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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Top 5 Restaurants in Marylebone

Marylebone has a great diverse range of restaurants to choose from, no matter what time of day it is. From Indian to amazing burgers, you’ve got a decision to make for your next lunch! They’re all perfectly placed within a few minutes’ walk from some of London's greatest attractions and shopping spots as well.

Roti Chai - A unique little Indian restaurant that is slightly hidden off of Oxford Street, Roti Chai is a hit with newcomers and regulars alike. With friendly staff and a not-so-typical but definitely delicious menu, this is a place you won’t want to miss out on.

Patty & Bun - A simple name like Patty & Bun is a bit of a giveaway for the type of food they serve - but they definitely go above and beyond expectations for the taste and quality of their burgers. Be sure to go with an appetite - the portions are more than generous.

Le Gavroche - This Michelin starred French restaurant is so popular, you must call to reserve a table months in advance. However, if you want the ultimate fine dining experience, the three month wait will be worth it. Le Gavroche was a 2013 Traveller’s Choice winner on TripAdvisor.

The Golden Hind - With a simple menu and decor, The Golden Hind sticks to what it knows - fish and chips. They serve up a perfectly cooked and crispy cod to both locals and tourists.

Blandfords Café - With a great family atmosphere and plenty of choices on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Blandfords Cafe is not one you want to miss out on. They serve some great Ily coffee, as well as British and Italian cuisine.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Top 5 Things to Do in Marylebone

Everywhere you turn, Marylebone has culture, museums, and well-known tourist attractions. From art and concert halls to museums and wax figures, you definitely won’t get bored in this neighborhood! It might take you a few days to get to everything on the list, so take your time (and get a good dose of caffeine from the coffee shops in the area for energy).

The Wallace Collection - A historic London townhouse is filled with a stunning collection of French 18th century paintings, as well as furniture and porcelain. While each display is great, the great gallery is truly breathtaking. As a bonus, the Collection also has its own restaurant.

Sherlock Holmes Museum - Fans of Sherlock and Watson will want to check out the Sherlock Holmes Museum. 221b Baker Street might be one of the most famous addresses in London, thanks to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The property is transformed to look as Sherlock’s fictional home would have appeared.

Madame Tussauds - Madame Tussauds is possibly the most famous wax museum one could walk through. If walking among life-sized celebrities made out of wax is your thing, then you will most likely have fun taking pictures with your favorite star’s likeness.

Wigmore Hall - If you’re looking for some live music more along the lines of classical soloists or jazz ensembles, Wigmore Hall is the perfect, intimate venue in which to enjoy it. It has an elegant interior to go along with the great acoustics.

Handel House Museum - Lovers of classical music will want to put Handel House Museum on their list of things to do. The rooms in this house are set up similarly to the Sherlock Holmes Museum - they are intended to look as they had when Handel lived and composed in the rooms, with a few changing exhibits.

Friday, 17 October 2014

5 American Things to See in London

London gets a lot of tourists each year - 15 million, to be exact! Many of those tourists come from the USA, as their shared history & language make it an easy transition and a place of reflection for many Americans.

It may be of interest for American tourists in London, or American expats in London to see some sights that will remind them of home; I don't just mean the McDonald's at Liverpool Street, either!

If you're an American in London looking for something familiar, or if you're just curious what sort of United States artifacts are about in the UK, here's a list of 5 cool places to visit!

1. John F Kennedy Bust on Marylebone Road - This memorial to the late President JFK was unveiled in 1965, and was sponsored by 50,000 Sunday Telegraph readers, pledging for £1 each. It's a lovely way for one of America's most well regarded presidents to be memorialized abroad.

2. John F Kennedy Memorial in Runymede - Runymede itself is a historic location for the entire world - it's the place where King John sealed the Magna Carta in 1215. It's a beautiful memorial, with stairs designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe who worked from the angle that life is a journey. 60,000 granite steps go through the well-preserved woodlands of Runymede, which atop in a clearing there is a large stone inscribed with words from JFK's inaugural address, then finally a paved pathway that leads to a beautiful clearing and a superb view of Runymede.

3. American Museum in Britain - An entire American museum in Britain? It happened, and it's in beautiful Bath. If you're a visitor to London, we highly recommend a day trip out to Bath as they have many wonderful museums that are a bit more off-the-path than London ones, and just as good. This museum focuses mostly on American art & design, with a particular eyes towards folk art. There are also US Civil War re-enactors during the summer.

4. Benjamin Franklin House - If you can believe it, this is the last remaining home of the Benjamin Franklin, one of America's most influential founding fathers. The homes he had lived in prior to and after this one have all been torn down in various reconstructions, wars, and accidents. Make sure you pre-book online as they limit the number of visitors who can come through at a time so that every guest can have a nicer experience! Enjoy the guided tour through the house by a skilled actress in period costume.

5. The Mayflower Pub - A nice pub in London all the same, this one also has great historical ties. This is where the Mayflower was docked before it took off for the US! Well, this was it's first mooring in the UK - of course it stopped again at Plymouth before it left for the new world. Due to this awesome historical tie, it's the only place licensed in the UK to sell US postage. Interesting, huh?

Are you a recent American expat to London? Take a look at our relocation guide for advice on how to adjust!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Accommodation for Conferences in London: Disrupt 2014

If you follow the startup scene, or are a tech lover in general you've probably heard about TechCrunch Disrupt, TC's dedicated technology conference with a special focus on burgeoning startups.

We're lucky here in London that this year, for the first time ever, Disrupt is taking place in our fair city! Old Billingsgate is a great venue - and is actually quite convenient to our offices here at FlatClub, as well.

Disrupt is a cultural event for startups, and lifelong friendships & business alliances are forged here every year. FlatClub is a proud partner of Disrupt in London this year. That means that we gave free tickets out to hosts who opted to give free accommodation for conference participants for the dates of Disrupt. Many Battlefield participants have taken advantage of this cool offer.

There have been some amazing people and businesses to come out of Startup Battlefield in the past: including Yammer, Mint, Enigma, & Alfred. Lots of people attend Disrupt to network, recruit, and bounce ideas off of each other.

If you're already going to Disrupt, we've got another deal for you: 50% off of your booking fee for any accommodation you've booked through FlatClub. Just register through our Disrupt portal and we'll get you set up. Still not found a flat for the conference? Instead of staying in overpriced hotel rooms we can help you find great, alternative accommodation for conferences!

We're happy to be bringing people together who have a common interest - an interest they share with our team, as well. New technology, startups, and entrepreneurship; all these things are part of the fabric of Disrupt and part of the fabric of FlatClub.

Friday, 10 October 2014

BusinessBecause Asks....What Will the World be Like in 2050?

Our friends at BusinessBecause are running an excellent survey & competition sponsored by GMAC - the creators of the GMAT exam. MBA students & MBA applicants, predict where you think the world of work & offices will be in 2050 and you just might win $1,000 cash & a mentoring chat with a senior partner at Bain & Company!

Within 300 words, describe what day-to-day life in an office will be like in 2050. Will you be arriving via flying car? Will you arrive to an office at all, or will telecommuting be the new normal? Will business as we know it still be chugging along - if not, what will be different?

The very best entry will win the cash prize & chat with a partner. The next 10 best entries will win free copies of the FT Business Book of the Year, "The Everything Store" about Amazon & Jeff Bezos, and will have the opportunity to publish their thoughts on the future via BusinessBecause.

Make sure to take the survey as well, it's an opportunity to lend your voice to the future & change the way business is done!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Top 5 Nightlife Spots in Greenwich

Whether you’re looking for a laid back night out or one you will never forget - there are great nightlife spots in Greenwich. The new, well known O2 is in the neighborhood, as well as a few more local venues.

The O2 - London’s best new, modern concert venue has made a big splash in recent years, drawing in all of the best live music and other acts. With plenty of coffee shops and restaurants on the premises and nearby, you could say at the O2 all day - you can even pay to climb it!

Up The Creek - There are no shortages of comedy clubs in London, but it is always a slight gamble to go to a new spot. Up the Creek’s decor is a bit bare bones, but they focus on bringing in the quality comedy acts.

Mordens Wine Bar - Quite possibly one of the most versatile wine bars in London, Mordens has an excellent wine list and a laid back, subtly decorated area to enjoy your selection in. There is also a cocktail lounge and a more lively downstairs bar.

Oliver’s - Directly opposite Greenwich Theatre, Oliver’s is a gem of a live music venue and wine bar that is a delightful place to relax for a few hours. Between the cosy interior, ample drinks menu, and the excellent live jazz playing, you might find it difficult to leave.

Davy’s Wine Vault - With a wine list of over 100 selections (plus a Davy’s shop for even more bottles next door), it is the perfect place to try a few new wines. They have a great British menu to go with your selection, and a cosy interior with friendly staff.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Top 5 Things to Do in Greenwich

Greenwich and its surrounding areas tend to revolve around all things nautical - whether it be museums, restaurants, or other attractions along the Thames. But even if you don’t hear the call of the sea, there’s something here for you to do as well!

Greenwich Market Who doesn’t love a good, diverse market? Greenwich Market is the place to go in London for handmade items such as crafts and artwork. If you search diligently, you might even come across a few hard to find collectibles and antiques.

Meantime Brewing Company - As one of Europe’s leading craft breweries, Meantime is in a great position to have a truly enjoyable brewery tour. They certainly deliver. With a fantastic menu and a tour guide with a great sense of humor, you will be entertained as you are educated about the process. As a bonus, there is an attached restaurant!

The Queen’s House - This gorgeous 17th century house originally belonged to Henrietta Maria, wife of King Charles I. It now houses a beautiful art collection, in addition to being a great example of the architecture of the time.

The Cutty Sark - If you have an interest in anything and everything nautical, you must visit the Cutty Sark. The last surviving tea clipper is here for you to enjoy - have you ever wondered what a 19th century ship looked like? Well now you can find out by exploring the ship itself, as well as walking under it to see it from all sides!

National Maritime Museum - Possibly the largest museum of its kind, the National Maritime Museum holds more than 2 million items including maritime art, cartography, manuscripts, ship models, navigational instruments, and astronomy instruments.