 days a year, but when the Christmas lights come on, it’s otherworldly! But don’t take our word for it, head over there and have a look for yourselves!

4. Old Bond Street

This one is a London classic, on the one hand because of its immensely central location, on the other hand because of its typical London allure. The steeply priced haute couture and

jewellery brands prepare for Christmas in the most exhillerating way possible, with Cartier and Tiffany and Co. stealing the show each and every festive season. Therefore, a stroll up and down Old Bond Street will fill up your camera roll in no time!

5. Somerset House

The imposing grey building on Strand is always hosting a little something captivating in its courtyard, whether it’s the Design Biennale, or the Christmas ice ring! Sponsored by Fortnum and Mason, the ice ring makes for the perfect addition to the spacious courtyard, and the beautifully playfull Christmas tree located right in front of it completes your frame in a perfect manner!

6. Fortnum and Mason

One of the most avant garde delicatessens you have ever set foot in, this Piccadilly Road classic redecorates its window displays, bakes festive treats, and places the merriest of drinks front and center. The spectacular 18th century department store will make you drool over both the gourmet treats as well as the sensational Christmas decor. Insider’s tip: snap the staircase for a dazzling Christmas post!

7. Holidays Made by Tiffany

The newest addition to the classics, St. Pancras International has welcomed for the first time this year a thrilling Christmas addition by Tiffany and Co., in the form of a wonderfully original Christmas tree. The glistening tree is borderline overshadowed by a huge moving robot made up in its entirety of Tiffany and Co. boxes, and placed on a bright orange ladder. The ideal backdrop to your Christmas shots, and especially convenient if you are commuting from St. Pancras on a frequent basis…

The Cosiest Winter Reads

The Cosiest Winter Reads
by Nina Christopoulou

Is there anything better for those cold winter nights, then sitting in front of a perfectly lit up fireplace with a warm cup of tea, a blanket wrapped around you and a book in hand? Perhaps the setting we are describing is a tiny bit more toward fiction than real-life, as fireplaces are not that commonplace and everyday life does not have as many relaxing moments as one would hope. However, the part about reading is quite true, and rightly associated with wintertime! In order to deter you from buying a book that you end up quitting after the first chapter, we’ve put together a list of thrilling literary suggestions:

1. Elena Ferrante – My Brilliant Friend

The pseudonymous author is the creator of the Neapolitan Novels, a captivating tetralogy which follows the lives of Elena-Lenu and Lila, from the former’s viewpoint. “My Brilliant Friend” is the first publication of the series, and by far the most enticing. Ferrante’s accurate replication of the observations of young children and their innocent view of the world results in a story filled with flashbacks to one’s own childhood years, as different as they may be from the storyline of the book. The story unravels in Naples and takes us through the friendship of the two girls, from a very young age with the rest of the books following their coming-of-age story in later years. An exquisite writing technique coupled with the most intriguing analysis of the girls and their transformation through the years, “My Brilliant Friend” is definitely worth the read! For the fans that have already scoured through the books, it’s worth mentioning that the miniseries has been released on HBO since mid-November…

2. Irvin D. Yalom – When Nietzsche Wept

Yalom’s work is extraordinary to the end that his long psychiatric career has infused his fictional writing with an unparalleled insight as to the characters that star in his novels. “When Nietzsche Wept” is the product of fiction, albeit extremely well-researched fiction, allowing for real events and people to interweave with fictional elements and walk the reader through the history of both philosophy and psychoanalysis through an interplay among some of the most influential figures of the 19th century.

3. Virginia Woolf – Mrs. Dalloway

Time has dubbed “Mrs. Dalloway” as one of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923, and rightly so. Woolf focuses on a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway as she prepares for her evening party. The magnificent way that she leaps from one character’s conscience to the other’s, unravelling the emotional bonds between them in due course is thrilling. At the same time, the insight offered as to the inter-war social structure leads to fundamental existential questions, even for the contemporary reader… However, the most alluring aspect of the book is undoubtedly the logical leaps that appear throughout, tying all elements of the story together in a magical – and exhilarating way.

4. Charles Bukowski – Ham on Rye

Another coming-of-age story, this time from an entirely male perspective. Bukowski focuses on Henry Chinaski’s (the writer’s very own alter-ego) Los Angeles upbringing. Through humanely raw descriptions of circumstances and hinting (rather than analysing) emotions, Bukowski tackles the concept of the American Dream, the empowerment through literature and questions of finance, as the Great Depression follows him through his childhood, decidedly affecting his family’s relationships. All that in the most enjoyable way possible!

5. Fyodor Dostoevski – The Gambler

One of Dostoevski’s less acclaimed works, The Gambler resonates because of the sincerity with which it was written. The author speaks from experience as he talks about Alexei Ivanovich’s gambling addiction and its consequent roots in all aspects of life, affecting his relationships and future. The novel is quite short compared to other works by the same author, and yet immensely enjoyable and eye opening!

Top 5 Alternative London Attractions

Top 5 Alternative London Attractions
by Nina Christopoulou

As I research these articles, I sometimes wonder: has any Londoner actually been to all those places I’ve come across? It seems to me that the sights and activities around the city are endless, and as much effort and dedication as one may put into visiting them all, it’s close to impossible! This week’s post has to do with the alternatives, the types of attractions that you don’t come across when googling “what to do in London”, and the types of attractions that is hard to discover unless you are a local, or… well, a specialist!

1. Freud Museum London

The founder of psychoanalysis fled the Nazis in 1938, and found shelter in a house in Hampstead. This very same house has currently been transformed into a museum, celebrating Sigmund Freud’s legacy and allowing visitors to glance into his personal life. Roam around Freud’s study, gaze at his collection of over 2,000 antiquities and come close to the couch where he examined his patients – or, to put it differently, his patient’s minds. What’s even more interesting about the museum is the fact that it is one of very few places which boast two blue plaques: one for Freud and one for his daughter, Anna, who remained at the house until her death in 1982. The museum currently holds an exciting exhibition: Freud, Dali and the Metamorphosis of Narcissus, for those who are interested in interdisciplinary approaches to the often fragmented understanding of art and science!

2. Maltby Street Market

This Bermondsey favourite is actually a newcomer, having set up shop in 2010. The picturesque location and relaxed atmosphere is ideal for that weekend lunch/getting-over-your-hangover bite, and it’s also one of the very few places in London that still have a strong hold to their warm and friendly character. You can find anything from cool bars to gourmet street food and fresh produce during Saturdays and Sundays, but the market is also open on Friday afternoons all through December.

3. Barbican Conservatory

While Barbican’s reputation proceeds it, Barbican Conservatory is not very well known (quite a shame too!). Roam around over 2,000 species of tropical plants and trees and gaze at exotic fish in this secluded and wonderfully unique paradise of greenery! There’s a catch though: admission may be free, but the conservatory is only open during selected Sundays each month and on bank holidays, so have a more thorough look before you head over!

4. Emirates Air Line

I came across this one randomly and the only thing that came to mind was: why have I never heard of THIS before? It seems like an exciting experience, and yet nobody I know seemed to be aware that the Emirates Air Line existed! Somewhere in between the Excel Center and the O2 arena, the UK’s first urban cable car transports a whooping 2,500 people over the river. Offering stunning views of the City, Canary Wharf, the Thames Barrier and Olympic Park, the Emirates Air Line is one alternative attraction not to be missed!

5. Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum

Wimbledon is an exciting venue that has been undoubtedly linked with the history of tennis. However famous the venue itself may be, there’s little talk of the museum which offers a unique insight into the sport. The collection is extensive, with memorabilia dating as far back as 1555 (!!) and one of the highlights is a 360-degree view of the arena from a special viewing platform! This museum is worth the visit for the fans of the sport and curious visitors alike…

Top Things To Do in London This December aka The Christmas Edition

Top Things To Do in London This December aka The Christmas Edition
by Nina Christopoulou

The festive season is upon us, so we put on our reindeer antler headbands, our Santa Clause socks, and started researching all the Christmassy events around London to create the ideal Christmas guide for December! London has been prepping for Christmas since the beginning of November, and we have already covered the basics (you can see more in our November guide), so coming up with new stuff to suggest has been challenging, to say the least! But our merry spirit did not give up on us, so we have put together our best monthly guide yet… Hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it!

10. A Christmas Carol

The Old Vic will host this year’s theatrical performance of Dickens’ beloved classic, and nothing screams Christmas more than the enchanting story of Ebenezer Scrooges’ beautiful transformation. Shows start December 4th and we are looking forward to seeing what this year’s direction will bring to the stage!

9. Christmas at Kew Gardens

Our recently released Kew Gardens guide walks you through the marvels of the Royal Botanical Gardens, but November 22nd marked this year’s introduction to the festive period with an exciting Christmas makeover. Head to Kew and excite your senses with incredible light installations! New entries to the display are the moonlight Laser Garden and a myriad of glowing boats on the lake – consider us impressed!

8. Winterville in Clapham Common

This merry pop-up is everything you were looking for, and more! Street food traders abound, and their offering has a merry twist – be it chocolate s’mores with nitro-frozen ice cream or festive burgers! The entertainment options are endless and for all tastes, with Roller Disco having caught our attention from the get-go! There are also indoor and outdoor options so that you can protect yourself from the cold when you feel like it’s getting a little too much to handle!

7. Christmas in Leicester Square

Similar to numerous other parts of London, Leicester Square will experience the most Christmassy make-over yet! The popular event is an annual tradition among Londoners, and offers endless fun, food and drinks! The festive entertainment this year is courtesy of Udderbelly, and sounds promising with shows including cabaret, burlesque and obviously Santa’s Grotto! Entry to the market is free but most shows require tickets in advance, so do look up the ones you are most interested in beforehand!

6. Magical Lantern Festival

This Chiswick House and Gardens event doesn’t really need an introduction. Explore the mesmerizing handmade lanterns with an explicitly Christmassy theme, which ranges from Santa Clause to penguins. Once you’ve gotten all the walking and wowing out of the way, you can relax in the street food market and pop-up bar!

5. Christmas by the River

Christmas lodges with food, jewellery, crafts and tons of mulled wine? Yes, please! As if it wasn’t exciting enough on its own, this Christmas Market boasts amazing views of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (which are very photogenic as well, needless to say!). This one has lots of workshops on the schedule as well, if you want to take your festive experience a step further…

4. Winterland London

This “Alpine Paradise” consists of a setting by the river, reminiscent of a retro ski chalet, and is located in Fulham. Anything from feasting tables to gondolas, chairlifts and bauble filled igloos will be there to transport you to snowy slopes and put you in the mood for karaoke, beer pong and so many more amazing activities! This one is not to be missed!

3. Natural History Museum Ice Ring

So, ice rings in London are quite a big thing! So much so, that it’s possible to come up with 5 locations off the top of your head… And yet somehow the ice ring at the Natural History Museum tops them all every single year. I’ve tried to pin down what exactly it is about it, but cannot be sure… Is it the awe inspiring backdrop of the museum itself? Is it the carousel right beside the ice ring, which gives it that little Christmas edge? Whatever it is, we are glad it’s there every single year!

2. The Peter Pan Cup

December 25th brings one of the most weirdly wonderful traditions. To give you a little insight: since 1864, Christmas Day marks the date when swimmers meet on a race at the Serpentine in Hyde Park. It takes place on the south bank of the lake, and starts at 9 am. But the most curious thing about it is that the Serpentine swimming Club (which competes in this tradition) swims at waters usually below 4C!

1. New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Is there anything more festive than the London night sky lighting up with dancing lights of all colours and shapes? Doubtful! The event is ticketed due to popular demand, but the tickets are budget-friendly at 10 pounds. Moreover, the super exciting thing about this year’s extravaganza is the fact that Big Ben – which has been under renovation for ever so long – will sound once again at New Year’s!

Kew Gardens – The Insider’s Guide

Kew Gardens – The Insider’s Guide
by Nina Christopoulou

One of the most wonderful city breaks you can pick, when you want a breather from normal city activities, is a day trip to Kew Gardens. In the very unlikely scenario that you have never heard of Kew Gardens until now, it’s situated in the South West of London, it’s the largest UNESCO world heritage site in London and it has an astounding 250 years of history. However, in all of its beauty, Kew gardens is also an estate of over 121 hectares! This kind of size cannot be roamed within a day, so we came up with the most comprehensive guide detailing the must-see exhibits… so that the £14 ticket does not go to waste!

1. The Waterlily House

Much like Monet’s creations, The Waterlily House has a fairytale element to it. It is an undoubtedly impressive glasshouse, which boasts a beautiful pond full of waterlilies. In case you are unimpressed by the idea of waterlilies, perhaps the fact that this pond hosts gigantic Amazon waterlilies, which are able to withstand the weight of a small child, might persuade you it’s well worth the trip.

2. The Hive

This experience does not fit your average botanical display, with an audio visual stimuli that is directly linked to nature. Confused? Let’s clear it up for you: The Hive is constructed from 170,000 individual aluminum pieces and has a thousand lights and speakers embedded within. The entire construction is linked with the activity of a nearby beehive, therefore digitally “echoing” the hustle and bustle of a bee colony, and immersing you in their life while making a statement about the significance of bees in our ecosystem. The multi-award winning construction was introduced in the UK’s pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo, and commonsensically consists the most popular attraction at Kew, so you should make it a top priority when visiting!

3. The Palm House

If you are an avid user of Instagram, it’s probable you have come across this architectural marvel on numerous occasions. The iconic Victorian building dates as far back as 1844, and is home to a mesmerising collection of tropical plants. One thing is for sure: you will feel as if you have been transported outside of London! For an added touch of magic, the pond and ornate flower beds in front of the Palm House create a scenery not to be missed.

4. Temperate House

Another beautiful structure (yes, Kew is full of those as you may have guessed by now!), Temperate House is huge (the world’s biggest Victorian glasshouse to be precise) and home to temperate zone plants. The most impressive aspect of this exhibit is the large selection of rare and most threatened plants, which – in the framework of climate change – is also a testament to the crucial role that Kew plays in safeguarding rare and threatened plants from extinction.

5. The Prince of Wales Conservatory

The moment you set foot in this conservatory, you are left wondering what kind of exotic destination it reminds you of the most… The jungle-like construction is perfection, and a walk through it will let you gaze at many tropical plants, cacti and orchids – with the most impressive among them being the carnivore plants. Fun fact: way back in 1985, Sir David Attenborough buried a time-capsule of basic food crop seeds and endangered species under the conservatory. In an interesting experiment in evolution, the time-capsule will be opened in 2085, at a time when many of the plants will be either rare or extinct!

Top Things to do this Thanksgiving in London

Top Things to do this Thanksgiving in London
by Nina Christopoulou

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, and not the eagle? Did you also know that Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving? A holiday with many fun facts, Thanksgiving has been introduced to many more countries than the US by now, and it makes sense that we are eagerly awaiting for a chance to stuff ourselves with turkey every year. In case you were wondering where you should be stuffing yourself with pumpkin this year, we have a pretty cool list for you below:

1. Christopher’s

One of London’s favourite American restaurants, Christopher’s could not be missing from this list. The three-course extravaganza they have in store is delicious and Thanksgiving approved: The Chanterelle mushroom soufflé and pumpkin pie especially caught our attention!

2. Cocotte

Cocotte has given a little twist to our normal Thanksgiving celebrations, with a Thankschicken menu available from November 23rd to the 26th. As evident by the name, their menu boasts rotisserie chicken instead of turkey, and they also have an awesome spritz Thanksdrinking cocktail!

3. Balthazar

This one has its roots in NYC, so it was impossible that it wouldn’t have had something good cooking for Thanksgiving! We were sold on gingerbread-spiced cocktail, but the three courses that come after it are equally as thrilling!

4. The Blues Kitchen

With various locations to choose from, The Blues Kitchen offers a Thanksgiving meal with a live band that will accompany your dinner until 1 am. Buttermilk fried turkey, twice baked mac-n-cheese and obviously some New Orleans gumbo for starters will fill up your stomach and make you enjoy the music even more than usual!

5. 34 Mayfair

This grill is infusing its menu with a few Thanksgiving options this year, and we are looking forward to trying them! Roast turkey with cranberry stuffing, New England King Crab and corn chowder and our personal favourite: pumpkin pie with pecan and maple syrup!

6. Big Easy Covent Garden

This Covent Garden joint is bringing you the classic Thanksgiving menu, and a second one with a twist! The Lobster Fest menu sounds promising, with a choice of either a whole lobster, a lobster roll or a lobster mac-n-cheese! Top off your three-course meal with either banana cream or pumpkin pie!

7. The Breakfast Club

It’s time to visit the brunch favourite for a dinner that will have you drooling in no time! Somewhere in between US comfort food and Thanksgiving classics lies the Breakfast Club’s Thanksgiving menu, full inclusive of butternut bisque, turkey roasted in beer and bacon and of course pumpkin pie with vanilla ice cream!

Top Things To Do in London This November

Top Things To Do in London This November
by Nina Christopoulou

Ever so close to Christmas time, November is always filled with dazzling activities for all Londoners to enjoy. The conundrum is, which ones should be at the top of your list and which ones should be left for the next year? We are here to help with that (as per usual) and have gathered only the most amazing upcoming events for the month ahead… Ready, set, go!

7. Regent Street Motor Show

This free and incredibly awesome event pays tribute to the automotive history in the most impressive way possible! November 3rd marks the day, when an array of impressive historical vehicles flood Regent Street and create an unparalleled spectacle. Music, dance performances and motorcycle stunt shows complete the event!

6. Bonfire Night

November 5th marks a citywide celebration, in remembrance of the Gunpowder Plot that fell through, when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The impressive firework show that is orchestrated on the night of November 5th is one not be missed. Visible from every part of the city, the go-to spots for a clearer view are Battersea park, Southwark and of course the Lambeth fireworks at Brockwell Park!

5. EFG London Jazz Festival

Music enthusiasts brace yourselves cause this one is going to be good! From November 16th to the 25th, the festival promises 10 days of jazz infused fun that has been ongoing since 1992! Gigs are planned at venues of all sizes, from the Royal Festival Hall to King’s Place or the Purcell Room, so you are bound to find something to suit your own unique jazz-y taste!

4. Lord Mayor’s Show

This one is quite the royal event, dating back to the royal decision to allow the residents of London to elect their own mayor in 1215. The procession takes place between Bank and Aldwych, with a stunning 140 floats, 7,000 performers and many more in store for the over half a million people that flock to the parade! So save the date (November 10th, that is).

3. Tour the London Christmas Lights

London evokes its Christmas-y spirit from early on, and the Christmas lights around the city are definitely one of the best aspects of the upcoming holiday! Consequently, one of the best activities throughout the year would definitely have to be roaming around the sparkling streets of London (always in good company). The must-see spots are the Carnaby Christmas lights, which never seize to amaze with their vibrant colours, the Covent Garden lights that simply spruce up the already magical Covent Garden setting and of course the South Bank lights that will make you smile endlessly… Of course the Oxford and Regent Street lights are a given, and same applies for the Piccadilly and Bond Street sparkly extravaganzas that take over any Londoner’s Instagram feed from early on!

2. Wintertime at Southbank Centre

The Southbank Centre will transform once more, giving you extreme Nordic vibes along the Thames. With a variety of events, free and ticketed, it is bound to get you into full blown Christmas spirit! The appropriate seasonal foods and beverages will obviously be available, with a Christmas Market to get you in the Christmas shopping mood and plenty of other fun surprises ranging from choir performances to A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party (… but let’s save that one for later…)

1. Hogwarts in the Snow at Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Are you ready to experience a studio tour of your Harry Potter favourites with a Christmas twist? Check out the Gryffindor Common Room and Boys’ Dormitory decorated for a full blown and very festive Hogwarts experience that you do not want to miss. Hogwarts in the Snow will take place on Saturday 17th of November and Sunday 27th of January and it’s wise to book as much in advance as you possibly can!

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?

Credit: @THE STAY CLUB