We’ve been in London for just about a week now, which is rather unbelievable. We spent our first few days walking around quite a bit, which turned out to be a fantastic way to minimize any jet lag. It’s been somewhat strange, but almost entirely wonderful.
While searching for a flat we decided to use Airbnb to stay somewhere more residential– the idea being that we would get to know the area a lot better, and that we would have access to a kitchen so we wouldn’t have to go out for meals multiple times a day for over a week. This turned out to be a fantastic decision! We have loved exploring Notting Hill and Kensington, so much so that this past weekend when we were on the search for a flat of our own, our favorite happened to be just a few streets over from where we are staying now!
This past Saturday Cameron and I spent the whole day searching for a flat, which was a lot of fun, if somewhat tiring. After looking over our options we decided to use the London Relocation Services, as they are extremely thorough, and try to have you moved in as soon as possible. The company specializes in helping professionals and students who are moving to London from abroad, who aren’t sure how to navigate the housing market. Our search began at 9:15am, and didn’t wrap up until just after 4:00pm, during which we managed to look at 18 different flats in several areas across London including Marylebone, Islington, Notting Hill, and Maida Vale. it was definitely a long day, but we finished with about four properties we really liked, including one that was absolutely fantastic. One of the most surprising things was how quickly the market moves; in some cases flats were taken within an hour of us seeing them, so I was really happy to have someone navigate! Luckily, we managed to secure our favorite property, and aim to move in by the end of this week.
In addition to searching for a new home, and exploring our new neighborhood, I’ve begun the induction for my masters program at Kings College. The day before my induction Cameron and I mapped our route to school and tested how long it would take. Afterwards we explored around Covent Garden, as I was dying to see the installation by Charles Pétillon.
So far I have successfully navigated the route to school without any help (from an app or Cameron)! Although courses don’t begin until Monday, I already have a preliminary group assignment, which has actually been a great way to get back into the mindset of having homework to do, and has allowed me to get to know some of the other students in my program. Everyone I’ve met so far has been really nice, and its been interesting learning about everyone’s different areas of interest.
So far one of my favorite places we’ve explored is Kensington Gardens. It’s absolutely gigantic, and there are loads of spots where I feel like I’m out of the city all together, so I’m excited to go for a run and explore a bit more. We’ve also looked around Holland Park a bit, and looked around a few of the different gardens there.
One of the must fun things we’ve done was going to dinner with some friends of mine, Maddy and Manda, who I’ve known since high school. Maddy has been London for the past year getting her MA and was about to go home, and Manda has just arrived to get her MBA. I’m quite happy to have someone in the city who I’ve known for so long! We met in Kensington and went to the Churchill Arms for a drink before heading to dinner at Tem Tép Vietnamese Kitchen. Maddy recommended the Hue Vermicelli soup, which was so amazing that I can’t wait to go back!
The next few days will be just as full, as Cameron and I have a lot to do before we move into our new flat at the end of the week!