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Valentine's Day in London

Discover love in London this Valentines Day with a short stay in a serviced apartment, the perfect base from which to explore London.

With Christmas and New Year celebrations long gone, there seems no better way to brighten up those long dark winter nights and grey, overcast February days than spending it with your loved one.

The day that many couples crave for is looming ever closer- Valentine’s Day!  February 14th (just in case those unromantic ones amongst you have forgotten!) is the time when sweethearts traditionally wine and dine in romantic settings, exchange gifts of flowers, chocolates and the like.  Some couples may be looking to celebrate this ancient tradition less classically, or in more unusual ways, so this month we’ll be taking a look at just what’s out there for Valentine’s Day along with discovering a little more about its roots and origins.

Valentine’s Day in London

Roman Roots

So, who is this mysterious saint and where did these Valentine Day traditions start?  Well, although somewhat obscure and exaggerated by legend, it would seem the most likely story behind Valentine’s Day originates in a risqué Roman festival named Lupercalia.  This wildly popular, annual pagan fertility celebration took place on February 15th and involved young, naked men running around gently spanking nubile ladies with an aim to boosting their fertility! This ritual was later absorbed into Christian tradition, eventually morphing into St Valentine.  Yet some scholars believe that St. Valentine was a wayward priest who was apprehended and put to death by Emperor Claudius II after defying him by secretly performing illegal marriage ceremonies.  Claudius had apparently decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families so he outlawed marriage for young men.  Valentine deemed the decree an injustice, defying Claudius by continuing to marry young lovers in secret.  For his misdemeanour, Valentine was executed on February 14, henceforth to be known universally by lovers and sweethearts as St Valentine’s Day.

Whichever version you believe, I’m sure the truth is hidden there somewhere!

Over many centuries Valentine’s Day has evolved, and by the Victorian era exchanging hand-made gifts and cards was commonplace in England. Today it has developed into a huge commercial success, where at least a quarter of the annual total of greeting cards, are sent as Valentine cards. In fact over 150,000,000 Valentine's Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine's Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas.

Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is now synonymous with romance, flowers and candlelight and is loved so much that we dedicate a whole day to celebrating it.  Whether you want to celebrate in the classic, traditional way or do something more outlandish, there is certainly something for everyone in our great capital city.

Here are a few suggestions…

  1. Visit London’s Romantic Restaurants

Whether you’re seeking the perfect place for a first date or a table for a special Valentine's Day dinner, you can’t go wrong in London.  There are cuisines to suit all tastes and budgets. Here are just a few……

Try…

a) The Hutong Shard where you’ll enjoy stunning views of the city, along with their signature dumplings, perfect for sharing, and their own specialty roasted Peking duck.  Complete your evening with cocktails in the high ceilinged atrium bar above London's twinkling lights.

b) Galvin at Windows fuses 1930s decor with modern French cuisine. A Michelin-starred restaurant with views to match from the 28th floor, this is the perfect place to woo your loved one.

c) OXO Tower Restaurant. - On the eighth floor of this unmistakable Tower you’ll discover alluring views of The City and beyond, plus a menu of modern British classics and an intimate atmosphere, it's the ideal romantic Valentine's restaurant.

d)  Bateaux LondonRomance on the Thames.  Some say the Seine is the place for lovers!  Not so, as Bateaux London can do romance which is second to none.  Go down on one knee whilst passing London’s iconic landmarks on this superb dinner cruise along the Thames. With floor-to-ceiling windows, dinner, cooked on board and live entertainment, it will certainly be a night to remember.

  1. Visit the Rivoli Ballroom
    If you want glamorous surroundings to woo your beloved why not watch Shakespeare’s classic love story Romeo + Juliet?

  2. Royal Observatory-Greenwich
    If you want to get starry-eyed, then an evening at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich is for you. The night includes a planetarium show about the romantic sights the night sky has to offer, a chance to do some stargazing through the 18-tonne Victorian telescope and a glass of bubbly whilst standing on the historic Greenwich Meridian. An unforgettable evening sure to impress!

  3. Check out the Jazz Cafe
    Here you can serenade your date with Nina Simone's greatest hits. This year The Black Voices Quintet will perform the best and most powerful numbers from the repertoire of one of the 20th C greatest artists, Nina Simone.

  4. Mercato Metropolitano
    For an unusual Valentine’s activity (11th February) head down to this vibrant space and treat your loved ones with an amazing homemade chocolate gift for St. Valentine's day.  There are chocolate making classes where you can make mini chocolate truffles and filled chocolates.

  5. Visit Sarastro
    Be serenaded by opera singers in the opulent surrounds of Sarastro with its flamboyant food and quirky artwork.

  6. Take a romantic stroll

    1. Enjoy a spectacular sunset over London’s skyline from the top of Parliament Hill, on Hampstead Heath.
    2. Take a moonlit stroll along Southbank hand in hand, from London Bridge to Waterloo.
    3. Take in a London Park – Hyde Park is very beautiful at this time of year.
  7. Take tea at the Barbican
    Chill out with a romantic afternoon tea in the Barbican’s conservatory, which homes tropical plants, trees and fish.

  8. Go to bed at the Electric Cinema
    Watch a movie from the comfort of a front row red velvet double bed at the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill.

  9. Check out Belowzero Ice Bar
    If your partner is chilly- Cosy up to them at Belowzero Ice Bar, where the walls, bar and tables are made of ice.

Euracom Comment

There is certainly a vast range of things to do with your one and only in our lovely city.  If you choose to extend your Valentine visit to London to take advantage of the wealth of romantic activities on offer, then Euracom can help.  We have a plethora of serviced apartments within the capital to suit every budget.  Our three featured properties this month are…

Serviced apartments in Chelsea Cloisters, SW3

Located in one of London’s most fashionable areas, these apartments are within a three star property and vary in size, from studio apartments to  1/2 bedroom apartments all available. Each apartment has en-suite facilities, a fully fitted kitchen & come furnished.  Reasonably priced from only £98pn for a 1 bedroom studio, they are perfect for corporate business travellers or for short stays. Their central location offers easy access to the West End, London’s main entertainment centre.

Serviced apartments in Chelsea Cloisters, SW3

Facilities include:

  • Bathroom
  • Concierge / security / reception/ Door entry phone/ Lifts/ Safe
  • Daily or weekly linen change/Daily cleaning service/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • TV / Freeview/ Telephone/ Wifi

More about our serviced apartments in Chelsea Cloisters ›

South bank serviced apartments London SE1, Tower Bridge

These wonderful apartments are situated on London's South Bank, with easy access to the many of London's iconic landmarks & attractions.  For a nightly fee from only £117p/n they make an ideal base for short stay holiday. The apartments are based around the original Sarsons brewery and are complemented by a stylish new development that includes a gym and onsite café pleasantly located in the atrium area, - a great place to have breakfast. With separate living and sleeping areas and a fully fitted kitchen and complimentary Wi-Fi, there is plenty of room to entertain guests.  With scenic walking routes around London’s South bank, these apartments are close to many bars, restaurants and cafes, along with other amenities like Borough Market.

South bank serviced apartments London SE1, Tower Bridge

Facilities include:

  • Central heating
  • Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts
  • Dining table & chairs
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ dishwasher in some/ Iron / Ironing board
  • Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • TV / Freeview/ Wifi

More about our South bank serviced apartments ›

Studio apartment rentals London Hyde Park, Inverness Terrace

Our Inverness Terrace studio apartments have recently undergone a superb refurbishment and are perfect for a short holiday in the Hyde Park area of London.  Located on a residential street and moments from Hyde Park, the area is bustling with shops, restaurants and cafes nearby.  Entertainment venues are also close-by, making these quality apartments ideal for those who enjoy the high life!  With an affordable price tag starting from £96 p/n, these great apartments are set in an historic Georgian terraced building with warm & vibrant interiors.  With a kitchen which includes a fridge, hob, oven, microwave, kettle and all necessary cooking utensils, along with high speed Wi-Fi, these short stay, budget, self-catering apartments are hard to beat.

Studio apartment rentals London Hyde Park, Inverness Terrace W2

Facilities include:

  • Bathroom
  • Central heating
  • Door entry phone
  • Fully equipped kitchen/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
  • Room service available
  • TV / Freeview/Wifi

More about our Studio apartment rentals London Hyde Park ›

By Johntex - Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1676458

By Rob at 4 Feb 2019

Living and studying in London as a student

As many people will tell you, ‘student days are the best days of your life’.  Add to that the vibrant atmosphere of the one of the world’s finest capital cities and you have all the ingredients to make your student life one to remember. 

Choosing London as your base during your years of studying makes perfect sense. With many higher education institutions set in and around the city, London makes an attractive and convenient place to study and has so much to offer.  It is a place where you will be inundated with images, culture, atmosphere, people and history. You can pick and choose, combining being a student, spectator or tourist, as everything is so centrally located.  As a student, there are many opportunities to experience new culture, shops, events and people.  Add to that two other student priorities, nightlife and food, which London has in abundance, with its plethora of food markets, eateries and pubs located in the centre, and you then have all the major lifestyle benefits of living and studying in London. 

Living and studying in London as a student. Student accommodation & student apartments in London.

Furthermore, with an excellent, affordable transport network to get around, along with a multitude of museums and art galleries, (many being free), boredom will never set in, even for those students who are on the tightest of budgets. 

If you are seeking greater independence and looking to start your career, London is definitely the place for you.  London helps to connect people, with its proximity to the world stage.  Its status as a leading city results in well renowned companies, like banks, publishers and media companies choosing to make London their headquarters. As a student in London, you can take advantage of such employers providing opportunities like interview training, work experience and internships.  Graduate schemes are also available within the city, making your location and proximity to these ever more vital. 

As an international student, initially student life in London can be daunting, although there are endless opportunities for not only boosting your education and career, but also for friendship and fun. This could be your ideal chance to combine furthering your education and living in one of the most influential and exciting cities in the world.  With its fusion of cultures and unique multicultural character, communities from every corner of the globe have settled in London, bringing new cuisine, customs and influence to the capital, giving it a diversity and richness unlike anywhere else, making you want to stay, sample and explore.

Although studying in London is undoubtedly a highly attractive idea for many, the main factor for students in deciding whether to live and study in London, is their idea of what it will cost to live in the capital. London is a great city, but it can be expensive and it does falter when it comes to affordability. Students can find it hard to make ends meet, even when they are frugal with their money. Yet having a base in London is a real advantage, as its close to some of the worlds leading universities & colleges and especially if you're applying for internships and want real opportunities for employment.

Euracom aims to make student life in London as hassle-free, simple and affordable as possible, allowing you to focus on your studies. We specialise in providing student accommodation and student apartments, perfect for students wishing to rent an apartment in London and we have an extensive range of student apartments for rent to suit all budgets.  The following apartments are a great choice for students wanting to study at university or college in London and looking for cheap student accommodation.

Euracom Study Abroad Student Apartments London, Zone 1

These study abroad student flats are conveniently located in the most popular student areas and are close to the major London universities like UCL and Kings College.  Their central location (within London's 'Zone 1' transport system) allows easy access to the city’s theatres, museums, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. With a full range of services including fully equipped kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms with Wifi, TV and DVD player, they make the perfect choice of cheap student accommodation for those on a budget.

247 Baker Street student accommodation London, NW1

This great value studio apartment is in a private block, located within walking distance of Regents College and a wide range of eateries, bars, bistros and local attractions such as Regent’s Park, the Sherlock Holmes and Beatles museums and the London Planetarium. Its prime location makes it ideal for both exploring London’s sites and for access to local universities.  Utility bills, along with some furniture and whitegoods (washing machine) are included. A fully equipped kitchen and central heating make this apartment an excellent choice.

Cheap apartments for rent, London Bloomsbury, WC1

These recently refurbished, self-catering budget apartments are ideally located for a short term London stay on a budget, or for a central base to London's university district.  They are central to major attractions like The British Museum, theatre land and Oxford Street.  These simply furnished studio apartments sleep two in either double or twin beds. Services include- Concierge / security / reception and daily or weekly linen change, lifts, lobby/ waiting area.

These student apartments in central London are available for either cheap short / long term apartment rental with very competitive rates.

For more information contact us or call one of our reservation agents on: +44(0)20 8420 7666

Image accreditation's: By Diliff (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rob at 25 Nov 2016

Benefits of Corporate Accommodation – Is It All That?

Some people enjoy travelling on business and see it as a perk of the job and others find it a tiring, lonely experience but in the non-stop world we live in, it’s a necessity that can rarely be avoided. Most short trips involve airports, client offices and nondescript hotel rooms but for longer stays and secondments, Euracom has the answer, and the benefits of business travel are better than you think….

As we’ve said, coming to London on business for a few days is easy and quick to organise. Flights are cheap and you can find decent hotel rooms all over the city. You meet with your clients, they take you for dinner and you’re back on the plane home before you know it.

As a long-term business traveller, it’s slightly more complex than that. Flights are no problem but accommodation might be. Three or more months in a hotel is prohibitively expensive for all but the biggest organisations, as is eating out three times a day. Organising laundry, work, entertaining and relaxation is also a hassle in a hotel.

london-skyline

London Skyline Picture © Neil Howard

But there’s a solution, and it’s much, much easier than you think…

As a business traveller, the things that are most important to you when staying in another country are:

  • Comfort with plenty of space
  • A home-away-from-home feel
  • Close to the tube and mainline rail stations
  • 15-20 minutes to Central London
  • High-speed wireless broadband
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • Modern, high-tech apartments
  • Immediate availability
  • Fully-equipped kitchen and all mod-cons

Have you considered West Hampstead? If you haven’t, it’s time to start! Our brand new apartments are perfectly located just to the northwest of central London and offer some incredible advantages over staying in a hotel.

west-hampstead-tube

West Hampstead Picture © Nico Hogg

As we’ve mentioned, apartments are much cheaper than equivalent hotels and it’s exactly like being at home. You come and go as you please; you do what you want, when you want; you can cook, clean and relax in the lounge; you can entertain friends, colleagues or clients, you can work in spacious comfort and you can be in the beating heart of London in 10-15 minutes.

West Hampstead is west of Hampstead, one of London’s most exclusive (and expensive) residential areas and you should expect no change from £10m if you want a five-bedroom family home there. West Hampstead is a thriving, friendly community with a real, old-school Bohemian vibe. Some say it’s a yuppie stronghold and while that’s true to a certain extent, you’ll find all sorts of people buzzing around, from City-types to peaceful old hippies to families, young urbanites and the newly crowned millennials.

The main road that cuts through the middle of West Hampstead is West End Lane and it’s one of the very best high streets in London full of fantastic restaurants, bars and cafés, quirky, independent shops, delicatessens, bakeries and boutiques with a true village feel. You’ll find all sorts here including furniture, art, books and clothes and you are a few minutes away from the delights of Primrose Hill, Hampstead and Regent’s Park.

Not only that, but also, the overall benefits of long-term business travel can’t be ignored:

  • See new and exciting cities with new foods and new experiences
  • Meet new and interesting people from all over the world
  • You don’t suffer from routine burnout with such variation
  • Network with businesses you wouldn’t normally have access to
  • Your confidence and business acumen grows
  • Days are structured for you to get the most out of them

heathrow

Heathrow Airport Picture © Sergey Yellseev

See! Coming to London on business for three months of more needn’t be a chore, a hassle, a bind or in any way stressful if you contact us on 020 8420 7666 orinfo@euracom.co.uk and book your corporate apartment in West Hampstead today!

By Rob at 22 Feb 2016

International Students in London – You Are FANTASTIC For Britain!

It’s August. The likelihood is that you are either a) on holiday in the sun surrounded by boat parties, booze and loud music, b) volunteering on a children’s camp or preserving an ancient Inca site in deepest, darkest Peru, c) working in a pub or d) asleep, but when it’s time to get back into the lecture hall as an international student, what effect are you having on the economy? The answer may surprise a lot of people…

First, let’s start with the numbers (all from 2013-14, the most recent available figures courtesy of the UK Council for International Student Affairs – www.ukcisa.org.uk):

  • There are over 435,000 international students in the UK from all over the world including almost 273,000 ‘new’ or first year students
  • The most represented nationality is China with 87,895 students, followed by India with 19,750
  • University College London has the largest number of international students in the UK with 11,850
  • 38.7% study Business & Administration followed by Engineering & Technology (32.7%) and Law (25%)
  • The male/female split is virtually identical, with 50.9% female and 49.1% male

If you’re in that number and you’re coming to London, it’s not too late to find your perfect apartment. All you need to do is browse our selection of student accommodation in London and contact us!

Welcome to London

The fact is that the UK (and London in particular), needs international students. A report by business lobby London First and PwC, one of the world’s largest firms of auditors aimed for the first time to economically quantify the costs and benefits of non-EU international students studying at London’s universities to London’s and the UK’s economy.

There has long been an argument centered on anti-immigration rhetoric that close to half a million international students coming to the UK every year put an unnecessary – and to some, unwanted – strain on public services and housing.

That argument, while still being waged, has been proven to be redundant. The report found that non-EU international students contribute £2.8bn to the economy made up of fees (£1.32bn), consumer and subsistence spending (£1.36bn) and £121m from visiting friends and family as well as supporting over 70,000 London jobs. The cost of providing them with public services such as the NHS costs the UK £540m, a net gain of £2.26bn.

The Head of Global Immigration at PwC, Julia Onslow-Cole said: ‘While politicians recognise the importance of international students, there has been considerable debate over the economic value.’

She continued: ‘This is the first study to quantify the benefits of student migration. We need more hard data like this to inform immigration policies and targets. The £2.3bn benefit of international students illustrates there is a huge amount at stake.’

In addition to the obvious financial benefits, 60% of students surveyed suggested that they were ‘more likely’ to do business in and with the UK as a direct result of studying here and in today’s lightning fast  global economy, that is not something to be underestimated.

i29

While good news on one hand, the report also offers a word of warning. It’s no secret that the abovementioned anti-immigration rhetoric is gaining a modicum of traction and a third of students interviewed said that the immigration system in the UK is so complex it had a negative impact on their experience of studying here, as did the difficulty in finding employment after finishing degrees.

One of the issues is that non-EU international students are included in the government’s net migration figures and are not, like Australia and Canada, classified as ‘temporary visitors’ hence the anti-immigration rhetoric. There is a real fear that the top students who have the luxury of picking and choosing the best universities around the world will avoid the UK.

We also need to make it easier for students to stay in the UK and work after the completion of their studies. The current rules state that students need to work for a single employer and earn a minimum salary of £20,800.

These are issues the government appear to be taking seriously. The bottom line is that we have some of the finest universities in the world and we need to attract the brightest and the best by offering a far more welcoming and inclusive climate. International students are a huge boon for the UK and they make a valuable and lasting contribution.

Don’t forget, you can still find excellent student accommodation in London! Search our portfolio of properties here and then call us on 020 8420 4666 or emailinfo@euracom.co.uk

By Rob at 14 Aug 2015

What REALLY Annoys Us…!

It’s a special person who can get through an entire day without getting annoyed at someone or something. Modern life, on the whole, is a positive experience but from time to time (and those times are more frequent for some of us) we see or hear something that gets our goat!

It could be that the things that annoy us are simply small cogs in a far bigger wheel and can be explained by scientific theory – ‘x’ annoys me because of ‘y’, and the net result is ‘z’ – but more likely, it’s because those things are just really, really annoying!

Fingernails on a blackboard. People talking through films. Your mother’s Facebook status updates.  Unexpected items in the bagging area. The list is endless and we all have our own, but last week, online gaming site mobileslots.com conducted a straw poll of 700 people to find out the 50 things that really wind us up.

Here is the list from 50 to one. Some you’ll agree with, some you won’t. Read through and mentally tick off the ones that do. You will either be angrier than you think you are or more accepting of modern society’s foibles than you think you are. Judge for yourself…!

50. Monday mornings
49. People who litter
48. Pigeons
47. Justin Bieber (genuinely shocked he wasn’t waaaaay further up the list)

justin-bieber

46. Jimmy Carr (that laugh…)
45. Clocks changing in the spring and autumn
44. ‘Liking’ your own status on Facebook (bad form)
43. Cat poo
42. Speed cameras
41. Cyclists who don’t ride single file
40. Finding the start of a roll of Sellotape
39. Overseas call centres
38. Katie Hopkins (see #47…)
37. All-day delivery times
36. The Voice (presumably this refers to all ‘talent’ contests on TV)
35. Mobile phone conversations on the bus
34. Other people listening to music without headphones
33. Packed trains

packed-tube
32. Twitter trolls
31. Expensive mineral water (glorified Peckham Spring)
30. People putting their bags on train seats to prevent anyone sitting there
29. People who leave their phone on at the cinema or theatre
28. House prices
27. Slow wi-fi
26. Weather being news (a British institution)
25. Potholes
24. Incessant DFS adverts (do they ever NOT have a sale on? It that even legal?)
23. PDAs
22. Celebrity fitness DVDs (because we all have that sort of time to get into perfect shape)
21. Traffic wardens (who leaves school wanting to do that?)

traffic_warden

20. Spam email (around 80% of all email traffic worldwide is spam)
19. Rude shop assistants (they’re rude because they work in a shop, go easy on them)
18. People who don’t stand on the right on escalators
17. People who talk in lifts
16. Small talk (harsh)
15. The One Show (more annoying that Justin Bieber? We think not)
14. Josie Cunningham (the girl who had a boob job on the NHS)
13. PPI calls
12. BO on public transport (or indeed anywhere, ever)
11. Bad grammar

grammar
10. People who do their shopping at petrol stations
9. Perez Hilton (he was in Celebrity Big Brother apparently)
8. Tulisa (something to do with music, drugs and fake sheikhs…)
7. Snow (eh? What? Snow is fantastic for kids but agreed, not so great for cars)

canada-snow
6. People who put the milk in first when making a cup of tea
5. Public transport
4. Slow walkers
3. Nigel Farage (perhaps because he’s a dead ringer for Sam the Eagle from The Muppets)
2. Queue jumpers (yet none of us have the guts to ever say anything)

And the thing that annoys us the most…

1.  Self-service checkouts

Google ‘things that annoy us’ and you’ll find a list of lists that are broadly similar, give or take a few anomalies but it turns out that on the whole, as a species, we do annoying things. That’s the long and short of it. Often the things that annoy us are not done on purpose (leaving indicators on, going to the shops and forgetting why you went, plane delays) but some of them are (selfies, not cleaning up after dogs, parking where one shouldn’t to save three seconds) so the message is, take a good look at yourselves and try hard not to do the things that annoy you about other people!

Interestingly, one of the things that annoys our clients here at Euracom is them trying to find apartments in London with other firms, which is why they all end up coming to us. We are the antithesis of annoyance and our customer service is second to none. That’s why our clients have been our clients for years.

They don’t get annoyed because they get precisely what they want, every time. Browse our website for the best student apartments in London, the best holiday apartments in London and the best corporate apartments in London and then call us on 020 8420 7666 or email info@euracom.co.uk today!

We’ll see you in March!

By Rob at 9 Feb 2015

There are 11 items on 3 pages.