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29 Sep 2011

Lost Property in London

Lost Property in Lonodn



London is generally a very safe and tourist friendly city and while most Londoner’s operate an “Honesty is the best policy” mantra, you still need to be aware of things around you and use common sense, as would in any other big metropolis in the world.

Taking some sensible precautions is the best way to enjoy the trip and stay safe while keeping your belongings safe too. But it is always a wise idea to be prepared for any unforeseen events during your stay including the loss of something valuable. These simple tips can help you whether you are visiting London for the first time, a frequent traveller or a local resident of the capital.

Out of Sight
Keeping your valuables out of sight and close to you is usually the best way to avoid any unnecessary attention. Don’t leave your things unattended or in the care of someone you do not know. Also avoid carrying large amounts of money or very expensive possessions.

Emergency Phone Numbers
Keep a handy list of phone numbers you would need if personal items go missing like credit cards, mobile phone, passport, travellers cheques and anything else you may be travelling with. Make sure you note down the international codes as well.

Photocopies
Always keep copies of your passport and any other important documents like driver’s license, insurance to show as identification in case you should loose the originals. Scanning them online or emailing them to yourself is also a great way to keep them safe and easily accessible in an emergency situation.

Serial Numbers
Most electronic gadgets as mobile phones, laptops, and mp3 players have unique serial numbers and can help your chances of finding an item should you misplace it. For mobile phones, each one has a unique IMEI number, which can be used to track or even block it from connecting to any mobile network in the country, thus rendering it useless to any thief.

Police
If any of your property is lost or stolen anywhere in London, you should first contact the nearest local Police Station. You can get this information by dialling 192. (Insurance claims always require a police reference number)

Transport in London
TFL ( Transport for London ) operates all public transport in London including the trains, buses, DLR, river boat and tram and has a TFL Lost & Found Office which operates a really comprehensive system to help unite missing property with its owners. To enquire about or collect your lost items you will have to go to the office yourself, but allow for 2 or 3 working days after the loss. You may need to provide a detailed description and complete an online form to report your missing item.
You are also quite likely to find your missing item should you leave it behind in a Black Taxi as they are usually quite honest and hand lost items to a police station who then hand it over to the TFL Lost Property Office.

The address for the TfL Lost & Found Office is:
TfL Lost Property Office, 200 Baker Street, London NW1 5RZ
Telephone number is: 0845 330 9882 (08:30-16:00, Monday-Friday except Bank Holidays)


So the next time you visit London, make sure you keep your belongings safe and secure while you explore and enjoy this wonderful city. These days, many travellers are choosing to stay in Serviced Apartments as it gives you more privacy and flexibility than a standard hotel room in London.

Check-in-London offers a great selection of Central London Serviced Apartments that are the ideal home away from home for short stays, city breaks, holiday rentals and corporate lets with a wide range of comforts like self-catering facilities, washer dryers, internet access and weekly housekeeping.
Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Serviced Apartment in Central London. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

22 Sep 2011

A Golf Guide for London

Golf London





If you’re looking for a different way to relax and unwind your senses while you are in London, why not give the world-class sport of golf a try. The city’s fast pace life can often become overwhelming and a good chill out session of golf is a great way of getting some fresh air and a bit of exercise too., London is made up of acres of parks and serene landscaped areas, greater than any other city of its size in the world, so while most of the golf courses in the UK are nestled away in the countryside, it’s no wonder that London features some outstanding and beautiful golf courses.

Whether you’re a novice or professional or just looking for an entertaining family day out, golf is the perfect activity to enjoy the outdoors and get away from the stresses of everyday life. If you’re not entirely sure how to practice your putting, you can always take up some golf lessons or join a golfing school, but be sure to check the prices as training under a fully-qualified PGA golf professional can be quite expensive.

Golf can also create the perfect setting for corporate organisations to build relationships with clients, customers and colleagues with undisturbed and anxiety free surroundings that facilitate appointments, deals and opportunities while providing an excellent form of entertainment.

Some of the London golf courses include:

1. Finchley Golf Club

Located in North London and designed by James Braid, this 18-hole course is spread over 6356 yards and also features a beautiful Victoria Club House.


2. Wimbledon Park Golf Club

Apart from Tennis, Wimbledon also offers one of the oldest golf clubs in England with an 18-hole course and a clubhouse that includes meeting facilities and a strict golfing dress code.


3. Highgate Golf Club

Extremely close to central London, this 18-hole course is over 100 years old with fantastic course-views from its clubhouse.


4. Central London Golf Centre

Set in Wandsworth, this golf-centre requires no membership and is open every day of the year except Christmas day with excellent green fees on the 9-hole course.


5. Musewell Hill Golf Club

This fine parkland 18-hole golf course features natural hazards and challenging greens is located in Wood Green and was founded by James Braid in 1891.


London offers the perfect destination for golf breaks and golf holidays. If you are visiting the capital and looking for a place to stay while you tee-off, why not try a serviced apartment. Areas like Wimbledon, Richmond, Hampstead and Central London are within easy reach of the city's prime golf-courses and offer affordable and self-catering serviced apartments that are perfect for short term accommodation or corporate stays providing a great alternative to expensive hotel rooms.

Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Serviced Apartment in Central London. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

15 Sep 2011

The Gastropub Experience in London



The roots

Originating in the late 20th Century, the Gastropub is one of the biggest food revolutions in Britain. It was coined in the heart of Clerkenwell, which is still home to some of the oldest Gastropubs in the city, and is a term that has been much-debated, criticised and sometimes even hard to distinguish.

Marrying gastronomy with that of an English pub, gave rise to the phenomenon of the Gastropub. It evolved from the humble public house and was brought about to meet the needs of the modern consumer.

The Gastropub presents the best of both worlds, combining pub culture with restaurant dining. Traditional pub grub favourites are still offered side by side with more robustly flavoured and upscale versions of popular meals that include shepherd’s pie, pasties, burgers and fish and chips. Appealing to a more discerning clientele, these Gastropubs offer a high quality of food, inspired by the original tried and tested favourites of the pubs, revamped with exotic meats and impressive garnishes.

A Pub with a difference

With the increasing amount of pubs investing into food to compliment their wet-sales and jumping on the food bandwagon, some of us have been left wondering what is the difference between a Gastropub and a pub? Is it the fact that a Gastropub sets itself apart ( and indeed above ) a pub by offering a well-sourced and seasonal fresh meals in an intimately friendly environment ? or is it the elegant sophistication that comes tied with a microbrewery of lager ? Perhaps it’s a bit of both.

Stephen Bull is top chef in London who owns a gastropub and predicts that ‘The future is very bright for the gastropub – it’s the British bistro,’.. and many agree that the reason behind its remarkable success comes down to the fact that a Gastropub is typically a high-quality version of the traditional English Pub offering a more relaxed and welcoming dining experience with a relatively affordable menu that serves gourmet British style cooking alongside an extensive and usually impressive choice of ales.

The best of the rest

While there are many fine Gastropubs in and around London, one of our personal favourites are “Smiths of Smithfields” located right outside Smithfields Market in Farringdon, London’s only working meat market. Delicious food, design and atmosphere with a distinct urban Gastropub look and feel is what is on offer here.

Farringdon lies towards the east of London and offer a wide range of serviced apartments that are within walking distance from the Old Smithfields Market and many other top sights and attractions. Nearby areas like Holborn, Bloomsbury, Kings Cross and St Pauls also offer affordable and self-catering serviced apartments that are perfect for short stays, vacation breaks or corporate stays and provide a great alternative to expensive hotel rooms.

Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Short term accommodation London. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

8 Sep 2011

Driving Tips for travellers visiting the UK


If you’re planning to get in the driving seat of a car in the UK then make sure you are aware of the systems and laws in place to ensure you have a safe and sound journey on the road. First of all, you will notice that in the UK, cars drive on the a left hand side, similar to Australia, India, Japan and the US Virgin Islands.

Right hand side drive

Take it slow and don’t rush to spin around the centre of town specially if you are used to the right hand side drive, because you might not get very far. Also try renting an automatic car to help you adjust to the new settings, although these can be priced higher than stick-operated vehicles. Make sure you check that you have a valid driving licence that covers the type of vehicle that you are driving and an appropriate insurance with valid road tax. Also make sure you don’t drive while using your mobile phone as this is against the law.

The metrics

Next point to keep in mind is the metrics. Road distances are shown in miles or yards (MPH) and so are the UK Speed Limits. When filling petrol (gas) note that prices are listed in litres, and it takes about five litres to fill one British gallon so consider the distance you have to travel and whether it might just be cheaper taking another mode of transport like a coach or train.

Parking

Parking your car shouldn't be too difficult if you read the signs. Most parking lots operate on a “Pay and Display” method where you pay for the duration you need to park at a nearby parking machine and place the ticket on the dashboard clearly visible to the parking warden. Besides the obvious “No Parking” signs you should also be aware of the yellow lines painted on the street. Double yellow lines = No parking ever ; Single yellow lines = Parking generally NOT allowed except during un-restricted hours only, usually after 6pm, check the sign ; Dashed yellow lines = parking allowed, but still check the signs for any time restrictions and still may need to 'pay & display.' ; No lines at all = you can park for free.


Speed limit

It is also advisable to always look out for speed limit signage. On motorways, the speed limit is usually 70mph, but on country roads it slows down to 40 or 50mph. And once you enter a village, the speed limit is never more than 30mph -- slower limits are posted. Watching your speed can help you avoid unnecessary tickets from Speed Cameras that are almost everywhere and take a picture or your car and plate while speeding. If you need to overtake or pass a car, keep in mind that you are only allowed to overtake on the right or the ‘fast’ lane. The "slow" lane is the outside (or in this case, the far left) lane. This is also the lane where you'll need to make your exits. Exits are very clearly marked and you'll have plenty of warning before your exit approaches.

Roundabouts

Roundabouts are another UK road phenomenon that can sometimes be tricky for foreign visitors. A roundabout is a circular junction where all drivers give way to traffic on their right. All you need to keep in mind to slow down when coming to one and 'give way' to traffic already on the roundabout and If there's a car already on the circle, they have the right of way. Generally British drivers don’t yield, they ‘Give Way’ to traffic already on the road and acknowledge the courtesy of another driver letting you pass by a wave of thanks.

Congestion Charge

And finally the Congestion Charge. This is a charge imposed by the Transport of London body on most vehicles travelling into Central London on weekdays. The daily charge is £10/day and must be paid for in advance or before midnight that day in order to avoid a penalty. With superb public transport links in and around Central London, it is wise to avoid using a car unless you really need to, and use buses and taxis or underground trains.

With these basics, you should be able to get yourself on the go in no time. There is so much to see and explore in the UK from bustling city town centres, splendid country landscapes, quaint villages and charming English towns and a good road trip around England will surely be an enjoyable and unforgettable lifetime experience.


If your travelling to London by car and need a place to stay why not book a serviced apartment. Serviced Apartments are perfect for short stays, city breaks, holiday rentals and corporate lets providing a relaxing and homely environment for all travellers. Serviced Apartments are flexible and spacious with a wide range of comforts like self-catering facilities, washer dryers, internet access and weekly housekeeping.


Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Serviced Apartment in Central London. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

5 Sep 2011

Fashion’s Night Out in London




Back for the third time, this September, Fashion’s Night Out is sure to affirm London’s new well-deserved status as Fashion Capital of the world. With over 340 stores involved, Fashion’s biggest shopping party is guaranteed to be one of the year’s most stylish evenings with a trendy frenzy of events, store openings, product launches and many in-store promotions including games, DJ performances, beauty makeovers, style advisors and gourmet treats that have been organised to take place in and around the West End and Oxford Street area.

From high street brands to high end designers, Fashion’s Night Out invites one and all to take part and celebrate fashion and style before London Fashion Week gets on its way. Of course, there is also a chance to support a good cause, as a lot of the proceeds raised at the events will be donated to The Kids Company, a charity organisation dedicated to addressing child poverty.

Bond Street will be at the very heart of it and will be closed to traffic with street entertainers, a Kids Company choir and information booths to guide you along the way and should that not be enough, there is always The Vogue Fashion's Night Out app is now available free from iTunes, providing you with the latest news, updates and discounts to be had.

We hear that there will be a black cab “Miss Dior” photo booth and fortune tellers at Mulberry. River Island is rumoured to have flash mob dancers at its oxford street store. Rupert Sanderson’s roller disco sounds absolutely fantastic and Tiffany’s Warhol-style 70s disco party promises body painting and hair styling. Topshop will be giving you a chance to have your very own “Fashion Moment” video clip and you could also win a year’s supply of shoes at Russell and Bromley. Department stores like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and are also gearing up to pull the crowds in with glamorous guests, pop up bars, exclusive gifts, complimentary cocktails and plenty of designer appearances throughout the night.

If your visiting the capital or attending the events at Fashion's Night Out, why not stay in a serviced apartment close to where all the action is. Check-in-London offers a fashionable selection of serviced apartments in prime hotspots like Marylebone, Mayfair, Bloomsbury and Covent Garden that are affordable and convenient and ideally suited for city breaks, vacation holidays or corporate stays.

Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Accommodation for London fashion week. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.