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28 Aug 2013

Top 10 Tips for Visiting London



If you're coming to London, especially if its your first time in the capital, there are some important things that you should consider before and during your trip. 

Below are our top tips for visiting London:


21 Aug 2013

Notting Hill Carnival


Every August bank holiday, Notting Hill turns into a familiar collage of fluorescent colour as the largest street festival in Europe proudly roams the roads.

Yes, it’s the Notting Hill Carnival.


From 9am to 7pm on both Sunday and Monday, hundreds of revellers will unleash their wild side and take to the neighbourhood's streets, masquerading bright costumes and eye-catching floats whilst parading and performing past the hoards of onlooking crowds.

True to the carnival’s roots (its Caribbean origin dating back to the 19th century as a celebration of abolition of slavery), the rhythmic sounds of the West Indies’ Soca and African’s Calypso and steel band traditionally fill the air, while more contemporary Reggae, R&B, Funk, House beats also play through static sound systems.

But the music and aesthetic displays aren’t the only partakers in this sensory festival. Swallowing down some jerk chicken or chicken wings with a cup of rum punch is a must and all part of experiencing the exotic delights of traditional Caribbean cuisine.


When evening dawns and the processions turn in, the fun continues into a number of carnival after-parties.
‘Children’s day’ is traditionally on Sunday, while ‘Adult’s Day’ takes place on Monday. Though there’s not much difference between the two (the children parading is shorter on Sunday and the after-parties longer on Monday), it is worth bearing this in mind if you’re planning to take your family.


 
Like for most events, getting the tube to the carnival is your best bet. Take the Central line or District and Circle line to Notting Hill Gate, but be aware that this is EXIT ONLY and many nearby stations are restricted. See here for to plan your journey to and from the carnival.

Please note that Transport for London have announced the following advice:

For safety reasons, some stations may close temporarily to prevent overcrowding. It may be worthwhile waiting until the station reopens instead of going to a different station.


If you're looking to stay nearby, whether it's this weekend or anytime in the future, the Bayswater, Paddington & Nottting Hill area is the perfect central London base for short stays in London.

14 Aug 2013

London Neighbourhoods: Clerkenwell


Our 'London Neighbourhoods' blog posts are created to give you a better insight into the best London neighbourhoods to stay when booking a London serviced apartment. This week the spotlight is on hip central London neighbourhood, Clerkenwell.


Clerkenwell

Ask the average Londoner what they know about Clerkenwell and most will awkwardly pause before cleverly diverting their knowledge to one of the surrounding City of London areas. The historic neighbourhood of Clerkenwell may not be the most overt area of London to visit, inconspicuously sat above the flurry of Bloomsbury, Holborn, Farringdon and the Barbican, but nonetheless this small, self-contained neighbourhood is rife with historic, cultural and, today, fashionable merit.


Steeped in history, this Medieval town was a popular residential area in the 18th century where Oliver Cromwell called home, before being transformed into an epicentre of brewery and gin distilleries during the Industrial Revolution (the large warehouses still remain and have made significant transformations into shops, restaurants and bars). Although Clerkenwell dipped into decline during the post-war era, it is now reputed for its hip and trendy (but not pretentious) ambience, as well for being one of the best places in London for restaurants thanks to its overwhelming gastronomic reputation.


Gastropubs, historic bars and a concoction of Georgian and Victorian style boutiques and bistros riddle its cobbled streets and are housed in its aesthetic buildings, labelling it a must-see for every modern traveller. During the day educational buffs will be spoilt for choice at the Marx Memorial Library on Clerkenwell Green, while at night young twenty-somethings crowd into its Fabric and Turnmills nightclubs, two of the biggest in the city. Its annual Design Week, the country’s leading independent design festival, always attracts a diverse hoard during the third week of May.

And when you've soaked up the history and satisfied your culinary cravings enough, both Farringdon and the Barbican neighbourhoods, which are popular northern areas of the City of London, are only a fifteen minute walk away. Nearby attractions, which can all be reached either by foot or via a short tube journey, include Sadler's Wells Theatre, The Barbican Centre, Museum of London, St Paul's Cathedral, British Museum, Sir John Soane's Museum, Old Bailey Court House, and the countless attractions at West End.


We have a selection of Clerkenwell Serviced Apartments, but here's the latest apartments on the block:


Rosebery Apartments:
Rosebery Apartments are set in a beautifully restored Victorian red brick building in London’s original Little Italy, just off Farringdon Road and a five minute walk to Clerkenwell Road. With quirky, contemporary interior decor, these sleek apartments boast spacious, open plan living areas and benefit from attractive on-site facilities like a reception, gymnasium and weekly housekeeping.
View more & Book here


St Johns Street Apartments:
Set within a striking new development overlooking a landscaped courtyard, these stylish apartments are located in the heart of Clerkenwell just off the main Clerkenwell Road. Homely and comfortable residences, each has fully equipped and fully furnished rooms and benefits from free wireless internet and a balcony.


View more & Book here



Gardner Court Apartments:
These bright, open apartments are an attractive and inviting accommodation of choice in the heart of the Clerkenwell area, situated within a modern glass high-rise building. As well as offering comfortable living, inclusive facilities and services such as 24 hour concierge, free wireless internet and Hi-fi entertainment systems enhance its desirability.


View more & Book here



Horseshoe Court Apartments:
Located in a quiet road just off Farringdon Road and set within a striking new development overlooking a landscaped courtyard, these modern serviced apartments are neutrally decorated and feature high standard furnishings and desirable on-site, inclusive services such as 24 hour concierge. Some apartments also benefit from having a balcony!
View more & Book here


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

13 Aug 2013

London's Top Football Stadiums


Attending a football match during your stay in London is a fantastic experience - it puts you in touch with local life and allows you to experience some of the finest sporting action on the planet. Many visitors to London enjoy a trip to one of the famous stadiums throughout the capital to take in a match or take a tour of one of its magnificent arenas.


Why not enhance your London short stay with some edge-of-the-seat football action? Alongside Wembley Stadium, there are a further 6 football grounds that play host to world class sporting drama in the English Premier League:

7 Aug 2013

5 London Facts You Didn't Know




It may be your first visit or your second home, but when it comes to London there's always something new and interesting you can learn or discover about the city. And as local specialists, we not only comb the city for the best serviced apartments in London, but we also like to make sure we brush up on our London knowledge when we can. Our Anniina went on a walking tour of London and below are some of the amazing, quirky facts that she discovered about the city.
FACT 1:
Buckingham Palace

In fact, it was Tory politician John Sheffield, who became Duke of Buckingham in 1703, who built and named it Buckingham House for himself as a grand London home. It was associated with royalty in 1761 when George III bought Buckingham House for his wife, Queen Charlotte. It became known as the Queen's House and was transformed into a palace in the 1820s for George IV, but was not an official residence of the monarchy until 1837, when Queen Victoria moved in.


FACT 2: Green Park Flowers

This park, formerly referred to as Upper St James, was named Green Park in 1746 for simply just being green and largely bare of trees and flowers. Rumour has it that King Charles II used to go there to pick flowers and give them to pretty women strolling through. When his wife found out, she ordered every single flower in the park to be pulled out and no more planted. Green Park remains flowerless to this day.


FACT 3: Trafalgar Square Lions

Edward Henry Landseer, the sculptor of this popular London monument at the foot of Nelson’s Column, had never actually seen a lion at the time of its sculpting and so relied on his pet dog as a model to mould the statue. Upon looking closely the sphinx-like statue, you can see it partially resembles a canine with its hind legs and tongue sticking out. Though many queried Landseer’s novice ability as he was only known for his painting, he was appointed to sculpt the statue in 1958 and it was finally unveiled in 1967.

FACT 4: The Lords & Common's Bridges

The wrought-iron Westminster Bridge we see today, which was the replacement structure to the first erected one hundred years prior, was painted green to match the leather benches in the House of Commons. Similarly, Lambeth Bridge, the next bridge up river, is painted red to match the leather benches in the House of Lord's. The Palace of Westminster, where Parliament is housed, lies in between the two. In parliament, the rift between the governing party and opposition is also apparent by them being seated exactly two sword lengths and one foot away from eachother.


FACT 5: Queen's access at Temple Bar

Not many people are aware of this, but The City of London, also known as 'the Square Mile' is not actually part of England, but is a privately-owned corporation that is not under the power of either Government or the Queen. Therefore, when the Queen wishes to enter the City, she is met by the Lord Mayor at Temple Bar (the symbolic, and only surviving, gateway into the City of London, which dates back to 1350 and rumoured to have been designed by Christopher Wren) where she has to officially request permission from him to enter this private state. This ceremonial and respectful act is marked with a bow before the Mayor leads the Queen into the City. Likewise the Lord Mayor has to seek permission from the Queen to enter Greater London.

How many facts did you already know? If you have any more fun facts about London, we'd love to hear them via our Twitter or Facebook page!

We at Check-in-London are not only London Accommodation Experts but are also specialists on our city, and strive to go that extra mile to help our customers with any queries, advice and recommendations they may need or benefit from. If you have any queries about London or would like to book great value London accommodation for your trip here, why not drop us an email at info@check-in-london.com or call our customer service team on +44 843 289 882. 

6 Aug 2013

What's New: Oxford House Apartments



Oxford House Apartments are our newest property and the latest addition to our portfolio of Marylebone Apartments in London. We visited this property last week and were impressed with what we found...

WHAT’S SPECIAL?
These Two Bedroom Apartments are distinctively designed with every kind of traveller in mind, from a couple on a weekend break (min two nights stay) to a family staying for several weeks. Suitably decked out with modern furnishings and wooden floors, these roomy apartments comprise a large fully fitted kitchen, separate bedrooms, and a combined living and dining area with a dining table, a flat screen TV, DVD player and free wireless internet. Its large floor-to-ceiling windows not only give the apartment a light and airy feel but also make full use of the terrific location’s city views. But the Two Bedroom Penthouse Apartment goes a step further by featuring a wrap-around terrace - perfect for evening drinks - that offers clear (nearly panoramic) views over the city and where you can spot many of London’s famous landmarks from. Added touches also help give the apartment a cosy ambiance - if the chocolate on the pillow doesn’t make you smile, the origami towel swan certainly will!


WHERE IS IT?

Sitting just 400m away from Goodge Street station, these apartments are located in the heart of the West End in Marylebone, a five minute walk from the east end Oxford Street and a similar distance to the acres of parkland at Regents Park. Outside of the apartment on the vibrant Tottenham Street is several local amenities and a convenience store, not to mention the spectacle of the BT Tower towering above.


WHAT’S IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD?

Marylebone itself not only offers world-class shopping on both Oxford Street, Carnaby Street and the accompanying Regents Street, Bond Street and Baker Street, but is also dotted with an abundance of designer boutiques and homeware stores, artisan caf├ęs, restaurants, and bars on Marylebone High Street. An affluent area, and generally the busiest in London, the West End district has something for everyone. Nearby attractions include the many West End theatres and cinemas, Selfridges, Madame Tussauds, Sherlock Holmes Museum and Regents Park. Mayfair is within walking distance, and other popular neighbourhoods such as Westminster, Knightsbridge and Chelsea can be reached via a short tube ride. A handful of tube stations are within a five minute walk of the apartments, providing access to every corner of the city within minutes.


WHY WE RECOMMEND IT?

Not only do these apartments sit in a convenient location for any traveller to the capital, the apartments provide spacious living throughout (not a common asset for property in this area) in quiet surroundings away from the hustle and bustle down below. Weekly maid service and towel change ensure the apartment is well maintained and, what’s more, the secure entry system into the building offers guests the flexibility to check in and out safely and securely whenever they please (before/after the specified check out/check in times).


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.