We have been in London for about five days. Our temporary accommodation at The Holiday Inn Bloomsbury is convenient, clean and safe and we have discovered a really chic little precinct in London. Wouldn’t mind living in Bloomsbury some day. We were lucky to score a ‘family and friends’ rate at The Holiday Inn, and to be honest the price was comparable to dodgy hostels (we’re a bit ‘old’ for that lifestyle now), yet we can house hunt and job seek with the knowledge that our luggage (all our treasured possessions) are safe and sound.
Our first port of call on Friday (first day here) was Smart Teachers, the very efficient and organised recruitment company who secured Cooper a wonderful job here in London. They arranged bank accounts, phone sim and much more for us. It’s a good idea to have a company like this back you before arrival in London.
Yesterday (Monday) was house-hunt day. Today I can hardly walk.
We searched from one end of London to the other, initially starting close to where Cooper is working. Unfortunately we discovered these weren’t the kind of suburbs we are keen to live in here, so the hunt continued. Hour after hour, one tube station following another. We dragged ourselves into Kings Cross Burger King around 2pm to re-fuel before viewing yet another expensive and disappointing box in the ‘burbs.
Following an exhausting day we do have some good leads to start on today… excluding the dodgy ‘too good to be true’ option we found on gumtree.com that seems to be more and more like a scam – ’email us your details and deposit the rent and we’ll post you the keys’ – sight unseen. Um…. no! We have called and emailed many agents for help but no one was very forthcoming with information or assistance. Our advice would be to befriend one or two agents in an area you are keen on, but the only way to research this is to do the legwork, literally. We spoke to a lot of people before heading over here though, and ‘nice’ suburbs mentioned include Maida Vale, Edgware, Shepherds Bush, Kensington, Swiss Cottage, Crouch End, Muswell Hill and Notting HIll.
Helpful resources for those of you moving here in the future – TNT Magazine and their website, accommodationlondon.net or just plain old Google.
Off to our next appointment now… somewhere near Elephant and Castle tube station. And yes, there is a statue of an elephant with a crown on as you walk outside towards the shopping centre here 🙂