Leaving your student accommodation

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

For many students, university has finished for another year and it’s almost time to move out of your student accommodation. But as you pack up your belongings and get ready to leave, you might be wondering what to do with some of your things. Below we have some helpful information and suggestions for moving out.

Your belongings
Pinglocker logoIf you’re off travelling, staying with family or are visiting friends for a few months before you move into a new home, you might not know what to do with your possessions as you move out. That’s where Pinglocker can help; they provide convenient and affordable student storage in the UK. Not only can they store your items, but they can collect them and deliver them back to you as well. And with exclusive resident offers including free boxes and free insurance, it’s storage made simple.

Leftover food
Host Pause Logo Donation BoxAs you clear out your accommodation and rummage to the back of the kitchen cupboard, you might find some unopened tins of beans, packets of instant noodles and the like – which you didn’t get around to enjoying. If that’s the case, and you’re not going to bother taking them with you, then don’t let them go to waste; donate them to a local food bank. Here at Host, we’re supporting the Trussell Trust who provide emergency food for people in crisis. So, when you move out, donate any non-perishable food that you don’t want to people in need. You’ll find boxes near Reception where you can drop any unopened food in, and we’ll deliver it to the local foodbank on your behalf.

Non-perishable foods include: Cereal, tinned foods (soup, fruit, vegetable etc) pasta, rice, lentils, beans and pulses, tea/coffee, biscuits, UHT milk.

Unwanted clothes
cancer research collectionIt’s surprising how much can change in a year; trends, fashions and styles all pass as quickly as they arrived. What once suited you might not anymore, and what you feel comfortable in now might not be the same as what you did a few months ago. And as you pack, you might come across clothing you arrived at uni with in September and wonder what were you thinking wearing that? But if you no longer want items, don’t bin them; donate them to charity. We have a clothes collection basket here at One Penrhyn Road with all donations going to Cancer Research UK. Providing the clothing is clean and in a good condition, your donations would be greatly appreciated.

Foreign Currency
If you’ve travelled to another country in the last year and have any foreign currency lying loose and you’re not sure what to do with it, then we have a collection jar in Reception which you can drop any change into. We’ll then donate all the collected money to a local charity.

If your current contract has ended, if you’re studying over summer or you’re arriving in London early before the new term starts in September, we have summer accommodation available here at One Penrhyn Road. Contact us on +44(0)203 770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com for more information or to book.

Affordable student accommodation in London this summer

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whether you’re visiting on vacation, you’re here on an internship or as part of a summer language course, or you’ve arrived in the city early ahead of the new academic year starting in September, there are many reasons why you may be in London this summer.

And although you might have your reason for being in the city, you might not know where you’re going to stay during your time here yet. You could stay in a hotel which can be a lovely luxury for a night or two, but if you’re staying for a longer period of time, it probably isn’t the most practical option as it can soon become very expensive. You could instead stay at a hostel. There are lots of hostels available in the city and it’s a much cheaper option and certainly won’t break the bank. However, sharing with others and staying in a hostel isn’t for everyone.

So, what if there was another option? One that offered the comfort, quality and privacy of a hotel, but didn’t burn your budget in the process? Well, if you’re visiting London, you’ll be pleased to hear there is; student accommodation.

Here at One Penrhyn Road, we provide accommodation to students during term time while they study at the local universities and colleges. But when the summer term ends, the majority of our students vacate in June, and our rooms become available through July and August for students like you to stay in before our new residents move in for the start of the new academic year in September.

So, what’s it like living at our student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road?

1. Location

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Kingston upon Thames, One Penrhyn Road is ideally located for anyone who needs to be in and around London this summer. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the popular bars, restaurants and shopping districts of this bustling market town, and the town’s riverside location with meandering tow paths and its Royal Parks provide plenty of outdoor places to escape to when the sun’s shining. And with Kingston station only a short walk from our accommodation, you can jump on the train and be in Central London within 30 minutes.

2. Cost

Staying with us at One Penrhyn Road is the perfect solution for affordable London living throughout the summer months. We have private, self-catering studio rooms available starting at £215 per week – that’s less than £31.00 a night; which makes it’s much cheaper than a hotel, and can even be cheaper than a hostel in London. The less money you spend on accommodation, the more you’ll have to go out and experience the city!

3. Choice

Not every student’s reasons for staying in London are the same, and neither are their requirements for accommodation. That’s why we offer a variety of options to suit your needs. From Premium or Deluxe, to Deluxe Plus Studios, we have a number of room types available for you to choose from. And if you don’t have it with you, we can even provide bedding for a small cost, so you haven’t got to worry about bringing it with you.

And whether you’re visiting for a short period of time or the whole of summer, we have flexible contracts available so you can stay with us for as long as you need to (1 week minimum stay applies).

4. Facilities

At One Penrhyn Road, we offer much more than just a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. We have a 24/7 staff presence on-site, free 100Mb Wi-Fi and we also offer a variety of on-site facilities for you to use throughout your stay including a games area with pool table, and communal lounge area with a large TV and comfy seating. You’ll also find an on-site laundry room with washing and drying facilities available for a small cost.

So, no matter your reason for visiting London this summer, make yourself at home with Host at One Penrhyn Road in Kingston. Learn more about living at One Penrhyn Road and our summer accommodation, or contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com to make a summer booking.

Easter traditions and why we have them

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Easter weekend is almost here, and every year around Easter you’ll see supermarkets, shops, websites and events all using the same things to symbolise the occasion; Easter eggs, Easter Bunny and Hot Cross Buns. But why are these used to represent Easter? To find out this, were going to have to go back in time…

The Easter egg

Easter eggs go back a long time, even before Jesus! It’s believed eggs represent the meaning of a new life, which is often used as a symbol during the spring season. Also from a Christian’s point of view, the egg is believed to symbolise the new life of when Jesus was resurrected from the tomb on Easter Sunday.

Ever wondered why people decorate the eggs? This tradition goes way back to the 13th century. People were not allowed to eat the eggs during the time of Lent, so they would decorate them instead. And then when Easter finally arrived, they ate the eggs as a form of Celebration.

The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in France and Germany in the 19th century, but were very bitter and hard. As chocolate making techniques improved overtime hollow eggs were then developed. These are the ones we have all become accustom to, with many brand such as Cadbury, Nestle, Mars and Lindt bringing out new and exciting chocolate variations of the egg each year.

The Easter Bunny

The Easter bunny also goes way back – right to the 13th Century in fact. Back then, people would worship gods and goddesses and one Goddess was called “Eostra”; known as the goddess of spring and fertility. Her symbol was the rabbit, as she believed rabbits had a high reproduction rate. So, with spring symbolising new life, the bunny and the egg eventually become connected.

And if you believe in the Easter bunny, you’ll know that he or she brings baskets filled with chocolate eggs on the night before Easter. The Easter bunny will either put the eggs in a certain spot, or the bunny will hide the eggs in the house or garden for people to find in the morning of Easter, commonly known as an Easter egg hunt.

Hot Cross Buns

On Good Friday, it’s become traditional in the Christian religion to eat warm hot cross buns. The reason these sweet, spicy and fruity buns are eaten, is because the cross on top of the buns symbolises the cross that Jesus was killed on.

So, now you know why we have these things, you can get ready to indulge in your favourite Easter treats this weekend.

Easter hot cross bun recipe

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whether you’ve already finished university or you’re finishing up this week, the Easter holidays are upon us and Easter weekend starts this Friday – which is Good Friday. And on Good Friday, it’s become traditional in the Christian religion to eat warm hot cross buns. The reason for this is because the cross on top of the buns symbolises the cross that Jesus was killed on.

If you’d like to try the spicy, sweet and fruity buns for yourself, you can easily make them in no time at all. Follow the simple recipe below from BBC Good Food and enjoy some traditional, home-made hot cross buns.

Ingredients

For the buns:

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 heaped tsp mixed spice
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 50g butter
  • 200g mixed dried fruit
  • 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
  • 200ml milk
  • 2 eggs

For the crosses & glaze:

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • Honey or golden syrup for brushing.

The Method

  • Put the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, mixed spice and sugar.
  • Rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the dried fruit, then sprinkle over the yeast and stir in. Gently warm the milk so it is hot, but still cool enough to put your finger in for a couple of seconds. Beat with the eggs, then pour into the dried ingredients.
  • Using a blunt knife, mix the ingredients to a moist dough, then leave to soak for 5 mins. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough into 8 equal pieces.
  • Shape the dough into buns on a floured surface. Space apart on a baking sheet, cover loosely with cling film, then leave in a warm place until half again in size. This will take 45 mins-1 hr 15 mins, depending on how warm the room is.
  • When the buns are risen, heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Mix the flour with 2 tbsp water to make a paste. Pour into a plastic food bag and make a nick in one of the corners. Pipe crosses on top of each bun.
  • Bake for 12-15 mins until risen and golden. Trim the excess cross mixture from the buns, then brush all over with honey or golden syrup. The buns will keep fresh for a day. After that they are best toasted and served with butter.

Fancy a twist on the classic hot cross bun? Take a look at the BBC Good Food website for this recipe as well as different flavoured buns and savoury versions.

Why become a student volunteer?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Being a student isn’t just about attending lectures and partying all night. There are lots of other activities you can do and get involved with that will widen your experiences and set you up for the ‘real world’ after you graduate. One of those things is carrying out voluntary work and helping others in the community. And as this week is Student Volunteering Week 2018 (19th – 25th February), we thought it would be a good idea to highlight some of the benefits of becoming a student volunteer.

Help others
The reason for you volunteering in the first place is because something needs improving or some people require additional support. So, whether it’s litter picking in the community, putting in a few shifts at the charity shop, spending time with the elderly or providing support at the city’s charity sport event, your help and support can make a huge difference to your community and those around you.

Widen your connections
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and widen your social circle in the process. The people you meet will also have a passion for the cause you’re volunteering for and so it’s likely they’ll share some of the same interests as you. But if they don’t, it’s not a bad thing. Meeting a diverse range of people means there’s a chance for you to learn from them. They may open your eyes to new skills, new ways of thinking and share their own experiences and knowledge with you. And who knows, someone you connect with while volunteering may have a job opportunity for you later down the line!

Enhance your CV
Not only can you expand upon your own knowledge by learning from the people you meet, but the activities and work you do while volunteering will also help widen your skill set and give that CV a boost. Specific skills will vary depending on the extent of the work you’re doing but there are many transferrable skills such as time management, organisation and communication/social skills which will set you up for work in the ‘real world’ as they can be applied to most workplaces.

You’ll feel great
Volunteering is not only good for those you’re helping, but it’s also great for your own well-being. Knowing that you’re doing something valuable for the community or lifting the burden of others, shows that you care and should make you feel pretty good about yourself.

You can find out more about Student Volunteering Week 2018 here.

Classic British dishes to warm you up

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

It might still be cold, dark and miserable out, but it’s not all bad. One of the best things about this time of year, is the warming home-cooked food you can enjoy; the perfect comfort after a busy day at uni. Here are some of our favourite classic British winter warmers…

Roast dinner

classic_winter_warmer_roast_dinner_

Image: BBC

A Sunday roast is the main event of the week, and knowing you have one to look forward to will certainly help you through a long week in winter. A plate piled high with your favourite meat, veggies and all the trimmings (after all, a roast dinner wouldn’t be complete without roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings); it’s what Sundays were made for. Recipes here.

Pie

steak_and_ale_pie

Image: Jamie Oliver

A sure winner to fill you up and warm you up in winter, is the humble pie. Whether it’s beef, chicken or a vegetarian pie, there’s nothing more satisfying than breaking into the crust of the flaky pastry lid. And depending how hungry you are, you can serve with your choice of sides – keep it simple with chips or go the whole hog with mash potato and a variety of vegetables. Our top choice pie recipe would be a classic steak and ale pie.

Toad in the hole

Toad-in-the-hole-with-onion-gravy-

Image: Tesco Real Food

A real British classic, but don’t threat, it’s not actually toads in a hole – instead, it’s sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter (mmm much tastier). It’s not really clear where the name came from for this hearty dish, but does it really matter when it tastes this good. Recipe here.

Beef stew

beefstewwithdumpling_

Image: BBC

For those cold days and nights, you can’t go wrong with this one-pot meal that’s easy to make and guaranteed to warm you through to the core. It’s also a great way to hit your five a day intake by using up any leftover vegetables – chop them up and chuck them in. And for that extra indulgence, top your stew with some fluffy dumplings. Recipe here.

Hopefully these dishes will help keep you warm for the remainder of winter, and before you know it the days will be warmer, the nights longer and Spring will be here!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London in 2018 we have short-term and long-term contracts available. To find out more about living with us here in Kingston, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

 

New Year, New You?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Ah January; a New Year, a new start and well, another opportunity to break those New Year’s resolutions. While we all have great intentions on becoming a better person and changing our ways for the year ahead, unfortunately 80% of people who make New Year’s resolutions fail by February.

So, whether it’s to drink less, save more, get fit or attend all of your lectures (yes, even the 9am ones), what can you do to improve your chances of seeing your resolutions through and not giving up before the year’s barely begun?

Firstly, you should only make one resolution. Because, let’s face it, making one change to your current lifestyle is probably going to be challenging enough, so why set yourself up for a fall by setting yourself 10 different ones? By selecting just one resolution, you can focus your time and effort solely on sticking to, and succeeding with the one thing.

When setting your resolution, you should make it personal and not follow suit with what others are doing – it’s got to be realistic and attainable for you. For example, if one of your friends who runs several miles weekly and competes in races regularly, is setting themselves the task of running a marathon this year, but you’ve never run before – it’s probably not the best idea to throw yourself in at the deep end and join them. Instead, why not aim for a shorter 3k or 5k run first? Then, once you’ve ran that far, you can aim for even further distances such as a 10km or a half marathon. Breaking your goal into a series of smaller, more manageable and time-based steps will make that end goal much more achievable and a lot less scary. As the saying goes, we must learn to walk before we can run.

And when times get tough and you start to question why you’re changing your ways, it’s important to remind yourself of the benefits of what you’re doing. If you’ve decided you’re going to attend all of your lectures, remember why you’re doing it when it’s 5pm on a Friday evening and all your friends are off to the pub, but you’ve got an hour lecture to attend instead. It might not seem like the better option at the time, but missing that one lecture could mean missing important information that will help you answer a key question in the end of year exams.

No matter your resolution and goal, remember to stay strong, be committed, and don’t give up at the first hurdle (yes there will be set-backs and struggles along the way, but the satisfaction you’ll feel for sticking at it will definitely outweigh them). Here’s to a happy, healthy and productive 2018!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London in 2018 we have short-term and long-term contracts available. To find out more about living with us here in Kingston, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

Celebrating Christmas in Halls

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Christmas is just around the corner. Which can only mean one thing; the first semester of term is finished. And how quick has this year gone!? It’s been a busy couple of months and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the well-deserved break. But where will you be spending this Christmas? While a lot of students are getting ready to head back home to celebrate and enjoy the day, some of you will be staying put. If you’re spending Christmas in halls, then we have some advice for you to make it as festive and merry as possible!

Celebrate with friends
Why not kick start this festive season by throwing a Christmas themed party with your friends and flat mates. Dress-up (do a competition for silliest and funniest Christmas jumper), meet new people, share your story about staying in halls and you’ll see that you’re not alone. You can even club together with others who are staying and buy everything you need to cook a Christmas Day feast. Then when you’re done, head to the common room and catch up on the best of the Christmas Day TV and movies.

Explore
Now is the perfect time to get out and appreciate what your city has to offer this Christmas. It doesn’t matter where you are, there are so many great things to see and do at this time of year. Experience the beauty of a city draped with sparkly lights that brighten the mood and spread festive warmth. Wonder the local towns and enjoy food and drink fresh from the street; after all there’s nothing better to lift your winter spirits than the aroma of mulled wine or hot chocolate and the glow of Christmas market stalls. And as a student living in London, a visit to Winter Wonderland (in Hyde Park) is a must! From ice-skating and fun fair rides to an ice kingdom and circus, there’s so much to see and keep you entertained. So, wrap up, put your cosy clothes on and start exploring the city!

Be productive
With several weeks off university, you may find you have a couple of days free with nothing to do. So, if you’ve got any assignments due or exams coming up in January, why not make the most of your time by doing some work or revision now while it’s quieter and you’re not as busy as in term time? We’re not saying spend the whole of the holidays with your head in a book, but making a start sooner will definitely ease some of the pressure in January.

And don’t forget to look out for the Christmas events we have planned here at One Penrhyn Road over the festive period!

Are you looking for student accommodation in London? Rooms available for Semester 2 (January 2018) and for September 2018. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Christmas in Kingston

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping and the John Lewis television advert has officially been released – which can only mean one thing; Christmas is coming. And for those of you living in or visiting Kingston over the coming weeks, there are lots of things going on to get you in the festive spirit.

Kingston Christmas Market
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to a Christmas Market. And the good news is, you haven’t got to travel across Europe to find one. From 16th November – 31st December, the streets of Kingston will be transformed into an Alpine Village packed with traditional wooden cabins spreading throughout Ancient Market Place in the town centre. Warm up with a cup of mulled wine from the bar, dig into some classic street food, enjoy the live entertainment and soak up the festive atmosphere. And if you’re looking to give something more than just socks this year, there are lots of handmade gifts and stocking fillers to be discovered.

Alice in Winterland
For many, going to see a show or pantomime in December is all part of the parcel of Christmas time. If that’s you, then you’re in luck. The Rose Theatre in Kingston have taken Lewis Caroll’s timeless classic, Alice in Wonderland and adapted it for an amazing new festive stage production, Alice in Winterland. Follow Alice through a world of ice and imagination on her quest to save Winterland. The production will be live on stage from 7th December until 7th January, so there’s plenty of time for you to go on a magical adventure.

Christmas shopping
Not sure what to buy your family and friends this year? Looking for some inspiration? If you’ve got shopping to do, head to Kingston and you’re sure to find the perfect gift – no matter who you’re buying for. As the third biggest shopping destination in London, Kingston has everything from arcades packed with independent and specialist boutiques, to shopping malls with big brands such as Apple, Zara and Hollister. And not forgetting high street heroes such as John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Boots. Kingston has Christmas wrapped up!

Festive food
There’s no better excuse to get together with your friends, feast upon food and enjoy a drink or two, than Christmas. And in Kingston, you won’t be short of somewhere to wine and dine. Whether it’s cocktails or mulled wine, fine dining or pub grub, there’s a place to suit every taste and mood. So, before you and your friends all head home for the holidays, plan an afternoon or evening out to catch up and enjoy some festive fun together.

Looking for student accommodation in London? Rooms available for Semester 2, January 2018. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Student sport in Kingston

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Sport is often a big part of student life – whether it’s rugby, netball, swimming or simply going to the gym. But one of the most popular sports in the UK is football.

So, how many of you are big football fans? Do you enjoy watching a match on the big screen down the local pub with your friends? Maybe you prefer watching from the comfort of your own home or in the communal areas at One Penrhyn Road? Or, perhaps you’re someone who braves the chills of winter to experience the game first hand and support your local team from the side lines! Regardless of where you watch the match, it’s always great to be part of the action and atmosphere of a good game of football.

And as a student living in Kingston, there are so many opportunities for you to get involved with the popular sport yourself. You can join the local university team or the local Sunday league, have a knock around in the park with your friends or head down to the local pub to watch a game. You can even watch a match live in London. Why not head over to see Wimbledon AFC v Lincoln City play in the FA cup this weekend (Saturday 4th November)?

Now you know how to get involved in the sport, one of the toughest decisions you might have is deciding who you’re going to support for the season. Here at one Penrhyn Road, we know who we’re supporting…

This year Host have teamed up with Kingston Uni Football Club (KUFC) and we’re proud to be sponsors of the team’s kit. I think you’ll agree with us that they look great! We look forward to seeing them in action and following the team through the football season. We’d like to wish KUFC the best of luck from all of us at Host!

KUFC Mens Football Kit