28 Aug Tried and Tested: London
This month our Citybase tried and tested travellers paid a visit to Britain’s glorious capital city, London:
Our Citybase travellers to London this month were Grace Tebbutt, Digital Marketing Assistant, who went as part of our video-shoot, Head Partner Account Manager – EMEA, Kurtis Murphy who went with his partner, and Accounts Payable Support duo, Sarah Corstophine and Emily Wakeling, who went as placement students and friends.
First of all, Grace Tebbutt went to see if London was the perfect city to host a work video-shoot…
“My colleague and I got the train to London from Lancaster early Wednesday morning. Surprisingly, the train journey from Lancaster only took two hours, and during that time we were both occupied looking through call sheets, models, and making calls. Before we knew it we were in London. Arriving at Euston we were immediately thrown into the hustle and bustle of city life. We made our way to Chiswick, where our London office is based. It was a beautifully hot day and after having sushi on Turnham Green we headed to our serviced apartments. We had booked into Residence Inn Kensington which is just a five minute walk from West Kensington tube station and is easy to spot. The property is right next to a super market, so be sure to grab some provisions on the way in.
We each booked a one bedroom apartment. All apartments have a fully-equipped kitchens, double beds, and lovely living rooms to relax in. I left my colleague to her own devices and settled in. I didn’t fancy going out to eat so instead I ordered a pizza. I curled up on the sofa and put on the TV, it was the perfect night in. We had to wake up early the next morning, but luckily a full complimentary breakfast is provided at Residence Inn and I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast selection of bacon, sausage, pastries, cereal and so much more. The coffee was my first stop though and after two cups of caffeine I was ready to start the day.
We made our way to the office and after disruption on the tube (I hear that’s common) we finally reached the office. We spent the day working, but it was nice to see the London office again and get to work with them after not seeing them for the last few weeks. After work, my colleague and I headed to the city and watched as the sun set behind Tower Bridge, which was beautiful. After indulging in a bit of shopping we headed back to the apartment. We bought a bottle of wine on the way back and relaxed on the sofa watching crime documentaries. It was a great night in again and one that we both definitely needed.
For the last day in London we were all set to start filming our final installment of the video-shoot. Residence Inn were kind enough to let us film in one of the apartments on the 10th floor. Once the models had all arrived, we were in full force getting make-up, outfits, and positions correct. Lighting went up, cameras were set, and then it was action time. All the models were fantastic and after a shoot in the apartment we head out to Putt in the Park and The Phene to do some shoots there as well. It was such sunny weather and everyone loved the settings, even playing golf with a little bit of competitiveness.
The shoots were fantastic and we got great footage for the videos. So, after a long day, exhausted, we got the train home from Euston. It is safe to say we both had a wonderful time in London and the capital provides the ideal setting for video-shoots, activities, and work at the office.”
Next up, was Kurtis Murphy with his partner to find out what London can do for couples…
“My partner and I went to London on a Friday night after work to give this beautiful capital city a Tried and Tested. The train was a little delayed but we made good time getting to the capital. We ended the journey at Euston and went straight to the apartments from there. We were staying at Limehouse Apartments by Marlin, and, as a treat we had made the reservation in the penthouse apartment. The views from the roof terrace were amazing, and as we arrived there late in the evening, the first proper view of London we had was the lights shining up at us from the streets below, which looked spectacular.
We settled in with a cup of tea each and put our feet up, a well needed rest. The apartment was quiet despite the busy city below and it was easy to forget we were in the capital. A catch up on TV later and we both ended up falling asleep on the sofa then moving to the bedroom during the night. The bed was a king and was very comfy for us both. In the morning the light was streaming through the French windows that were situated at the bottom of the bed. It was a lovely way to wake up. After a breakfast of cereal and juice we went to explore the city. We had booked tickets for Plant Pop! which was holding an exhibit in Shoreditch until the 2nd September, so we decided to head there first. It took just half an hour to get there by tube and the event was awesome! There were inflatable avocados, cherry’s, and it was like a modern art take on plants.
After exploring the weird and wonderful world of Plant Pop! we had lunch in Shoreditch then headed into the city to see how touristy we could actually become. With cameras at the ready and maps on our phones we felt like true foreigners. The Tower of London was first on our list, and with views of Tower Bridge this was killing two birds with one stone. We both loved the Tower of London and both have a passion for history, so this was our ideal day out. We discovered the story of Anne Boleyn which is live until the 30th August so we fully took advantage of that. The Crown Jewels were on display as well and were breath-taking. There are 23,578 gemstones at the Tower of London itself which is incredible!
After a longer than planned visit to the Tower of London we headed to the Hawksmoor Guildhall in the city, just a 20 minute walk from the tower. We had decided to visit the Hawksmoor based on reviews from our colleagues on the newly opened one in Edinburgh. We were certainly not disappointed. We both started with smoked salmon which was the perfect entree to our sirloin steaks, tripled cooked chips, and onion rings. We were so full after but we just ended up sitting there with great conversation, the backdrop of rustic wood and leather chairs giving it an air of a traditional gentlemen’s club.
We headed back to the apartment after a few hours spent relaxing at the Hawksmoor and pretty much fell asleep instantly. I think a couple of glasses of wine, and a fantastic meal helped with that a lot. In the morning we woke up and cooked ourselves egg on toast in the kitchen, we even ended up having breakfast in bed with the view of London which was beautiful at that time of the morning. We decided to head out and do a bit of shopping before we had to head to Euston for the train back. Overall, we both had to say that London is a fantastic place to explore and there is so much more than the tourist attractions and the city centre here. We Tried and Tested London and we loved every second!”
And last but not least, Emily Wakeling and Sarah Corstorphine went to see what London could offer two good friends on a placement scheme…
“We went to London on the Monday, we are both placement students with Citybase Apartments and so we were heading to the Chiswick office to be introduced to our department there first, although we were placed in the Lancaster office for the rest of the year. We had both been to London before but this time we were excited to see how it would be different, as we were together and on work and leisure. We were staying at Kew Bridge Piazza Apartments in a two bedroom apartment. It was a great apartment for both of us and not far from the office at all. The beds were really comfy and we even had a balcony that overlooked the River Thames and a courtyard with fountains which was beautiful.
We unpacked all of our things. We had never stayed in a serviced apartment before and they are so much better! We had so much space for ourselves, and separate bedrooms as well as a kitchen which was ideal for our couple of nights here. We decided to go out and celebrate with a couple of cocktails. We found a place nearby with delicious cocktails and a varied selection of bar food so we treated ourselves to dinner whilst we were out. On the way back from the apartment we found a small supermarket selling what we would need for the next few days. As placement students who hadn’t actually started our job, buying supermarket food to cook in our apartment was definitely the way forward.
In the evening we did our own thing. I ended up watching Netflix in my bedroom and eating some sweets I had picked up previously. Falling asleep was easy when the beds were so soft. It was truly like being on holiday, and the noise from outside didn’t disturb the apartment at all. I woke up in the morning to find the breakfast we had brought the night before on the table with orange juice ready and scrambled eggs, toast, bacon. It was wonderful. That is exactly why travelling with a good friend is the best way, they may surprise you!
After a great breakfast we managed to find the office which was only a 25 minute walk away, and I think because we were nervous and chatting to each other the walk went quickly. We were shown around the office, which was a bit like a maze, there was no way we would remember it all in one day! We got to know our team for the next couple of days and they were very welcoming and all lovely. That day was mainly all introductions and getting to know where everything was.
That evening we headed to the city centre to take advantage of where we were. We ended up at the London Eye which towered above the River Thames and into the slowly dimming night sky. We didn’t go on it but instead had a lovely walk along the river bank and around the area. It was nice to have a relaxing walk to clear our heads after the rush that the day had been. We made our way back to the apartment and after a well-deserved glass of wine on the balcony we got into our beds. It had really been the most relaxing evening for us.
The next day at work was a bit different; we were given some work to do after an induction with all of the other placements at the company too. It was great to meet everyone and we all got along really well which was great. At lunch we even headed to the supermarket together and ate lunch on Turnham Green which is apparently the thing to do at the office. It was a bright and sunny day fortunately, and even though lunch seemed to go quick we learnt a lot about the other people who had started their year like us.
The afternoon went even faster. There was plenty of work to be explained and to do, but I think we finally got the hang of it; we’ll be pros in no time! We are both in the finance department and studying it at university so we loved every moment of it and it was exciting to see what we could be taking on in the future. London was the most amazing place to begin this journey, Lancaster has been exciting but London was an experience.”
London you have been Tried and Tested and our Citybase Apartments travellers give you an overall: 8/10