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Places to eat with bargain offers in Kingston

It’s now that time of year to spread LOVE.

Here is how we think you should show one you love how much you care this Valentine’s Day with a whole bunch of student budget friendly restaunts and fancy menus throughout Kingston.

Here’s a few places to eat with bargain offers to get you thinking!

You’re guaranteed traditional fare at family-run Alforno. Its authentic and the staff are so welcoming!

The Bishop  are offering a beautiful 3 course meal and a great drink selection

The special menu at Browns includes a free glass of Perrier-Jouet Champagne, got to love a freebie.

Carluccio’s 3 course menu finishes with a sharing board of Italian chocolate.

Cau are switching their  Meat-up menu to include bubbles instead of wine, very fancy.

Hawkers Bar & Brasserie are adding a funky live jazz band to their Valentine offering for a romantic night of dining and dancing.

If you fancy a pre-dinner drink as many students do, head over to Veeno for free strawberries with a prosecco!

High street Italian favourites Zizzi have got a sharing board of Italian desserts on their special menu

But if all of these are still out of budget then don’t worry lovely students! We have a few more suggestions for you!

Why not grab some hot chocolate and take a fresh walk down the river and finish off with a sit down in Kingston Marketplace, right underneath Kingston’s Valentines heart shaped arch of roses.

All for the price of two hot choccies!

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Studying and living in Kingston upon Thames

Kingston upon Thames is the ideal location to live and study.

Just 12 miles away from Central London with fantastic transport links, we have many students residing with us that study in a number of Colleges/Universities within close proximity.

Our Kingston Sites are a short walk from what is believed to be one of the most scenic stretches of the River Thames, offering beautiful walks, bars, restaurants and cycle routes.

The majority of our students’ study in either Kingston University, Kingston College, Kingston School or Art, St Mary’s University, Kings College and Roehampton University.

This helps broaden horizons, create opportunities and forms a great community at our sites.

Check out the open days for our most local Universities:

Kingston University: Post Graduate Open Day: 4th March 2020

Kingston College: 27th February 2020

St Mary’s University: 22nd February 2020

Roehampton University: 22nd February 2020

Kingston Upon Thames has some of the best Universities and Colleges that the UK has to offer, it’s a fantastic place to live, study, make memories and start your journeys!

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Beating the January Blues

For some of us, January is pretty bleak. The Christmas overindulgence is setting in, the decorations have come down and there are no social events in the diary. We have spent all of our money and it’s time to head back to the real world and get to work or uni.

The January blues are serious and can really knock us back. But don’t worry, here is some easy ways to beat it!

Most importantly you need to get outside

Expose yourself to daylight, fill your lungs with fresh air, it’s amazing how quickly this can lift your mood.

Forget those New Year’s Resolutions

Most of the of expectations you set yourself for the year and seem unrealistic and unachievable. Don’t beat yourself up for something isn’t worth your time

Plan a Holiday

Give yourself something to look forward to, something to work towards. It will give you a target and a reason in the back of your mind why getting up and going to work is worth it. That Holiday is only a few months away! Not long now until you’re on that beach sipping cocktails.

Connect with people

Whether its and old friend or someone you wished you had spent more time investing in last year to become a friend.  Get talking, tell everyone how you are feeling, listen to how everyone around you is feeling. I can guarantee you that you’re feeling a bit glum is mutual. We encourage you to talk to the staff in our student accommodations in Kingston if you need to, we are always there to help!

Try something new

At Kingston University and St. Mary’s University there is always a society, club or event for you to try, push yourself. Try something new, meet someone new. Once you have made that first step you will make more without even noticing.

Have a clear out

Your physical environment effects your mood greatly, it’s the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing at night. Keep your space clean and tidy and your mind will feel the same.

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Money Saving tips over Christmas

Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank! Christmas presents, decorations, nights out … it’s all part of the festive fun but the costs of these can add up very quickly! Find some money saving below tips below:

1.Secret Santa!

Christmas presents can be overwhelming and you could have a long list of gifts that you feel you should purchase. The best way to combat this is to suggest a Secret Santa group for any that might like to be involved.

Agree amongst yourselves who would like to be involved, put those names into a hat and decide on a reasonable budget.

This not only saves a lot of money, but it also is really fun to guess who your secret Santa was!

2. Keep an eye out for Christmas deals.

Retailers market many offers over the festive period, students should keep an eye on the Uniday website for exclusive discounts designed especially for students.

Be sure to consider the 3 for 2 offers, these are designed to encourage you to spend money that you might not have if the deal wasn’t available.

3. Make handmade Christmas gifts

The most cost-effective way of doing this is with cooking a sweet treat that can be divided up and gift wrapped.

Chocolate Truffles or Peppermint Creams would be a firm Christmas treat, you can find simple recipes for this online.

4. IOU’s!

We are all well aware of the vast drop in retail prices after Christmas Day!

If a friend or family member has asked for something specific, or you’re just keen to get them a particular gift, give them an IOU! Then, come the January sales, you can get them the prefect present at the perfect price!

5. Cashback on your Christmas shopping

When shopping online always start by using a cashback site like Quidco and TopCashback, they will give you back a percentage of what you spend. This essentially amounts to a discount off the product, be sure to visit the cashback site first and then search for your purchase.

Quidco offers cashback with many high street stores now as well!

6. Students get together in the Common Areas!

Some students will be staying in Kingston and Winchester this year for the festive period. We will be encouraging you all to get together in the common areas of our student accommodation buildings! You can arrange a course each!

Most of all eat, drink and be Merry!

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Christmas ice rinks of London

Is there anything more Christmassy than a trip to an ice rink in winter? Wrapped up warm, sparkly lights and sweet treats.

Here are our favourite London Ice rinks of 2020

The Natural History Museum

The Natural history museum gardens are transformed for winter with twinkling fairy lights and a beautiful Christmas tree. This is one of our favourite places to visit this Christmas.  Treat yourself to some hot chocolate or mulled wine in the museum’s hugge cafe, while enjoying picturesque view of the skaters.

Hampton Court Palace

This the local ice rink to two of our student accommodations in Kingston, so swing by Hampton Court for a twirl on the ice or make a day of it with university friends after exploring the beautiful grounds and palace. The palace rink is set right in front of the palace’s stunning light up Tudor front.  After skating, warm up with a drink at the ice bar. This is open until the 5th Jan so plenty of time to get those skates on.

Roof Top Skating

Skate with some serious style with Sky Light London found on the top of an old warehouse at trendy Tobacco Dock. 360 views of London’s skyline will keep those Instagram stories going and to be honest, are the main reason to visit here. But you will also find heated bars serving cool cocktails, warm drinks and trendy street food, as well as some seriously cosy igloos making this the most perfect place festive celebration.

Camden Market

If you are a student in London you have to Check out Camden Market, it has now had its own festive make over complete with new ice rink, Santa’s grotto and more.  Camden is one of those places you could visit for years and still be surprised at what it has to offer, its weird, wonderful and full of festive fun. Celebrate the iconic market’s 45th anniversary by taking to the ice in a wacky atmospheric setting of fairy lights and brick walls – at 25 metres (82ft), it’s London’s longest outdoor ice-skating rink, too! Head over to the Cuban bar after to warm up your insides with some authentic Cuban cocktails.

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Why should I volunteer in Kingston?

We all have very busy lives, it can be hard to find time to even think about becoming a volunteer, it doesn’t seem possible that there is time in the day to dedicate to helping others before yourself, right? However, the benefits of volunteering can have a huge impact on you! Volunteering offers crucial help to people in need or worthwhile causes, and your local community, but even more so benefits can be great for you, the volunteer.

Finding the right place to volunteer can help you to make friends, connect to your local community, learn new skills that could advance your career. It reduces stress, helps depression, and can keep you mentally stimulated. Giving up some spare time provides you with a sense of purpose that you can only get from helping others.

Here are some local services always in need for an extra pair of hands

Shed X–The SHEDx project encompasses a range of activities to activate and engage the local community ofKingston, and surrounding areas, to take ownership of their unused and green spaces to help define and improve the future for their town. Utilising original and accessible ideas, The Community Brain are engaging and helping to energise the community; enabling them to shape the future plans for Kingston.  They have also recently set on a collaboration between students from Kingston University, and The Community Brain has resulted in a playground makeover at local primary school!

Oxfam– There are several Oxfam charity shops in Kingston that are always looking for help. Now you may think this is not for you, but the customer service experience alone is a great skill to learn and have on your CV. I recommend everyone works in retail at the starting point of your career, it’s a great insight into dealing with the general public.

Maritime Volunteer Service– If you are a fan of the river in Kingston then this one is for you. They are a dedicated team that patrol our stretch of the Thames to keep us all safe. Along with life experienced you can also get many qualifications with them.

Volunteeringkingston.org– This website will help you find all other community-based volunteer work available in Kingston Upon Thames.

While it’s true what they say. “The more you give the better you will feel”, that doesn’t mean volunteering has to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day.

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A guide to Kingston upon Thames

Kingston upon Thames is home to some of the best Universities in the UK. There is so much to see and do in Kingston and you can catch a train into Central London every 15 minutes!

Shop ‘til you drop

Kingston is one of the best places to shop! There is a huge range of high street and independent shops as well as The Bentall’s Department Store, full of designer and high street clothing brands, beauty products, homeware, book stores, stationers and more!

The centre also hosts regular events and pop ups – past events include a mini food and drinks market, gin sampling and an art pop up. I know some of our residents from Greencoat House, Kingston, enjoyed these earlier this year.

Just around the corner from Greencoat House is Old London Road, you’ll find a mixture of quirky vintage, antiques and charity shops, as well as an old record store. That Vintage Shop is super cute, inside and out, and the prices are very good compared with other vintage stores.

Don’t forget to take a snap at the Iconic fallen telephone boxes!

It’s also worth noting that the Jo Malone store, just off the main square, has to be one of the most Instagrammable ones I’ve ever seen!

The Rose Theatre

The Rose Theatre is also in the town centre. It’s a modern theatre that opened in 2008. The theatre is quite relaxed and tickets are reasonably priced – there’s even the option of bringing your own cushion and watching the shows from the floor at the front of the stage hoe cool is that! I have enjoyed every production I have seen there and always keep an eye on what is showing next!

Restaurants in Kingston

Kingston has all my go-to restaurants such as Busaba Eathai, GBK and Bill’s. But if you’re looking for something more unique, the riverside features some gorgeous pubs and restaurants – all with outdoor seating, perfect for a sunny day!

Don’t worry guys there is two McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express! 😉

Nightlife in Kingston

There are many Bars, Pub’s and Clubs in Kingston. My favourites are the ones on the river, just a short walk from both Greencoat House and Bright House. There is also the Rotunda which is opposite Greencoat House, here there is an Odeon Cinema, David Lloyd Gym, bowling and a few restaurant’s. The bowling is half price on a Tuesday!

Fun-filled walks

For those interested in discovering a little bit more about the history of Kingston, for a few pounds, there are guided walks every Sunday where you can learn all about Saxon Kings, local heroes and villains, and much more. The tours start from the doors to the Market House in the Ancient Market Place.

Richmond Park is also a 10-minute walk away:

Escape to the great outdoors in Richmond Park with its wide open spaces, grasslands and deer herds.

The park is a top UK site for ancient trees and supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers.

Discover the Isabella Plantation woodland gardens, refuel at Pembroke Lodge tea rooms and enjoy distant views of St Paul’s Cathedral from King Henry’s Mound.

Try your hand at power kiting, horse riding or golf, or hire a bike for some off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail.

Richmond Park is a great space to clear your head of any of life’s stresses, take time for you and recharge.

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Discover what student life is like in Winchester

Lucky you choosing to live and study in Winchester!  

Once the ancient capital of England and former seat of King Alfred the Great, Winchester is the quintessential English city with a rich heritage and vibrant contemporary culture.

Crowned by The Sunday Timesas ‘The Best Place to Live 2016’ and topping the 2019 Royal Mail Happiness Index, this friendly and highly walkable city of about 50,000 people has an easy-going vibe, fabulous local food, a lively music scene and a wonderful street performance festival – The Hat Fair.

From classical architecture in the form of the Cathedral to the pockets of rolling hills; where else would you choose to live and study?!

From former Kings of England to famed novelists; you will more recently find some filming taking place in the city centre; with Winchester the backdrop for scenes in films such as The Da Vinci Code and Les Misérables.

For shopping:

Winchester offers an array of unique, independent shops and boutiques as well as traditional and well-known national stores.

The High Street is a bustling, traffic-free shopping environment with street performers and regular markets.

With West Quay in Southampton or Festival Place in Basingstoke being the choice for those who wish to shop til they drop!

For Riverside Way residents Tesco’s is your closest supermarket, it is just a quick 5 minute walk away and they are open 24 hours a day with a pharmacy and opticians available too*

For Cathedral Point residents there is a Tesco Express and a Co-Op right on your doorstep.

Don’t forget to have a look at all the local pubs, restaurants and coffee shops that are on our doorstep in Winchester.

For going out:

Winchester has an eclectic mix of independent cafes’, restaurants and bars mixed with high street favourites. In celebration of the setting and local produce and drink, make sure you try and sample these at one of the many festivals held during the year. Such as Winchester Cheese & Chilli Festival, or how about going a bit further afield and trying the Romsey Round Table Beer & Cider Festival.

Your universities (University of Winchester and University of Southampton) will each have their own student unions holding a variety of nights.

Proud to hold national Purple Flag status Winchester has been recognised as a city that is safe and enjoyable for a night out.

*times are different to store opening hours

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Tips for your new life at Uni

So, you are about to leave your home and become a student at university, the idea of that can be a daunting prospect. You’re walking away from the support of close friends and family into the unknown, on your own, forced to make new friends and adjust to a new lifestyle which is usually far away. How can you successfully navigate through this crazy journey you are about to embark? Here are a few little tips to get you ready.

  • Get Out of Your Room! It takes time to make new friends, they will evolve with time, so don’t worry if it hasn’t happened yet, but sitting in your room will not help you, take a leap of confidence. Go to that common room and meet the people you live with. Making friends in your accommodation is vital, these are your new family for a whole year! Freshers week is also packed with events organised by your uni, so don’t hesitate to attend some of those.  Don’t wait for friends to come to you!

 

  • Turn That Room into Home. Coming back to a boring room with no personality is going to make you homesick. Fill your room with photos and personal items to make it feel more like your place. If this is your first flat, then spread those creative wings and make it yours.

 

  • Stay in Touch with Everyone at Home – Uni can be lonely, don’t forget your friends back home are still your friends, you can still call them at any time. Sometimes going home for the weekend is just what you need to fill refreshed again.

 

  • Manage Your Time. The single best thing you can do is buy a calendar. Soon, your head is going to be full of exams, dissertations and friends. Write it all down, pop it on the wall and before you know it you will be ready for everything life throughs at you, from friends to tackling the reading, assignments, and test prep. It’s all easy business when you know it’s coming!

 

  • Look After You. It’s easy to forget about looking after yourself when at uni. Don’t eat another pizza, cook yourself something healthy. Your body will thank you, and so will your mind. Speaking of your mind, don’t forget to take some time to unplug yourself from everything, take at least 20 minutes to sit quietly and reflect on all things you have to be thankful for. Clear and declutter your mind. Not adjusting to uni life well? You are not alone; this is something everyone feels. However, make you speak up and get some help. From uni or your accommodation, there are plenty of staff around you who are ready to help.

 

  • Budget– For a lot of students this is the first time you will be looking after your own budget.There is rent, food, travel and let’s not even get started on the amount you will spend with friends, learn to live within your means, ditch the takeaways and cook yourself something great and cheap! Remember to write down all the dates your bills are due, being on top of these will take away a lot of stress.

 

  • Make the Most of ItThree years seems like a long time now, but it will be over in a flash, these are some of the best times of your life. Don’t let it pass you by without doing all the things you wanted to do.  You can do itand you can make it happen Tipbut most importantly, enjoy it.
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Top 5 places for Night Outs around Winchester

Soon enough you will be going away from home to your second-to-be home – Cathedral Point or Riverside Way and most likely you already though about Night Outs and Social Life around Winchester. Here are top 5 places for best student-friendly night outs you can possibly have during your first year.

  1. Vodka

Vodkais the most popular night club in Winchester, where you probably going to end up on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. For the most student-friendly party we are recommend to go on Tuesday ‘2’sDAYS’. Can’t go wrong with £2 entry and £2 drinks, but don’t forget to sign up to a guest list!

https://www.vodkanightclub.co.uk

  1. Oceana Southampton

Who hasn’t heard about ‘Cheeky Tuesdays’ in Oceana yet? Free entry with banana and three different rooms with music, whether you prefer club or disco music – it’s all there! Plus it is close to train station with only 15min away from Winchester.

https://www.oceanaclubs.com/southampton

  1. Switch

Again, Switch is based in Southampton, however it is one of the most popular nightclubs in the whole South Coast. Big name music artists can be seen there, such as Pendulum or Stormzy, with great music all night and amazing atmosphere. It is worth to check what’s on page on their website in order to get your ticket first.

https://www.switchsoton.co.uk

  1. The Edge & The Box Ba

The Edge is one of the greatest LGBT Nightclubs in the whole Hampshire. Friendly atmosphere, great music and £1.50 drinks on Wednesday. It will be worth in the end waiting in a long queue. You can also take a break from dancing and play pool or sink in karaoke room. Worth a visit.

https://www.theedgesouthampton.com/the-edge

  1. Bar and Pubs around Winchester

There are plenty bars and pubs to go in Winchester town centre, Slug & Lettuce, The Royal Oak and etc. Get together with your new friends and go explore it for yourself! You would be surprised by what this city has to offer.

 

While getting ready for your best night outs possible, don’t forget to stay safe:

  • Never walk alone at night. Try get together as a group of friends for the safest journey to clubs/bars or pubs and back.
  • If you know it is minimum 20min walk to your accommodation use taxi. Wintax are the best around Winchester; it is cheaper when you go as a group of friends too.
  • If you are travelling to Southampton, best way to get back to Winchester at night would be UBER, it is cheap when you split it between all of you or arrange a hotel stay, for instance Holiday Innor Premier Inn.
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