Christmas shopping in London is more than just going out, buying what you need and going home again. It’s an event. It’s a full day out that takes in inevitable sightseeing, a couple of coffee stops, the actual shopping and some lunch or an early dinner in a nice pub or restaurant.
We all have fond memories of going into London to ‘see the windows’. Everyone knows what that means and it was a highlight of the year. If you don’t, the premise was simple. Each of the department stores (along Oxford Street and Regent Street predominantly) would dress up their storefront windows with the most magical displays and we’d be captivated by their Christmassy themes. Today of course we see it as a cynical marketing ploy to get us to buy their stuff but that aside, it was something we loved and that tradition continues today.
It wasn’t always like this though. The humble department store rose, not coincidentally, alongside growth of a consumerist society in the early years of the 19th century. Entrepreneurs like Josiah Wedgewood (the cups and saucers guy) pioneered what we now call marketing to influence the tastes and trends of the day. To this end, window shopping became a legitimate leisure activity and department stores acted as safe havens for Georgian ‘society’ women with disposable income who could shop unaccompanied without a slight on their closely-protected reputations.
Oxford Street in the late 1800s
There is some conjecture as to what was the first department store and it seems like the truth has been consigned to the annals of history but Kendal’s in Manchester (now House of Fraser) has been trading under various guises since 1796 and has a legitimate claim. If you know of an older department store, tell us on Twitter@EuracomLondon!
Perhaps the most famous department store in the world is Harrods in Knightsbridge. A former grocery store located in a grim part of London’s East End, Charles Henry Harrod saw a gap in the market when the East India Company lost its monopoly on tea pricing in the 1830s and swooped. Harrods moved into semi-rural Knightsbridge around 1850 and started on a path to greatness.
Over 12,000 bulbs light up Harrods every night
Harrods claimed to sell literally everything ‘from a pin to an elephant’ and this claim was put to the test by then Governor of California Ronald Reagan who called the store to ask ‘do you sell elephants?’ ‘Would sir prefer African or Indian’ came the reply!
A million square feet of shopping space was sold by Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed for £1.5b to the ruling family of the emirate of Qatar soon after his son Dodi Al Fayed was killed in the Paris car crash that also claimed the life of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
London is home to a vast array of department stores (all of which, ironically, sell basically the same stuff) including:
Debenhams – recently the subject of a £25m makeover on Oxford Street
Fenwicks – on Bond Street is at the luxury end of the scale
Fortnum & Mason – not usually considered a ‘department store’ and they have come under fire in recent years for their insistence on selling foie gras but they do sell luggage, home wares and clothes alongside their world-famous selection of luxury foods
Harvey Nichols – noted as much for its fashion at its restaurant for the beautiful, rich and famous on the fifth floor
House of Fraser – sits perfectly in the space between Debenhams and Harvey Nicks
John Lewis – perhaps the best loved of all, they are ‘never knowingly undersold’
Selfridges – recently the subject of a dramatized TV series, contrary to popular belief, they don’t sell fridges
Selfridges under construction, c.1908
Selfridges on Oxford Street, 1960s
They all have some incredible sales on over Christmas so if you are coming to London to do your Christmas shopping, you better book your accommodation quickly!
Here at Euracom we have some great deals on vacation apartments in London, on the doorstep of the stores, the sights and everything London is famous for! There’s still time to secure your London apartment but we are getting booked up very quickly so don’t delay, call 020 8420 7666 today! You can also email email@example.com and we’ll get back to you as quickly as we can.
All that’s left for us to do is wish you a very happy Christmas and a healthy New Year. We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank you, our loyal clients who have used Euracom in 2014 and we hope to serve you just as well in 2015 and beyond.
at 8 Dec 2014
It’s been 100 years since the start of the first World War and over the last few weeks, there has been events up and down the country (and around the world) to mark the armistice.
Here at Euracom, we are honoured to have let apartments in London to a number of visitors who have come to London especially for the remembrance events.
What do you know about WWI? Let’s start with the war in numbers:
- Britain’s entry into WWI was declared at 11pm on August 4th 1914
- Globally, 65m fought, including 5m British soldiers
- Soldiers had to be 18 to sign up and 19 to fight abroad, but…
- …the youngest British soldier (Sidney Lewis) was 12 who lied about his age
- Estimates put the number of troops killed at 8.5m, including 750,000 British, with…
- …21m troops wounded, including 1.5m British soldiers
- 12m letters were delivered to the front every week
- By the end of the war, 2bn letters and 114m parcels were delivered
- Around 2m soldiers, sailors and airmen died from disease and malnutrition
- 13m civilians were killed
- The cost of bullets fired in one 24h period in September 1918 was £4m
While these numbers may represent an abstract concept, WWI changed Britain and the rest of the world forever. Paying for the war came at a massive cost and we changed from the world’s largest overseas investor to one of its biggest debtors with interest payments forming around 40% of all government spending. Also, inflation more than doubled. In a perfect example of irony, repatriations from Germany in the form of free coal depressed local industry and precipitated the 1926 General Strike.
However, whatever the reasons for the war and whatever happened in the aftermath, this week we have been remembering the fallen.
The most popular remembrance exhibition is the poppies at the Tower of London. 888,246 ceramic poppies have filled the moat at the Tower to represent each British military fatality. The installation by ceramic artist Paul Cummins is called ‘Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red’ and has welcomed millions of visitors from all over the world and although it ended on Armistice Day, you can still buy a poppy to help support the vital work of a number of service charities in the UK here.
If you want to read more about World War One, we suggest the BBC website. It has a wealth of information, films, images and personal stories including an incredible story about the role animals played in the conflict and finding out how we let 250,000 underage soldiers fight.
We went to the Tower to see the poppies and here are a few images from the day:
Christmas in London
So, what are you up to this Christmas? There are so many events, festivities, shows, pantomimes, markets and fairs happening this Christmas in London it’s hard to know what to do first!
We could list hundreds of events but the best thing to do is to look at sites likeVisitLondon and Time Out for things to do in London (we promise you there’s something for literally everyone!) and of course if you are coming to London, you’ll need somewhere to stay!
Here at Euracom, we have a comprehensive choice of serviced apartments in Londonbut we urge you to book quickly! London is one of the busiest cities in the world over the holiday season and we are filling up fast!
Please call us on 020 8420 7666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your holiday apartment in London and make sure you look at our special offers, including two-bedroom apartments in Baker Street/Regent’s Park, available from December 16th. The apartment sleeps 2-5 people and is available from just £700/week!
Remember you can join in the conversation on Facebook and Twitter@EuracomLondon!
Before we go, we thought we’d relay a fantastic testimonial from one of our oldest and most regular clients –
‘Yet again, you have exceeded our expectations. I come to London with colleagues at least five times a year on business and my company wouldn’t trust anyone else with our accommodation. Richard and Kelly know precisely what we need and deliver high quality apartments close to where we need to be every single time. If you’re coming to London, don’t bother with Google, just call Euracom.’
Another satisfied customer!
Have a great month and we’ll see you in December.
at 13 Nov 2014
A decade ago the answer would have been ‘probably not’.
Today, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
If you Google ‘benefits of social media to businesses’, you’ll find almost 39m results and the chances are you’ll also get 39m different answers, so which one is right?
Well, a lot of them are. Naturally it depends on a number of factors including the nature of your business, your audience and how you want your business or brand represented but for us at Euracom, perhaps the biggest benefit to us is how cost-effective it is.
Most of the sites we looked at have the same, clinical reasons why social media is good for our business:
- Business exposure
- Increased traffic to our website
- Grow a loyal client base
- Improved sales
- Improved rankings on Google
They are all fine, but how does a small business like us (and you) effectively market ourselves to get our voices heard above all the noise in our industry?
This is what we think and please, if you have something to add about how you use social media, please let us know, via, ahem, social media! You can follow us on Twitter@EuracomLondon and ‘like’ our Facebook page!
- Setting up social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest etc. is cheap and it gives you the ability to reach a targeted audience very quickly.
- According to socialmediatoday.com, 83% of customers like to connect with their favourite brands on Facebook and 53% on Twitter and a study by Nielsen suggested that 50% of purchases are made based on recommendations your customers see on social media outlets.
- Facebook has 1.3 billion monthly active users and Twitter has around 280 million. That’s a lot of people who have potential access to what we’re saying and selling!
- We now have the ability to interact directly with our customers. We can respond very quickly to questions and issues and we add value to our service offering by writing monthly blog posts (like this one). Company engagement is now a two-way street. We don’t know what you want unless you tell us!
- Ultimately, we’re a business like any other and we have competitors so we need to do all we can to generate leads and sales. Another report by socialmediatoday.com said that 71% of social media users are more likely to purchase products from brands that they are connected on social media websites.
Since we’ve been active on Twitter and Facebook, we have seen our enquiries forapartments in London increase dramatically and we have been able to convert more of those enquiries thanks in part to social media but also because we are all lovely people to deal with and we have the best selection of vacation apartments in Londonand student apartments in London!
The flip side of using social media to drive awareness of your brand and to drive sales is the all too familiar ‘social media fail!’
This is precisely how not to engage with your audience on social media!
Call us today on 020 8420 7666 or email email@example.com for the best accommodation in London!
at 17 Oct 2014
People from all over the world come to London for a million different reasons.
Some come to study, some come to work, some come to visit friends and relatives and some come simply to see what this most cosmopolitan of cities has to offer.
Just before we forget:
- If you are a student in London looking for accommodation, click here
- If you are in London to work and need accommodation, click here
- If you are looking for the best rental accommodation in London, click here
We have a world-class selection of restaurants, theatres, cultural events, markets, open spaces, architecture and attractions but the jewel in London’s crown has to be our collection of museums.
The British Museum
Founded in 1753 by physician, naturalist and collector Sir Hans Sloane who bequeathed his collection of 71,000 objects to King George II, the British Museum was established by an Act of Parliament.
It was the first national public museum in the world and as it does today, it granted free admission to all ‘students and curious persons’. Visitor numbers have grown from around 5,000 a year in the eighteenth century to almost six million a year today.
The major exhibitions you can see today include:
Ancient Lives, New Discoveries – a collection of eight mummies from Egypt and Sudan, each with their own unique story (£, until 30 Nov 2014)
The Other Side of the Medal – How Germany saw the First World War – this collection of German medals made by artists between 1914 and 1919 was designed to influence popular opinion against Germany’s enemies (FREE until 23 Nov 2014)
Exhibitions coming up include:
Ming: 50 Years that changed China – Builders of the Forbidden City and rulers of the global superpower from 1400 – 1450, the Ming dynasty created some of the most beautiful works in the history of art – porcelain, jewellery, gold, furniture, paintings, sculptures and textiles – and many have never been seen outside of China before (£, 18 September 2014 – 5 January 2015)
Germany: Memories of a Nation – this exhibition is a 600-year history in objects in the context of the fall of the Berlin Wall 25 years ago. The show will use objects to investigate the complexities of addressing a German history which is full of both triumphs and tragedies (£, 16 October 2014 – 25 January 2015)
For all the information you need about the British Museum including opening hours, getting there and floor plans, please click here.
The Natural History Museum
Located in South Kensington in one of London’s most beautiful buildings, the National History Museum is a world-renowned museum and science research centre attracting over five million visitors every year.
The museum hosts 70 million natural history specimens and six million rare books and manuscripts and the scientists collaborate internationally on research, collections and information resources.
Entry is free but there is a charge for some of the temporary exhibitions, including:
Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story – Experience the dramatic story of ancient Britain, its changing landscapes and the people who lived here. This major exhibition showcases more than 200 specimens, objects and life-size models (£, until 28 September 2014)
Neanderthal Survival – Neanderthals were exceptionally successful as a human species, surviving more than 250,000 years of extreme climates in Ice Age Europe. Archaeologist Beccy Scott explains what the traces they left behind tell us about their behaviour and how they managed to survive for so long (18 September 2014, 14.30 – 15.00)
There is also a huge amount of things to do for kids. For more information, click here.
For all the information you need about the Natural History Museum including opening hours, getting there and what you can see, please click here.
The Science Museum
Across the road from the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, the Science Museum was opened in 1857 ostensibly as a store of industrial and decorative arts and it has been added to over the years, including a Special Loan Collection of Scientific Instruments in 1876, and in 1883 a science library was established along with the addition of the contents of the Patent Office Museum.
Exhibitions at the Science Museum:
Fly Zone Studio – Make believe you’re an astronaut with the help of green-screen technology
Mysteries of the Unseen World – Explore a world invisible to the naked eye in IMAX style (£)
3D: Printing the Future – Discover how innovators use 3D printers to turn computer data into physical objects that could change your life.
For all the information you need about exhibitions, visiting and tickets, please clickhere.
London’s museums aren’t limited to these three! Here’s a list of museums in London for your entertainment pleasure!
Don’t forget that when you come to London, you’ll need somewhere to stay and here atEuracom, we have a comprehensive selection of apartments in London for tourists, students and corporate visitors.
Call us today on 020 8420 7666 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the best accommodation in London!
at 17 Sep 2014
Doctor Who told us there would be huge alien spacecraft smashing into Big Ben. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy envisaged a London that was completely destroyed and Star Trek: Into the Darkness went a little easier on us, describing a city filled with slick, curved skyscrapers. A futuristic city in the sky.
Who’d like to take a guess as to what London will be like in 2114? Last month’s blog was about London 100 years ago and the advances we’ve made between then and now in the fields of education, technology, aeronautics, transportation and scientific and medical research have been nothing short of astonishing. But, in 100 years from now, will we, as Back to the Future predicted, be riding around on hoverboards, travelling through the space-time continuum and wearing self-fastening trainers?
London’s Physical Landscape
In terms of the physical landscape, a recent BBC study has suggested that while the jewels in our crown – St. Paul’s, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament – will stay essentially as they are, we are destined, given the influx of investment and foreign nationals making our city their home, for a ‘city of Shards’. Structurally and materially we will be building bigger, taller more advanced skyscrapers and the skyline will look vastly different to what we see today.
One of the biggest grievances we have collectively is how bad the traffic is in London. It seems that any time of day or night and wherever you want to go you run into traffic. At the time of writing, petrol is around £1.30/litre and fossil fuel resources, if the Daily Mail to be believed, are dwindling and will run out next Tuesday. Electric cars are slow, take too long to charge and drain very quickly, hybrids are expensive and complex and hydrogen fuel cell-powered cars are still running into manufacturing and power-extraction issues.
If the current rate of technological advancement remains, we’ll see cars that communicate with each other, self-driving cars (Google are developing one), external airbags and self-diagnosing cars, but will they do anything to stop the North Circular Road acting as a giant car park?
The Tube in the Summer…
Hands up who loves getting on the Tube in the summer with three million other people in conditions way above the permitted temperature for transporting cattle? Siemens are developing a driverless, fully wi-fi-enabled train – the Inspiro, below – that’s claimed to be 30% more efficient and 20% lighter with a bigger capacity and full – yes, FULL – air conditioning. Transport for London say that by the end of 2016 there will be 191 walk-through, air-conditioned trains on 40% of the tube network (Circle, District and Hammersmith & City lines) but the issues remain for the deep lines where conventional air-con has been effectively ruled out due to the lack of space for equipment and the perennial problem of dispersing waste heat.
Unpopular with unions it may be but Londoners of the future will still need to get around town and perhaps this is the way to do it.
Money, money, money…
The grief the banks landed us in a few years ago may have signalled a long, slow death knell. The rise of decentralised crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin could well revolutionise how we transact. By 2050 or thereabouts, we may be well on the way to a having just a few regional currencies left fighting against a single worldwide electronic currency, similar in principle to the Euro but on a global scale. What do you think a single currency should be called?
The Most Cosmopolitan City in the World…
Walk through central London today and if you listen carefully, you’ll hear dozens and dozens of languages and dialects from all four corners of the world. It’s one of many things that makes our city so great but in 100 years from now, what languages will we be hearing? Minor languages are dying out remarkably quickly and with over a quarter of the world’s population speaking English, Spanish and Mandarin, these three could well become the dominant languages the world over as early as the end of the 21stcentury as trade, education and science converge.
The truth is, no-one really knows with any degree of certainty what life in London will be like in 2114, but there is one thing we do know for sure. As our children and grandchildren learn about what life was like way back in 2014, they will know that when tourists came to London, the best place to book accommodation was with a company called Euracom!
They had a fantastic collection of apartments in London for students, vacation and holiday apartments in London and corporate accommodation in London at exceptionally reasonable prices and tourists, travellers and corporates flocked to Euracom because of their apartments and their customer service!
Please contact us today on 020 8420 7666 or email email@example.com and we’ll talk you through everything you need to know about booking apartments in London.
at 14 Aug 2014