Where to celebrate Pancake day in London

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Tuesday 13th February is no ordinary Tuesday – it’s Pancake Day! Which means it’s a great excuse to heat up the frying pan, put your flipping skills to the test and indulge in a stack of scrumptious pancakes. But if you don’t fancy cooking them yourself, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants close to The Hive where you can enjoy some of the best pancakes in town.

Where the Pancakes Are
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, enjoy stacks of buttermilk pancakes all day long in a restaurant or at a pop-up shop dedicated to pancakes. There’s a special Shrove Tuesday menu available where you can choose from savoury favourites such as the Classic American, or keep it simple with sweet pancakes topped with lemon and sugar. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even three-legged pancake races taking place!

The Breakfast Club
Fancy free pancakes? If you’re feeling competitive (and hungry), head to one of The Breakfast Club’s restaurants in London and take on their Pancake Day Challenge. If you manage to eat 12 pancakes in 12 minutes, you win and they’re free. But if you don’t, you’ll have to pay full price. However, The Breakfast Club will be donating the profits to their volunteering program Good Day Productions, so even if you lose you’re still helping a good cause.

The Diner
On a normal day at The Diner you’ll find delicious pancakes such as Blueberry, Banana and Choc-Chip to enjoy. But if that wasn’t enough, you can enjoy some special additions to the menu just for Pancake Day. From Oreo cookie pancakes to peanut butter and jelly pancakes, you’re in for a real treat down at The Diner.

And if you thought Pancake Day is just about eating pancakes, you’re wrong. There are a number of pancake races taking place across the city too. You can join in the fun yourself or watch as others – including MPs, Lords and political correspondents, compete to be best flipper.

How to be more productive in 2018

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With a New Year here, it’s the perfect time to ditch any bad habits and make 2018 an even more productive year. So, whilst attending all of your lectures is great, how productive is it if you sit through them without taking any notes and leave the lecture empty handed? Can you really remember all of the important information off the top of your head? Or what if you spend hours and days writing an assignment and then your computer breaks? That’s a lot of wasted time and effort, that you’ll have to redo all over again.

Although not everything can be prevented and you will likely come across set-backs and times of misfortune where hours are lost and you’ve not got done things done as well or as quickly as you’d like, but there are some tools you can use that will certainly help to make your life at university more organised and productive this year.

Task Manager
A class presentation, two assignments, research questions to answer, recommended reading and writing up your lecture notes are just some of the things you’ve got to do!

Keeping track of all of your tasks and to-dos can be tough, especially when more get added to the list before you’ve even had chance to cross off the current ones. With so many things to do running through your mind, it’s no wonder you forgot to buy the milk on your way home from uni.

So, to help you remember everything, why not use a task manager or to-do list app? It’ll allow you to get all tasks out of your head and in a place where you can clearly see them all together. Many apps such as Todoist, Any.Do, Remember The Milk, Asana and Trello allow you to prioritise tasks, set due dates, reminders and add notes. And when you’re done, there’s no greater satisfaction than checking off a task as complete!

Calendar
It’s always good to know what’s on the horizon so you can plan your workload and be sure not to double book yourself! From exam dates and assignment deadlines, to family visits and party nights, having them all in a calendar will mean you never miss a thing!

And in this day and age, keeping track of your social and academic life couldn’t be easier with calendar apps pre-installed on your smartphones and a whole range of other calendar apps available to download. You’ll be able to set reminders and add additional information to calendar events, so they’ll be no excuses for missed deadlines!

Note Taking
Attending lectures is great, but sometimes if you sit there without taking notes you may as well have not been there, as you probably won’t remember what you’ve been told or shown.

It’s important for your own reference and revision that any key information, dates, facts or figures, and useful websites or resources are jotted down so you can refer to them at a later note. And while good old pen and paper is fine for taking note, if you’ve got a mobile, iPad or laptop with you, why not use an electronic note taking tool such as Evernote or OneNote to type in notes during the lecture?

It’ll save you typing up any notes later, and you won’t have to try and decode any rushed or messy handwriting, as it’ll all be clearly typed up. You can easily edit your notes, and you can even add links, images and attach documents to them. An electronic tool allows you to save your notes to the cloud, so they’ll be no misplaced sheets of paper, and being online, you can easily access them and share with others too.

Storage
Having your work backed up is a must as a student. If your computer breaks or it gets lost or stolen, you don’t want to have to rewrite those essays all over again. One of the best ways to keep your work safe is to use a cloud based app such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Working online and saving files online will allow you to access your work whenever you like, wherever you are. So even if your computer breaks, you can login to your online account from another computer and your work will still be there – phew!!

Communication
Working on a group project with your classmates? Make the way you communicate with each other even easier by setting up a group chat. Apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to invite members to the same group, where you can all chat together in one place.

Having a group chat will save time as you won’t have to send separate messages to each team member, it will save repeated conversations and help to avoid any misunderstandings. Everyone will be on the same page and will be kept in the loop with what’s going on.

We hope that some of the tools and methods mentioned will help make your life easier at university this year!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

5 must-dos before you head home for Christmas

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Whether it’s your first or final year at university, it’s probably been a quick and busy term with a mad last-minute rush to get those final assignments in on time. And now term is finishing, all you can think about is packing your bags and making your way back home for the holidays. But before you leave your student accommodation, there are a few things you should remember to do:

1. Lock up
It might seem an obvious one, but if your hands are full as you juggle bags and presents, and your mind is set on getting home, it’s surprising how easy it can be to forget to shut the windows and lock the door behind you. So, remember to double check everything is locked and secure on your way out.

2. Switch off
As you finish university for the holidays, it’s the perfect time for you to switch off and enjoy a well-earned break. But you should also remember to switch off any electrical appliances such as laptops, TVs, and chargers, as well as turning the lights off in your room before you leave.

3. Clear out
Before you leave, it’s worth checking your fridge and throwing away any perishable food – the last thing you’ll want to come home to is a fridge full of mouldy food. And if you’re throwing it in the bin, don’t forget to empty the bins and take your rubbish out – unless you want to return to a stinking kitchen in the New Year.

4. Keep it clean
If you’ve got a basket full of washing piling up in the corner of your room, it’s best to get it all washed and cleaned before you go. They’ll be nothing worse than having had a relaxing couple of weeks at home and the first thing you’ve got to do when you arrive back at your accommodation is washing because you’ve got nothing clean to wear. Plus, the smell of dirty, damp clothes won’t be the most welcoming upon arrival back to your room. Alternatively, you could always take your dirty washing home!

5. Say goodbye
Ok, so it’s not forever, and you’ll be back soon enough, but you should still let your fellow residents and friends know when you’re heading home. You’ve spent the past few months together seeing each other day-in, day-out – it’s going to be a little weird without them there every day. Say goodbye and let them know when you’re back so you can plan a get together to catch up on all the gossip.

And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your break and take time out to recoup, so you’re ready and raring to go for the next semester in the New Year.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

5 Quick & easy snack ideas for students

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Student life can be hectic. Lectures, assignments, exams, part-time work and socialising can leave little time to experiment in the kitchen. Fortunately, there are lots of recipes out there which mean you can cook up some tasty snacks in no time at all…

Pizza bagels
If you love pizza, you’ll love these. All the great taste of pizza, with less calories and less time to wait to enjoy. These pizza bagels are quick and easy to make, and a very low-cost option compared to ordering in pizza!

Ham and egg baskets
When it’s time to rise and shine, enjoy some hearty eggs. Packed with protein, these crispy ham and egg baskets are not only a healthy way to start your day, but they’re super quick and easy to make too.

Microwave mug cake
Long gone are the days where baking a cake took an entire morning. If you’ve got a microwave, you can whip up a delicious chocolate cake for one in less than 5 minutes. The perfect treat to indulge in after a busy day at university.

Flapjacks
A great sweet snack to grab on the go and keep you fuelled for the morning or afternoon. And by following this simple recipe, you’ll have enough flapjacks to keep you going all week.

Pancakes
Knowing how to make pancakes is a must. Not only can you have them as a sweet treat with sugar, syrup or lemon, but they make a tasty savoury snack too – top with ham, cheese, mushrooms, etc. and try for yourself. Pancakes aren’t just for pancake day!

 

International students: travelling in the UK

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Although travelling in a completely new country can seem scary, the UK is very well connected and offers various forms of transport, which makes getting about quick and easy. Below are just some of the ways that you can travel in and around London…

Taxi
For shorter journeys, you can travel by road in a taxi. Taxis are a convenient way to get from A to B, such as from a station to The Hive or back to The Hive after a night out. In London, you’ll see a lot of the iconic black cabs. These can be hailed in the street. If the yellow TAXI sign is illuminated, it means the cab is available for hire.

Bicycle
To get around the city and local area, you can travel by bike. Haven’t got a bike? Don’t worry. You can hire bikes in London with Santander Cycles from as little as £2. A lot of roads in the city have dedicated cycle lanes or special cycle routes so you can ride your bike safely.

Bus
Travelling by bus is often one of the cheapest ways to travel around the local area. You will find bus stops located in various places around the city centre, with many universities having dedicated bus stops and bus services running to the university campuses.

The Underground
Living and studying in London, you’ll more than likely use the London Underground rail network (or The Tube as it is also known). The tube is a quick and easy way to travel in and around London. You can pay to travel on the tube by buying a ticket or buying an Oyster card which you top up with money. Plus, as a student studying in London, you can apply for an 18+ student Oyster card which gives you 30% discount.

Train
When travelling out of the local area and on longer journeys across the UK, you can travel via train. The UK rail network is very well connected and most towns in the UK have a train station, and popular tourist attractions are usually located within easy access of a train station. Travelling by train is a quick and convenient way of getting around the UK, and it can be a great way to see and experience some of the beautiful sites and scenery of the country.

Coach
Even though it can take longer, coaches can be a much cheaper alternative to travelling by train. Megabus and National Express offer coach services with many arrival and departure points from London and all around the UK.

So, whether it’s to university, to visit friends or simply visit places you’ve never been before, there are lots of options for you to travel to your destinations and explore the country.

The Hive student accommodation London is ideally located close to Bethnal Green underground with surrounding districts of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate only a few stops away.  If you would like to find out more about living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on 020 3551 2550.

Staying fit as a student in Bethnal Green

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If you like to keep fit and be active, don’t let coming to university stop you. Just because you’ve moved away from home and left your local sports club or gym behind, doesn’t mean the exercise has to stop. Here in Bethnal Green, there are lots of activities and facilities for you to enjoy and take part in. And if exercise isn’t something you’ve given much time to before – now’s the time to give it a go! Below are just some of the things you can do to keep fit.

Running
Running isn’t for everyone, but you don’t know until you try, right? Running is a great way to zone out and de-stress after a busy day at university. Or, if you’re more of a morning person, it’s the perfect way to start the day and energise yourself for a productive day of studying ahead. From a fast-paced run to a gentle jog, and a long distance to a short loop, put your headphones in and take in the sights of your local surroundings.

If you’re still not convinced, why not take part in a parkrun? Every week, parkrun organise free 5km runs around some of the local parklands and surroundings. People of all abilities can take part and with other people running alongside you, it could be that extra motivation you need. It’s also a great way to meet new people in the city!

Gym
If you’d prefer to exercise inside, or perhaps you’re after a bit more variety than just running, why not join a gym? At a gym, you’ll find it all. From free weights and resistance machines, to cardio machines and classes, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re staying with us here at The Hive, you couldn’t be much closer to some great, low-cost gyms.

Conveniently located just around the corner and only a 2-minute walk away from us is ènergie Fitness. For just £22.99 per month you’ll have unlimited usage and access to cardio, resistance, free weights, functional, boxing and stretch equipment as well as a variety of classes.

Alternatively, you can head to Fitness4Less for your workouts. It’s located slightly further away but still only a 14-minute walk away from The Hive, and it’ll cost you slightly less each month. From just £17.99 per month, you can sweat it out on the cardio machines, pump some iron in the free weights area or get your heart racing in the spin bike studio. If you don’t want to commit to a monthly membership, day, weekend and week passes are also available.

Bootcamps
Are you looking to combine the motivation of a group class with the freshness of the great outdoors? Then look no further than an outdoor bootcamp session. Get together with your friends and experience a workout like no other. From team games, circuits, body weight exercises, cardio and strength training, it’s a fun and challenging way to work out! Try the Tough Girl Bootcamp session just down the road at Weavers Fields (for free), or join the British Military Fitness community at Victoria Park for a Bootcamp class.

If you would like to find out more about our student accommodation at The Hive, please contact the onsite management team who will be happy to help. 

Make your move-in hassle-free

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Whether you’re catching a plane and travelling from abroad, or jumping in the car and driving down the motorway from within the UK, there’s a lot to remember when leaving home and starting university. On top of that, your emotions will be all over the place – excited, nervous, and everything in between, and the last thing you’ll want to do is forget something!

So, to make your move-in easier, we’ve teamed up with UniKitOut where you can pre-order your student essentials before you move-in. And what’s more, your items will be delivered to our door and waiting for you upon arrival to our accommodation.

They’ll be no mad panics to scour the shops for forgotten bed sheets and duvets or saucepans and bottle openers – you can purchase it all beforehand, without any hassle. Meaning when the day comes to move in, you’ll have more time to settle in and make yourself at home.

Once you’ve filled your basket and are happy you’ve got everything you need ready for your new adventure, enter the code HOST17 at the checkout, and you’ll receive an extra 10% off your order!

To order your student essentials at a click of a button, visit UniKitOut today. For more information about our student accommodation in London and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us on +44(0)20 3551 2550 or at thehive@host-students.com.

Making friends in London

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Guest Blog

I am originally from Mexico City and moved to London last year. Moving to a different country isn’t easy, in fact I can tell you that it’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I found myself in a city that was different to my own in every single sense; different language, different food, different transport system and completely different people.

After a short while of being in London, I started to miss absolutely everything from back home. It was cold and the sun was setting at 3:30pm – this was the British winter! My brain kept telling my body to put on my pyjamas and hibernate. I really needed to go out and meet new people, but I had never been faced with having to make new friends. I had always had the friends that I grew up with and now I was all alone in a new country without my friends.

One day I decided that enough was enough! That day I would go out and I would make a new friend. I headed to my local pub and started talking with a woman that was my mom’s age. She didn’t become my first friend, but talking to her was the stepping stone that encouraged me to always try to make a new friend and after that it just got easier.

Hectic class schedules, gym sessions, and just getting from one place to another can make meeting new friends in London one of the most challenging tasks during your stay in the city. We can blame it on technology, the millennials or even the weather, but it’s a miracle we get any time to meet people in London and make friends who actually do and like the things we actually like. So, if like me you find yourself wanting to meet new people, here are some things you can do that might help.

Talk to everybody
I know that this is probably something that your mom or your aunts do, but why not try having a conversation with someone that looks interesting? You never know where your future best friend is going to come from. Wherever you happen to be – queuing at the coffee shop, browsing the grocery store, waiting for an available washing machine, or dancing at a concert, start a conversation with someone around you. Trust your instincts on who to talk to and pick the right moment so that it doesn’t get creepy. It might be hard at the beginning, especially if you’re shy or not used to putting yourself out there, but like everything else in life, it gets easier with practice.

Don’t get discouraged if the other person is unresponsive or as cold as a penguin. After all, this is London and people here are used to keeping themselves to themselves. Here are a few conversation starters that could come in handy so you always have something to say to kick off a conversation:

The weather (yes, the British love to talk about the weather), complementing an item of someone’s clothing, recommending something relevant to the place where you are, randomly asking “where are you from?” (and asking follow up questions) and if you are very brave just go up to someone and say “You look like a very interesting and relatable person, I am new to this city and I was just wondering if you’d like to be friends.” Seriously, it’s just how kids do it!

Take a London tour
Get to know this city and find out everything it has to offer. Walking is the best way to truly get a sense of your new home and fall in love with it. There are free walking tours all over London, where groups of people are guided around the city. The people that you might meet here may be tourists, but it will give you the opportunity to practice and boost your confidence when talking to strangers.

Take a new class
One of the most amazing things about living in a huge and multicultural city is that classes for almost everything are available. Some of them are even free! You just need to go online and book. From pottery and cooking classes, to first aid and hair colouring, whatever you’re willing to learn, London is willing to teach and I can guarantee you’ll meet some of the most interesting and memorable people.

Join a sports club
Find a group or club who shares a physical activity you enjoy and become a regular member. Strike up conversations with other members and suggest meeting for coffee, wine, or beer after an event or meeting. For runners, for example, they have races that end up in social events like The Colour Run.

Volunteer
Why not make great friends and save the world at the same time? From dogs, kids, grannies or the homeless, there will always be a place in London that needs a helping hand. The hours can adjust to fit around your study commitments and whatever time you are willing to provide.

Talk to your neighbours
Have you introduced yourself to the people around you when you moved in? Sometimes the people we’re looking for are just next door. Have you reached out to your neighbours lately? If you see your neighbour walking in the corridor or courtyard, walk over and start a conversation. It’s always nice to know that there’s someone just around the corner that knows how you are. Why not make a little extra soup or an extra dozen cookies and walk them to the flat next door? The odds are that person is in the same situation that you.

Reach out on Facebook or other social media
When I first moved to London, I looked on Facebook for other people from Mexico. I remember I posted something about missing the tacos and missing my family. People reached out to me and gave me advice, restaurant recommendations and basically let me know that there is a whole community of people that look out for and understand each other. Through Facebook, you may discover some old friends or acquaintances that you didn’t know live nearby.

Eat dinner at the bar of your favourite restaurant
It can be intimidating to go to a restaurant by yourself, but try dining out and sitting at the bar instead. Chat to the bartender (if he/she isn’t too busy) and make conversation with the people around you. Whatever you do, don’t put your head in a book or your iPhone. Try to appear approachable and friendly.

Attend social events at The Hive
Throughout the year, there are a number of social events organised at The Hive, so that everybody can get to know each other. There will be reminders in the common areas so just pop by and start making new friends.

By extending yourself just a little, you might meet some wonderful new friends within a short walk of your home. Having fun with strangers can be a totally normal and fantastically pleasurable experience. Life is all about who you share your journey with. The memories and friends you make today will truly be a treasure when you’re older.

If you’d like to find out more about our student accommodation at The Hive for academic year 2017/18, please contact the onsite management team who will be happy to help.

5 places to enjoy the summer sun in London

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Summer is here, which can mean only one thing – sunshine. And what better way to spend a sunny summers day than with your feet up, relaxing and soaking up the glorious summer rays. So, when the sun makes its appearance and the heatwaves strike, here are some top hot spots to enjoy the sun in London.

1. Bethnal Green Garden
If you want to get outside and enjoy the warm summer air, but don’t want to venture too far from your home at The Hive, Bethnal Green Garden is the place for you. Step outside of The Hive and across the road and within two minutes you’ll find yourself in one of the luscious open green spaces of the borough. And if you’re feeling active, there’s even courts for you to play basketball, tennis, netball and football.

2. Victoria Park
If you’re looking for somewhere on a larger scale, with more than just green grass, head over to Victoria Park. Soak up the sunshine by the waterfront at the canals and ponds within the park, sweat it out on the tennis courts, or enjoy a light refreshment at one of the park’s two cafes. And while you relax, do a bit of wildlife spotting with deers, moorhens, grey and Canada geese and squirrels all regular visitors to the park.

3. Hyde Park
Hyde Park is a Royal Park in London and is one of the largest out of the eight Royal Parks. It’s home to a number of famous landmarks including Speaker’s Corner and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. One of the focal points of the park is the Serpentine Lake. Here, you can hire a pedalo or a rowing boat to relax on the water and watch the world go by.

4. Tooting Bec Lido
Heading slightly further afield, but definitely worth a visit, is one of London’s best known open-air pools, Tooting Bec Lido. Get your friends together, dig out your bathers and take a dip in the 90m pool to cool off on a hot summers day. And when you’re done splashing in the pool, take some time out to sunbathe on the grass area or grab a bite to eat at the café.

5. The Hive
As a student living at The Hive, all you need to do is head upstairs to the outdoor roof terrace and you can enjoy the summer sun from the comfort of your own home. Chill out with your friends and then watch the sunset with stunning views across the city of London.

If you’d like to find out more about our student accommodation at The Hive for academic year 2017/18,  please contact the onsite management team who will be happy to help.

Make The Hive your home this summer

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Exams done? University finished? It can only mean one thing… it’s summer time!

You’ve been busy working hard over the past few months and now it’s time to relax and have some fun over summer. So, what have you got planned? From shopping trips and picnics, to working and internships, there are many reasons why you might be in London over the summer months. And while you’re in the city, why not make The Hive your choice of accommodation?

Between 3rd July and 2nd September, we’re opening our doors to the general public – as well as students, and welcome you to stay with us for summer. We provide hassle-free, all-inclusive accommodation, which makes staying at The Hive the perfect solution for flexible and affordable London city living throughout the summer months.

So, if you stay with us at The Hive, what can you expect? Well, where do we start? How about a choice of luxurious Studio rooms all complete with their own private en-suite bathroom, study space and fully fitted kitchen? Meaning, after a hard day doing your thing in the city, you can cook up a storm in the kitchen, then kick back and relax in the comfort of your own space.

And for those days you want to socialise with others, you’re not restricted to your room. We have lots of communal areas for you to enjoy too. Grab a snack from the vending area, compete to become king or queen of the pool table in the games area, catch up with some work in the study area or watch some TV in the common room. But that’s not all. You’ll love taking in the beautiful views on The Hive’s landscaped roof terrace, especially as the sunsets – definitely worthy of an Instagram or two!

That’s the accommodation, now the location. Bustling with hip and ultra-trendy coffee shops, cocktails bars and eateries, The Hive is located in the heart of the ever increasingly popular Bethnal Green. And you haven’t far to go to explore other districts of the city, with the likes of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate all within close proximity. And when you want to get out and about in London throughout the summer, it’s quick and easy from The Hive, as we’re just a stone’s throw away from Bethnal Green underground station.

So, with a combination of luxurious rooms, modern social spaces and a desirable location, what’s not to love? We even provide free Wi-Fi for you to stay connected and up to date with what’s happening in the world!

If you’d like to find out more about our summer accommodation, or to book, please contact the onsite management team at The Hive, who will be happy to help.