A Guide to Moving House

moving-houseStatistics – and real life – go to prove that moving house is one of the most stressful events in a persons life (third only to bereavement and divorce.) However with good planning and organization this does not need to be the case. Obviously a larger budget can offset stress vs cost more easily, by simply paying others to do all the leg-work, however, even this approach requires careful planning. Here at Woolwich Central we’ve put together 5 things to think about which will make ‘the big move’ that little bit less stressful, no matter what budget you’re working with.

  1. Make a list of people and companies you need to notify. This includes (but is not limited to) banks, electricity companies, internet providers, doctors, employers and the council. The Royal Mail re-direction service is a helpful way to ensure your bills don’t go astray. For friends and family members a simple e-mail will suffice- one less expenditure on stamps, and saves the arm ache of writing out all their addresses!
  2. Removals. Talk to family, friends and colleagues to see who they recommend, then get quotes from at least 3 different firms. Hiring professional packers is almost definitely worth the outlay, and if you’re going DIY then assure you have an excellent colour-coding  system for room allocations. Also think about insurance for your possessions whilst they’re in transit. Also (and it seems basic) but will your old furniture fit in your new house?
  3. Take this as an opportunity to de-clutter and clean! Get rid of anything that you never use: old relics from forgotten hobbies and dusty magazine collections. If you’ve forgotten you had them, chances are you no longer need them- there are even specialists who can help you ‘let-go’ and de-clutter.
  4. Ask for a guide for your new house. If you have a folder containing important info, from the numbers of local tradesmen to how to put the heating on, recycling schemes and burglar alarms, then your transition into your new home will be a lot easier.
  5. Finally, on the day get rid of all distractions. Send the children and pets away so you can focus on logistics. Collect up all spare keys and change the locks on your new home. Once the boxes are unloaded set yourself an un-packing deadline – stick to it!

This is just a very brief summary, but moving house is certainly a situation where the age old mantra ‘fail to plan and plan to fail’ holds true.  If you’re looking for help when moving, tweet us @WoolwichCntrl or check out this article.

What to do in London for Valentine’s Day

Romantic walk and a picnic on Hampstead Heath

Theres nothing quite as romantic as escaping the hustle and bustle with your loved one, leaving the traffic, sirens and crowds and taking in a breath of fresh air. Jane Austen and Emily Bronte certainly knew the power of the great outdoors to get your pulses racing , and luckily London boasts an unrivalled array of beautiful parks and open spaces for all of us to enjoy. Hampstead Heath, with its lakes, lanes and vast swathes of open ‘green-ness’ provides the perfect landscape for a romantic stroll- with Highgate village a great pit-stop for wearied wanderers. The view of the capital from the top of Parliament hill is unrivalled on a clear day, and perfect for a romantic trip out.

Dial Arch

Situated in the natural heart of Royal Arsenal Riverside in Woolwich, the original Dial Square building dates from 1720, this Gastro pub is a truly unique part of Woolwich history- the building itself acted as the gate house for the historic home of British defence and munitions production. Recently re-furbished to house a “plush and unique style, with exposed brickwork, chandeliers, and original artwork on the walls”, the Dial Arch is brimming with rustic style and character.  A warming fire with heart-warming food and traditional cask ales will assure that you and your loved one are comforted to the core this Valentines day- and its right on your doorstep.

Future Cinema

“WE ARE LIVE CINEMA” boasts the website in bold capitals. Future Cinema is a live events company that specialise in creating living, breathing experiences of the cinema. A totally new concept providing an immersion in the cinema, and bringing  back the concept of ‘spectacle’ – it is perhaps best explained by themselves: “Specialising in bringing events to life through a unique fusion of film, improvised performances, detailed design and interactive multimedia, Future Cinema create wholly immersive worlds that stretch the audience’s imagination and challenge their expectations.” Current viewings on offer are Casablanca and the Shawshank Redemption – whilst the latter is perhaps not top of the list for romance, Casablanca is heralded as one of the greatest love stories of all time, and the spectacle of either event will be sure to provide  a great evening out.

Cocktail Masterclass

What’s better than enjoying a delicious cocktail with your loved one on Valentine’s Day – why learning how to make them of course! London’s very own Harvey Nicholls run cocktail making master-classes twice weekly. The course promises to guide you “through cocktail bar alchemy, classic cocktail combinations and bartender’s top tips,” before they let you lose behind the bar to practice your newly found skills. The morning class is followed by a certificate presentation and lunch in the adjoining 5th Floor restaurant – reservation required.   If great drinks followed by great food don’t get you in the romantic spirit then nothing else will.

Tramshed

Set in a famous grade-2 listed tramshed building on Garden Walk and Rivington Street was designed by Vincent Harris and built in 1905 as an electricity generating facility for the Tramway System. Where gastronomy and culture collide, there is an art gallery on the bottom floor as well as a specially commissioned Damien Hirst work overlooking the restaurant- which can be equally enjoyed by private diners on the mezzanine floor. With a simple menu of chicken or steak, or chicken salad or steak salad, this isn’t one for vegetarians however. But for meat lovers, great quality and fantastic produce can be assured. Tramshed also offers takeaway chicken & chips, salads, steak sandwiches and coffee from 11am daily-  an ideal way to enjoy valentine’s day at home!

How to get fit in London: the alternative guide

The Thames Cycle PathNew Year, New You. Time to get fit and try to lose the ‘winter coat’ acquired over the season of excess. However, if the thought of a treadmill makes you give up before you’ve even started, there are plenty more options available to Londoners that the dreaded GYM… Here are Woolwich Central’s top 5:

Horse Riding:

There are a number of stables in London and it’s never too late to learn. Wimbledon Village Stables, the oldest stables in Britain, welcomes riders of all levels. They run a range of short courses for complete beginners including a one day course. It’s not cheap at £175 but a private instructor will take you through the basics and leave you raring to go.

Woolwich cycle path:

A great way to enjoy the crisp winter weather – just remember gloves and a positive mental attitude – cycling around the capital is an effortless way to exercise right from your doorstep. If you’re not lucky enough to have your own two-wheeled transportation system, then Greenwich cycle hire will be more than happy to help you out, and even have some great suggestions and tips on their website to inspire you further! With Greenwich cycle path just a stones-throw away, there really is no excuse not to give it a go!

Rollerblading:

Not just the reserve of bikini clad California-dwellers, Roller blading is taking off across London. Far more effective than any ‘legs bums and tums’ class, rollerblading is a great way to get fit and enjoy London. Citiskate run four and five week courses which take place in Hyde Park, Victoria and Kew and the Absolute Beginners course covers essentials such as stopping and falling! A four week course costs £145 which includes rental skates that you keep for the duration or £105 if you provide your own. Once you are able to stop at speed and handle more challenging terrain you can join in the Friday Night Skate which is held over a variety of routes.

Military Fitness:

Run by ex-military fitness trainers, these group work-out sessions have been springing up in parks across the capital. British Military Fitness (BMF) is the UK’s largest military style fitness, where it’s all about creating a motivating environment and maximising team spirit in the great outdoors. There are over 13 000 member across 80 local parks across the UK, and classes are run for all abilities.

Watersports:

Not the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of alternative ways to lose the winter paunch, but there are in fact many opportunities to take part in watersports across London.

The Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre has access to Millwall Dock and the River Thames and offers 25 acres of sheltered water, excellent for those who wish to learn one of a variety of watersports in a safe environment. For further information on activities including sailing, canoeing, dragon boating and rowing log on to www.dswc.org. The British Canoe Union also provide useful details on where you can learn to canoe and kayak around London.

For more suggestions, visit www.allinlondon.co.uk.

What to do in London this Christmas

Christmas-in-London-e1289843849396Finding yourself short of things to do this Christmas season? Here is our guide to some of the top things to do in London that you might not have considered yet…

Woolwich winter warmer. Running from the 24th of November right up until Christmas Eve (perfect for last minute present shopping), the Christmas market in General Gordon square is providing plenty of local festive cheer to the Royal Greenwich borough. Other attractions include performers, fairground rides, the obvious presence of carol choirs and the slightly less traditional display of Owls.

The Natural History Museum Ice Rink. Where ice and culture collide… the stunning Natural History Museum provides the backdrop for a 1,000-metre-square outdoor ice rink, as well as a smaller rink for children. Obviously the mulled wine and hot chocolate flows for spectators, who can admire the scene from the café overlooking the ice. The trees are decked with thousands of fairy lights to add to the festive atmosphere. See the website for wheelchair-user sessions, and note the rink is occasionally closed for private functions.

Pantomime. For some, as integral to Christmas as re-runs of Only-Fools-and-Horses and Charades is the classic christmas panto (also known as the marmite of the theatre world). This year as ever, London boasts an array of shows from the classic and family-friendly “Beauty and the Beast”, or “Jack and the Beanstalk”, to the more avant-garde “Snow White and the Seven Poofs: The Climax”. Amongst the array of performances across all corners of London, as well as matinee and evening shows, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy.

Harrods Christmas shopping. Perhaps to come with a health warning and parental advisory notice (as in avoid letting your offspring loose in order to protect both your sanity and bank balance), nowhere embraces the consumer spirit of Christmas quite like Harrods. This year it has provided every little girl and boy’s dream in the form of a pop-up Disney store- complete with Princess Parlour – on the fourth floor. Attractions include limited edition glass slippers, an interactive area for families, and storytelling sessions. Once all this festivitiy has worn you out then you can retreat to the food hall and famed xmas hampers on the bottom floor. Ideal.

What to do in London this week

Never know what to do in London after work? Here is the Woolwich Central guide to “What to do in London on a Weeknight”:

MondayBrick Lane Music Hall, one of London’s last surviving traditional music halls, a totally unique venue, it offers entertainment and food in the form of matinees with afternoon tea, evening shows with three course dinner or their increasingly popular luncheon shows. Perfect for a day or evening out, and ideally placed in the Greenwich area!

Tuesday – Karaoke. Now karaoke is not typically everyone’s cup of tea, however the Lucky Voice karaoke rooms in Soho might just change your opinion. Rooms for parties from 4 to 12 people are available to hire for the evening, so you and your friends can sing your hearts out in the privacy of your own room (in front of people more forgiving of botched high-notes and  misguided attempts at Mariah Carey…) And, of course, you have your own waitress to ensure the mojitos are flowing, and there’s even a sushi restaurant right above!

Wednesday ICE BAR London. Even the name sounds cool, and as their website says  “Enjoy the exhilarating -5°C experience of ICEBAR BY ICEHOTEL, the UK’s only permanent bar made of ice, before warming up in the comfort of belowzero restaurant + lounge. Located on vibrant Heddon Street, a hidden pedestrianised haven off of London’s famous Regent Street, a visit to ICEBAR BY ICEHOTEL, whether during the day or at night, makes for a truly unforgettable experience.”  PLUS you get to wear a silly jacket whilst trying to drink out of shot glasses made of ice. We couldn’t have put it better ourselves really!

ThursdayThe Lion King Musical.  There’s a reason that it’s one of the most successful musicals in history, seen by over 65million people around the world, and is now celebrating its 14th year in the West End; with a hefty budget at their disposal, it’s not difficult to see why. You cannot fail to be inspired and awestruck by the colours, sounds and sensations of Lion King the Musical, and once again, Disney nails it- really not to be missed.

Friday The Royal Observatory, Greenwich Park. The mothership of time keeping, and the very place dividing the east and the west. Of the entire world. Endorsed by international agreement in 1884 as the Prime Meridian of the world, The Royal Observatory attracts visitors from around the globe. So if you fancy a bit of history, then you can see the 17th century rooms occupied by the first Astronomer Royal, and learn all about the developments which led to Britain’s leadership in world exploration and trade. Ideal.

A Brief Guide to: Eating Out in London

As a brief guide to eating out in London there are a few key points that one must adhere to.

Firstly, know what mood you’re in. If you can’t yet decide between Pizza or Chinese then deciding between the – literally thousands – of restaurants, bars and cafes that London has to offer will be no mean feat. Once you’ve settled on a cuisine, so long as you also have an idea of budget, you’ll be off to a flying start.

Now you can sit back and feel smug- you’ve lucked out ; the thriving metropolis that is London town, along with its 5570 restaurants (according to that bastion of British commerce, the yellow pages) await you with frying pans, casserole dishes and soufflés in hand. Whether you’re after haute cuisine, a quick brunch or a casual supper with friends, there is guaranteed to be something amongst the eateries of London to hit the spot.

Moreover, our diverse capital offers an array of genuinely authentic food from across the globe, so if you’re keen for a curry then head to Brick lane, if you’re feeling wealthy then Mayfair offers several fantastic establishments, or conversely Brixton village market in south London offers some great gastronomy that will tingle your taste-buds on a budget.

Adding to all of this, London’s endless range of Public houses offer hearty home cooked fare, so be brave, try something new, and make the most of what eating out in London has to offer!

And if you fancy winning a three-course meal for two completely free in the beautiful Dial Arch Restaurant in Woolwich, then head over to our Facebook page for details.

Buying your first place in London

Securing your place on the ‘property ladder’ is a daunting task, especially when the bottom rung itself seems completely out of reach. Moreover, with London providing endless variables from an entire sprawling metropolis, its hard to narrow down choices based on income, location, transport etc. etc. etc. Well luckily we have made things a little easier for you with Woolwich Central.

With 189 apartments to choose from, landscaped gardens, rooftop sky terraces, interior designed communal areas, lifts to all floors, a Tesco supermarket, a café, and room to store your bike; the Woolwich Central development ticks all the boxes a first time buyer could possibly think of. Located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich overlooking the Thames, the transport links into the Heart of London are quick and painless.

It seems that, apart from parenthood, buying your first home is a sign that you are ‘properly grown-up.’ Buying your first place should be exciting not stressful, and with our First Buy scheme you can own 100% of the property for 80% of the price. Woolwich Central is perfectly located in the south east of London, and we’ve designed our new development to encompass all that is great about inner-city living, whilst taking extra special care to ensure privacy, great quality, and taste.

For more information, visit our website at http://www.woolwichcentral.com.