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Delving deeper into the HMS Belfast

We've been sure to mention in our previous blogs how London is home to a vast array of history, reaching far back to the ancient Roman times, and we think it's one of the things that makes London so attractive and unique. Thus we've decided to delve deeper into one particularly interesting bit of history. A 20-minute scenic walk from our apartments and you'll stumble upon a 613ft-retired warship.

 

Commissioned into the Royal Navy in August 1939 the light cruiser HMS Belfast served an active role in the Second World War. Unfortunately two months into her service she suffered a devastating blow to the hull with interior damage so serious she spent three years in repairs. When she returned to the home fleet in 1942 the ship was rapidly called back into action. In the Royal Navy the HMS Belfast was the largest and most powerful of it's type and was equipped with advanced radar systems. This allowed the ship to play a vital role throughout the war.

 

The HMS Belfast was also involved in the Korean War during 1950 to 1952 providing support for the American and South Korean troops. She was retired from her service in 1963 after spending the last of her years performing peace-keeping duties. Just a few years after her retirement, a trust was formed to preserve the warship, and on the 21st October 1971 the Imperial War Museum opened the ship to the public in London.

This powerful ship still "stands" today permanently moored on the Thames for the people to experience and explore. Visitors can tour all 9 of the decks and learn what daily life was like for the crew on board. This floating museum is open every day between 10:00 - 18:00 (10:00 - 17:00 after 31st October). You can book your tickets online on the Imperial War Museum website, £14.50 for an adult and £7.25 for a child (5-15), with family tickets and group deals available. Or, if you're a savvy saver and have already purchased yourself The London Pass, you'll get free admission - resulting in a great saving on the adult price! This pass will also allow the holder to get 10% off the HMS Belfast gift shop. If you prefer to be spontaneous however you can also buy tickets from the admissions desk on the day.

 

Due to it's nature, the HMS Belfast is not fully accessible via wheelchair but modifications have been made to some areas of the ship to make them accessible for wheelchair users and even offer wheelchairs to loan if you need. We suggest you check their website before you go as they post any updates regarding lift accessibility.

 

We hope we've inspired you to take a trip down to the magnificent cruiser and experience the history and life below deck for yourself. As the last remaining of it's kind, it would be an absolute shame for you to miss the HMS Belfast while you're in London.

 

If you haven't booked your stay yet, book with us and enjoy the comfort of knowing you have a great value serviced apartment in a prime location. 

 

Now featuring online manuals for our guests...

Here at Marlyn Lodge we are happy to announce that we have uploaded the manuals related to any appliances in our apartments on our website, for guests to have easy access should they require it!

 

All manuals are provided in the apartments, but you can find online copies here

The Curzon Aldgate Cinema – a stylish and modern cinema near us...

Are you a big fan of film? Or perhaps you just like the cinema experience rather than the film itself? Well whatever your fancy, be sure to check out the nearby Curzon Aldgate cinema, an ambience-filled cinema designed with modern moviegoers in mind. The ground level cinema has a large café-cum-bar for delicious snacks, hot drinks and even a cocktail menu. Out of four screens, three of them have their own bars, so feel free to indulge! Relax with reclining seats, a cocktail in hand and a Hollywood blockbuster on screen.

 

Movies currently showing include the action-packed, fast-paced Baby Driver (15), the tense fear-inducing It Comes At Night (15) and a superhero favourite; Spider-Man: Homecoming (12A), also available in 3D! Future films include The Beguiled and War For The Planet Of The Apes (3D).

If you’re a frequent visitor, why not invest in one of their membership passes with various rewards for its members. Complete membership gives free entry to all films and events for yourself and a guest, with a further 15% discount on food & drink!

 

Tickets off peak (all day Monday – Thursday, Friday until 5pm) are £10.50 for adults and £6.50 for children. Peak (Friday from 5pm, all day Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays) tickets are £15.00 for adults and £8.00 for children. Visit their website for all prices and more information.

 

Curzon Aldgate is located on Goodman’s Fields, 2 Canter Way, London E1 8PS and our guests will be pleased to know it is less than a 10-minute walk away from our apartments. Yet another great location near us! 

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We look at a few of the many marvellous things to do near us...

Here at Marlyn Lodge we take pride in the fact that we offer our guests the chance to explore the City of London right from their doorstep. We have a near unbeatable location in Zone 1 and we want to share just a few great things to do near us.

 

Whitechapel Gallery is a public gallery just a 10-minute walk from our apartments. The gallery has featured world-renowned artists such as Jackson Pollock, Pablo Picasso and Paul Noble. It's charming galleries; exhibitions; collection displays and more are open all year round, Tuesday to Sunday. Most events have free entry, so this is a great choice for those working to stick to a budget. Currently showing the thought-provoking exhibition named "A Handful of Dust" which runs through until the 3rd September 2017 and features work from over 30 artists unearthing a visual journey through the imagery of dust - from wartime devastation and natural disasters to domestic dirt and forensics. Other events include performances with video and live music as part of Art Night 2017, bringing together a group of leading experimental musicians, and Emanuel Almborg's "Learning Matter" - a commission exploring the role technology plays in our everyday lives. If you're looking for somewhere to eat and drink while you're there, the gallery features "The Whitechapel Refectory" - a cafe during the day, and a wine bar at night. The daytime menu includes sumptuous salads, sandwiches, hot dishes and cakes. This is a great location to soak up some artisan culture and enjoy an elegant lunch.

Just down the road from Marlyn Lodge, a few minutes walk will take you to the stylish wine bar; Jamies Minories. This is a fabulous choice for a casual lunch or an evening with friends. It has a relaxed bar with a comfortable restaurant area. Jamies features an extensive range of wine hand-selected from producers all around the world to suit you whatever your palate. Their food menu features gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian and also vegan options, so if you have any diet restrictions, you'll be happy to know you have some delicious options here. If you prefer somewhere less-niche, then perhaps you would appreciate The Mahogany Bar, just 10 minutes away from our apartments, a historic Georgian building originally serving as an alehouse. It's spent the last half of the 20th century derelict, but The Wilton's Music Hall Trust reopened it in 2009, and final repairs were completed in September 2015. The bar has a range of carefully selected beers, wines and spirits, and serves food Tuesday to Saturday. On July 17th they're holding Monday Night Music with Daj Dook for a modern-jazz experience.

 

Of course, there's no way we can talk about our great local destinations and go without mentioning the Tower of London. A 7-minute walk from our apartments and you won't be disappointed with this iconic and historical landmark. The castle is located on the north bank of the River Thames and has been standing for over a thousand years. It is now one of the UK's most popular tourist attractions! Tickets currently stand at £21.50 for adults and £9.70 for children - buying your tickets online is the cheapest and the most convenient way to visit the infamous prison and palace. Guests can have their breath taken away by the famous Crown Jewels, or help their heroic guards defend the castle in a costumed, live re-enactment, open daily until the 20th October. The Tower of London is a perfect place to indulge in some authentic London history at an affordable price.

 

If you want more inspiration then be sure to check out our Facebook page for other great things to do and see near us. Book your stay with us at Marlyn Lodge now to secure a fantastic and convenient stay in the city. 

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London in Film

With an enticing and beautiful place like London there is no surprise that the city has been used frequently in both film and TV. Visitors to London are sure to find places they recognize from their favourite movies – from Harry Potter and Oliver Twist, to classic Sherlock Holmes movies and the original Casino Royale. London’s magnificent architecture, iconic landmarks and alluring skyline make it a perfect choice for film producers all over the globe.

 

The king of thriller, Alfred Hitchcock, is often accredited for starting the fashion of using London landmarks for spy movies specifically, beginning with Blackmail (1929), which was set entirely in the city of London and even ended on the dome of the British Museum. From then on, many film-makers have been desperate to get a part of the London action.

 

Fans of The Mummy Returns will be pleased to know several scenes of the film were shot inside the British Museum and the double-decker bus scene was shot across the famous Tower Bridge. Even the London Underground has managed to wiggle its way into several movies. The 1998 Sliding Doors has the whole plot hinged on the main character catching a particular tube train. The post-apocalyptic 28 Days Later features a very memorable view of the deserted city of London as the main character walks over the empty Westminster Bridge towards Big Ben, and the sequel 28 Weeks Later includes a tense chase scene across the underground tracks. Arguable the most notable horror movie set in the city is An American Werewolf in London with a famous scene set in Tottenham Court Road tube station.

For children who have watched the recent 2014 Paddington, they may recognize various London locations featured in the film, including modern landmarks such as the London Eye and The Shard.  The next time you walk through Hyde Park, Piccadilly Circus or even the Science Museum, you may recognize these locations used in several action scenes in the 2006 Stormbreaker movie adaptation. Arguably most famous for its sets in London will be the Harry Potter movies, with locations including The London Zoo, Leadenhall Market/Diagon Alley and King’s Cross station – where you can head on down to get your photo taken with the magical platform wall and see where Harry Potter and other wizards departed for Hogwarts. Don’t forget to visit the magical Harry Potter Shop, built in likeness to Ollivander’s wand shop – perfect for Potter fans! Even in animation London finds itself as popular as ever – Disney has used the city as a recurring backdrop for many of it’s animated features, including Peter Pan, 101 Dalmatians and Robin Hood.  

 

From the silent era to upcoming big-budget films, London will always be an alluring city to see on the big screen, after all who wouldn’t want to film in the greatest city of all time? If you’re interested in visiting London, whether it be to satisfy your inner movie-buff or to just enjoy the tantalizing landmarks, book with us to ensure your stay is comfortable, affordable and great value for money.

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London as a Summer Holiday Destination

Though it may not be everyone's first thought when they imagine the perfect summer holiday destination, London is a surprisingly great place for soaking up the summer rays. With an endless list of things to do, you can always find something to suit any person. In the summer months the entire City welcomes the hot weather; the parks begin the fill with adults and children enjoying the scenery whilst playing outdoors, people eating al fresco and indulging in ice cream and cold treats, the roof-top bars open for the people to unwind and relax in the sweet summer evenings. We've put together a few ideas that might brighten up your holiday.

 

London definitely doesn't waste a good day, or evening for that matter - holidaymakers and Londoners alike can watch fantastic plays and performances in an award winning theater, which happens to be out in the open air. Aside from very rare occasions, Regent's Park Open Air Theater will battle through whatever the weather, and that's part of the thrill! Because of this, it's always wise to bring the sunscreen, a jumper for the evenings and maybe a raincoat just in case. What's even better is that the Open Air Theater is roughly a 30-minute tube journey away from Aldgate Station, which is a short walk from our apartments. Take a picnic, enjoy the day in the park and indulge in an exciting summer performance.

If theater isn't to your fancy but you still like the idea of al fresco entertainment, then perhaps a rooftop film will tick all the right boxes for you. With venues in Peckham, Shoreditch, Stratford and Kensington, the Rooftop Film Club ensures you won't be stuck for choice. Queen of Hoxton Bar and Rooftop is open from 8pm and future showings include, but are not limited to, Casablanca, Top Gun, La La Land and 10 Cloverfield Lane. This venue is just 20 minutes away when walking from Marlyn Lodge.

 

Perhaps you find yourself wanting to enjoy the warm days with something a little more active. Let your inner adventurer go wild in Battersea Park's Go Ape, an urban jungle located in the heart of London. Great for the family to have an exciting day out, allowing the children burn off some of that summer holiday excitement!

 

Maybe if it really gets too hot for you and your friends this summer, head on down to Heddon Street and start off with a two (or three!) course meal and then explore the freezing temperatures of the unique Icebar with a summer-fresh cocktail. Make sure to book in advance to save yourself some money. Don't be put off if you have a family - minors are welcome to join during the day and this summer the Icebar will be opening early on Saturday mornings for special family-friendly sessions, serving non-alcoholic ice cocktails.

 

We hope these ideas get your holiday senses tingling and helped you realise that London is a great summer haven, for domestic and inbound tourists alike! Stay with us at Marlyn Lodge to enjoy these activities whilst having the reassurance of a nearby, affordable and comfortable accommodation.

 

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Serviced Apartments for London Business Travellers

London is by far one of the most well connected cities in the world joining hundreds of international destinations and travellers together – but it’s definitely not just limited to leisure travel. London is a huge financial district (still the world’s number one financial centre as of this year!) and recent data shows that London had a record breaking 3.7 million overseas business tourists just two years ago. With so many people travelling and staying in London it is vital that companies can find flexible accommodation that is suitable for them and not only great value for money but also nearby to public transport to allow their employees easy access to the city.

 

Here at Marlyn Lodge we believe that our serviced apartments can offer your company the perfect accommodation you may be looking for. Serviced apartments on average have more space than a standard hotel room (for example, our one bedroom apartments are 47 square metres, have a separate living room and bedroom, and are completely self-contained), resulting in a relaxed atmosphere with room to work and to live. We even provide your own dedicated wireless broadband with an easy one-time login so you don’t have to worry for the rest of your stay.

We provide all essentials and will help your employees to have that “home away from home” feeling, especially on long stays where discounts can apply to bookings exceeding 28 nights. For those long visits where your employees may wish to keep up with their fitness regime, we even have a gym in the same building with day passes arranged for just £5 per day. Furthermore there is a convenience store also in the same building so you can top up on the necessities.

 

As we mentioned earlier, it’s vital that the accommodation is in an ideal location close to public transport. One of the many things that makes our apartments such a good choice for your company is that we are located in the heart of London (Zone 1) and just 3 minutes’ walk away from Tower Hill and Aldgate East tube stations. Though Marlyn Lodge parking is for private residents only, do not fret if you are bringing a vehicle – we have two car parks close by and JustPark.com offer plenty of private parking options (starting from just £7.50 a day in Tower Hill!).  

 

For international travellers or those arriving later or earlier than usual, we can offer late check-out or early check-in for a one-off fee (subject to arranging with the booking team) to allow your employees a convenient stress-free stay, especially with our smooth and easy self-check-in procedure.

 

We believe that our serviced apartments offer the independence and flexibility far superior to that of a hotel. If you’re now beginning to realise that our serviced apartments may be just what you’re looking for, book now or contact us for more information. Your budget, and your employees, will be grateful!

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What's so great about London?

In 2014 alone London attracted over 17.4 million international visitors to indulge in its historical landmarks, legendary shopping destinations and diverse culture. The city isn’t exclusively popular with overseas tourists either – domestic travellers totalled to a staggering 11.3 million in the same year. So, surely 28.7 million people can’t be wrong, right?

 

There is simply an endless list of possibilities in the city. For those interested in the past, London is home to over 300 museums and galleries, many of which are free - including one of the oldest museums in the world and the largest in the UK; The British Museum, which saw an astounding 6.4 million visitors last year. For those looking for something a bit livelier, London’s West End will definitely not fail to please. There are over 37 theatres in the main theatre district staging comedy performances, classic and modern plays, musicals and more. Many of the buildings are spectacularly beautiful and proudly show-off London’s varied architecture.

 

Don’t fret if museums and theatres don’t tickle your fancy. Oxford Street is Europe’s favourite shopping area. It holds over 300 shops where visitors can lose themselves among the shoes, the clothes and all the consumer goods they could dream of. Home to the first department stores open in Britain, including John Lewis and Selfridges, Oxford Street is an iconic shopping location sure to have something suited for everyone’s taste. If you’re visiting London over November, be sure not to miss the annual tradition of turning on the Christmas lights on Oxford Street. Each year they have a celebrity turning on the almighty display of lights, which remain lit until early January.

 

When it comes to the evening, the city doesn’t stop delivering. Soho, for example, is a relatively small area of London but holds a basket-full of late-night entertainment opportunities such as clubs, pubs, restaurants and night-time coffee shops to give that “open all night” feeling. Soho’s bustling nightlife ranges from chic cocktail bars to unconventional cabarets allowing visitors to express themselves freely, enjoy the music and dance the night away.

 

If you’re travelling with a family and wondering if there’s enough to keep the kids occupied then you’ll pleased to know London is a great location to bring the family. Despite being a bustling capital with a population of over 8.6 million people there are scenic parks and awe-inspiring green spaces where you and the family can unwind and escape the city life – why not bring a picnic! Regent’s Park is a popular and large grass area with an amazing diversity; playing fields for sport, secluded woodlands, beautiful gardens and fountains, and not to mention being located on the edge of London Zoo which houses one of the largest collections of animals in the UK. Or, if you fancy something a little more traditional you can take the family to watch the Changing the Guard ceremony outside of Buckingham Palace or enjoy a ride on the famous London Eye and experience astonishing city views from above.

 

By no means is the above all that London has to offer – there really is simply so much to explore and uncover for all budgets, whether you’re a big spender or a penny saver. So, if you’re convinced alongside the other millions of people that visit London each year, book with us and enjoy a comfortable and affordable stay in the city.

 

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Air-conditioning installed in all our apartments!

Here at Marlyn Lodge we are constantly looking to improve the quality of our apartments to ensure our guests have the best possible stay here with us in London. Therefore we are extremely proud to present another crucial update - no more hot sleepless nights or chilly toes – with the addition of our brand new air conditioning units in all of our apartments! These slim and stylish units are not only quiet but extremely efficient too. We hope our guests agree that this is a fantastic update, especially just in time for summer!

Our studio apartments have these new air-conditioning units located in the living area/bedroom and our one-bedroom apartments have the air conditioning unit located in the bedroom. Manuals will be provided in all apartments. 

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Marlyn Lodge – Why stay in a serviced apartment in London?

Over the last few years we have seen a huge growth in the popularity of serviced apartments in London for both leisure and business travellers. After all if you’re looking for a place to stay - rather than just sleep - then our serviced apartments are the ideal option for you. We have listed some of the top reasons why we think people choose to stay at a serviced apartment in London;

 

·       It’s called a serviced apartment for a reason - because it’s serviced. We offer a concierge service to assist our guests with travel and social arrangements during the week as well as recommendations for local places to visit and eat to make your stay truly special and memorable. We also make sure you’ll have your bed made and fresh towels & toiletries changed every weekday.

·       You get all your home comforts such as separate living and sleeping areas, large TVs, free Wi-Fi and other entertainment equipment. Furthermore, our apartments feature a cooking and eating area in a fully equipped kitchen which has everything you need to cook (if you choose to!), or the crockery and cutlery you need to eat your favourite take-away. In our serviced apartments we offer weekday washing up, so why not eat in?

·       Ever feel that a hotel room is that little bit too small and cramped, especially on those longer stays? Well another reason people opt for serviced apartments in London is because they give you 30% more space on average. If you’re travelling with family then it is this vital extra space that will keep your sanity intact!

·       If you are staying in London for a long length of time or you’re travelling with others then you’ll find that our serviced apartments in London are actually extremely cost-effective and will often be the most economical choice when it comes to accommodation in the city, especially in such a great location. 

 

 

So the real question is, if you haven’t stayed in a serviced apartment in London, when are you going to? We’ve given you some great reasons why we think people find serviced apartments so popular, so what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

 

We think that you want to sit back, relax and enjoy your stay in London in somewhere that feels like a home from home. And if we’re right then a serviced apartment in London is exactly what you are looking for. So why not call us now to find out more about our apartments in London. We would be only too happy to help.

 

Book now and experience the benefits of our serviced apartments today!

 

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Could serviced apartments in London solve your temporary accommodation needs?

If you are looking to relocate in London; considering buying a house or are in-between houses then a serviced apartment could be exactly what you are looking for. Our London Serviced Apartments are proving to be the perfect alternative to renting a house or flat on a short term basis/staying in a hotel on a long term basis and here is why; -

 

We have two types of serviced apartments in London that you can choose from - a studio apartment or a one bedroom. They are all fully furnished so you can leave your own belongings in storage knowing they’re safe while using our high quality furnishings in your new temporary home, (unlike renting a home where you may need to pack and unpack your belongings numerous times, perhaps just for a short while, which adds stress and extra cost to the house move, while also risking damage to your furniture and belongings).

 

When you stay at our serviced apartments in London you’ll have all the furniture and belongings you need - even the kitchen has all the crockery, cutlery, pots and pans that you can think of to cook up and serve a delicious meal for yourself, your family or friends. All of which would never be possible if you were using a hotel in London as temporary accommodation while house hunting or in-between homes.

 

Unlike rented accommodation, there is no minimum term contract with a serviced apartment meaning you can stay in your serviced apartment in London for as long or as short a length of time as you choose, while waiting to move into your new home.

 

Moving house is one of the most stressful things we human beings do and it can be a very daunting experience, especially if you are moving to a new area. However, staying temporarily in one of our serviced apartments will allow you to familiarise yourself with the local area, public transport, bars and eateries, whilst integrating yourself into the community. A serviced apartment in London gives you the time to experience what London really has to offer, giving you a taste of what to expect when you move into your new home. This is why our serviced apartments are great while you are house hunting.

When you stay at a serviced apartment in London you will be staying in accommodation that is central and easily reached with public transportation so you can get to and from where you need to go and be with ease. Feel free to pack lightly and store all the big and bulky items away, as our apartments will have all you need, allowing you to enjoy the peace and calm.

 

The longer you book to stay in a serviced apartment in London the more money you will save, so you don’t need to worry about overstaying your welcome because you are welcome to stay in our serviced apartment in London for as long as you would like.

 

We have already mentioned the fact that moving house can be very stressful so why not relax and enjoy all the luxuries of a hotel and more while staying at one of our serviced apartments in London. You can enjoy benefits like laundry and maid services, just as you would expect during a hotel stay. You will also benefit from excellent and reliable Wi-Fi, parking and TV so you really can treat our serviced apartment in London as your very own home.

 

If you’re looking to buy a new home in London, or are currently between homes, then we can help. Call us now to find out more about our serviced apartments in London!

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Making your money go further in London

We believe that one of the most important factors of when you travel is what will it cost.  We thought we would write a little something on how to visit London using our knowledge and save money while still exploring all it has to offer.

 

First things first - stay in one of our apartments to rent in London where you will have a great base to start from. There is no point travelling all across the world to not have London on your doorstep!  Staying in one of our apartments will reduce your travel time and travel costs whilst being far more cost effective compared to staying in a hotel.

 

Travel from Airports

 

If you are travelling from any of the major airports then book your Express tickets in advance – well in advance!  Book your train ticket for the Heathrow Express 90 days in advance and pay £5.50 instead of £27 for a single journey. That’s a staggering saving of £21.50!

 

Remember - if you are taking a taxi (on meter) from the airports or around London, and it’s peak time, be prepared for lengthy waits in traffic and a horrific fare. Book a fixed fee private car in advance and eliminate the stress of watching that meter rise (and there’s no standing in the rain hoping for a taxi to stop!).

The London Pass

 

Plenty of our guests ask regarding whether the London Pass is worth paying for. Like anything, if you do not use it then no, of course it won’t be worth it. However, with our location having 5 out of the top 10 attractions it does make sense! The Globe Theatre, Jewel Tower, HMS Belfast and The Monument are within minutes of our apartments (and all included in the price of the pass!) so it does make it a very good deal.  We also suggest using the hop-on and off buses, as they are superb to see the city and also save you money by avoiding other more expensive forms of transport.

 

If you do plan to travel on the tube frequently then make sure you buy a Visitor Oyster Card which will charge you the cheapest fare each time you travel.  It also covers all buses/river bus and DLR including some overland trains.

 

You can also see London without buying The London Pass by planning your travel very carefully and booking ahead to ensure your entry into free attractions.  Tate Modern is a 20-minute walk away and a trip to London is not complete without going to the British Museum.  If you want an amazing (and free!) view over the City without going to the London Eye and even higher and greener then we suggest the Sky Garden at the “Walkie Talkie” building and it’s a mere 5/10 minute walk away.  Perhaps try a day at Hyde Park or see the famous Changing of the Guard.

 

One of the major costs will be food and drink - and the only way you can truly save here is by preparing meals or ordering in and enjoying it at your own dining table in our apartments. If children are in tow then, as you will probably know, making a sandwich in a hotel room is a bit of a problem.  But not for us - we have fully fitted kitchens with all utensils to prepare sandwiches/snacks, meals and more.  Also if you’re arriving in summer, why not freeze some drinks overnight and carry them through the day with you - lovely and cool by lunch time and also keeps your food chilled if taking a packed lunch to the park.  If you do plan to eat out then best look for chain gastro cafes that have regular deals on or, if possible - use OpenTable.

 

We hope that this helps our guests to save money in London. If you have any advice then please do leave a comment as it would be great to have more top tips!

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