Discovering the City | London


Capital of British culture, history and identity, London is the beating heart of the United Kingdom. One of the most historic cities in the world, London offers a plethora of activities for discerning business or leisure travellers that visit the city.

discovering london

A city to be savoured, The City of London, the capital’s CBD, contains the historic centre of the city in addition to containing many of London’s most famous modern architecture. Offering places to stay in London, thesqua.re offers the ideal base for exploring this eternally beguiling city.

History

From the first settlement of Romans in the 1st century, The City of London is a small part of one of the largest cities in the world. Whilst London has stretched beyond its borders, this agglomeration still possesses some of London’s most visited attractions, restaurants and bars.

city of london during Roman time

The City of London is commonly referred to as the City, and is colloquially known as the Square Mile. Historically, the City of London has housed London’s countless financial institutions, and that is true to this day.

Whilst maintaining a sense of the historical, the City of London contains some of the capital’s contemporary skyscrapers. The Gherkin, the Walkie Talkie, Heron Tower and the Leadenhall Building are located within the City of London.

city of london skyscrapper

The City of London has a population of approximately 10,000 people, but over 300,000 people commute to and work in the City every single day. Around 75% of all the jobs in the City of London are in the financial services or legal businesses.

There’s more to the City of London than finance

Although the City of London is synonymous with financial institutions and capital, there’s considerably more charm to the district. During World War Two, the City of London sustained heavy bombing, meaning that much of the district had to be rebuilt in the image of the past. Despite the heavy bombing, several notable landmarks remain in the City of London; St Paul’s Cathedral, the Guildhall, the Monument to the Great Fire of London, and Mansion House remain as testament to London’s past.

Londn street market

For something a little more traditional, visit one of the City of London’s many street markets. Spitalfields and Brick Lane Market offer a more anachronistic version of the city, with stalls lining the streets selling everything from street food to antiques- and offering everything in between. Around theses markets there are several world class restaurants that offer cuisines from across the world.

New Year’s Eve London


Once the over indulgence of the Christmas period concludes, London welcomes the new year in style. With fireworks, revelry and parties strewn across the city, London’s 2017 New Year celebrations are set to be the biggest yet. With accommodation across London, thesqua.re offers the ideal base for visiting the capital to conclude 2017.

London New Year Eve Fireworks

New Year in London is synonymous with the firework display on the banks of the River Thames. Although you require a ticket before attending the New Year’s firework display, you can watch the fireworks from almost anywhere in central London.  For something even more memorable, you can watch the fireworks from the river on a New Year’s Eve cruise, or from a restaurant with views over the London Eye.

Hollingsworth London New Years Eve party

If you don’t wish to spend your evening stood outside in the cold British winter, spending an evening partying in one of London’s sophisticated bars or clubs is an option. The Bourne and Hollingsworth London New Year’s Eve party features a 1940s themed Blitz Party and a 1920s Prohibition party. Similarly, the Southbank Centre’s Vintage New Year’s Eve Party is elegant and chic. For something more lowkey, try visiting London’s famous Natural History Museum.

Southbank Centres Vintage New Years Eve Party

After an evening of partying, London offers a host of activities during New Year’s Day.  Head down to Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park to enjoy rides, performances, markets and ice skating. Alternatively, take your family to one of London’s top shows in the West End district- but be sure to check the schedule to see if the show is running.

Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park

Every year, central London hosts a New Year’s Day Parade, which sees approximately 8,000 performers every year. The parade first took place in 1987, but is now an annual fixture on London’s calendar. London’s New Year’s Day Parade 2018 starts at 12 noon on January 1st on Piccadilly, one of the capital’s most famous districts. Additionally, during the same time period, London New Year’s Day Parade hosts countless events, concerts and performances. Cadogan Hall, St John Smith Square, Southwark Cathedral and Trafalgar Square host a collection of shows, ranging from classical performances to contemporary classics.

Central London New Year Parade

During the hours of 11:45pm and 04:30am, travel on London’s public transport is free. Central London becomes very busy during these hours, so be sure to plan your evening out in advance.

Unusual Things to Do in London


Despite being one of the biggest tourist destination on Earth, London can seem a little too familiar if you never try to expand your horizons and discover new things to do. Apart from the list of the most popular museums and galleries, there are a ton of unusual things to do in London. Here are just a few:

Clowns Gallery Museum

Clowns Gallery Museum

This unique museum is open on the first Friday of each month and allows guests to see photographs, props and costumes that were used by some of Britain’s most famous clowns. An unusual (and unofficial) rule used by clowns is that no two performers can have the same make-up. To make sure that no two clowns were wearing the same makeup, the practice of painting a unique design onto an egg was started. This led to the extensive collection of more than 200 painted egg shells which today sit in the museum. If you want to do something a little bit different, this is your answer.

God’s Own Junkyard

God’s Own Junkyard

Not only is this bizarre and beautiful collection of salvaged neon signs absolutely refreshing, it is also the largest collection of neon signs in Europe, making it a must see.

Grant Museum of Zoology

Grant Museum of Zoology

This unusual museum is a hidden treat for anyone that enjoys finding things off the beaten track. It is the only one of its kind and has been around for more than a century. It showcases animal skeletons, taxidermy specimens and other creatures that have been preserved in fluid. Don’t miss out on the elephant skull.

So there you have it,  a short but sweet list of unusual things that anyone can, and must, do on their next trip to London.

Rated Apartment wishes all our guests and friends a very Happy New Year 2017!


Wishing You All Happy New Year 2017 by RatedApartments Team

As the new year rolls in, we reflect on the year gone by and look forward to what the new year may hold in store. It’s the time of the year to extend our warmest New Year Wishes and say thank you to all our guests and friends for being an integral part of ‘Rated Family’.

Filled with so much of goodness, 2016 has been a wonderful and rewarding year for our organization and we hope that it will end on a good note. We are delighted to embark on a new journey and explore new opportunities to achieve our goals but our greatest achievement will always remain to ensure ‘happy customers’.

With 2016 coming to a close, we would like to reach out to each one of you, who have been a significant contributor to our success stories, adding more credentials to our name. Team Rated Apartments wishes all its valued guests and friends lots of happiness, and good fortune in 2017. This year also, we look forward to introduce some special offers and events to make everyone merry and promises to offer brightest and cherished travel experiences in any endeavor that we pursue.

Rated Apartments appreciate your honest feedback, and it always motivates us to try and think of ways to improve our serviced apartments further.

Happy Holidays and wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year 2017!!

Travelling to London for the first time? Here are the things to know


London is one of the most popular international destinations packed with so many good things but you do need to plan in advance to make the most of your time in this wonderful city. This huge fast paced metropolitan city can be hard for the first time visitors if they do not know where to start from. To make your planning simpler, here are few important things that you should know to relish your time in London. Here are few tips that we have put together that first time visitors must know to make their trip easy and exciting!

London Travel Tips

Look before you step – While walking on the streets of London, be mindful and watch the traffic that can be coming from the other side of the road. So to help the pedestrians, there are many signs on the pavement, at street crossings. Look for the signs and it will remind you which way to look.

Transit in London – Take bus rides or walk to see the city. You can also use the underground for quick transportation and avoid the rush travel during non-peak hours between 9:30 am and either before 4 pm or after 7 pm. This way you can also save yourself a few pounds. Grab a Tube map, showing the network of tube lines, stations as well as the layout of the city. This will help to avoid any confusion.

Get an Oyster Card – You cannot pay your tickets in cash. If you want to take a ride on the bus, you must buy a ticket or an Oyster Card. In case you are traveling a lot in the city, it is better to buy an Oyster Card that can be used to pay for all your public transport in London. The card with credit of £20 can cover a return journey from Heathrow plus travel around Central London for one or two days.

The local currency – Unlike the rest of Europe, the UK has Great British Pounds. In many shops euros are still accepted but in return as a change you’ll get the currency in pounds. In ATM also, you’ll get money in pounds. Whether you take out cash or use a credit card around, 3% will be charged by your bank. Also some credit cards have no foreign transaction fees as it depends on the cards you are using.

English are serious about breakfast – If you like simple, home style food, you will surely enjoy indulging in English food. Relishing English food can be bit heavy, particularly the breakfast. Though you’ll get to see many attractive restaurants, offering full English breakfast but you must know what you’re getting into before sitting down. There are many variations, but in general an English breakfast includes two eggs, toast, streaky bacon, baked beans with a grilled tomato. Sometimes, black and white pudding is also added to this feast. Even if a full breakfast may not appeal to all but it is an experience that you must try at least once, if you are in the city.

Learn to say it right – Learn the tricks of saying simple words rightly. In London, some common words are used differently altogether like elevator is referred as a lift, lines are called queues, the toilet as loo, chips are called fries. So know the words well!

Where to stay in London – If you are only staying in London for a short time it would be best to stay in the neighbourhoods of central London. This will save your travelling time and you can easily avoid wasting time traveling. Getting around the city via public transportation is also very easy and fast so don’t worry too much. To get the feel of a local, you can choose to stay in a homestay rather than an expensive hotel. Get a great deal in rental apartments that are fully-furnished and well-maintained. Surely you’ll find a home away from home!

Visit the Museums – During your short stay in the city, makes sure to visit the Museums. Entry to these Museums are 100% free. Must visit Museums are the British Museum and the Natural History Museum –these are also two of London’s most popular and best ones.

Go for bargain Shopping – There is nothing new when I say London is one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit but London is a paradise for shoppers’ as well. The city has lots of bargain options to checkout for high street fashion. Some of these stores include Absolute Vintage, H&M, Monki, Primark and TK Maxx. In all these stores, you can pick and shop your latest fashions essential without a designer price tag.

Leaving London is permitted – If you are in London, extend your travel schedule for more than a week as you are allowed to leave the city without any permit. There are many great nearby cities to explore, which are just 1-2 hour journey from London. Use your extended holidays and explore the nearby location like Cambridge and Bath in an easy day trip.

Visiting London’s best coffee shops


There’s more to London’s cafes than just finest cups of Joe out there. From flatties to espresso, latte to even double-shot-macchiato and everything in between it’s no secret that London’s coffee culture has grown significantly since Flat White arrived on Berwick Street in 2005. Both locals and tourists starting flocking to their new favourite Cafe Milkbar to taste the speciality coffee and today, it still remains the favourite among all coffee lovers. Speciality-focused cafes, such as Silhouette and Lanark have been meeting the demands of good quality coffee in the town and by far best area for best coffee is in the East London.

The growth of speciality cafes has accelerated in the recent years, catering to a wider demographic. Today, the capital is brimming with high-profile cafes, with outlets on every other street in London but we have rounded up some of the best cafes and coffee shops to understand why there’s more to London’s cafes than just great brews.

Kaffeine, Fitzrovia

kaffeine-fitzrovia

Opened in 2009, Kaffeine is best known for offering A solid Square Mile espresso along with a breakfast and lunch menu. The cafe is very much popular with locals, especially amongst young office workers, who visit this place any hour of the day to enjoy lunchtime. Minimalist decor includes wooden bench-type tables either high or low. This Australian style cafe is all about excellent coffee and simple food that is creating a buzz and setting an example for all other cafes to follow.

  • Address: 66 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7QJ. 020 7580 6755

Prufrock, Leather Lane

prufrock-leather-lane

Image Credit – thecoffeevine.com

For coffee enthusiasts, Prufrock tops the lists of best cafes in London and this is for a good reason. Savour baked goods made in-house, including gluten-free options and nicely crafted brews in a welcoming ambiance. Menu here changes regularly based on the seasonal delights. One of the major highlights of the cafes popularity is that the coffee beans that are sourced from all over the Europe, so there is something for every coffee lover. If you’re very serious about the coffee education, this is the place to be as the cafe boast of a full training centre.

  • Address: 23-25 Leather Lane, London EC1N 7TE. 020 7242 0467

Brooklyn, Spitalfields

brooklyn-spitalfields

Image Credit – Bloomzy.co.uk

Boasting a distinct aesthetics, Booklyn located in Shoreditch East London is a creation by Bryan and Reina. Slick design dominated by concrete island bar, the cafe looks absolutely stunning even with minimal decor. Taste the coffee here which is crafted with perfection and made with Caravan beans. Serving coffee since 2013, Brooklyn is one of the very best in the town and famed for their cold brew.

  • Address: 139 Commercial Street, London E1 6BJ. 07525 861 964

Workshop Coffee Co., Fitzrovia

workshop-coffee-co-fitzrovia

Image Credit – sprudge.com

Lovely cafe, the fourth location of Workshop Coffee is now in Fitzrovia joining popular cafes like Curators, Kaffeine and Mother’s Milk in this location. Filter coffee and espresso served here are-best in both taste and presentation! Also serving tasty brunch menus and pastries, Workshop is a gem in the heart of Fitzrovia. The cafe has an open communal sitting area that makes the atmosphere here inviting and warm but it is the coffee that takes the centre stage.

  • Address: 80A Mortimer St, London W1W 7FE

Take a break for a caffeine upgrade in the cafes that we’ve rounded up for you from around the capital. You’ll surely fall in love with these beautiful coffee shops before you even taste the coffee. Meet new people, chat to friends, relax and plan new outings over a coffee in London!

While you are in the city to explore the amazing tourist destinations that the city has to offer, make sure to book to accommodation one week prior to your visit. You can plan to stay in an attractive neighbourhood like Fitzrovia in central London. The upmarket Fitzrovia, known for its thriving community boast of several premium serviced apartments that are best suited for both leisure and corporate travellers.  These apartments are located centrally and well-connected via public transportation.

Touring London’s Favourite Hotspot Neighbourhood : Fitzrovia


Home to London’s creative industries, Fitzrovia has beautiful residential streets with an eclectic restaurant scene and is best known for its contribution to the arts – poets, designers and musicians. Located in the north of Soho and south of Euston Road, this city lies in the midst of Bloomsbury and Marylebone.

The city district is named after the Fitzroy Tavern on Charlotte Street where a group of writers used to gather. It was earlier called by different streets’ name such as Tottenham Court Road, Fitzroy Square, etc., but then in 1930s, Poetry London’s founder and editor M. J. Tambimuttu used the name to describe a crawl of pubs from Soho to Charlotte Street.

One can find stucco townhouses and mansions blocks, as well as modern residential developments across Fitzrovia. A trendy, glamorous and swanky neighbourhood that has a bohemian history behind it, one can easily call it a proper city district with a dense mix of residential, business, retail, education, healthcare, and more recently, art galleries.

Things to Do

Fitzrovia has become quite popular with the advertising, media and television agencies and is known for several media units. It’s popularity with such agencies has given rise to a fashionable, stylish bar and restaurant culture. The area holds a lot of prominence for its restaurants.

Charlotte Street and Sanderson Hotels are those establishments that have been developed into hotspots and they have become so popular for the wealthy and famous that many actors, actresses and sports stars can be spotted easily here. Some of the known faces that lived here are Pink Floyd, George Bernard Shaw and Virginia Wolf.

While you are in Fitzrovia, you can go eating and drinking in Charlotte Street all the time in the finely selected restaurants that will serve you delicious food. If you are of one pf those who likes to do shopping, you can head to Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street. With your whole day busy, you’ll get tired a bit, so for relaxation you can take a walk near Regents Park that offers a vast expanse of open space.

Attractions

A beautiful peaceful little quarter situated in the middle of the busiest streets of London i.e., Soho, Marylebone and Oxford Circus, Fitzrovia has several religious buildings, prestigious boutique art galleries and museums. Here is our list of sight-seeing in the district:

Key Gardens

The Royal Botanic Garden

The Royal Botanic Gardens are almost 250-years-old, but for a modern outdoor adventurer there is so much to explore. You can find exotic flowers and wild meadows here. Apart from that you can take the Tree Top Walkway, if you want to get a bird’s eye view of some of the park’s centuries-old trees. Also, stroll down to the Chinese Pagoda, built in1762.

Grant Museum of Zoology

Grant Museum of Zoology

One of the best known attraction of Fitzrovia is this museum or art gallery we should say. Run by University College London, it was founded in the year1828 as a showcase of the wonders of the natural world. It houses as many as 68,000 specimens, you can see some extinct animals too.

All Souls Church Langham Place

All Souls Church Langham Place

It was the creation of Prince Regent’s favourite designer, John Nash in the year 1824 and was the ultimate plan for the formation of Regent Street. It is located along the BBC’s Broadcasting House. For those having a great faith in Christianity, can take the church’s popular course ‘Christianity Explored’.

Places to Eat

Fitzrovia is a hub of popular restaurants and there is an abundance of fantastic places to eat, which serves the delicious food. You can go to the below mention eating joints to satiate your hunger:

Ceviche Soho

Ceviche Soho

For the love of Peruvian food, you can go and visit this beautifully lit Soho that is famous for ceviche. But wait, it’s not just ceviche but you can also find the tasty grilled meat and skewers. Also, you’d love to try Pisco, the South American brandy. It’s the best drink you can have.

Salt Yard — If you want to taste Italian and Spanish flavours, get into Salt Yard. It’s a tapas bar and its menu is divided into vegetable, meat and fish dishes. They are famous for putting emphasis to each and every dish and specifically the quality of the ingredients.

Dabbous

Dabbous London Restaurants

This restaurant is one of the best and the most talked-about one in Fitzrovia and the menu has adventurous dishes like beef tartare with cigar oil, whiskey and rye, salad of fennel lemon balm and pickled rose petal, etc., and are beautifully presented at reasonable prices.

Places to Shop

This place is known only for its best shopping centres and the fine-dining options. If you’re a shopping freak, you’ll love this place totally. Hope into any of these shopping centres for choosing the stylish and fashionable:

Heal’s

Heal’s London

Known for its beautiful attractive modern decorations and hyper-modern kitchenware, Heal’s as established in the year and is one of the oldest shopping centres in town. You can find some of the best designs of home furnishings and can design your own home.

Fever London — Find some of the best vintage stylish and funky dresses that was earlier open for wholesale but now open for public. A great feature of this place is that you can see the artisans at work.

Lush

Lush London

Fitzrovia has the flagship store of Lush – the biggest and the most extravagant in the world. Here you can shop for your skin care, hair care, massage products, etc. The moment you’ll enter, you wouldn’t want to leave this place.

Known to Londoners as the hippest place in London, while you’re travelling to Fitzrovia, you have plethora of option to explore; it’s one place where the British elegance meets bohemian flair. For staying near Fitzrovia, you can check out the luxurious, ultra-modern and spacious serviced apartments by Ratedapartments.com to get a good and comfortable stay.