A day out in London with visitors

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If you’re getting ready to move to London for your studies, you’ve probably already got friends and family telling you they’ll come to visit. So, once you’ve settled into your new home, university life and you know a bit more about how everything in London works, you’ll more than likely have visitors knocking at your door.

But whether it’s your mum, dad, brother, sister, friends or even your grandparents, it can sometimes be hard and stressful to plan out a day full of excitement suited for everyone in this fabulous city. So, to help you out, we’ve pulled together a detailed itinerary for the day if you have any visitors showing up at your doorstep…

10:15 am – Take the Central Line from Bethnal Green Station (Westbound – 7 stops) and change platforms at Bakerloo Station (Northbound – 5 stops). Get off at Paddington Station.

10:45 am – Paddington Station has an exit onto the towpath. Turn left and walk along the trail with the water on your right. Pass under the road bridge and you will come to the Waterbus stop (approx. 5 mins).

little-venice-canal-boats

10:50 am – You have now arrived at a magical place called Little Venice. This is a tranquil neighbourhood full of boat houses and cute riverside cafes and pubs. Here you will find the “London Waterbus Co”. These are the folks that will be taking you on to the next part of the adventure so hop on-board and enjoy the scenery.

11:00 am – As you are travelling along the canal you will have a choice to get off at London Zoo (if you wish to get off here you can pay for entry on the boat and avoid the queues at the main entrance), but for our itinerary we will stay on the boat and save the zoo for another day!

donuts-on-market-stall-camden-town

12:00 am – You have now arrived at Camden Market. This place used to be an old timber yard and was turned into a market during the 70’s. Since then it has become a place of art and cultures and home to various artists including Amy Winehouse! Please feel free to explore the different passages of the market and munch away on the delicious food this truly picturesque place has to offer.

3:00 pm – We will now be travelling all the way down to the edge of the River Thames so please head to Camden Town station (Southbound – 6 stops to Bank). Get off at Bank station and follow the signs to change platforms for the DLR (towards Lewisham). Try sitting at the front of the carriage on the right side. The views are amazing! Get off at Cutty Sark.

Greenwich-park-Royal-Navy-college

3:45 pm– You have now arrived at the borough of Greenwich. This place is filled with maritime history and it’s home to the Cutty Sark (a restored 19th-century ship), the amazing National Maritime Museum, and the classical buildings of the Old Royal Naval College. It also has a beautiful market and delicious food of all sorts. Please feel free to explore the area!

5:43 pm (RB1X) / 5:55 pm (RB1) – We will now be taking a boat ride along the River Thames. Please note that you have to queue in advance to secure a spot on the boat. You can pay using your Oyster card. The two boats that will take you to our next stop are the RB1X and the RB1.

6:30 pm – Get off at Embankment and walk along Villiers St until you see “Gordon’s Wine Bar” on your right. This magical place is a 19th century candlelit little wine bar, which has a great selection of cheeses and wines. It also has an amazing vaulted cellar and all over the walls you can see clippings from different major events since the place opened in 1890. We recommend sampling some of the cheeseboards and the tapas dishes. Enjoy!

When you’re ready to head back home, walk to Embankment Station and take the Northern Line (Northbound – 3 Stops), change platforms at Tottenham Court Road for the Central Line (Eastbound – 6 stops) and get off at Bethnal Green Station.

Summer in the city

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The UK has had the perfect start to summer already and we’ve heard that the wonderful weather is set to continue for a little longer. So, if you’re in London and have some spare time on your hands, then here are just some of the many things you can do during the summer in the capital.

Explore the parks
With almost 50% of London being green space, you’re never too far from a place to escape to and enjoy the summer sun. Amongst the open spaces and parks, there are eight royal parks all offering a variety of attractions and beautiful scenery including Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, Kensington Gardens and Richmond Park.

The best part? Exploring the parks is totally free. And if you’re after a little extra, there’s always something to do – from lounging in deck chairs and eating ice-creams, to rowing a boat on the lake and or hitting some balls on the tennis courts.

Take the plunge
When the summer heat gets too much, why not head to one of the city’s many outdoor lidos and dive straight in to cool off? One of the biggest lidos is the Grade II-listed Parliament Hill Lido which measures 60 metres by 20 metres. Other popular lidos include London Fields Lido, Tooting Bec Lido, Brockwell Lido and Charlton Lido.

And with plenty of additional facilities available at the lidos – from cafes and bars to fitness studios and loungers, it’s the perfect place to spend a summer’s day.

Quench your thirst
Enjoying the summer sun can be thirsty work. So, whether it’s a pitcher of Pimm’s, an ice-cold pint or a refreshing mocktail, there’s no better way to quench your first than with a nice cold refreshment.

And London is packed with pubs and bars with beautiful outdoor spaces, quirky beer gardens and stunning roof terraces, so you won’t be short of a place or two to soak up the sun and enjoy a cold drink.

If you’re in London this summer and need a place to stay then why not stay with us at The Hive? Summer accommodation available until 1st September 2018. To find out more, or to book, please contact the onsite management team at The Hive, who will be happy to help.

Easter Weekend celebrations in London 2018

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This coming weekend is Easter weekend. And whilst there’s no doubt many of you will be busy tucking into chocolate Easter eggs and sweet treats, if you’re in London for the long weekend, there’s lots more going on in the city to keep you entertained. Below are just some of the seasonal events taking place to celebrate the occasion.

  • Head to Trafalgar Square this Friday – which is Good Friday, and watch a spectacular performance of The Passion of Jesus. The event is free and involves 100 performers and animals re-enacting Jesus’s final days – from his arrest to his resurrection.
  • From Good Friday through to Easter Sunday, join an Easter weekend service at one of London’s many churches or cathedrals, including Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Southwark Cathedral.
  • If you like chocolate then head down to Hampton Court Palace and you’ll be in for a real treat. Join the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt and admire the home and gardens of Henry VIII as you hunt for the delicious chocolate treat. And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your chocolate needs, you can even partake in some Royal chocolate tasting!
  • If the Easter weekend weather holds up, it’s the perfect time to step outside and enjoy some fresh Spring air. And there’s no better place to do this than at the beautiful Kew Gardens. You can even follow the Peter Rabbit trail among spring daffodils and crocuses, stopping off for lots of fun activities along the way.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Once you’ve eaten enough chocolate eggs to make you feel sick, and have enjoyed some of the above Easter festivities, it’s time to make the most of the 4-day weekend and celebrate in style with you friends!

  • Willy Wonka Easter Brunch Party – From chocolate fountains and a Willy Wonka inspired menu, to live DJs and Oompa Loompas, head to Bunga Bunga in Battersea on Good Friday for a brunch like no other.
  • South Place Cinema – There’s no better time of year to watch the classic films, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Chocolat than at Easter. Showing on Saturday 31st March and Easter Sunday respectively, take your pick and also tuck into a delicious two-course dinner following the screening.
  • If you haven’t had enough of Easter treats, then why not sample a unique Easter cocktail? Many bars and restaurants are serving limited edition Easter-themed concoctions. Check out these 7 best cocktails for Easter 2018 – with many of them available right here in London!

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.

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. 

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.

Experience the magic of musicals in London

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If you’re fortunate enough to live and study in London – or perhaps you’re just visiting for the holidays, you’re never too far away from something new to do in your free time. And something definitely worth doing is watching a musical. So, if you’ve not yet seen one of London’s musicals then now is the perfect time as some of the best shows are currently in town. Here are just some of the top picks…

The Lion King
You’ve probably watched the animated film – or at least heard the story, so why not see The Lion King live on stage? Now in its 18th year at London’s Lyceum Theatre and one of the most successful pieces of entertainment world-wide, the award-winning musical adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King uses breath-taking costumes and special effects to tell the story of Simba’s journey to become King of the African Pridelands.

Phantom of the Opera
Take a trip to London’s West End and be mesmerised by The Phantom of the Opera; a timeless love story set in the Paris Opera House. Based on the Gaston Leroux novel, Andrew Lloyd Webber – arguably the most successful composer of our time, has turned it into a multi-award winning musical that captures the hearts and minds of audiences at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London.

Wicked
Think you know the Wicked Witch of the West? Think again. In the classic story, ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, Dorothy triumphs over the Wicked Witch – but there’s more to the story than you might know. Discover the incredible untold story of two young girls and how one came to be called ‘good’ and the other ‘wicked’ in the award-winning musical, Wicked, at The Apollo Victoria Theatre, London.

Aladdin
Another of Disney’s animated classics is adapted and brought to life on the West End stage in Aladdin. With extravagant costumes, a wonderful orchestra and all the songs from the film, follow the magical story about a young man – Aladdin, who discovers a genie in a lamp and is granted three wishes. What would you wish for?

Don’t fancy any of the above musicals? There are lots more to choose from in a variety of theatres across the city. And if you’re a student, check out StudentBeans before you book your tickets as you might be able to get a discounted rate!

At The Hive, all of our luxurious Studios come with beautiful en-suite bathrooms and fully fitted kitchens. If you would like to find out more about our student accommodation and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550.

5 films to see this February

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You’re probably beginning to miss the care-free hours you spent lying on the sofa during the holidays watching films and catching up with the latest boxset. But just because the holidays are over, it doesn’t mean the films have to stop. Make February the month to take a trip to the cinema and enjoy the latest blockbuster! Check out what’s on this month…

1. La La Land – Out Now
Fall in love with the musical story of Mia, an aspiring actress and Sebastian, a jazz pianist as they find romance and success, but will the dreams they’ve pursued for so long threaten to tear them apart? A must-see Golden Globe winning film, nominated for 14 Oscars and 11 BAFTAs including best film, best director and best leading actress and actor.

2. Rings – Out Now
Evil is reborn and Samara – the girl in the well is back, when Julia decides to watch the video ‘Rings’. As the video ends, the phone rings and a mysterious voice whispers ‘seven days’ – this time no one is safe. Rings follows on from The Ring and The Ring 2, will you dare to watch the latest instalment of the legendary horror franchise?

3. SingOut Now
If you’re looking for some light-hearted, animated fun then Sing is the film for you. Watch Rosita the pig, Ash the punk rock porcupine and Johnny the gorilla battle it out on stage at a singing competition organised by Buster the koala. With an all-star cast including Matthew McConaughey, Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon and Seth MacFarlane, it’s sure to be a laugh a minute.

4. Hacksaw Ridge – Out Now
Nominated for 6 Oscars, follow the incredible story of a heroic medic who heads to the front line of World War II but refuses to touch a gun or fire a bullet. Going above and beyond the call of duty on one of the war’s bloodiest battlefields, he single-handedly saves the lives of 75 men. Based on a true story, Hacksaw Ridge is an inspiring story of courage.

5. Fist Fight – Out 24th February 2017
End the month full of laughter with a trip to the cinema to see Warner Bros. latest comedy. Watch as two high school teachers prepare to solve their differences the hard way with a Fist Fight after school. How will it end as mild-mannered teacher Andy Campbell faces the school’s toughest and most feared teacher, Ron Strickland (played by Ice Cube)?

Don’t forget to take your student card with you as most cinemas offer student discount. Meaning the more you save on your ticket, the more you’ll have to spend on snacks!

At The Hive, all of our luxurious en-suite Studios come with fully fitted kitchens so you can put your cooking skills to the test. If you would like to find out more about our accommodation and living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550.

Nights out in & around Bethnal Green

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Big nights out with your friends, and trips into the city centre to enjoy the vibrant nightlife are a must as a student. But not every night has to be a great venture into the city – especially when you have so much to adore right on your doorstop.

Bethnal Green is an increasingly popular location for students. From restaurants and bars, there are lots of places waiting to be discovered in and around this bustling local community…

Vesuvio Ristorante
Located less than 1 mile away from The Hive, just off Brick Lane, you haven’t got to travel far to experience the real taste of Italy. Vesuvio Ristorante offers everything you would expect from a traditional Italian restaurant – pizza, pasta and more. Plus, like their page on Facebook and you could win a meal for 2!

The Star of Bethnal Green
If you’re looking to sit and enjoy a quiet drink with your friends, then The Star of Bethnal Green is the place for you. Serving locally brewed beers and delicious food, and located only a 10 minute walk away from our accommodation, this is the perfect hotspot for all locals. Look out for special offers and events throughout the week including quiz nights and 2 for 1 cocktails.

The Cocktail Trading Co.
Enjoy a cocktail or two at The Cocktail Trading Co., one of London’s award-winning bars. From a Queen Mary to the Bee’s Knees, you’re sure to find one that’s right for you. And why not make a night of it? Get together with your friends and polish off your cocktail making skills with your very own cocktail masterclass with the experts.

Tapas Revolution
Hungry? Meeting with friends? With tapas from Tapas Revolution, you decide how much you want to eat. Whether its meat, fish or vegetarian, there are lots of small dish Spanish favourites to choose from, and tapas is the perfect choice for sharing with others. Plus, all day long on a Monday, you can get large paellas for half price.

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.

4 things to do in London for Halloween

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With Halloween just around the corner, you’ve probably starting thinking about how you’re going to spend one of the spookiest nights of the year. We all love a scary movie with friends, or a night out to the local nightclub, but how about doing something a bit out of the ordinary this Halloween…

Dinner At The Twits
You’ve probably read the book or heard about Roald Dahl’s classic story, The Twits, but how about a real-life experience? This October, join Mr & Mrs Twit for an entertaining evening with a dining experience like no other. From curious canapes to perilous puddings, Dinner At The Twits will be a night to remember.

Ghost Bus Tour
Hop on board London’s only fright bus service and take a trip back in time to learn about the city’s dark past. With history and Halloween combined, you’re sure to be in for a ride with plenty of laughter and spooks along the way.

The Witch Hunter
Head down to the London Dungeons this Halloween and take part in The Witch Hunter experience – if you dare. You’ll join the seventeenth century Matthew Hopkins, known as the Witchfinder General on the hunt for his next witch.

Fright Night Boat party
A Fright Night Boat sailing down The River Thames on Halloween weekend is the perfect spooky setting to spend one of the scariest nights of the year. With a fancy dress theme and a DJ, dancefloor and bar on-board, there’s lots of scary fun to be had.