London at Christmas


It’s that time of year where some of the most popular, well known West-End shows re-appear for the festive season, and the Christmas lights are a sight you don’t want to miss. From ice rinks to Christmas markets, whatever takes your fancy, London is the place to be for the festive month.

Here are a few ideas for you to get out and make the most of London at Christmas…

1. Winter Wonderland


Located in the heart of London in Hyde Park, is the ever-popular Winter Wonderland.

For over 10 years, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland has been spreading the Christmas spirit throughout London, becoming a landmark event. Winter Wonderland has grown into a wide extravaganza with ice-skating, shows, roller coaster rides and attractions, street food stalls, festive bars and live music, with 2018 hoping to be one the best years yet!

The Wonderland is open now and will be open all the way up until 6th January 2019. It’s open every day from 10am-10pm (apart from Christmas Day), and is free to enter! So, even if you don’t plan to spend a lot of money you can still enjoy the Christmas atmosphere for not a single penny!

2. Ice Skating


Nothing says winter is here more than ice-skating, and London is home to various ice-skating rinks at this time of year. Whether you’re a novice or a professional, it’s an activity that nearly everybody loves! Some of the most iconic ice skating rinks in London include:

  • Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park – until 6th January 2019
  • Natural History Museum – until 20th January 2019
  • Canary Wharf, Canada Square Park – until 16th February 2019
  • Skyline skating at John Lewis, Oxford Street – until 6th January 2019

3. Christmas Markets

From festive gifts to mulled wine, the Christmas markets always prove to be popular with gift ideas and tasty foods. And once again if you’re looking to spend the minimal this Christmas, the markets deliver a festive atmosphere and a fun day out.

Here are some popular festive markets you can visit this year:

  • Winter Wonderlands Angels market
  • Southbank Centre Winter Festival and Christmas market
  • Camden Market’s Christmas Takeover
  • Christmas by the River at London Bridge

4. Shows

Whether it’s a classic West-End show or a seasonal pantomime, a trip to the theatre is one of the most popular activities in the city around this time of the year.

With a whole host of theatres to choose from including, the Royal National Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Cambridge Theatre and the Prince Edward Theatre, there’s something for everyone.

5. Christmas Lights


London is a magical place at Christmas as the streets light up and the amazing display of Christmas lights illuminate the skies around the city. There are some popular areas for Christmas lights that many Londoners and tourists love to visit every year. Here are just a some of them:

  • Oxford Street – until 6th January 2019
  • Kew Gardens – until 5th January 2019
  • Regent Street – until 5th January 2019
  • London Zoo Light Trail – until 1st January 2019

All of the above are just a selection of some of the things you can do if you’re in London over the festive period. No matter what you’re doing, we hope you have a wonderful time and enjoy a well-deserved break from your studies.

If you have any questions about our student accommodation and living with Host at The Hive for the 2019/20 academic year, contact us and our friendly team will be happy to help.

A day out in London with visitors


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).


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!


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.


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


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


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


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.

Making friends in London


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.

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.

Make The Hive your home this summer


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.

Experience the magic of musicals in London


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.

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.

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 places to take a break from your studies in Bethnal Green


It’s that time of year again – deadlines are looming and exams are fast approaching. You’re probably glued to the chair, with your head in a book and typing frantically at the computer to get the latest assignment handed in on time. Sounds like you need a break! Well, you’re in luck. Located within 11 minutes’ walk of our student accommodation at The Hive, you’ll find a variety of coffee shops and cafes to enjoy a coffee or a cake, and take a well-earned break. Here are just some of the places you can visit…

Café 338
An independent, family-owned restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, Café 338 is a family owned restaurant well known for its generous sized full English breakfasts. Here, all food is fresh and home-made, and you’ll find everything from bacon and eggs to pancakes and Paninis. So, the next time you need refuelling, pop down to this small but stylish café and we guarantee you won’t be left feeling hungry.

The Common E2
Not your average coffee shop, The Common E2 is actually a café and architectural studio combined. Here you’ll find photographers, architects, designers, performers, artists and the like working in an open and social environment. So why not pop in for a hot drink, pastry, cake or sandwich and take the opportunity to engage with others in the community and see designs develop in front of you.

Rinkoff Deli
There’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of handing in an assignment you’ve been working hard on. And there’s nothing more satisfying than a tasty treat to celebrate. At Rinkoff’s – a family run business established over 100 years ago, you can spoil yourself with freshly baked cakes, pastries, rolls and breads. You can even sit outside and embrace the fresh air and sunshine.

Coffee Republic
If you’re after a more contemporary coffee shop with an acclaimed reputation then check out what Coffee Republic – one of the UK’s leading coffee chains, have to offer. If you want a warming drink or a bit of a boost to get you going, enjoy a coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Hot drinks not your thing? Don’t sweat, you can enjoy an ice cold drink instead!

Costa Coffee
And if none of the above take your fancy, then why not visit the nation’s favourite coffee shop – Costa. Whether your choice is a creamy latte, a luxurious Lindt hot chocolate or an intense espresso, take your pick and enjoy a quality hot drink in a relaxing atmosphere designed with you in mind. And if you’re feeling peckish fill up on a sandwich or indulge with a sweet treat.

Once you’ve taken time out from your studies and enjoyed a hot drink or a bite to eat, head back to your luxurious en-suite Studio at The Hive. 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 or email

Student travel in and around London


As you settle into your new home at The Hive, you’ll probably want to get out and explore the city. Whether it’s a shopping trip, a catch up with friends or a spot of city sightseeing, jump on the London Underground and reach your destination.

But before you do, you might want to think about investing in an Oyster card. The Oyster card is a plastic, reusable pay as you go card which you can add credit to so you can easily hop on and off the tube without the need for cash and tickets every time you need to get around the city.

Plus, as a student, you can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard and get 30% off the price of an adult fare. Visit the Transport for London website to find out more and to make a saving.

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.