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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Make an Offer or Alternative Accommodation for a Guest

We love our hosts on FlatClub - we've created many new features in the past for their benefit. Take a browse through memory lane with our hosting articles, if you like. Our latest change will make receiving a booking all that much easier.
Sarah reviews her options after receiving a message from guest Kenny
Our newest feature for FlatClub hosts is the chance to offer a deal or alternative accommodation to guests. Generally we foresee this feature being used for messages or live requests where a booking has yet to be confirmed. Take a look on your own dashboard at your latest messages & live requests!

Offer a Deal
If you’re keen to get your room booked and you have interest from a guest but they need a little flexibility on price - now you can offer a deal. Give a bit of a discount that isn’t listed on your flat description, and it’s as easy to do as sending a message! That way you can guarantee your room gets booked for a period without having to formally lower your price.
Sarah offers guest Kenny a discount to secure his booking
Offer An Alternative
If you must turn a guest down for a specific property, you won’t necessarily lose their booking - as you may offer an alternative from the rest of your published flats. It can happen to any host, but it’s a great way to safeguard yourself if you’ve already booked a room & forgotten to update your calendar. Guests will appreciate the quick response & the ability to continue the booking process with you, painlessly.
Sarah offers her potential guest a different room when he requests one that is booked
We call these new features Offer a Deal or Alternative. It’s perfect for use when a particular flat isn’t available - hosts will have a drop down with all of their published flats to offer. Also great when you want to offer a deal in order to meet a guest’s budget - wonderful for when you want to fill some space in your calendar.

You’ll be given the option to Offer a Deal or Alternative in your messaging threads on FlatClub, including messages & live booking requests.

Top 5 Parks in Notting Hill

Take some time out in Notting Hill greenery and get back to nature. Looking for a place to stay in Notting Hill? FlatClub can help you find the perfect inexpensive room in Notting Hill. Once you've found it, take a break in one of these parks!

Hyde Park - 350 acres of beautiful park in Central London, Hyde Park is a shining gem in the capital city. You can boat on the Serpentine, enjoy food in the cafe, and do a spot of bird-watching.

Kensington Gardens - All sorts of lovely gardens abound in Kensington Gardens - the Italian gardens specifically are quite spectacular to see. There are some nice memorials & a statue of Peter Pan for good photo ops.

Holland Park - Spread across the grounds of a mansion that was damaged by World War II, Holland Park has an interesting collaborative garden with Kyoto in Japan. Enjoy the beautiful Japanese inspired garden and take a moment to remember.

Porchester Square - A lovely garden in Notting Hill with ornamental bedding displays, this one may be a bit more quiet so a good choice if you want to get away from the crowd.

St James's Gardens - A quiet place of rest for many Londoners, this cemetery is a respectful area with some further reaching grounds. A great spot for photography if you’re into that sort of thing, as well.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Top 5 Notting Hill Coffee Shops

So you're waking up in your comfortable, well located flat in Notting Hill (care of FlatClub, of course) and you need caffeine. There are 5 coffee shops we know of that do a mean cappuccino. Which one is your favorite?

Books for Cooks - Books for cooks is a unique shop cum cafe, where you can purchase a vast assortment of cookbooks (from many nations) and sample a bite or two from the books themselves, cooked in the back cozy kitchen! Of course there’s also coffee & tea on tap, so if you’re looking for a cool gift for a chef & a nice way to spend an afternoon, Books for Cooks could be the place.

Talkhouse Coffee - Some of the loveliest coffee in all of Notting Hill! Not only that, but they have St Johns amazing doughnuts in stock - get there early, and I recommend a custard doughnut & a latte. The avocado toast & chili is also nice!

Teanamu Chaya Teahouse - An interesting experience - a tea house inside of someone’s home in a scenic Notting Hill neighborhood! Enjoy a great cuppa in the Chinese style of tea ceremony, with some delicate bites alongside. This is independent in the truest sense - a business being run from home! Support it, gain the experience & knowledge, and learn more about tea.

Granger & Co. - Great coffee & amazing brunch is available at this Australian cookbook author’s caff. The coffee is Allpress, nice & strong. Get some ricotta pancakes & a hot cappuccino once you’re nearby!

Gail’s Artisan Bakery - A lovely environment with lots of windows to let in light, this bakery also makes a mean cup of coffee. Get yourself one of the espresso-based drinks with regular or soy milk, and then top yourself off with a sandwich or a pastry like the classic brownie.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Top 5 Notting Hill Restaurants

Notting Hill is a famous area of London - it's lovely to visit, so it makes sense! At FlatClub we have quite a few flats in Notting Hill. When you're staying in one of our great properties, you'll need to eat - these are our 5 recommendations in the area.

The Ledbury - The Ledbury is an exceptionally classy Modern European restaurant in Notting Hill. With 2 Michelin stars to it’s name, the delicious food won’t come cheap, but it will be amazing. The tasting menu is our suggestion - go on a romantic evening out or to celebrate a big event! A forewarning though, picky eaters might have some trouble with the menu - but why not branch out and experiment?

Otto - Sure, it’s not easy to find gluten free pizza in London. Even harder, perhaps, to find dairy free pizza in London. Otto can help you sort that out with a great, varied menu that can keep even pizza-fans with dietary limitations happy! Perhaps the coolest thing is the option to order by the slice - surprisingly not common in London, it’s a great opportunity to try many pizzas.

The Shed - Neo British cuisine with a lot of unique features, the Shed is well on the way to becoming a destination restaurant in Notting Hill. Ran by some down-home brothers from Sussex, they serve hearty food with some rather interesting twists.

Nama Artisan Raw Foods - Vegan in London? Luckily you have plenty of options, but one that is sure to set your heart a-flutter is Nama. Not only vegan, but plenty of raw options as well - so very healthy! You can even get cheesecakes & tacos - but of course, raw & vegan. Those are our recommendations.

The Electric Diner - Exciting options in Notting Hill for American diner fare - so expect some delicious burgers, sandwiches, and fried sides. Worth noting that there is also a cinema here, and you can bring in food you’ve bought from the diner into the theatre - in case you don’t have time to eat before the show.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

FlatClub Wins Standout Success at Elevator Pitch Awards

Last Tuesday evening, FlatClub was proud to take home the Standout Success award for the 2014 Elevator Pitch Awards, hosted by TechCityNews.

The consideration for this award was FlatClub acquiring Google as a client, our $1.5 million investment success, and our over-all improved revenues & user numbers going into 2015.

We're in great company this year as other startups who took home awards included such interesting ventures as NightZookeeper & KarismaKidz, both startups with a focus on children & helping to improve their academic & emotional growth. We're proud to stand next to them as startups accepting kudos from TechCityNews.

The awards that were given out are futuristic & well-designed 3D printed trophies provided by Wonderluk, which also creates 3D printed jewelry. It was an amazing night to spend among other startups with an atmosphere of camaraderie and improving our community & world together.

“While we weren’t expecting to win an award necessarily, when I thought about it I realized it really did follow the trajectory of FlatClub in the last year. We’ve had an amazing 12 months and I think the hard work that the entire team, including our hosts, have put in is why we’re considered a standout success.” said Alex Spencer, our host recruitment manager who attended the ceremony.
If you're interested in hosting on FlatClub and acquiring your own high quality guest from Google, find more info on our hosting portal. Or, if you’re interested in winning a competition of your own - we have the largest list of UK startup competitions, some still going on in this final month of 2014! Check back in 2015 for an updated database.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

2015 Colour of the Year In Your Flat

Have you heard what Pantone's colour trend prediction is for the upcoming year? If not, we're happy to be able to break the news to you: the colour of 2015 is Marsala, a lovely wine brown neutral that can put to great use as a home decor tone!

Marsala wall art & rug displayed in Ann's FlatClub flat
The earthy & grounding aspects of the shade means that it can easily integrate into any room in your flat. The calming & homey nature of the colour will also put your guests at ease.

An easy way to bring the 2015 colour of the year into your rental is through kitchenware - things such as display fruit bowls, dinner plates, and mugs. Look out for branded Pantone marsala mugs soon!

 If you're in the market to purchase a small appliance for your kitchen, many do come in a marsala shade. Look for 'wine red' coffee makers, hand blenders, and food processors. A small tea-towel will also do the trick in a clean, modern kitchen.

In the bathroom, a soap dish or a large bath towel is a chic way to tie marsala into the furnishings.

Burgundy red marsala highlights throughout Margarida's living room
In the living room a lovely display would be flowers with tones of wine, red, and brown - the main hues that make up marsala. Dark roses, brown chrysanthemums, and wine colored orchids make for a lovely autumnal bouquet that will bring to mind marsala. You could also use a marsala vase with contrasting light-colored flowers, or a marsala rug underneath your table.

Wine & brown marsala shades complement Imran's Private Room on FlatClub
Another interesting way to include marsala in your flat is through a welcome mat - set it outside & you'll be tying together your entire home, inside & out.

Want help getting your beautiful, on-trend flat listed on our site? Visit our hosting portal for more information & our personal assistance on offer!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

5 Things to Do in Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf sometimes gets a bad reputation as being a bit dull. Sure, there are lots of offices in Canary Wharf, some chain restaurants, and on the surface it might appear to be a bit boring - however, look a bit closer and you'll find plenty to do! It's also an excellent place to stay while you explore the rest of London due to the convenience of transport here, and the modern fixtures that are common in this area of the city that may be harder to find elsewhere in London. We've got lots of places to stay in Canary Wharf.

Read on for interesting things to do in Canary Wharf that you may have missed.

Museum of London Docklands - Free entry, this museum goes over the growth of the Docklands area and the revitalization of the River Thames. It wasn’t always a banker’s paradise, and in fact the area has a rich & interesting history. You can walk through a reproduction of a historical dock area, with costumed actors telling stories about life in that era!

Public Art Collection - There is lots of art publicly on display in Canary Wharf, so just having a wander around will net some interesting photography shots and perhaps even give you something to think about. The website linked will give you a bit of an overview of what to look for.

Surrey Docks Farm - A farm so near Canary Wharf? Well, it’s true! Children especially enjoy the opportunity to hang out with some donkeys, cows, and pigs. Another very cool feature on this working farm is the blacksmith - it’s the only farm in the city where a blacksmith will put on live demonstrations. It’s certainly an interesting craft that few of us have ever seen done in person!

Balfron Tower - Balfron Tower was an intriguingly designed social housing project that has many unique architectural features. While the former residents have been moved out now to make way for a more upmarket tenant (Canary Wharf’s property values have, of course, skyrocketed since the 1960s) for now it has been converted into a temporary museum of sorts. You can explore the inside of the building, and see the way the architect would’ve lived upon the time of it’s construction.

Pumphouse Educational Museum - Originally in use to pump water from the River Thames, this building has been converted into a museum - perhaps the only one in the world housed in a former pumphouse? Outside of the museum there is also a lovely green park to visit - it’s all just about 15 minutes out of Canary Wharf walking.