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29 May 2013

Top Architectural Styles of London Apartments


London is home to a wealth of various architectural buildings spanning different historic periods, from state-of-the-art modern builds to those rich in history and dating back centuries, offering a huge diversity of residential properties and accommodation for guests to the capital. Our London serviced apartments are housed in some of the city’s newest and oldest structures, and certain districts of the city are renowned for its buildings that reflect certain eras. Whether you’re after period properties with period charm, period properties with ultra-modern interiors, or cutting edge apartments with the latest innovative design, there is something suitable in London awaiting your arrival.

Here's a brief look at the most common types of architecture and apartment buildings that you'll find in London:

Georgian Style (1714-1830)

This Palladium style architecture was prolific during the first four monarch’s reigns and a large part of London still retains this era with a dominant number of its, now, Listed buildings. The buildings themselves are often flat-fronted and feature classical, elegant designs with symmetrical faces, sash windows and rectangular windows. Bloomsbury is a notable Georgian area of London and houses Bedford Place Apartments, which are close to one of the best preserved Georgian squares in London, Bedford Square. These great value apartments feature typical characteristics of the era such as open square rooms, cream décor and tall ceilings and offer emblematic traditional accommodation at affordable prices. 45 Gower Street Apartments, also in Bloomsbury, is similar with an archetypal elegant exterior and open, light interiors.

Georgian-style iconic buildings: British Museum, Westminster Bridge, Buckingham Palace


Victorian Style (1837-1901)
Following on from Georgian architecture, this refined style was a mix of former eclectic architectural design, including Gothic Revival, Elizabethan, Classic and Italian, and Middle Eastern influences. British architects carried the style into American and Australian colonies, but it was in England that the style truly flourished and is why so many of London’s buildings can be attributed to this era. Solid square fronts, ornate brickwork, Roman pillars and bay windows characterise distinctive Victorian construction. 41 Draycott Place Apartments and No. 1 Sloane Avenue Apartments are placed within striking Victorian terraced buildings that sit amongst Chelsea’s notable period buildings and offer period charm as well as open, light and spacious contemporary interiors.

Victorian-style iconic buildings: National Gallery, Houses of Parliament, V&A Museum, Science Museum, St Pancras Station





Edwardian Style (1901-1910)

The Edwardian neo-baroque architectural style was influenced by past English and French designs, and buildings were often built with domed rooftop pavilions, roman pillars, tower-like blocks and arched decorative features. Their impressive classic exteriors attract many tourists who are looking for an old-fashioned experience and to soak up historic British tradition, and are typically home to luxury apartments in London. Bayswater and Marylebone are notable places to find scatters of Edwardian apartments and are centrally located, making them perfect for short stays. Grand Plaza Apartments in Bayswater are among one of the largest complex of Edwardian apartments in London and feature the clean white facades with stucco terraces and striking pillars. Town Hall Apartments in East London are full of character and feature classic interiors with both modern facilities and tasteful antique furnishings.


Edwardian-style iconic buildings: County Hall, Admiralty Arch, War Office


Modern Style (late 20th-21st century)

World-class architects win bids to create some of the most lucrative and expensive modern building projects in London, one of the latest builds being the St George Wharf Apartments in Vauxhall with its majestic gull-wing roofs and stylish terraces. The newly developed Canary Wharf district represents the largest collection of 20th and 21st century buildings in the world and relishes in looming skyscrapers and high-rise glass towers such as the Canary Wharf Tower (the tallest office building in Britain). Though the older buildings represent British history and tradition, the modern builds are becoming, and will most likely continue to become, amongst the most prevailing in London. If you prefer the new over the old, stay in Canary Wharf either in the colourful glass building that houses Ability Place Apartments and its contemporary furnishings, or in the tall skyscraper that is home to the plush crescent-shaped New Providence Wharf Apartments. Alternatively, Bezier Apartments near Liverpool Street are a modern ‘egg-shaped’ spectacle with sleek contemporary interiors and lustrous fittings.

Modern iconic buildings: The Gherkin, Tower 42, Heron Tower, Canary Wharf Tower, Lloyds Building

For more information or to book a London short stay apartment, please call us on +44 843 289 8820 or e-mail us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

24 May 2013

Bank Holiday in London: Food Festivals


May kindly bows out with a second long weekend as we (in theory) wave a firm goodbye to a temperamental Spring and skip into the Summer season wearing an optimistic smile. With three whole months of sun ahead of us (everything is crossed...twice) kick start your Summer in London with a range of outdoor events amidst, what appears to be, a reasonable weather forecast (now resorting to the ‘touch wood’ expression). The last Bank Holiday earlier this month was filled with colourful canal boats, urban cycling and artistic street entertainment. This time, food events are the favourable contender, serving our longing desire for a picnic and giving Summer dieters prepping for that bikini bod a final few days to indulge.

Here’s how to eat your way through your long weekend (remember, the next one is 14 weeks away!):

1. Foodies Fest

Hampton Court Palace Green, Hampton. Saturday to Monday. Admission: £15 adult, daily . Buy online

Hosting this annual food tour for the fifth time, Hampton Court Palace Green will be a swarm of bustling food stalls and pop up eateries dishing up a selection of their favourite tipples to curious food lovers and fabulous dishes to a ravenous sea of picnickers. Soak up the feasty affair with Jamies Italian and Masalaza Zone among the selection of pop-up restaurants, and don’t miss the BBQ arena and theatres dedicated to Michelin star chefs, cookery demonstrations, drink tastings, cake and bake classes and chocolate displays! There will also be live music and entertainment to keep you swaying side to side while you chomp on your culinary delights.

Amongst the thousands of people fleeing London this weekend to try their luck with the weather abroad? Not to worry, Foodies Fest returns to London in June at Clapham, and in August at Battersea. And if you’re away then too, tough - you take too many holidays.


2. Kew Gardens IncrEDibles Festival

Kew Gardens, Kew. Saturday to November, 9:30am-5:30pm. Admission: £16 adult, daily. Buy online

Opening this Saturday all Summer long, this (we'll call it food) event at Kew Gardens explores and celebrates the bountiful diversity of plants and their, yes, edible nature. The Global Kitchen Garden features over 90 exotic edible plants from around the world, and visitors will be able to observe, and even taste, these tropical floral displays of plants and trees. The centerpiece- Tutti Frutti- is a wacky invention by Bompas & Parr, who have transformed Kew’s Palm House Pond into a fruit salad punch bowl boating lake with a pineapple island at its centre, where visitors can hop aboard the fruit inspired boats and tour the lake. The gardens also feature a Rose Garden Tea Party where plants will grow out of saucers and teapots, and where you can explore the origins of some of these edible plants and what food products they're inherent in making. These collections are bound to make your tummy rumble for some juicy succulent fruit, so there are specially designed cafes set up to tickle your taste buds.





3. Street Feast


Kingsland Road, Hackney. Friday night, 5pm-midnight. Admission: Free

In the last month or so, London foodies have become accustomed to hanging out at this cool shindig on Friday nights. With an assortment of stalls from London’s most loved street food traders selling all sorts of grub in the old builder’s yard, we don’t blame them. This weekly gastronomic event is only being held for three months, so if you're staying in our Aldgate or Tower Bridge apartments and haven’t yet ventured down to this popular culinary carnival, tonight is as good a day as any. The famous cocktail bar, The Gin Store, also pops up there too to bestow a true Friday night experience.





Got tickets for a sporting event or flower show in London this Summer and haven't yet booked accommodation? Click here for sport events, or here for flower shows.

20 May 2013

Major Flower Shows in London


RHS Chelsea Flower Show:
Royal Hospital Chelsea, 21st - 25th May

The Chelsea Flower Show opens its doors tomorrow to celebrate its 100th Birthday. It may be- geographically- a relatively small show, covering only 11 acres of land, but this prestigious occasion is the most famous flower show in the UK and one of London’s most anticipated annual events. In the five days, over 150,000 show-goers flock to the glorious gardens (including her majesty herself), that take over 800 people 33 days to build. Promising to flaunt the ‘greatest displays ever’, this year’s centenary edition is bound to be even more extraordinary than usual. As well as the familiar horticulture exhibits, be sure to check out the classic British M&G Centenary Garden designed by Roger Platt to capture the past and present themes of the Chelsea show, and get involved with Alan Titchmarsh’s Chelsea Centenary Appeal. RHS have even lifted the ban of gnomes this year, displaying a collection of the pesky garden figurines that were specially designed by various celebrities such as Elton John.



Tickets: Official tickets have sold out, but a limited number are available on third-party sites.

Accommodation: We have a great selection of Chelsea Flower Show Apartments to accommodate your stay, so book your last minute trip now.


RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show:
Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, 9th - 14th July

But if you happen to miss the Chelsea affair or aren’t afraid to enter a flower-induced coma, there’s a bigger (over 3 x bigger) flower show just around the corner. RHS hosts a second flower annual show in the summer, which happens to be the world’s largest annual garden show and is too celebrating a landmark 10th anniversary. Set within the majestic royal settings of Hampton Court Palace and Gardens, this must-visit event provides outdoor and gardening enthusiasts the opportunity to browse through spectacular show gardens and flower-filled marquees; interact and get close-up to planting and country crafts; take advice and lessons from expert gardeners; dine amongst magnificent floral displays; and enjoy live music and shopping.

Tickets: £29.50 for a day’s entry (Thurs-Sat10am-7:30pm, Sun 10am-5:30pm), £19.50 for half a day’s entry (Thurs-Sat 3pm-7:30pm, Sun 2:30-5:30). Book here

Accommodation: For the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show choose a serviced apartment nearby in Hampton, Kingston, Richmond or Kew to accommodate your stay.


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

15 May 2013

The Great Gatsby of Apartments


To mark the official UK release of Baz Luhrmann’s modern adaptation of The Great Gatsby tomorrow (yes, we are counting down the hours), we have been getting into the old swing of things by reflecting on a recent visit to the luxury Edwardian Town Hall Apartments.

While Luhrmann is, the man to turn a roaring 1920’s romance into an extravagantly lavish affair, we think that the Town Hall Apartments is a strong contender for traditional period elegance when it comes to accommodation in London. In fact, they not only stylishly accommodate guests, but are also a popular set location for filming period genre productions, and have seen the likes of Keira Knightley pass through its doors during the filming of Atonement back in 2008.

We couldn't throw a sumptuous party and start jiving on the tables during our visit, but we were conservatively impressed with the majestic surroundings, avant-garde décor and refined state-of-the-art furnishings.

The Gatsbyesque Town Hall Apartments:

Set in a majestic building, you could assume this is home to another of London’s magnificent museums.

But inside, a grand persona welcomes you to your temporary residence. Pictured below is the impressive De Montfort Suite (available on request). The high arched ceilings, large open space and magnificent framed walls certainly give these apartment the ‘wow’ factor. Although we couldn't throw a party...



And these remarkable authentic finishing touches just about top it off. From old barber chairs to retro ballot boxes and antique clocks, these charming displays are a reminder of the apartment's lavish historic surroundings.











The building has a grand marbled decked entrance serviced by a 24 hour reception and lifts to take you up to your room and to the other facilities...Speaking of which, these luxury apartments have inclusive access to spectacular facilities, including a gym and indoor swimming pool. There is also an on-site restaurant, Vigilante, for fine dining and an exquisite bar to indulge in before and after dinner. Maid service is a daily occurrence, and wireless internet and air conditioning is also included for your convenience.

For more information, Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

8 May 2013

Stay Cool in an Apartment this Summer


When our office’s air conditioning went kaput last week just as some of London’s hottest days of the year struck, all we had to keep us from melting into a Check-in-London group slush was numerous trips to the water cooler and afternoon voyages to Marks & Spencer for ice lollies. Having survived the humid disaster, and having finally restored liveable conditions thanks to portable fans and the weather’s goodwill, we've been thinking about the importance of living in cool and fresh environments.

Here are a few things to consider to ensure you have a pleasant and non-stuffy stay:

Air-Con:

Finding accommodation in London with built-in air-con, whether it be hotels or apartments, is not a given. After all, we don’t have Caribbean climates or Hawaiian heat waves. Here, air-con is regarded not as a necessity but more of a luxury and, with the summer fast approaching and the return of the heat imminent, it’s becoming a more and more desirable amenity for those looking to stay in the city over the next few months.






Balconies:

Balconies are often desired by those who wish to walk no further than the end of their living room to soak up superb views over of our striking city and have a private area to drink and dine whilst overlooking one or some of London’s famous landmarks. But balconies are also practical in keeping your apartment comfortable and well-ventilated during the hot summer days. While you’re enjoying breathing the fresh air out there, so is your apartment - just remember to keep the doors open!





Electric Fans:

Only after a slight breeze to take the edge off that warm ambience? Without the more premium prices often required to acquire luxury amenities, electric fans may well be a suitable alternative. Plug it in and switch it on in whatever room you’re lounging in and hey presto, you have a make-shift cooling device.

These are on request in most of our serviced apartments. Just call our expert team and they’ll be happy to request one for your stay.

1 May 2013

May Bank Holiday in London


As we celebrate two bank holidays this month, on the 6 and 27, May could well be a seasonal favourite amongst those bogged down with work and aching to break free from the office to enjoy the first batch of summer festivities. With the first holiday of the month drawing closer, London is preparing for a hive of activity this weekend, and, if you're coming to London for a short break, there's no better time to be here.

Here’s how to make the most of your long weekend:

1. Canalway Calcavade

Little Venice, Paddington. Saturday to Monday. Admission: Free

This annual boat parade makes for a fun family day out and provides the perfect opportunity to explore the idyllic and picturesque spots that line the winding waterways of Regents Canal. The community festival is arranged by IWA (a registered charity which campaigns for the use, maintenance and restoration of Britain’s inland waterways) and has been held every year in Little Venice since 1983. This year’s event, celebrating its 30th year, promises an authentic British affair, and, as well as holding the boat pageant, Little Venice will be pleasantly strewn with morris dancers, trade shows, live music, food and drink stalls, kid’s activities, and stands supplying some of London’s finest ales.


2. SPIN London- The Urban Cycle Show

Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane. Friday to Sunday. Admission: £10 tickets on the door

Cycling has been, and continues to be, a long standing tradition of London daily life, from the 19th century basket-fronted steel frames and penny-farthings, to the modern-day taxi-ing pedicabs and Barclays cycle hire scheme. But this festival celebrates the street-style bike hype. Making its first appearance this weekend, SPIN is the world’s first urban consumer bike event and will showcase bike builds, art displays and exhibitions, in-door racing challenges, talks, and films over the 3 days. There will also be a selection of stalls for independent and international bike fashion brands, and plenty of food and drink stands.


3. Streetfest

Hearn Street, Shoreditch. Sunday. Admission: Free

If it’s a lively vibe you’re after, this is how you must spend your Sunday. This day-long cultural festival returns for its second year and supports and advocates the best of emerging young creative talents from graffiti artists to street dancers, rhyming rappers to daring skaters. Encouraging a mass of gifted performers to illustrate their vision in the way of voice, movement and art, Streetfest exhibits a unique day of diversity, expression and interaction. There will also be sporting events and competitions, DJs playing live sets, and art displays and competitions.


Visiting London for a last minute getaway? A serviced apartment is waiting to accommodate you. For more information, Speak to a customer advisor now to enquire or book a Serviced Apartment in London. Call us on +44 843 289 8820 or email us at info@check-in-london.com for rates and availability.

Sci-fi London Film Festival



Sci-fi London Film Festival. Stratford Picturehouse, BFI, Royal Society. Fri 30 April - Mon 6 May

With Sundance London Film Festival over for another year, the capital’s film enthusiasts may be feeling a little blue with only the mechanic claws in Iron Man 3, the blood infusion that is the Evil Dead, and the racy ride of The Place Beyond The Pines to watch - if they haven’t already. But not to worry, with the next installment of the 'Trekkie' franchise, Star Trek Into Darkness, being released next Thursday (9 May), we have a fitting warm up event for London’s true earthlings, humanoids and cyborgs this week...

In its 12th consecutive year, Sci-fi London hosts an invigorating programme of Sci-fi and Fantasy film UK and World premieres, exclusive talks with the genre’s key players, a short film showcase, and an array of special events. With cross-generic film rife more and more each year (especially in the sci-fi genre, which was not too long ago considered a 'niche' fictional platform) there’s something for every film fan, whether its horror, comedy or indie films that float their boat.

Taking place from 30 April to 6 May, having opened last night with Neil Jordan’s indie vamp horror Byzantium, there’s still 42 events left over the next 6 days and the Friday to Sunday line-up promises a weekend out of this world. The majority of events are held at Stratford Picturehouse, with some taking place at BFI (Southbank) and The Royal Society (St James). Tickets are still available for most events and can be purchased from the official Sci-fi London website or at the venue’s website.