What is it about London?
London catches the thoughts, unlike any other city. Steeped in history from an ailing empire but still, it allures a huge global appeal in the present. A thriving multicultural creative culture, a publicists dream of a Royal Family. An over-privileged public school educated house of parliament (no not everyone from England is posh!). Makes the general view of this large city on a small Island. Although the UK as a whole has suffered from the recent recessions, London is literally booming. Capitalism, commercialism, and the Worlds mega-rich see London as their playground! Sports cars, super deluxe bars, new skyscrapers, restaurants, shopping, theatre, and all manners of entertainment are on offer. This is Europe’s New York with a twist. Intertwined in all this is the Government’s long-standing policy of socially helping the underprivileged. Social housing is mixed with high-class housing. This has meant some of London’s poorest have grown up in some of the Worlds most exclusive neighborhoods. London has the full spectrum, from chilled out hipsters (Usually East) to Chic Diners (Usually West) and Rich Yuppies hanging out somewhere in-between. Fundamentally London works, it’s clean, relatively safe and its size gives endless possibilities… but it is expensive! The pound is high and those who come here need to sacrifice a fair amount of their own currency (unless you are coming from Scandinavia, Japan, or another even further inflated country). Or alternatively, ensure you have some way of earning the precious sterling when on your stay!
What to Expect?
The River Thames, pubs, food markets, green parks, Buckingham Palace, the arts, cups of tea, fish, and chips this is what makes London famous! Though strolling through the streets of vast but dense London you find huge diversity. Powered by generations of migrants at its core, it is a melting pot of different races and creeds. It is a city which has had its place for thousands of years and it seems to be expertly gracing into the future. Whilst intertwining with state of the art modern technology. Is there anywhere else where thousand-year-old castles sit side by side with modern art style skyscrapers? It’s an architect’s dream city!
London’s nightlife is supreme, the often reserved natives seem to let themselves go on the weekends. Be warned drinking huge amounts of alcoholic fluid is a part of the culture here and a little difficult to escape.
What’s Next for London?
The English are worried about the Scottish seeking independence; there should be more of a worry of London seeking independence from the rest of the UK. It truly is a bustling city continuing to grow at a tremendous rate! London is happening now and continues to be at the forefront of culture, great minds, and commerce. The only difference is that England surrounding it may have taken a step back!
Worried if your English isn’t good enough? Worry not! Pick up your ears and find that most of the people in London are speaking in a foreign tongue or maybe not even English at all! – Over 300 Languages are spoken here!
London can be expensive. Yet also manageable with vasts of things to do either on the cheap or for free.
Expect to pay a minimum of £1000-1500 per month total if living in a shared house, working from home of coffee shops, and keeping activities to a minimum. London budgets can up indefinitely.
Where to Live in London (Accommodation)
London is a huge city of over 10 million people and counting. The center of the capital is known as zone 1 when it comes to transport and this is usually used for commercial premises rather than housing. If you are lucky enough to find somewhere to live centrally expect to pay the extra and be prepared for the noise, hustle and bustle.
London transport is mainly by Tube. The Oster card can take you from one side of the capital to another for a preset fare. The Oyster card can also be used on buses. Taxis are expensive timely and best avoided.
London is quite a bike-friendly city with various bike lanes along rivers canals and footpaths. The famous Boris bikes also make an ideal way to both travel and explore the city and its parks.
Where to Work from (Cafes, Co-Working & More) – London’s Best Co-Working & Coffee Shops
The selection of places to work from for free in London is huge. This includes the ever-increasing coffee culture which is growing here. However, surprisingly internet connection can sometimes be a letdown. Good coffee, cakes, and other forms of edible treats usually take priority for the stay at home mums or house mans in 21st Century Britain’s who seem to be most of the coffee shops primary clientele. Home internet connections are usually superb so many choose to work from their place of residence, though most mobile phone packages are great too and allow the set up of tethering hot-spots. This gives a pretty decent wireless internet connection anywhere from parks to a library.
Below is a list of some of our favorite places to work for free:
King’s Place Conference Center Cafe
Southbank Center Riverside Terrace Cafe
Co-Working in the capital:
The art of co-working where you rent a desk in a usually casual office environment has really taken off and Co-Working is now common in the capital. East London, specifically around the Old Street/Shoreditch area is somewhat of a center point for tech type innovation in London. Although co-working is certainly spread around the city, this area is a kind of hub for most hipster type entrepreneurs as well as more seasoned professionals. Prices per month range from £100 in a studio to up to around £500 for a more deluxe type office environment.
For global co-working this site is very useful:
London is full of things to do both free and paid for. Whether it be lounging in one of London’s grand parks, art galleries, or Museums for free. Or sampling the high life in World famous restaurants, clubs, and cafes. Events or Sporting occasions. London has it all.
Cheap Eats in London – Best Food & Restaurants
The reputation of England’s food is somewhat tainted. The English as a nation are famed for their ability to hype things up; take a look at Stone Henge for instance. The feat of persuading the world that this is visit-worthy attraction is an achievement in itself. Many a happy tourist is left disappointed after they have battled the wind and the rain to be confronted by a metal fence and what can only be described as a series of dull concrete looking objects. The pretty surrounding countryside is far more of an attraction.
Even though the English are experts at persuading, it seems a step too far to pretend that their food is good. But really, what can you expect from an Island whose main farm produce is broccoli, onions, and a practically nonexistent herb table? However, thanks to centuries of colonization and a flooding market of immigrants they have been blessed with food imported from all sides of the globe. So it is here, in London, where you find what can only be described as a food connoisseurs paradise. Only a few places in the World will allow you to taste such high quality authentic worldly tastes in such a small vicinity. Despite London’s huge mix of both urban and gourmet cuisine finding what is good and fairly priced can be a challenge. With inspiration from the fantastic Anthony Bourdain below, you will find our top tips which all should be checked out. Listed here from Markets, Restaurants and Supermarket specials have been awarded the DNA Foodie Award for Excellence.
- Honest Burger (Chain)
- Wahaca (Chain)
- Banana Tree (Chain)
- Dalston Turkish
- Soho Ice Cream
- Sainsbury’s Meal Deals (Supermarket)
- Shoreditch Thai
- Edgware Road Lebanese (Area)
- Southall Indians (Area)
- Kentish Town Market (Market)
- Brixton Market (Market)
- Marylebone Fish & Chips
- Kimchee Holburn
In commercial and cosmopolitan London what you will find is that good places are picked up fast as investors come rushing in and they quickly become chains. Almost all high-quality restaurants in London, unfortunately, go this way. The tip here is to avoid the busy bustling chains when their restaurants are in central locations. Instead, look for chains in quieter places where the service will be better and the food will simply be tastier.