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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Festive Meals to Share with Guests

That season is coming up - whether you embrace it fully or just tolerate it, the holidays are here as they are every year.

There are of course good points to the hustle & bustle of the season - what all of the festivities really mean, and of course, the meals. The holidays are all about togetherness & joining up as people in celebration, regardless of our individual differences. What brings people together more than food? The guests you'll be entertaining this year, whether it's through FlatClub or family & friends, will love & appreciate good home cooking. Make a holiday memory that will last forever with your guests by making a special meal with them.


If your guest is from a foreign country, where perhaps the traditions are different, you might consider doing a meal to celebrate the holidays together!

Here are some of the interesting traditional holiday foodstuffs from around the world that you could share with your guest:

Spain
In Spain during the Festive Season, most shops have a bowl with some turron, a nougat like confection and polvorones, crumbly sweet biscuits for clients & shoppers to take a piece. Leaving a bowl of sweets out for a Spanish guest with a Christmas card nearby will certainly be a welcome taste of home, and might be easier to do than roasting an entire traditional lamb with them!

France
In France, Christmas is often celebrated with a Yule Log, or rather a Bûche de Noël , as their dessert. These are getting easier to find in the UK and elsewhere, so buying a yule log in a shop or bakery to add to your festive table for your French guests should be easy - and will be much appreciated. If you’re confident in your cooking & decoration or your guest is willing to helping out, you can also try and make your own Buche de Noel!

Japan
While Christmas isn't traditionally celebrated in Japan, it is acknowledged through gift-giving & fried chicken on December 25th! So if you're hosting a Japanese guest, you could work together on a starter of fried chicken with a Japanese-inspired batter.

Germany
In Germany many different treats are eaten around the holidays, some of which you may not be familiar with - things like stollen (spiced, dense fruit bread), gluwein (hot mulled/spiced wine), and marzipan are all classically served in Germany in winter. With a German guest staying in your home, you could add these sweet treats to your table.

United States
The United States has holiday traditions involving preparations not common in the UK, such as pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and candied yams - sweet potatoes covered in sugar & butter topped with marshmallow and grilled. American guests would be happy to share these traditions with you.

Wherever you are on Earth & wherever your guest may be from, there is a festive meal that is eaten to celebrate getting together with good friends. Sharing something like this with your guests, especially at this time of year, will give you both a great feeling inside & a warm memory to hold forever.

Mouth watering for some great hosting opportunities? Want to make some extra cash during the holidays? Take a look at how to host a lodger during the holidays - or anytime - on FlatClub!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Top 5 Parks in Angel

When you're finished going around Angel's delightful coffee shops & the N1 Shopping Centre, take a break at one of the green parks nearby.

Culpeper Park - A lovely park with a children’s area for the kids to play in. There is also some greenery for the adults to just relax in, too!

Barnard Park - Another nice big park that is currently taking in suggestions for improvements; so take a stroll around and see if there is anything you’d like to improve!

Gibson Square Gardens - Gibson Square is a lovely park in Angel, it’s got shrubbery & flowers abounding. A great place to eat your lunch, go on a romantic walk, or take some well behaved children to admire the plant life. A very relaxed square indeed.

Islington Green - A bit of a rarity in London, this was former land owned by a manor that fell into disrepair and therefore, public usage in the olden days. It’s fun to imagine the grazing cattle making their way across the green. There’s also a cinema here where you can catch screenings of movies new & old.

Shoreditch Park - Shoreditch Park is a very large park with some spillage into Angel - you can hoof it over there and enjoy all 47 acres of this well-established park. Surely there is something for everyone - or you can just take a very long walk!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Top 5 Nightlife Spots in Angel

Looking for a way to extend your fun time in Angel? There's still plenty to do in Angel after dark! Take a look at the best nightlife in Angel.
 


The Four Sisters - If you’re a fan of burlesque, this would be a great venue for you - every 1st Thursday of the month they put on quite the show! In addition & on every night, they have a great wine list and excellent cocktail selection. Dim lighting & dark wood makes this a great weekday chill out spot.

Hoxley and Porter - An interestingly themed bar to be sure, this place purports to be the hang-out of a couple of 19th century explorers, by the names of Hoxley & Porter of course. They’ve got an extensive food menu in addition to cocktails, wine, and beer. It’s a nicely put together place & good fun with great drinks.

The LadyBird Bar - Fashioned into a bit of a speakeasy, a cocktail bar, and a live music venue in Angel. It’s open very late until 4 am, and there are massive cocktails that are tasty & varied. There is also a small downstairs dance floor to kick out the jams on.

Slim Jim’s Liquor Store - Kind of a ‘dive bar’ and just the slightest bit scandalous, this is a fun place to go with a group of friends in Angel. Do keep in mind that they enforce a non-business dress code, so maybe change out of your tie before you head over.

Barrio North - Barrio has a cool Latino flavor to it, particularly from Spanish-influenced areas of cities like Miami & NYC. Delightful, well-mixed cocktails are available in a variety of flavors that will suit anyone. They range in price but average at under £10.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

5 Top Restaurants in Angel

There are lots of delicious things to eat in Angel - and a wide variety, too. French, Thai, and classic English pies. Also Afghani food!


M. Manze - First opened in 1902 & still operated by the family that first opened it, M. Manze is a pie & mash shop of the finest order. One of the oldest in London, they at one time specialized in ‘Eel Pie’. Who knows, maybe it will be on the menu when you turn up? If not, there are plenty of other options that may suit you even better. Be sure to try ‘liquor’, it’s a sort of parsley sauce that goes on your pie & mash and is very traditional!

Le Sacre Coeur - A French restaurant in the...’heart’ of Angel, if you pardon the pun, that brings traditional French cuisine in a cosy setting. Classics abound like mussels & steak frites. We recommend the creme brulee to finish things off the right way!

Isarn - Delicious Thai food in a spacious location, Isarn is well-loved by locals jonesing for something spicy & unique. Not content to just offer up the classics like green curry & pad thai (although they do a fine one!) they also have more interesting Thai choices like betel leaves, duck & pomelo.

Gallipolo Cafe & Bistro - This is one of three equally awesome Islington Turkish restaurants under the Gallipoli banner. You simply cannot go wrong with a meze platter as your main or a starter split between friends, and they’ve got some vegetarian options, too! The service also stands out as being good, so bring some friends along and enjoy a big, well-valued meal out.

Afghan Kitchen - Have you ever tried Afghan food? If not, you’re encouraged to try it out here in Angel! Really, even if you have tried Afghan cuisine before, come to Afghan Kitchen as it’s just as tasty as you can get. Spiced yogurt sauces, tender chicken dishes - plus tons of vegetarian options. It’s cash only, so make sure to bring enough to cover some deliciousness.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

5 Best Coffee Shops in Angel

Angel is a lovely neighborhood in Northern London that is quite near the FlatClub office - it's a great spot for food, shopping, and even coffee shops. Have you ever tried bubble tea? You can get an amazing one in Angel - in addition to excellent flat whites & cakes.


The CoffeeWorks Project - One of the stalwarts of Angel, this place is where coffee fans flock to when they’re in N1. Flat whites are probably the top-rated selection, but they do a mean latte & a nice tea selection too. Gluten free brownies for the wheat-intolerant out there, so don’t feel left out!

Euphorium Bakery - They serve good coffee - but way more than that, they have amazing baked goods, with a focus on cakes! It’s not just sweets though, so if you’d like some fresh bread this is the place for you, too. Relaxing with friends here is a popular pastime in Angel. There is a nice airy feel about the place, and even though it gets quite crowded at certain points in the weekend - you can always take out a piece of cake, right?

Kipferl Austrian Coffeehouse - Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce the name, just stick with ordering one of their delightful coffees & you’ll be fine! A very stylish & bright space, this coffee shop down Camden Passage is a great place to wile away the hours and do some people watching in Angel. Not only do they do coffees, they do plenty of amazing Austrian & Central European food & cakes! Including the classic Sachertorte - which we recommend strongly.

Brew Box Bubble Tea - This place is great - if you’ve never tried bubble tea, this will be the perfect one to try! Super friendly staff will explain to you what exactly ‘bubble tea’ is, but a quick primer is as such: delicious, sweet, and creamy iced tea with chewy tapioca pearls at the bottom. So refreshing and lovely on a warm day! Not only that, but you can also grab some Japanese inspired desserts & savouries and relax in the comfortable seating area.

Tinderbox Espresso Emporium - Tinderbox is inside the cool N1 Centre shopping mall in Islington, and it’s open until a staggering (for London) 10:30 pm. This is THE place to go if you need coffee late night. There are a range of drinks however, for the non-caffeinated among you - grab some juice or tea & a panini while you unwind after some serious shopping.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Host An Intern


Hosting an intern is a rewarding experience & welcoming an overseas visitor into your home is a unique opportunity to learn more about the world around you.

Why host an intern with FlatClub? We can guarantee that the interns are verified, coming from top companies around the world, and our customer service places them with interested hosts as soon as possible and works with the host & the intern every step of the way.

Some of the best experiences in life come from interaction with people who are unlike yourself - so hosting an intern from another country will prove to be quite an engaging opportunity! You can learn about their culture, their language, and share your language, culture, and most of all home with them.

Interns also often have extended stays in a city, for the duration of their internship of course, which means more time to get to know & feel comfortable with one another - it also means a longer rental period, more money, and more security knowing that your room is filled.

All you need is a spare room in good condition, an open & curious mind, and a welcoming nature! In return you get knowledge, companionship, some extra money for the holidays or any little occasion, and an experience that will last a lifetime.

We have more information on hosting interns in London, hosting interns in Dublin, and international students in London.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

London Souvenirs for Your Flat

London hosts, you’re in luck! When it comes to greeting your guests FlatClub really helps - not only do we send out our guest welcome packs, chock-a-block with goodies & information on the city, we also can help you pick out a little gift for your guests’ to remember you (and your flat) by.


Save them the time it takes to get souvenirs from London & they’ll be thankful! As much as people claim they don’t like souvenirs, most everyone wants a little token to remember their trip. Leave a London souvenir in your flat for when they leave, and they'll remember your awesome flat, too. Here are some fun ideas:

London Keyrings: Cheap, easy to pack, and an unobtrusive way for the traveller to say “Hey, I’ve been to London!” We recommend one that features the classic London buses, as seen here.

Magnets: A classic for a reason, a magnet is a way for your guest to remember the trip every time they go to their fridge. We personally favor the guard magnet, so your guest can pretend that their leftovers are being watched over.

Tea: A true British pastime, sending your guest away with a nice box of English Breakfast teabags or Earl Gray is a useful & easy-to-get souvenir. Twinings has classy packaging and a wide selection, so grab a box for your guest on your next shopping trip.

Biscuits: Just take a quick browse through any tourist shop in London, and you’ll see massive amounts of biscuits - Walker’s shortbread particularly seems to go down a treat. Save your out of town guest from spending a bundle at a tourist shop & pick them up a little box of Walker’s at the grocery store - it’s infinitely cheaper there.

Postcards: This one starts paying off as soon as they arrive! Pick up three or four so that our guest can keep one for themselves, and send off a couple to friends & family. It’s thoughtful & makes it easy for them to stay in touch with their loved ones back home.

Candy & Chocolate: British Chocolate is very well-regarded in many parts of the world, so a simple box of Cadbury or a bar or two of Galaxy will be most welcome. It may also be fun to show your guests’ the British youth candy experience with a bit of pick ‘n’ mix. Fish & chips was always a fun one - and it’s the least stinky way for your guests to enjoy the classic British dish on their plane ride home.

Want help finding a good place to source these bits & pieces, or perhaps you have a good idea for London souvenirs that we’ve left out? Get in touch on Twitter, via our blog, or email us at hosting@flatclub.com!