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Winter in London Is Wonderful!

***STOP PRESS*** There is now only two weeks until Christmas and if you’re coming to London and you don’t yet have accommodation, you better call us quickly on 020 8420 7666 or email info@euracom.co.uk! Spaces are limited but we still have holiday apartments in Bloomsbury, the City of London, Earl’s Court, Hampstead andWestminster.

When was the last time you spent Christmas in London? It’s traditional for Londoners to escape the hustle and bustle of the big smoke and either travel to sunnier climes or leave the city for the relative quiet of the provinces however London in winter is exciting and magical with tons and tons to do!

Over the last few months we have written about London’s markets and Christmas shopping in London but there’s a lot more to do than go shopping!

Take Winter Wonderland for example. It’s in Hyde Park until 5th January and it’s full of fantastic things to do for all the family – walk through the Magical Ice Kingdom, ride the Giant Wheel and try not to fall over ice skating at the Lycamobile Ice Rink! If you’re not too exhausted after that, you can see the Cirque Berserk show, a Zippos Circus extravaganza thrill show with knife throwing, fire, high wire stunts and a Wheel of Death! There’s something for everyone!

One thing you must do while you’re in town is see the windows of the department stores on Oxford Street. One of this year’s highlights is Debenhams who have constructed animals from household objects like hoovers, coffee machines and leather bags! It’s brilliantly creative and the kids will love it (you will too!) After that, stroll down Regent Street and go into Hamley’s, one of the biggest toy shops in the world but beware, it’s SO popular there are queues to get in but it’s worth the wait!

One of the most famous sites in London every Christmas is the tree in Trafalgar Square. Every year since 1947, the people of Norway gift a tree (usually a Norwegian spruce) to the people of London to say thank you for Britain’s support for Norway during World War II. It’s over 20m high and around 50-60 years old and it’s chosen from the forests around Oslo by the foresters who look after it and call it ‘the Queen of the Forest.’

Most evenings in the run up to Christmas there’s carol singing and all sorts of events around the Square as well as dozens and dozens of restaurants and bars for some seasonal food and drink!

In true British fashion, here’s a word of warning. Christmas in London is fantastic and we can’t recommend it highly enough but there are always some unscrupulous types who look to prey on the innocent so keep bags, wallets, phones and cameras hidden away and if you’re driving, PLEASE don’t drink. The police are cracking down on anyone they suspect who may be over the limit and if there’s anything that can instantly ruin Christmas it’s a night in the cells and a car you can’t use for a year.

So, all that’s left for us to say is a huge thank you for trusting Euracom with all your accommodation requirements in 2013 and we very much look forward to servicing your every need into 2014 and beyond.

As we said our holiday apartments in London are filling up VERY quickly so call us today on 020 8420 7666 or email info@euracom.co.uk and we will do our very best to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

By Rob at 12 Dec 2013

Christmas Shopping in London

Christmas in London is magical and we Londoners put on a real show for all our visitors! It’s true that shopping in London is exceptional all year round, but at Christmas, it’s just a little bit more special.

We don’t know if it’s just us, but generally speaking, Londoners have a habit of leaving their Christmas shopping to the last minute – especially the men – so here’s a handy guide so you can avoid last-minute panic buys!

If you’re staying in London over December, remember Euracom has some fantastic accommodation in Bloomsbury, Camden Town and indeed all over London and includes serviced apartments in London, holiday apartments in London and student apartments in London – something for everyone, just like the shopping!

Anyway, we digress.

People flock to London at Christmas from all over the world, but where do they go to do their shopping?

To us, one of the best places to go is to walk along Oxford Street and Regent Street. The lights are always fantastic but the real thrill is the department store windows. Each year they compete to see who has the best window displays. It’s hard to judge because they are all fantastic but one thing is guaranteed, the whole family will love it! Hamleys on Regent Street (one of the most iconic toy shops in the world) always has brilliantly inventive windows – as well as seven floors of every toy and game in the universe!

Moving around London, Covent Garden always looks beautifully festive and is a warm place to be with its boutique shops, cafés and restaurants. Trafalgar Square, now they have pedestrianised it will be a great place to be this Christmas and there are also a number of ‘pop-up’ Christmas markets and fairs that are definitely worth a visit –

Christmas at Kew Gardens – there’s lots to do for the family, including vintage and Victorian rides, a market, Santa’s Grotto, food treats and live festive music.

Handmade Christmas Fair – One-off pieces made by small, independent designers, crafters, hobbyists and foodies!

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – Plenty of rides, stalls and attractions, including two circuses and the world famous ice-rink.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market – Loads of toys and gifts, food and drink including the German staples of bratwurst, glühwein and gingerbread!

Taste of Christmas – The Taste of London brand goes all festive! There’s food as far as the eye can see with masterclasses, demonstrations and tastings from top restaurants and special guests like Michel Roux Jr, Monica Galetti and Valentine Warner.

While it’s tempting to stay at home in the warm with the family with a hot chocolate and repeats of The Wizard of Oz and Only Fools & Horses on the telly, there really is a huge amount to do in London over Christmas. We’ve just talked about the shopping but there are ice rinks, carol festivals, grottoes, shows, pantomimes and attractions and lots of events for adults, kids and the whole family.

We promise you’ll never be bored. You won’t’ have time to be!

Where are your favourite markets, shopping streets or hidden gems n London? Where’s the place that you can’t wait to get to in the festive season? Tell us on Twitter@EuracomLondon or on our Facebook page!

Don’t forget, we have some of the best apartments to rent in London so browse through the website and then call us on 020 8240 7666 or email info@euracom.co.uktoday!

By Rob at 8 Nov 2013

London’s Markets

Here at Euracom, we have built our business on the strength of offering excellent accommodation to students, executives and tourists.

Three relatively disparate groups of people, but the all have one thing in common and while each group goes about their daily business, we’re sure that at one point or another, every one of them has visited one of London’s markets.

London’s markets are world-famous. Their origins are grounded in the Middle Ages where, under ancient charter, they were set up to serve the expanding numbers of people coming into the City of London. As the years passed, some grew into huge, wholesale markets catering for the new breed of retailer and some became street markets to meet the needs of the growing suburbs.

There are traditionally two types of markets here in London – wholesale and consumer – but there is a third type of market that has emerged over the last 5-10 years that Londoner’s have come to love – the Farmer’s Market.

We won’t focus too much on the wholesale markets but they are worth visiting simply because of their sheer scale and history.

Wholesale Markets

New Covent Garden Market is the UK’s largest fruit, vegetable and flower market. It supplies 40% of the fruit and veg eaten outside of the home in London and 75% of London’s florists buy their flowers there each morning.

Billingsgate Fish Market is the UK’s largest inland fish market and they process 25,000 tonnes of fish and seafood every year.

Smithfield Meat Market is one of London’s oldest markets – meat has been traded here for over 800 years – and is open to the public.

Consumer Markets

The beauty of London’s consumer markets is in their eclectic nature. You can buy, within reason of course, almost anything, from high-end art and antiques to second-hand books to flowers, clothes, food from every corner of the globe, gifts, curios, handmade goods and jewellery.

Opening hours vary from market to market (some are permanent and some operate on certain days of the week only) so it’s worth checking before you go but one thing is for sure, there are great markets operating every day of the week and you will never be lost for a market in London to go to!

Borough Market – Fresh foods, fruits and vegetables as well as specialist ingredients. A gourmet’s paradise!
Greenwich Market – Jewellery, clothes, accessories, gifts and pictures. There’s also a food court and lots of local, independent shops.
Covent Garden Market – London’s most famous craft market. Look out for the street performers too, some of them will blow your mind!
Jubilee Market – Antiques on Monday, arts & crafts on the weekend and then a general market. It’s in the heart of Covent Garden and definitely worth a short detour!
Camden Lock Market – Clothes, art, workshops, accessories, gifts and punky counterculture stuff with a very cool vibe and lots of street food stalls.
Broadway Market – Artisan foods as well as clothes, gifts and furniture in Hackney, one of London’s coolest and vibrant areas.
Old Spitalfields Market – A covered market selling clothes, art, food and gifts and you can nip up the road to Shoreditch to hang with the cool crowd!
Portobello Market – Antiques, artisan foods, posters, vintage and designer clothes and artwork. It’s been here for almost 200 years and Saturdays is the best day to come.
Leadenhall Market – Designer clothes and shoes, fresh food, gifts and services. It dates back to the 14th century and is in the heart of the City.
Brick Lane Market – Bric-a-brac, leather clothes, saris, spices and other Eastern delights. A real hotbed of cultures, Sundays is the best day to come.

Farmer’s Markets

Farmer’s markets are a relatively new addition to the London market scene. Simply put, they are weekly markets set up by local and artisan food producers to sell the fruits of their labours. Where previously we have bought our French cheese, our Spanish ham and our Middle Eastern fruit from American supermarkets, now Londoners can buy direct from the source. Local, seasonal foods that haven’t been corrupted by ‘food miles’ and import duties made by local, artisan producers who care more about the quality of the produce they serve rather than their profit margin.

Every week around the country, farmer’s markets are popping up wherever there’s a suitable space – car parks, school playgrounds, fields, town squares and high streets and while there is an argument that you may end paying slightly more for your apples that you would at any high street supermarket, you know for sure they have been picked off a tree by the guy selling them to you within 10 miles of where you’re standing rather than having been mechanically harvested in China or Turkey.

To find your nearest farmer’s market, click here.

Remember, we have some of the best apartments to rent in London so browse through the website and then call us on 020 8240 7666 or email info@euracom.co.uk today!

By Rob at 11 Oct 2013

Welcome to the ‘new’ King’s Cross

3.4m square feet of commercial office space.
500.000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space.
45,000 new people.
67 acres of mixed use development.
23 new and refurbished Grade A office buildings.
20 new streets.
10 new public squares.
1 new postcode.

Welcome to the ‘new’ King’s Cross.

Since the arrival of the railway in the early 1850s, King’s Cross has been an area afflicted by constant change. The ability to move goods around the country from a central hub boosted the capital’s economy but after the Second World War, the area declined.  It was a poor but bustling industrial and distribution centre but degenerated into a partially-abandoned and derelict post-industrial area rife with poverty and the associated social injustices of drug abuse, malnutrition, a thriving black market economy and the sex trade.

By the 1980s, King’s Cross was an area with very high unemployment and high numbers of immigrants came to the area. It became notorious for prostitution and a place where drugs were never in short supply and while the reputation of the area impeded its revival, there remained disused buildings and homes, railway sidings, warehouses and contaminated land which had the potential for development.

Development plans for the area came and went but eventually, a coherent masterplan was submitted. In 2006, the London Borough of Camden granted outline planning permission for the scheme. The plans included world-class transport links throughout the UK and Europe as well hotels, restaurants and cultural centres. One focus has been on attracting blue-chip businesses alongside the associated calibre of residents and by 2016, most of the 67 acres will have been developed.

The area really has to be seen to be believed. If you have any recollection what it was like in the 80s and early 90s, you’ll be amazed! The ‘undesirable’ reputation has largely been driven out and there are an increasing number of cultural establishments making their homes in the area. Establishments including the new British Library and the newly-renovated British Museum as well as The Guardian and The Observer newspapers and perhaps ironically the UK Drug Policy Commission.

For a look at how one of London’s most extraordinary areas is taking shape, click here.

King’s Cross is rapidly becoming one of London’s most desirable areas to live and work. It’s bordered by Bloomsbury (one of London’s most celebrated literary and academic districts) and is minutes from central London and the City.

For students and those looking to come to London in short-stay apartments, Bloomsbury is perfect. It’s in the centre of London’s university district, and close to Covent Garden, Oxford Street, The British Museum, The British Library and central London’s restaurants and theatres.

For more information about our short-stay apartments in Bloomsbury, please click here.

Have you been to King’s Cross recently? Let us know what you think on Twitter@EuracomLondon or on our Facebook page.

Remember, we have some of the best apartments to rent in London so browse through the website and then call us on 020 8240 7666 or email info@euracom.co.uk today!

By Rob at 9 Sep 2013

Hooray! The football season is back….

Perhaps we ought to get our allegiances out of the way right now so there’s no confusion. Kelly, Richard and Robert support QPR and Joe and Marc support Arsenal. The writer of this blog (who shall, for the meantime, remain anonymous), supports Spurs. London is well represented in the Euracom office and as you can imagine, with Arsenal and Spurs being the bitterest of rivals and QPR being managed by ex-Spurs gaffer ‘Arry Redknapp, there’s banter aplenty.

But, that aside for a moment, the new season has started! This year’s Barclays Premier League is shaping up to be one of the most hotly-contested seasons in a while, and we’ve only had one round of games (at the time of writing, Manchester City v Newcastle is the only game left to complete the first round of matches).

So what do we think? Actually, while we’re on the subject, what do YOU think? Who do you support? What feelings have you got about the season? Do you need to strengthen? Who would you like to see at your club? This is the age of debate! Let us know on Twitter @EuracomLondon or Facebook.

It’s been an interesting close season dominated by four big stories. The Gareth Bale saga rumbles on and on. Will he stay at Spurs or will he go? We think he’ll go on the basis that the business end of £90m is a lot of money to turn down and his stock is never likely to be as high again. What about Wayne Rooney? His 30-minute cameo in Man United’s 4-1 win at Swansea at the weekend resulted in two assists but he did cut a lonely figure. Is he committed to his team or more pertinently, is his team committed to him? I guess we’ll all find out when the transfer window slams shut on September 2nd. Our feeling is that he’ll stay at United. Moyes gave him his debut as a diamond-in-the-rough teenager and has now been reunited with a (sometimes) world-class superstar. We think that if anyone can put their arm around him and tell him he’s loved, David Moyes is that man.

Talking about superstars, what about Luis Suarez? The textbook Marmite Man. You really do either love him or hate him. He wants to play Champions League football and there’s no question he’s good enough but Liverpool don’t want to sell their prized asset. Has he gone about making his feelings clear about wanting to leave Anfield in the right way? Of course he hasn’t. Is he a liability who has missed almost 20% of games he’s been fit for through suspensions of varying lengths? Yes he is. Does he owe Liverpool another ‘full’ season to see if he can propel them into Champions League contention? We think he does.

The last story and the one that is shrouded in cloak-and-dagger secrecy is Arsene Wenger’s pathological reluctance to spend any money. They have let massive players slip through their fingers – Higuain, Suarez,  Luis Gustavo – players they desperately need with the latter joining Wolfsburg in Germany because the Arsenal manager didn’t want to spend £17m on a Champions League-winning central midfield enforcer his team (and the fans) were crying out for. Also, why on earth did Ivan Gazidis (the Chief Executive at Arsenal) come out at the beginning of the window and tell the world they had £70m to spend? All that does is hike up fees for players they want. A very odd business decision and one which may well come back to haunt them. Time will only tell.

And what about the three teams who have come up – Crystal Palace, Cardiff and Hull City? It’s always tough for teams who haven’t played at this level for a while (Cardiff are playing top-flight football for the first time since 1962) and unsurprisingly we think they’ll struggle. You’ll hear commentators and pundits from now until the last ball of the season is kicked use phrases like ‘plucky’ and ‘they’ve got good team spirit’, and ‘they try to play football in the right way’ and ‘they simply can’t compete on the same financial footing as the big boys’ and while that is true, it’s a long hard season and we can’t see those squads being able to cope with such a gruelling and energy-zapping campaign.

Whoever you support and however passionately, one thing is certain. You will be entertained, you will be frustrated, you will get angry and annoyed, you will bask in the glory of victory and you will taste the bitter pill of defeat but we know what we sign up to when we start our football-supporting careers. Once you’re in, you’re in. There’s no changing allegiances and there’s no giving it up.

Like we said, talk to us on Twitter @EuracomLondon or Facebook and enjoy the season!

The Euracom Team

By Rob at 19 Aug 2013

There are 6 items on 2 pages.