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Why London Movers are at highest risk of renting from dodgy landlords

Despite having to pay for the privilege of having a background check conducted on themselves, most renters don’t perform the same due diligence on their potential landlord, leaving them at risk of renting from dodgy or criminal landlords, according to brand new Kiwi Movers research. In fact, just of 8% of renters in the capital do any sort of background check and half say they’d take what they got. Our research also found that more than a third of renters would favour a landlady over a landlord, with 44% of women saying they’d prefer to rent from another female.

What else did our London movers study find?

  • Only 20% of UK renters do any sort of check on their landlord before agreeing a tenancy.

 

  • Figure drops to just 8% for London with almost half of renters in the capital willing to ‘take what they can get’.*

 

  • More than a quarter of renters would prefer to rent from a female.

 

  • 44% of women would prefer to rent from another woman.

 

  • 1 in 5 believe renting from an agency meant they didn’t need to worry about landlord credentials or history.

 

  • 18% of those who did find useful negative information on a landlord say it affected their decision to rent from that person.

 

  • Renters in Liverpool most likely to check out a landlord online before renting.

 

Just 8% of London residents do any kind of background check on their landlord, 62% below the national average of 20%. London residents are also the least likely to act on information about a potential landlord, with fewer than half (44%) of them saying negative the information had influenced a housing decision. In other words, the need to secure a property was greater than their need to rent with confidence.

Renters in Liverpool are most likely to carry out background checks on their landlord. A third of the city’s residents say they’ve performed a background check on a landlord before agreeing to move into a property.

Dan Wilson Craw, Policy Manager, Generation Rent says:

“Anyone with a spare room or flat can let it out with no checks involved, so there is an unknown number of dodgy landlords out there. For the tenant, there is no way of finding out what their prospective landlord is like beyond a Google search, and even then it might be too late to back out of a contract without forfeiting fees. This is why we need to open up the list of convicted landlords for tenants to access, and, better yet, introduce a system of licensing.”

A separate study, conducted in March 2019 by London property maintenance firm Aspect found that more than half (53%) of London’s renters have experienced injuries and health problems from poorly maintained rental property. Aspect operations director Nick Bizley said ““Our tradespeople regularly see and report examples of corner-cutting on maintenance, especially where properties have been converted into homes of multiple occupancy, such as a large houses converted into flats, but also at the higher end of the property market too.”

Landlords vs Landladies

Almost half of female renters would prefer a female landlord.

More than a quarter (29%) of tenants surveyed said that if they had the choice, they’d prefer to rent from a woman and that the sex of their landlord would influence whether they rented a specific property. For women, that figure increased to 44%.

Men were less picky, with just a quarter saying the gender of the homeowner would influence their decision to rent a property. Of those expressing a gender preference, more than half (52% would prefer a female).

Cities with renters most likely to check out a potential landlord

 

City % of renters who have checked out a landlord before renting (national average – 20%)
Liverpool 33.30%
Swansea 31.63%
Southampton 26.83%
Leicester 24.33%
Glasgow 24.07%
Sheffield 23.37%
Brighton and Hove 23.30%
Cardiff 23.00%
Portsmouth 21.73%
Birmingham 21.00%

 

 

Billie Gianfrancesco a PR manager for YOPA, a fixed rate estate agency, has been renting in London since 2008 and is on her fifth rental property.

“In my experience, female landlords tend to work more closely with property managers or put a system in place whereby tenants can resolve any issues quickly without needing to bother or chase them.

I’ve found that male landlords prefer to try and resolve the issue themselves first. This often means repeat visits in person, which makes any tenant nervous, and a greater recurrence of botched DIY repairs. In one situation an upstairs bath was leaking, and our male landlord visited four times attempting to fix the issue himself. Because of this, the problem wasn’t resolved for over a month. I faced a similar issue a couple of years later with a female landlord – she called in a professional and the issue was resolved within a week

As a female tenant, I also prefer to deal with a female landlady as in my personal experience, I have at times felt intimidated by male landlords. This is particularly true when dealing with the inventory check out and deposit negotiations at the end of a tenancy.

I have in the past felt patronised by certain male landlords quoting ridiculous prices for repairs (for example £768 to replace a chipped slate tile on an outdoor porch, and £1,020 to replace a 20 year old alarm system with a brand new one, when multiple technicians had confirmed it was broken due to age) and as recently as this year, I was threatened by a male landlord for disagreeing with his deposit deduction demands above. I’ve never had this experience with a female landlord!

I’ve also had a great male landlord. It’s just that if I had a preference it would be a female.

Regan McMillan, boss of Kiwi Movers, believes the rental market is so cut-throat that tenants are putting themselves in the hands of potentially dodgy landlords, just to secure a property:

“As a London removal firm we see the sharp end of the rental market. We get to meet and speak to a lot of people who, quite frankly, are at the mercy of the highly competitive rental market. Rental properties are snapped up in a flash and most people know that if they want to secure a place to live, they need to act quick. This means they simply don’t have time to check out a landlord and even if they did, I think a lot of them would take the risk just to get a place to live.

“The problem is less pronounced outside of the capital, but it’s still a sad state of affairs for renters all over the UK. That only 20% of renters nationally are checking out their landlord before renting is hugely concerning. As a nation, we probably take more care when buying a car than we do when choosing a person from whom to rent a home.”

 

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London removal company research – the UK is friendlier, funnier and sunnier than expats expected

As a London removals company, we often hear what new arrivals make of life in the UK. We also hear a lot from people moving back home after living here for a while. It’s really interesting to find out what people’s expectations were before they got here.

To get a more scientific understanding, we polled more than 500 people to get their opinions on life in the UK and how it compares to what they were expecting before they came.

On the whole, almost half said life in the UK was better than expected, 15% said it was as expected and 37% said it was worse than expected with the weather, the nightlife and friendly locals most impressing new arrivals.

Better than expected

57% of respondents said the UK weather was better than expected, although this year’s summer heatwave may have something to do with the generally positive perceptions.

More than three quarters said the nightlife and entertainment was better than expected.

The people of the UK appear to have made a good impression too. The UK’s work ethic, sense of humour and attractiveness were all rated as better than expected.

But it was the UK’s friendliness that really impressed, with 92% saying the UK was friendlier than expected.

Worse than expected

It wasn’t all positive though. 57% said the food was ‘as expected’ and 28% said it was worse than expected. The UK’s culinary offerings exceed expectations for just 15%.

Public transport was the biggest disappointment for new arrivals. 74% said it was worse than expected, 16% said it was as expected and 10% said it was better than expected.

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers who moved to the UK from New Zealand in 2007, says:

“The UK should be proud at just how much it exceeds expectations. There’s a reason people leave behind great places like New Zealand, Australia and America to experience UK life. We help a lot of people from New Zealand and Australia move back home after staying in the UK and the vast majority tell us they’re sad to leave.”

Although McMillan warned that the study shouldn’t be taken to reflect the views of everyone who moves to the UK.

“The majority of those who took part in the survey came to the UK from English-speaking countries, like New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the States. They have the advantage of shared culture, common language and large expat communities that act as an important support network.”

Full study results

Worse than expected As expected Better than expected
Cost of living 59.69% 2.11% 38.20%
Weather 38.39% 4.61% 57.01%
Food 27.83% 57.39% 14.78%
Nightlife/entertainment 19.96% 3.65% 76.39%
Public transport 73.90% 15.93% 10.17%
Attractive 31.48% 29.75% 38.77%
Hard-working 40.50% 9.21% 50.29%
Friendliness 2.30% 5.37% 92.32%
Sense of humour 38.39% 17.08% 44.53%
Intelligence 33.40% 9.21% 57.39%

 

About the study

 

Between the dates of September 22nd and September 24th, we polled 521 adults who moved to the UK in the past five years, some of whom have since moved away from the UK. Nationalities polled were; Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United States of America, Canada, Spain, Zimbabwe, France, Sweden, China, India, Pakistan, Poland, Czech Republic.

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Why Renting in London is Very Different to Renting in the Rest of the UK

You would have had to have been living under a rock to not know how expensive it is to rent a home in London. But is this the only difference between renting in London and renting in the rest of the UK?

To help landlords and their tenants understand how renting in the capital compares to the rest of the country, we’ve asked 5 Star rated Landlord Insurance provider Just Landlords to offer some insight…

Firstly, there’s the price

And it’s not just expensive to be a tenant in London. While renting a one-bedroom apartment in a nice area can cost you anywhere between £1,300 and £2,000 per month, landlords are facing spiralling house prices and sky-high deposits just to invest.

A whopping 25% deposit is now required to purchase an investment property in London.

David Gape, the Owner of estate agency Independent London, puts that into perspective: “In Bermondsey Street, SE1, a one-bedroom apartment is now selling at £1,000 per square foot; that means a 500 square foot apartment costs half a million pounds. So you then have to stump up about £125,000 of your savings just for the deposit. Add to that a landlord crunching, Stamp-ing (kicking and screaming) Duty of £30,000 for an additional home, and then add mortgage fees, and you have an enormous Watford Gap in your bank balance.”

And the Government isn’t helping with its further changes to landlord taxes.

“The Government is taking the royal PRS in terms of taxes and duty,” insists Gape. “You can no longer reclaim all of the interest payments from your mortgages on your tax return. Go figure, the reason behind this is nonsensical in the extreme; as a business, you have to declare all of your income as taxable to start with, so you need to think very carefully before selling your mother to invest in this market.”

But it is a fast-paced market

Although the price of investing and renting in London may be an instant turn-off, it’s essential to remember that this is one of the most vibrant and diverse property markets – not just in the UK or Europe, but also in the whole world.

For tenants, this means that the market moves extremely quickly, which can mean much more (and fiercer) competition, but it does mean that the turnaround of properties is faster and you’re likely to always have options on your plate.

For landlords, the key to this market is almost certainly the return in rent from your hard-earned investment.

“The capital growth far outstrips anything else in the UK, barring a few Oligarchical postcodes on the coast,” observes Gape.

And there are fantastic transport links and amenities

New transport links and regeneration schemes are rife across the capital – one example is the Walworth Road near Burgess Park. For the London tenant, these amenities are key. As Gape explains: “There is no point in moving into London, getting spanked on the rent and the wine, and still having a one-hour commute to work.”

This means that renters are always on the lookout for areas with exceptional infrastructure. Landlords should use this to their advantage and find properties with excellent transport links.

“You will rent these properties quickly”, insists Gape. “At high rents, vacant periods can add up, so a good location is always a selling point.”

But he warns: “The promise of future infrastructure is only good for investors; tenants need it now, so you may have to wait for your canny investment to make its best returns.”

There’s a whole world to explore

Living in London doesn’t simply mean renting a property in the centre of London. If you consider London to be a micro economy in the UK, then each of its postcodes are micro economies within that micro economy.

To tenants, this means that rent prices can vary drastically from one location to another. For instance, Shad Thames and the Old Kent Road are both in SE1 under Southwark Council, but Shad Thames is a beautiful riverside area made up of warehouse conversions and modern new builds, surrounded by boutique shops and posh eateries, whereas the Old Kent Road is £60 on the Monopoly board for good reason…

Landlords must consider what the most important factor of their investment is – is yield always the key feature? Gape highlights the significance of following your instinct and realising that higher yielding properties tend to cater for the lower end market – this can increase your workload, see you get hit by rent arrears, constantly have new tenants moving in and experiencing more damage to your properties.

With such a variety of property types and locations on offer within the capital, you may be wise to look for good value, ready-to-go rentals.

“If you buy a nice two-bed, two bath in Canada Water and let to two doctors for two years, you can sit back and relax, collect the rent, get some shut-eye, and get better, faster capital appreciation on a higher standard property,” explains Gape.

Look out for licensing

Landlord licensing schemes have been introduced in different London boroughs to root out rogue landlords and improve the standard of rental accommodation in these locations.

This should mean that tenants receive a higher level of housing and are treated fairly by their landlord – an issue that has plagued the private rental sector as it has grown.

But landlords need to be aware of the different licensing schemes being operated borough-to-borough. If you own a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you will be subject to the mandatory licensing rules that are in force nationwide, but the additional licensing schemes run by London boroughs are varied and often not well publicised.

Make sure to keep up to date with your obligations, in order to protect the tenants that you’re letting to.

So, if you’re looking to either invest or live in a rental property in the capital, make sure you do your homework – there’s a great big world out there!

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A guide to moving house in Tooting, South London

It’s not everyday you can boast living in one of the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. But if you believe Lonely Planet, then Tooting is just that – ranked alongside places like Sunset Park, New York and Vesterbro, Copenhagen.

Those are some serious credentials. Add that together with great transport connections and local schools, and you can see why moving house in Tooting is going through a bit of a renaissance.

 

Things to do. Things to eat

First things first. Folks travel far and wide so they can tuck into Tooting’s vibrant food scene.

Stretched between Tooting Bec and Tooting Broadway’s tube stations is the ‘curry corridor’: a culinary hotspot famous for the sheer diversity on offer. Here, you’ll find everything from Sri Lankan cuisine to Pakistani, Gujarati, and South Indian fare. It’s pretty damn special.

And if you need to burn off some of those calories, then you’re in a great spot for window shopping too. Tooting Market has been open for business for over 80 years – and is the best local spot to find books, hand-crafted jewellery, and furniture pieces. That new home won’t decorate itself, after all.

Did we mention that Tooting also has the largest fresh-water swimming pool in the UK?

Tooting pool

 

Housing and schools

Speaking of homes, Tooting has a wide range of properties available to rent and buy.

What’s better, you’ll find the average rent is 31% lower than the rest of London – making this a generally more affordable area of South London to live in. Even if house prices have steadily risen overall since 2000.

In terms of schools, it’s pretty much what you’d expect from this well established, popular neighbourhood: they’re ranked highly across the board. Secondary schools are no different.

 

Commuting and getting around

We’ve already said Tooting has two tube stations.

This is great news for anyone who commutes into the city centre on a daily basis. Located in Zone 3, you’ll be able to reach places like Charing Cross during rush hour in just over 20 mins.

There are excellent bus connections available too.

 

Moving house in Tooting

There’s a lot of hype about moving house in Tooting right now.

To make your move as smooth as possible, you might want to take advantage of storage options available – such as those located in nearby Richmond. This could be useful if you need extra time to sort through belongings or move your stuff in stages.

You can also explore local man and van services in South West London. Full home removals are on offer too.

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A guide to moving house in Wimbledon

Wimbledon is located just over seven miles south-west of Charing Cross, out in the leafy suburbs of West London.

A map of Wimbledon, west London

Its village feel, great schools, open green spaces and proximity to the hustle and bustle of the nation’s capital provide the perfect balance for people seeking some respite from central London while retaining proximity. It’s an expensive place to live, but there’s plenty of positives.

Commuting is relatively easy, there’s lots to do and we’ve also got a nice tip for making some big money once a year from your Wimbledon home.

Transport in Wimbledon

Commuting from Wimbledon, which is in travel zone 3, into central London should take you between 40 and 55 minutes, depending on your mode of transport and which part of the village you’re travelling from. You’ve got a choice of two District Line Underground stations – Wimbledon, which has National Rail and tram connections and Wimbledon Park – but the area is well served by busses and trams too.

Wimbledon Station, west London

Living in Wimbledon

Compared to other parts of London, especially in the east, the pace of life in Wimbledon is relatively relaxed. It’s much more of a village feel, but with the added benefit of being very close to central London. You’re more likely to be sitting outside a coffee shop watching the world go by than squeezed into a trendy bar waiting to get served a cocktail in a jam jar.

Like the neighbouring west London areas of Twickenham and Richmond, Wimbledon has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to green space. Wimbledon Common is the best known of these, but there’s also South Park Gardens and Wimbledon Park.

The windmill in Wimbledon Common

The famous windmill in Wimbledon Common

In terms of events, you’re spoiled for choice. Wimbledon is world-famous for its tennis – more on how that’s potentially good and bad in a moment –, but locals will be keen to emphasise other places worth a visit, notably Wimbledon Book Festival, the Thai Temple and the children’s Polka Theatre, which hosts a fantastic array of performers from around the world.

About the tennis…

Think of Wimbledon and most people will immediately think of tennis. Some of us might think of Bobby Gould’s FA Cup-winning Crazy Gang, but tennis does characterise the area. This brings opportunities and challenges.

Firstly, the challenges.

Don’t. Move. House. In. July. (if you can avoid it, and if you can’t, make sure you get some professional advice on avoiding the common problems). 

The population of Wimbledon swells massively when the tennis is on. This will make moving house very tricky.

Wimbledon centre court SW19

But, once you’re settled in, your home could become a huge asset. Many locals plan their holidays for July so they can avoid the crowds and earn some easy cash renting their home out to spectators.

One home even reportedly earned its owners £7,000 in a week. If you’d rather stick around, you could still make things interesting by renting a room to one of the competitors.

Local business gems

For great coffee, we recommend Kaldi Coffee. Great cakes, sandwiches and of course really good coffee. Not to be confused with the American chain of coffee shops bearing the same name, Wimbledon’s Kaldi coffee is an indie gem. Check out more great local coffee joints here.

Wimbledon is a bit posh, let’s be real here. So the standard of restaurants is as you’d expect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat out without breaking the bank.

Wimbledon has plenty of mid-level eateries worth your attention too. TripAdvisor’s community rates Holy Smoke as the best place to eat locally, but for a more traditional, lazy bite to eat, we also recommend Ambience, who do a great line in Turkish bbq.  

Moving house in Wimbledon

Moving house in Wimbledon, as with most of west London, as we discussed in our Guide to Moving House in West London, relies on good planning.

It’s worth saying again, don’t move during the tennis. We also recommend strongly that you get a full survey before your move. Parking can be tricky at the best of times and the stairs in those old Regency era properties can be a nightmare.

Storage is an important consideration if you’re downsizing. And even if you’re not, we recommend starting every move with a thorough audit of what you need and what you don’t.

If you decide there’s stuff you don’t want to take to your new home in Wimbledon, but you don’t want to get rid of it yet, check out our local west London storage locations to find one near you.

For more information about moving house in Wimbledon, or what it’s like living in this fantastic area, follow us on Twitter.

 

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Rent out your home while travelling and you could cover the cost of the trip

Your home is an asset. Even if you don’t own it, you pay for the privilege of exclusive use. When you’re not in it – depending on how you look at things like this – you’re losing money. You’re paying for something that’s not being used.

 

Why not rent it out while you’re away? Depending on where you live and where you’re heading to, you could actually cover some costs of your trip.

 

So, you’re talking about Airbnb?

 

No, not really.

 

Airbnb is designed for self management of short lets and spare rooms – and it’s great for that –  but if you’re going travelling or on an extended holiday, do you really want to worry about turning guests around? Yes, you could pay someone to take care of that for you, but if anything goes wrong, it’s on you. No matter where you are in the world.

 

If you’re going away for a long while, or you simply don’t want to worry about insurance, cleaning, handling enquiries from guests, you’d be much more suited to a service like UnderTheDoorMat.

 

Think of them as a concierge service for your house, stocking it with well-behaved guests and giving them the time of their lives. UnderTheDoorMat tailor experiences for guests in your home, helping them to get the most out of their stay in the area.

 

They vet guests before they arrive and confirm their identity when they turn up. No more short-let disasters involving people who booked under someone else’s name. They take care of marketing too – and that does include listing your home on Airbnb, Booking.com, Homeaway, Tripadvisor, UnderTheDoormat website (plus other booking platforms).  All you need to do is hand over the keys.

a modern clean bedroom

Cleaning and prepping for new guests is taken care of.

So I could just go on a year’s holiday and make money from my home?

Not quite. There are rules. Especially if you rent. Although tricky to enforce, you’re really only supposed to do a maximum of a 90-day let at a time. Otherwise you’re technically supposed to ask the council’s permission. But aside from that, yes – you could earn from your home while you’re on the other side of the world.

 

How much will I earn?

That depends on the size of your home and where it is. Naturally homes in more expensive parts of London attract a higher rate than those further out, but it all depends on the overall appeal of your home.

 

Context matters too. A house in Wimbledon will suddenly become very sought after in and around the tennis. You will know how much your home can earn per night and this is always a fixed amount which means you will always know how much you’ll receive after each booking.

Cleaning and prepping for new guests is taken care of.

Novak Djokovic

It’s not just the winners that can earn big during Wimbledon.

Nobody is allowed to touch my guitars though, not even my husband. How will this work?

 

Unlike Airbnb, UnderTheDoormat’s guests are invited to use your whole home. The benefit to them is that it for families travelling it can work out cheaper and more fun than staying in a hotel. You could lock up one of your rooms and keep all of your valuables in there, but it’s not really in the spirit of giving your guests the best possible experience, something UnderTheDoormat is committed to. Their carefully selected guests stay because they want to apprecaite and care for the home. But if you really want to remove any temptation, you can put precious items in a locked cupboard or storage, for security reasons if nothing else. As an example, Kiwi Movers provide storage in South West London from as little £10 per week for a secure container.

 

So if you’re heading off on the trip of a lifetime and are worries about your irreplaceables and your valuables, storage could be a smart option.

 

Always look for a storage unit that’s protected by CCTV and if possible, number plate recognition.

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Dinner, tea or supper? – Data analysis solves the debate on what the UK’s evening meal is called

It’s been a long-raging debate, from university halls to places of work around the country, but we think we may have solved it. The UK – on average – refers to the third meal of the day as ‘tea’.

If you’re currently settling down to tuck into your dinner or supper, don’t recoil in horror, dinner is still a widely used term too.

  • 52% of the UK said they predominantly called their evening meal ‘tea’
  • 37% said they called it ‘dinner’
  • 5% said they called it ‘supper’
  • And an indecisive 6% said they used the three terms interchangeably, depending on what they were going to eat

 

Chuck Hagel gala dinner kicking off the Halifax International Security Forum in Halifax Nova Scotia. 131122 D NI589 901 11002926326

 

Four lads about to tuck into their tea? (credit)

 

North vs South
Perhaps predictably, there was a fairly obvious north-south split between people who eat dinner and people who eat tea. (we’ll get to people who eat ‘supper’ in a moment).

Newcastle had the highest percentages of tea-eaters. 92% said that’s what they called their evening meal. Manchester, all of Yorkshire, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Glasgow and Belfast all favoured calling it tea in varying amounts.

The only major northern city not to favour ‘tea’ is Edinburgh, where 64% call it dinner and 11% call it supper.

Down south terminology is more variable. Brighton boasts the most dinner eaters. 70% call their evening meal dinner. London and Bristol, the South East and much of the South West also favour dinner. Cardiff had the largest proportion of tea eaters in the south of the UK, with 78%.

 


Tea or Dinner map

Outliers and key battlegrounds
There were a number of places dotted around the UK where use of tea and dinner were fairly evenly split. There were also areas that didn’t match the north-south trends, such as Edinburgh (mainly dinner), London (mainly tea) and York (mainly dinner)..

Manchester was the most obvious terminology battleground. 46% favoured calling it tea, while 44% called it dinner. London, Glasgow and Norwich also had a relatively even distribution of people favouring tea or dinner.

Is Manchester the UK’s linguistic battleground?

Manchester Cathedral and skyline

Interchangeable terms
Of those who said they used different terms*** depending on the food being served or the time it was eaten, most said that tea referred to a light late afternoon meal, dinner was a larger meal and supper was either an informal or casual hot meal served later in the evening, or a light snack eaten after dinner.

Leeds had the highest degree of variability between terms. 21% of residents said they used different names for their evening meal depending on what they were having.

What about Supper?

Although very few people use the term, it was almost as contentious as dinner vs tea. Down south, supper is what you might call an informal evening meal if dinner is typically formal, with guests and multiple courses. Up north, it’s more commonly used to refer to a snack before bedtime. Examples given in our study were toast, tea (the drink), digestive biscuits, cereal or a sandwich.

512px Giampietrino Last Supper ca 1520

The Last Supper (credit) probably didn’t consist of toast or hot chocolate (northerners) or a light hot meal served informally, typically in the kitchen and with no more than six guests (southerners)

Supper was not meaningfully represented in any major cities other than London, where just 5% of residents use it predominantly to describe their evening meal. The same percentage said they use the three terms interchangeably.

Supper is a significantly more popular term in the south. At least 10% of people living in Essex, Gloucestershire, East Anglia, South Wales, Oxfordshire, Devon and East Sussex say supper instead of dinner or tea. Edinburgh was the only place outside of the south of England that did the same.

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers, believes the spread of usage says a lot about the UK’s ever-evolving demographics.

“We move people into and out London all year round, so we always notice interesting variations in words and terms people use. For example, the name for a bread roll seems to vary with every person you speak to – be it barm, cob or batch – but the most obvious and contentious one has always been what we call our evening meal.

“A Londoner may ask if we’ll be finished before dinner, while someone from Yorkshire will likely ask if we’ll be finished before tea.

“But it’s a myth that this is purely a north-south trend. It’s actually fairly mixed. We’ve certainly noticed people from certain parts of the north saying ‘dinner’ and even ‘supper’ and the same can be said for places down south and in London saying ‘tea.’

“Our research suggests the presence of large or multiple universities and the types of industries in certain areas may influence the choice of language people use.

“For example, Leeds and Manchester are both in the middle of ‘tea’ country, but less than two thirds of residents in Leeds and less than half in Manchester favour that term. When you look at the demography of these places, Manchester with their large media industry and Leeds with its financial services industry, it’s easy to see how local language and idioms are coloured by internal migration.”

 

Evening Meal Names Across the UK’s Large Cities

tea % dinner % Supper % Interchangeable %
London 49.4 39.80 5.40 5.40
Manchester 46.4 44.64 4.29 4.64
Birmingham 21.8 59.57 7.98 10.64
Newcastle 91.9 5.78 1.16 1.16
Leeds 61.6 14.02 3.05 21.34
Sheffield 62.1 26.71 1.24 9.94
Bristol 22.3 67.69 3.85 6.15
Leicester 68.5 24.62 3.08 3.85
Glasgow 54.9 42.62 0.00 2.46
Liverpool 79.8 8.08 2.02 10.10
Edinburgh 22.8 64.13 10.87 2.17
Cardiff 77.8 13.33 2.22 6.67
Brighton and Hove 13.0 69.57 10.14 7.25
Belfast 86.4 5.08 0.00 8.47

 

 

About the study

*We polled 3,000 UK adults between the dates of January 31st and March 3rd.

**We also analysed social media posts across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, to determine the frequency of different terminology used across the UK.

***We asked those who used terms interchangeably to describe their usage habits in a free text field. We then collated the results. 182 in total said they used interchangeable terms and 24 of those went on to describe their usage.

 

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Hammocks and ping pong tables going into storage – Is this the end of the ‘fun’ startup office?

 

Ping pong tables, picnic chairs and quirky office designs may look good in pictures, but they do little to make employees happier, according to a poll of UK employees. Perhaps that’s why we’ve seen an increase in non-essential office furniture being put into our various storage units around London.

86% of UK employees surveyed said fun office features are of no value to them. 25% find certain features annoying.

Table football in an office

Table football in an office

Recreational equipment such as foosball, arcade games and ping pong tables had the worst impact on employee satisfaction, with 25% of those working in places where these were available saying they found them ‘annoying’.

61% say they don’t mind having recreational equipment in the office, but they don’t use it. Only 14% say they value having recreational options in the office.

On the whole, free coffee and good quality chairs are fine, ball pit meeting rooms and hammocks are not.

liverpool's coolest office

Liverpool’s coolest office? Angel Solutions. Pic courtesy of Liverpool Echo.

Our research found that environmental perks were rarely taken advantage of while simple lifestyle perks were appreciated on the whole. 

 

Perk Used daily by those with access
Free coffee 77%
Drinks fridge* 41%
Free breakfast* 34%
Free fruit* 30%
On-site gym 22%
Break-out spaces 19%
Chill-out areas/relaxing furniture 11%
Sensory features (ball pits, fake grass, sand) 7%
Fun furniture (hammocks, beanbags) 6%
Office toys (table football, ping pong, arcade games etc) 4%

 

*when available, if not available daily.

 

Most Bizarre Pointless Office Features

 

Among the unusual office features listed by employees as being ‘not of value’ were;

 

“Hay bales for sitting on instead of chairs”

“Fake grass in meeting rooms”

“Deck chairs”

“An indoor picnic table with a parasol”

“Motivational quotes on walls”

“Music themed meeting rooms with song lyrics on the wall”

“A throne in reception that nobody wants to sit on”

“Beach huts”

 

Occupational health expert, Sir Cary Cooper CBE, professor of organisational psychology & health at the ALLIANCE Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, believes some companies are missing the point when it comes to offering office perks.

864px-Cary_Cooper_-_World_Economic_Forum_Annual_Meeting_Davos_2010 (1)

“Businesses often confuse perks with culture. Providing recreational spaces and a fun environment are not the same as establishing a positive culture that makes employees happy, improves retention rates and increases output. There’s a growing trend for businesses to promote their superficial perks, such as welcome packs, free breakfast and ‘fun’ office spaces as if it’s a sign of a positive culture, but it really isn’t. Cool furniture is nothing more than a nice-to-have bonus and businesses should be wary of focusing on it at the expense of genuine culture.

 

“Anyone can order a few hammocks and beanbags from Amazon, but it takes years of hard work, research and commitment to values to establish a meaningful workplace culture.”

 

The Kiwi Movers team were prompted to conduct the study after noticing an increase in companies moving non-essential items into storage

 

“We’re in an out of offices around London and the UK every week, so we see a lot of different styles. There are some genuinely cool offices that are well designed and thought through, but others appear to be more haphazard and self-conscious.
Over the past 12 months we’ve certainly noticed a rise in businesses putting non-essential furniture into storage, even when moving to larger premises, which prompted us to look deeper.”

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Moving in with your boyfriend? Keep this in mind

So, you’re moving in with your boyfriend. Or maybe your girlfriend. Okay fine, you’re right – that’s not very modern. Let’s call them your partner for now (how grown up!).

Anyway, it’s an exciting time for you both. There’s just a few things to keep in mind first and foremost.

Apps are your best friend

We’ve had a good rant before about what types of apps are helpful around the house. But for the sake of our non-regular readers, here are some of our favourites:

  • Splitwise – it means you can split your bills and know exactly who’s paid what. There’s even a running tally at the end of every month, so you don’t need to remind each other.
  • Chorma – love the feeling of delegating household tasks to your partner? I’m sure they do too. Anyway, Chorma lets you share chores and see what’s been done around the house. Without the passive-aggressive fridge notes.
  • Sidechef – if you’re moving in together, then you’ll probably need to up your cooking game. Sidechef gives you recipes, steps to follow, and lots of helpful photos/tutorials to help you make the perfect dish.

 

Play the keep/donate/destroy game

This is something that applies to all of us.

Before moving house, or getting a new flatmate, it’s always a good idea to evaluate your stuff and see what’s important to you – and what might be better off elsewhere. There’s a good chance your lovely new partner already has two can openers. Or one of those snazzy spiralisers. So save yourself the hassle and donate/destroy all those unwanted extras.

egg-slicer-egg-hard-boiled-shell-38597Classic example of eclectic kitchen gadgets that can probably be left behind.

Feeling sentimental? That’s cool. We have a storage service that lets you keep those treasured possessions nice and safe.

Your credit rating

Okay, so it’s not the most romantic of topics. But if you’re going to share a current account, or take out a credit card together, then there’s a few things to keep in mind.

If he doesn’t keep up with his payments (or goes into his overdraft), then it could have a negative impact on your credit rating. Which could then make it harder for you to get a loan or mortgage in the future.

Of course, the same applies to you too. So it’s a good idea to chat about your expenses first and make sure there’ll be no hidden surprises down the line.

IKEA trips

We all pretend it’s about finding BILLY bookcases and becoming a heightened, more organised version of your old roommate self.

Let’s be honest, though. It’s all about meatballs. And cheese sauce. And that strangely exotic cold chocolate cake.

So embrace it – don’t give yourself too much to do – and have fun.

Over to you
Got any tips about moving in with a new partner? Any pearls of wisdom for the rest of us? We’d love to hear from you on Twitter.

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Looking for storage in London? It’s dead simple

Storage solutions aren’t just the remit of crafty Scandinavians and top men. We know there are times when you need a helping hand keeping your stuff safe – whether you’re going on holiday, moving somewhere new, or just trying to clear some space.

So, you’re in luck. We have all the know-how and pop-cultural references when it comes to storage in London. All you need to do is decide which option suits you best.

Short term storage

You probably already know there are huge warehouses dedicated to storing people’s weird and wonderful possessions over long periods of time. But did you know you can do it for a weekend too?

We have self-storage facilities for just that. You can come and go as you please, 24/7, and rest assured your belongings are safe and secure (we monitor everything with CCTV). You don’t even need to travel far to find one close to you. We have places in Battersea, Chelsea, Fulham, Twickenham, Richmond, Wandsworth and West Molesey.

But don’t worry if you’re looking for something more long term. You can hire space at the above locations for an extended period of time too.

Storage in LondonImage courtesy of legogenre.com. Dramatisation may not have happened. Not necessarily an accurate depiction of Kiwi Movers’ facilities and/or personnel.

Long term storage

If you have big items, like furniture, then you might prefer to choose something bigger – like a warehouse – for your storage. Choosing a location like this is particularly useful if you need a facility for a while (e.g. 1+ months), and you’re not fussed about accessing your things 24/7.

There’s no minimum stay and we can offer you discount rates for longer stays too.

All those nice little extras

Choosing the right place for your storage is one thing. But who’s going to help you pack? Who’s going to make sure your stuff arrives safe and remains in tip-top condition throughout its stay?

 

Storage in London

Look, there’s a Kiwi Mover right now!

 

If you need a helping hand, our lovely team offer the following services:

  • We’ll pack and unpack your things
  • We’ll deliver your furniture and heavy items (like bikes and boxes)
  • We can ship them internationally
  • We can also help you build and dismantle furniture or anything else causing you a headache

 

Storage in London

If you’re looking for some storage in London, share a few details with us and we’ll call you back with a quote. It’s super quick and simple.

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Moving to London and saving for a deposit? Find the best rates

January isn’t the easiest month when it comes to money. Chances are you’ve just received your Christmas credit card bill and your bank balance is looking drier than those cost-cutting homemade sandwiches you’ve been gnawing on for two weeks.

So isn’t it even crueler that now – in January of all months – that we punish ourselves even more by looking for a new home or a better savings account? On the face of it, yeah. But now is actually the most popular time to go on the hunt.

Whether you subscribe to ‘new year, new me’ – or just want to regain some sense of financial control – there’s no reason why saving for a house deposit needs to be a headache. The first place to start is finding the right account. Then once you’ve got it opened, you can start the hard work after that.

Preferably next month.

How to compare savings rates

The first thing on everyone’s mind when it comes to saving is getting the best rate. Well, unfortunately, this economic climate has put interest rates at rock bottom. And there isn’t much evidence to suggest it’s going to change soon.

Anyway, on a more positive note, you can choose from plenty of digital tools to help you compare rates. The most popular websites include moneysupermarket.com, moneysavingexpert.com, and comparethemarket.com.

 

Instant access vs. fixed rate

When you’re choosing the right savings account, you’ll always be given two options: instant access or fixed rate.

It’s a bit confusing, really, because you’re actually comparing two different things:

  • Instant access means you can make withdrawals and deposits to your account 24/7, without getting a penalty (usually a reduction in your interest rate). The main downside, however, is that you’ll generally ‘pay’ for this flexibility with a lower overall interest rate compared to a fixed rate account.
  • Fixed rate means you’ll receive (you guessed it!) a fixed rate for a specific amount of time. It’s usually between 1-3 years and after that you’ll revert to an instant access account or a variable interest rate.

So whichever one you choose depends on what matters most to you:

  • Getting 24/7 access to your savings, but with a potentially lower interest rate (Instant Access)
  • Getting a higher interest rate, but you can’t access your money for a set period (Fixed Rate)

 

House deposit

Manage your savings on the go

Another thing to keep in mind is how you want to manage your account. Some people find online banking is a good way to manage their progress and make sure they reach your goal. Others might find it’s too convenient and tempting to make withdrawals, so they’d prefer the old school method.

Here’s the different options you’ll likely be given:

  • Online/mobile banking – good for 24/7 access and doing things DIY-style, bad if you need to speak to someone directly
  • Telephone banking – good for getting 1-2-1 support, bad because of charges and limited opening hours
  • In branch – good for speaking to someone directly, good because of closures and limited opening hours
  • Post Office – good because they’re convenient, bad for doing anything more than making deposits/withdrawals

All you need to do is decide how vigilant how you want to be about saving.

 

Saving for a house deposit

Do you have any tips about how to save in the New Year? You know what to do. Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

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5 glorious reasons to move to London in 2017

Fancy making a big change this year? You’re not the only one. January is one of the most popular months to start job hunting. And, inevitably, moving to London – with all its infinite possibilities – feels like the top of everyone’s list at least one point in their lives.

If you think 2017 is finally the year for you, then you’re in luck. There’s so much incredible stuff happening in London this year. And making the move might not be as hard as you think.

But if you’re still unsure – or need a gentle push – here are a few reasons to move to London this year.

1. World ParaAthletics Championships

In 2017, the World Para Athletics Championships (14 – 23 July) and the IAAF World Championships  (4 – 13 August) will be hosted right here in London.

They’re the biggest sporting events to happen in London since the 2012 Olympics – and will bring in thousands of athletes and fans from across the world in the coming months. We don’t need tell you, but we’ll say it anyway: this is going to be huge. If you work in events, sports or marketing, it could be worth looking into the job prospects that this event will generate.

2. The London Short Film Festival

It runs until 15 January, so there’s still time to catch this wonderful festival before you hear about it from someone else.

The LSFF attracts filmmakers and artists from across the world, eager to showcase their walk and hold talks with members of the public. It’s just one of the many cultural highlights in London this year. So if you miss it, don’t worry: there are more festivals on the horizon.

3. The Magical Lantern Festival

Speaking of more festivals, this is one you definitely don’t want to avoid.

The Magical Lantern Festival will be hosted at Chiswick House Gardens and – in conjunction with Chinese New Year – will represent the ancient trade links between Europe and Asia. You can watch an internationally-renowned life-size lantern show and enjoy incredible food. All for less than £20.

4. The dumplings at Chinese New Year

It’s the biggest celebration of Chinese New Year outside of Asia.

Chinatown

Flock to the West End and welcome the Year of the Rooster in this wonderful international celebration. There will be music, a parade, and some seriously good food for you to enjoy. We recommend the dumplings.

5. Learn about what Theresa May and the Romans had in common

On 3 March 2017, Mary Beard – Professor of Classics at Cambridge – will be lecturing at the British Museum on Women in power throughout the ages.

If you’re familiar with Beard’s work, expect lots of fascinating insights into the ancient world and what they can tell us about humanity – and politics – today.

Anyway, let’s be honest: the British Museum alone is a good enough reason to move to London.

Thinking about moving to London?

We’ve only given you five reasons. And we know, that you know, there’s more to it than that.

If you’d like more inspiration about what’s going on in London, have a look at Timeout online. There’s plenty of stuff on there. If you’d like some information about how to move to London – the nitty gritty details – read our blog. That’s got plenty of stuff too.

Have your own hints and tips? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

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Does New Zealand Exist? Is Sydney the Capital of Australia? – What confuses visitors to Australia and New Zealand, according to Google…

Does New Zealand Exist? Is Sydney the Capital of Australia? – What confuses visitors to Australia and New Zealand, according to Google…

As a firm specialising in shipping from London to New Zealand and Australia, we’re always interested in perceptions of different places, depending on where you are. Visitors to the nations we serve always appear somewhat confused about the laws, culture, weather, politics and (sometimes) the mere existence of the places they plan on seeing.

Researchers in 13 countries, including Malaysia, India, Germany and France collated the top autocomplete suggestions for queries about Australia and New Zealand, along with each country’s largest cities by population. The ‘searching’ countries were based on the countries from where most visitors to Australia and New Zealand come.

Each researcher typed “Does (place)…” into the search box and let Google’s autocomplete function work its magic.

See the full results for every country, city and place at the bottom of this article.

The most common searches for our major cities had little to do with culture or entertainment in Australia and New Zealand. They were almost exclusively focused on the availability of Uber and airport wifi.

Some nations are more interested in the ability to immigrate to our shores. India in particular is curious about the english language requirements of obtaining residency.

What do visitors want to know about New Zealand’s towns and places? Top autocomplete suggestions by country

Does New Zealand… celebrate Halloween?  – USA

Does Auckland… have Uber? – South Africa

Does Wellington…get snow? – USA & South Korea

Does Christchurch…have Uber? – New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea

Does Hamilton?…have dialogue? – South Africa and the U.K.

Does Dunedin…hospital have wifi? – USA, New Zealand, Australia, and Hong Kong

Does Tauranga…have an airport? – Australia and South Africa

What do visitors want to know Australia’s towns and places? Top autocomplete suggestions by country

Does Australia… have the death penalty?  – USA

Does Sydney… get snow?  – Canada and Singapore

Does Melbourne… get snow?  – Canada, South Africa, and India

Does Brisbane… airport have free wifi?  – Australia, USA, South Africa, and China

Does Perth… have a beach?  – South Africa and Singapore

Does Adelaide… have uber?  – Japan, Singapore, and the U.K.

Does the Gold Coast…have shark nets? – USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Hong Kong

Does Ayers Rock…change color? – Australia and the U.K.

Does the Outback…where does the Australian Outback start? Hong Kong and South Korea

American are more interested in the culinary offerings of their down-under—themed steakhouse than the majesty of the Australian wilderness

Does the outback

the Weather in both New Zealand and Australia was a popular topic, as exemplified by this example from google Malaysia

Screen Shot 2016-12-15 at 13.30.46

The Chinese are worried they will arrive at Ayers rock after it’s closed. Looks open to us.

when does Ayers rock open

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers, believes the results reflect the different priorities of travellers around the world:

“As Kiwis located in London who come into contact with people from all over the world, it’s easy to assume everyone is clued up about life down under, but this research suggests otherwise.

“The fact that people need to check what currency Melbourne uses, whether we are part of Asia or if New Zealand is part of the EU shows that the life in Australia and New Zealand is not as well understood as we might have believed.”

Australia and New Zealand on each other

Search Place Australia asks New Zealand asks
Does New Zealand have daylight savings time? have a constitution?
Does Auckland airport have free wifi? zoo have polar bears?
Does Wellington get cold? zoo have elephants?
Does Christchurch have uber? have uber?
Does Hamilton island have a supermarket? have an airport?
Does Dunedin hospital have wifi? hospital have wifi?
Does Tauranga have an airport? have fluoride in the water?
Does Australia have nukes? have goods and service tax?
Does Sydney have fluoride in the water? have uber?
Does Melbourne zoo have pandas have snakes?
Does Brisbane airport have free wifi have a beach?
Does Perth have uber? have uber?
Does Adelaide have power yet get snow?
Does Gold Coast have shark nets have shark nets?
Does Canberra water have fluoride have a beach?
Does Ayers Rock change colour have an airport?
Does the Outback where is the outback marathon how hot does the outback get?

Other English-speaking nations on Australia and New Zealand

Search Place the USA asks Canada asks South Africa asks the UK asks
Does New Zealand celebrate halloween? have poisonous animals? exist? have an NHS?
Does Auckland have uber? have uber? have uber? get earthquakes?
Does Wellington get snow? have a casino? get cold? have a casino?
Does Christchurch have fluoride in the water? airport close at night? what are things to do in Christchurch? have a beach?
Does Hamilton what are things to do in Hamilton? have a fire ban? have spoken lines? have dialogue
Does Dunedin hospital have wifi? have an airport? have an airport? does it snow in Dunedin?
Does Tauranga celebrate auckland anniversary? have uber? have an airport? have uber?
Does Australia have the death penalty? celebrate thanksgiving? have any borders? have a queen?
Does Sydney airport have luggage storage? get snow? have a Walmart? have spiders?
Does Melbourne get cold in the winter? get snow? snow when does summer start in Melbourne?
Does Brisbane airport have free wifi? get snow? airport have free wifi have a beach
Does Perth airport have a curfew? get snow? have a beach perthes disease qualify for disability
Does Adelaide airport have showers? what does Adelaide look like? how much does liposuction cost in Adelaide? have uber?
Does Gold Coast have shark nets? have daylight savings time? have daylight savings time? have daylight savings time?
Does Canberra have an airport? have uber? snow have trains?
Does Ayers Rock have two names? does it cost money to climb ayers rock? what does ayers rock look like change colour?
Does the Outback have a gluten free menu? have a happy hour? what does the outback look like how long does the Australian outback spectacular go for?

 

Asian countries on Australia and New Zealand

Search Place Singapore asks Japan asks Malaysia asks South Korea asks Hong Kong asks China asks India asks
Does New Zealand is a visa required for New Zealand? what time is it in New Zealand? have snakes? accept refugees? allow dual citizenship? have rabies? require IELTS?
Does Auckland in which continent is auckland? is auckland dangerous? experience winter and why? have earthquakes? have earthquakes? airport close? airport close?
Does Wellington where is Wellington? where is Wellington? does it snow is Wellington? get cold? Is Wellington north or south of 40 degrees s line of latitude? na get snow?
Does Christchurch what time is it in Christchurch? airport have lockers? does it snow is Christchurch? have uber? get snow? have an earthquake today? have a beach?
Does Hamilton na have talking? does it snow is Hamilton? na does lewis hamilton have a new girlfriend? na na
Does Dunedin na na na na hospital have wifi? na na
Does Tauranga na na na na celebrate auckland anniversary? na na
Does Australia is Australia part of Asia? have the death penalty? have winter? have mountains? have more sheep than humans? have a structural deficit problem? accept TOEFL?
Does Sydney get snow? have palm trees? have Uber? domestic airport have showers? have a subway system? have a Walmart? have fireworks on Australia day?
Does Melbourne what must I do in Melbourne? what currency does Melbourne use? what is a must do in Melbourne? have beaches? and Sydney have the same time? what currency does Melbourne use? get snow?
Does Brisbane get snow? have a beach? airport have free wifi? have daylight savings time? have trams? airport have free wifi? have hard water?
Does Perth have a beach? airport have a curfew? airport have a curfew? have daylight savings time? airport have a curfew? have toll roads? get snow?
Does Adelaide have uber? have uber? what does Adelaide look like? have daylight savings time? what does Adelaide look like? have an aquarium? airport have showers?
Does Gold Coast have daylight savings time? flood? How long does it take to get to Australia zoo from gold coast? is gold coast Australia expensive? have shark nets? airport have duty free? what is there to do in the gold coast?
Does Canberra have a beach? get snow? Does it snow in Canberra? have uber? have a mayor? have a beach? have trains?
Does Ayers Rock is ayers rock a meteor? what does ayers rock mean? Things to do in Ayers rock is it called Uluru or ayers rock? na what time does ayers rock open? what does ayers rock look like?
Does the Outback what does the Australian outback look like? what does the Australian outback mean? how much of Australia does the outback cover? where does the Australian outback start? Where does the Australian outback start? what does the Australian outback smell like? does it snow in the Australian outback?

 

France and Germany on Australia and New Zealand

Search Place Germany asks France asks
Does New Zealand is New Zealand in the EU? why is the Kiwi the symbol of New Zealand?
Does Auckland is Auckland a town? is Auckland a dangerous town?
Does Wellington is Wellington in Canada? what is Beef Wellington?
Does Christchurch how many people does Christchurch have? does Christchurch have earthquakes?
Does Hamilton is Hamilton a good watch brand? does Hamilton have things to see?
Does Dunedin is Dunedin worth seeing? na
Does Tauranga na na
Does Australia is Australia an island? does Water swirl the other way in Australia
Does Sydney is Sydney the capital of Australia? is Sydney the capital city of Australia?
Does Melbourne is melbourne worth seeing what is the Melbourne cup?
Does Brisbane is brisbane dangerous where is Brisbane?
Does Perth is perth expensive what is there to do in Perth?
Does Adelaide is adelaide worth seeing what is the weather like in Adelaide?
Does Gold Coast what are gold coast attractions? na
Does Canberra why is the canberra the capital of Australia and not sydney? Canberra is in which country?
Does Ayers Rock is ayers rock a monolith? what is ayers rock?
Does the Outback how big is the outback? what is the Australian outback?
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Quick & dirty guide to London Christmas markets

There’s a certain universal truth at this time of year. We all know someone – whether it’s a friend, colleague, or slightly eccentric loved one – who’s been giddy about Christmas markets since October 31.

You know them. And whilst their clawing excitement was easy to brush aside before, Christmas is fast approaching. It’s practically here already. So if you want to get the most from those outrageous hotdogs and naff woolly jumpers, now is your time to shine. Here are a few gems based right here in London.

Real Food Christmas Market

Where: Kings Cross Square, N1C 9AL
When: 14 – 23 December, 12.00 – 19.00
Social:
@RealFoodFest

Looking to do something a bit special on your lunch break? The Real Food Christmas Market is a packed-full of festive artisan treats, mince pies, and spiced mulled wine (or hot coffee, if you prefer).

This little institution has been going for a while now, but it’s still one of the best ways to soak up the hustle and bustle of London during the busy festive season. It’s not just for commuters, either. The Real Food Christmas Market is great for picking up last-minute gifts.

What’s more, all this lovely stuff is provided by independent, local producers – so you know you’re doing a little good as munch on a German pastry.

London Christmas marketsImage courtesy of realfoodfestival.co.uk

 

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Where: Hyde Park. But you knew that anyway.
When: 18 November – 2 January, 10.00 – 22.00
Social: @WinterWonderLDN

It’s been 10 years since Hyde Park Winter Wonderland first opened its doors, and since then it’s been one of the most popular Christmas markets in London. There’s live music, an ice rink, and dozens of food stalls dotted around this festive hotspot. You can even visit Santa himself.

Word to the wise, though: it can get pretty busy here, so it’s a good idea to book ahead. There’s even a Winter Wonderland app.

Photos taken at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, London, in 2011.

 

Sutton House Christmas

Where: Sutton House, Hackney, E9 6JQ
When: Every weekend from 26 November – 18 December, 12.00-17.00
Social:
@SuttonHouseNT

If the idea of visiting a big Christmas market – potentially filled hundreds of small children – doesn’t appeal too much, then Sutton House might just be up your street.

This charming 500-year old property will be bejeweled this season, offering something truly special for everyone. Promising an ‘alternative’ to other London Christmas markets, here you’ll find dozens of artists and entrepreneurs creating one-of-a-kind gifts and tasty treats. You’ll be hard pushed to find a more beautiful setting too.

A delightful traditional christmas scene at Sutton House, Hackney, showing a beautifully decorated tree, gifts and open log fire

Image courtesy of cityshowcasemarkets.com

Greenwich Market

Where: Greenwich Market, SE10 9HZ
When: Open until 24 December, 10.00 – 17.30
Social: @GreenwichMarketLDN

Ever visited a Christmas market within a World Heritage Site? Well, you’re in luck.

Greenwich Market is absolutely gorgeous at this time of year, and is a perfect way to get your fix of mulled cider, pulled pork sandwiches and do some boutique shopping. We here you can also pick up some nice presents here too.

Greenwich

 

London Christmas markets

Have we missed out something special? Share the festive cheer with us on Twitter.

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Our top first-date locations for Kiwis in London

One of the biggest advantages of living in a city like this is you’re never stuck for new and interesting date ideas. And that’s doubly true if you’re both Kiwis in London.

There’s plenty of restaurants and bars to keep any pangs of homesickness at bay. But what if you’re planning something a bit more romantic than a pint and game of rugby down the road?

We’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves.

The New Zealand Cellar

Located in Pop Brixton, this award-winning wine retailer and bar is one of the best places in town to enjoy New Zealand’s finest.

Not only is this a stylish venue, the team are experts in New Zealand wine – so they’ll be more than happy to help you pick the perfect tipple for your date.

Want something extra special?

Check out their upcoming events – we’ve got a feeling you might be interested in their exclusive wine tasting classes.

Sacred Cafe

If you’d rather keep things a bit more low key, check out Sacred Cafe.

This was one of the first places to bring Kiwi-inspired gourmet coffee to London – and it’s perfect for grabbing a lazy cup and enjoying a slice of lolly cake.

lollyImage courtesy of sacredcafe.co.uk

Sacred Cafe also doubles-up as a bar and restaurant in the evening. And take it from us. You’d be kicking yourselves all night if you didn’t try one of their legendary espresso martinis.

Geffrye Museum

Okay, so there’s nothing about New Zealand to be found at the charming Geffrye Museum. But if you want to absorb yourselves in the history of London – who doesn’t? – and wander around their little gardens, this is definitely the place for you.

The Geffrye Museum is made up of beautiful homes and outdoor spaces that have been around since the 16th century.

If you’re extra lucky, you could plan to visit this museum when it’s restored almshouse is specially open. It’s a quaint and romantic way to see what London life used to be like hundreds of years ago. There’s also a nice coffee shop around the corner.

The Castle Climbing Centre

Fancy putting your new date to the test?

It’s already pretty well established Kiwis are an active bunch. Let’s be honest, we wouldn’t be offering to move people’s homes for them if it wasn’t true. So there’s better than digging out your lycra, chalk and heading to a good bouldering centre.

The Castle Climbing Centre (you heard right) is exactly what you’d imagine it to be – and you can take advantage of these adrenaline-pumping heights and scenic surroundings on your date.

We suggest booking a class together and finding out exactly what one another are made from.

Date ideas for Kiwis in London

Are you an expat living in London? Do you have any recommendations for Kiwi-inspired dates in the city?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter.

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Moving to the UK from America – Proof that people are seriously considering it

Our website has experienced a 53% increase in traffic from America over the past few days, which got us wondering if the American election result is driving interest in people moving to the UK.

So we analysed Google search data using Google Trends to see what other things Americans have been searching for since Trump became President-elect.

The graphs tell their own story.

November 9th – The day after the election result

A huge spike in Americans making searches about moving to England.

move to UK

…and Scotland

move to Scotland

 

…and the UK in general

 

move to UK

Here are the results Americans will have seen when Googling ‘move to the UK’

 

visas google

Which explains this…

UK visa

Then we noticed this. A huge spike in Americans trying to find out who the UK ‘president’ is.

 

UK president

And this is what Google would have told them…

 

uk president Google

 

Which explains this spike on November 10th…

 

Theresa May

So by day two of President Trump, Americans are digging deeper into what life might be like in the UK.

Which explains this…

what is brexit

And this…

 

nigel farage

And sadly this…

 

racism in UK

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers believes Americans seriously considering a move to the UK should take a breath before committing:

“We’ve experienced a 50% increase in traffic to our removals and shipping pages from America in the days after the election, compared to the same period last week.

“Most of our enquiries come from UK residents looking to ship to America, so this spike is interesting.

“Our advice to any Americans seriously considering a move to the UK is simple. Do your research and take your time.

“If you’ve got pets, get their vaccinations up to date now. If you’ve got kids, remember UK school term times are different to yours.

“If you’re bringing lots of stuff, shipping it in advance is cheaper than air freight. But most important of all, don’t forget about Brexit. Things could change here very quickly.”

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Does England have snakes? What people Google before moving to London and the UK

If you’ve ever wondered what people overseas think about the UK, wonder no more. We’ve crunched the data and can reveal PRECISELY what people from all over the world want to know before they move to or visit the UK.

A team of researchers based in 13 countries collated the local Google autocomplete suggestions for search terms relating to Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the popular tourist and residential locations over here.

The results are fascinating, hilarious and at times, a little worrying.

For example, why are people in Poland so concerned with the safety of our largest cities?

And why do South Africans need to know whether the UK has a death penalty?

Many of the queries were related to the standard of living over here. The weather, the shops and of course, weather the Lake District has wifi are all legitimate concerns for a savvy traveller looking to visit or relocate to the UK.

Here are our favourites. Head to the bottom of the page for the full results.

 

 

Moving to London from New Zealand

london

Here’s what Americans want to know about Bath.
bath

Germans don’t know what Yorkshire is…

yorkshire (1)

The most searched query about Birmingham from people in the UK…
birminghamOptimistic Kiwis want to know if they can get into Cambridge.cambridgeWe’ve all wondered about this one, actually.
cotswolds (1)
South Africa’s top questions about Edinburgh
edinburgh

Yes, it has pandas and a Primark. In fact, Scotland used to have more pandas than Conservative MPs, thanks to Edinburgh Zoo.

Yes Spain, Glasgow is safe.
glasgowKiwis on the Lake District…
lakedistrict
Yes, Kiwis. It has wifi. It also has stunning scenery, great food and no snakes.

That’s the spirit, Poland.oxford

 

And here’s a map of the British Isles, according to Google searches performed overseas.

 

 

Google Autocomplete map of the UK

 

Top queries – English speaking queries

 

Query   Canadian Google Australian Google New Zealand Google American Google British Google Irish Google South African Google
Does… Great Britain include Ireland have a president use miles rule Canada include Ireland include northern Ireland have the death penalty
Does… United Kingdom have states have states have a written constitution have universal healthcare have a constitution have a federal government
Does… England have provinces have snakes have snakes use the euro have a constitution want northern Ireland have a 4th of july
Does… Wales have a prime minister compete in the olympics have its own language have a king have its own parliament have an olympic team have a football league
Does… Northern Ireland use pounds compete in the olympics want to leave the uk want to leave the uk have an olympic team accept euros have an olympic team
Does… Scotland have provinces have bears have an olympic team belong to England have a veto on Brexit? use the euro use the euro
Does… London have a Walmart have uber get snow have uber have hard water have uber
Does… Manchester have an international airport united have snapchat airport close at night united play tomorrow airport have wifi airport close at night
Does… Liverpool play today play today have an airport have an airport have a christmas market qualify for europa league
Does… Glasgow snow have uber airport have a train station have uber have a flag have uber
Does… Edinburgh zoo have pandas have a beach have an airport have a subway have uber zoo have pandas
Does… Cardiff have a beach have a beach have uber have a beach have a beach have a beach
Does… Yorkshire terrier shed tea contain pesticides pudding have gluten pudding have gluten bank open on a saturday tea come from yorkshire
Does… The Cotswolds what does the Cotswolds mean what does the Cotswolds mean what does the Cotswolds mean what area does the Cotswolds cover where do the Cotswolds start what countries does the cotswolds cover
Does… Bath and bodyworks sell in china have a Primark and body lotion expire have a cathedral have a park and ride
Does… the Lake District have mountains have wifi have wifi have a beach have a beach have wifi
Does… Birmingham zoo have wifi have uber have uber have a zoo airport have a smoking area have a port
Does… Oxford have a medical school have uber care about GCSEs accept transfer students accept btec have a business school
Does… Cambridge accept transfer students accept btec accept btec accept transfer students accept btec have a christmas market
Does… York university have a gym have a beach have free wifi college have a nursing program have uber have free wifi
Does… Newcastle have a beach get 7flix have a beach have a beach have a beach university have a reading read

 

Top queries – Non-English speaking countries

We’ve left blanks where there was no autocomplete suggestion.

 

Spanish Google French Google German Google Polish Google Dutch Google Belgian Google
Does… Great Britain mean the same as England have an immigration surplus belong to the Schengen region
Does… United Kingdom belong to the Schengen region use the euro have multiple countries
Does… England is England easy to travel to is England part of Europe have summer time get flooded have summer and winter have a constitution
Does… Wales is wales a country is wales a country have its own language belong to the UK have its own government have its own government
Does… Northern Ireland is NI a country does northern Ireland have snakes have the euro have safety concerns have a lot of people have postcodes
Does… Scotland is Scotland independent does Scotland have mosquitos drive on the left have its on country have a king have a parliament
Does… London is London dangerous for tourists does London have a Sephora have safety concerns have a port have a port
Does… Manchester is manchester a safe city does manchester have things to do united have a chance in the champions league City plan on bidding on Messi united have debt
Does… Liverpool is Liverpool a safe city does Liverpool have things to do have safety concerns how much did Lverpool pay for Suarez have multiple airports
Does… Glasgow is Glasgow safe have safety concerns have multiple airports have multiple airports
Does… Edinburgh does Edinburgh have museums have a Primark have a lot of people have a lot of people
Does… Cardiff have a lot of people have safety concerns have a lot of people have a lot of people
Does… Yorkshire what is Yorkshire how do you make Yorkshire pudding
Does… The Cotswolds what is the Cotswolds
Does… Bath is bath expensive have a lot of people have a lot of people
Does… the Lake District have many lakes
Does… Birmingham is Birmingham safe have an airport have safety concerns have a lot of people have a lot of people
Does… Oxford is oxford university public or private does oxford have things to do have past papers is oxford difficult to get into have an airport have more than one university
Does… Cambridge is Cambridge a city does Cambridge have multiple universities have past papers is Cambridge difficult to get into have a lot of people have a lot of people
Does… York have an airport have good weather
Does… Newcastle United travel to Poland have a lot of people have a lot of people

 

 

A note on methodology

We had researchers in each of the ‘searching’ countries, using their local version of Google. For non-English speaking countries, we used the local language to perform the search. In some cases, we had to modify the format of the question to replicate a realistic search. For example, the English translation of the German searches was ‘Has England…’ rather than ‘does England’.

We selected the counties from which the most visitors to the UK come, plus the largest English-speaking countries outside of Great Britain.

We conducted our analysis between October 19th and November 7th.

Each researcher used the same browser (Google Chrome) on a laptop or desktop computer.

Google autocomplete offers a suggestion based on the most popular search terms made in the user’s locality. These suggestions do change and can be influenced by device, but the suggestions Google makes are a very strong indicator of what other users have searched for.

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A guide to hygge for Kiwis and Australians living in London

Cosyness. Comfort. Sense of well-being. There’s lots of different ways to understand hygge – the Danish practice of creating little moments, whether it’s just a coffee or having friends over for a dinner, feel relaxed and content.

(In case you were wondering, we have it under expert authority it’s pronounced hue-guh )

But the truth is that this isn’t just a Danish idea. The Swedish call it mysigt – coupled in with the Norwegians who also have their own version of hygge, koseligt.

Regardless of who came up with the idea first, we’re pretty sure our Scandinavian neighbours know a thing or two about making winter a little more enjoyable. After all, Denmark have fewer daylight hours in winter and yet they still rank amongst the happiest people in the world.

So if you’re feeling the hygge craze like us, here’s how to deliver some into your own home.

 

Be mindful

Sure, a big part of enjoying hygge (as you’ll soon see) is creating a lovely and warm atmosphere for your friends and family to enjoy. But at its most basic level this wonderfully Scandinavian concept is about being in the moment. If you’ve just moved to London from warmer climes like New Zealand or Australia, it may take a bit of mental adjustment to live in the moment when that moment is freezing cold and bleak, but it’s important.

Putting aside your stresses of the day – and making sure the topic of conversation is welcome for everyone – goes a long way. As does avoiding the temptation to moan about your bad day in the office.

Instead, hygge is all about enjoying the right here and now.

We’re not saying this is always easy. Being mindful is a skill in itself. We also have the sneaking suspicion that the shorter-than-average Danish working day might give them an unfair advantage over us.

 

Creating a comfortable setting

If you’ve heard about hygge before, then you probably know that everyone seems to be preoccupied with candles and mood lighting.

Bear with us, though, there’s good reason behind this.

 

Hygge lighting

 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re with friends or curled up on the sofa while there’s a gale blowing outside. Soft, gentle light is a quick (and cheap) way to make everything feel more relaxed. It signifies the day is slowly winding down. And it helps create a cosy retreat from the end of a hard working day.

Blankets never hurt anyone either.

 

Do what you love

Does the thought of diving nose-first into a good book make your toes wiggle? Or would you prefer going to the pub and enjoying one or two with your mates on the weekend?

Good. Channel it.

You’ve probably already guessed  hygge is a pretty open concept. That’s because feeling relaxed and doing what you love is entirely unique to you. There’s no right or wrong answers.

It’s what makes hygge a bit of an art form, really. Learning to switch off and find some me-time can take a lot of practice. But if this happy bunch in Denmark can lead the way – and it seems it’s working – there’s no reason we can’t learn a thing or two either.

Do you have any tips on how to make your home more hygge? Tell us how it’s done on Twitter.

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Top 3 places for second-hand furniture in London

Moved to London? Check.

Got the keys to your new flat? Check.

Found a great place around the corner to help make your new place feel like home? Not so much.

There’s thousands of shops in London where you can spend a small fortune to decorate your flat. But we know from experience this isn’t always practical if you’ve just moved to a new city (and you can’t afford to wait a few pay days for a decent couch).

That’s where upcycling and buying second hand comes into play. Not only is it good for your wallet, it’s better for the environment too – plus it gives you the chance to get creative and make your new home entirely unique to you.

With that in mind, here are a few tried and tested places to find upcycled and second hand furniture in London.

Get a quick quote for a man and van service

Goldfinger Factory

This furniture-showroom-meets-cafe, based in Trellick Tower, is a fantastic place to purchase artisan decorations, upholstery and even pay for refurbishments/repairs.

But it’s not all about gorgeous upcycled furniture. Goldfinger Factory are committed to giving back to the community – including providing free interior design courses to young people who’d like to acquire the skills and knowledge to make it in the industry.

It’s so good, in fact, we’d recommend setting aside a Saturday afternoon to explore Goldfinger Factory in all its Modernist glory.  

greeninmind.org

If the thought of re-painting pinewood cupboards and sanding old dining tables sends you into a cold sweat, check our greeninmind.org.

This wonderful company is dedicated to breathing new life into tired or out-of-fashion furniture and creating something truly one of a kind. Every item is unique – thanks to its co-founder Gary – and is a great way to make your new home feel special, without resorting to buying brand new.

If you’d like to learn more, we suggest reading about their upcycling process and seeing exactly what goes into creating these stunning items.

Old Spitalfield Market

Got a free Thursday anytime soon?

Old Spitalfield Market is legendary for its furniture, accessories and all sorts of weird and wonderful items on Thursdays. Here you’ll find everything from independent businesses to exclusive boutiques, meaning you can spend as little or as much as you fancy.

It’s also a great excuse to grab a quick bite and do some much-needed people watching in this vibrant part of London.

Second-hand furniture in London

You’re not short of places to buy furniture and dabble in interior design in this city. This blog is only a tiny snapshot of everything on offer – and that’s not including what’s available online too (think preloved.co.uk, snaply.co.uk and even gumtree).

All the advice we can give is be patient, get creative, and don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and do some experimenting.

Are there any other markets and shops you’d recommend for second-hand and upcycled furniture? Share your thoughts and let us know on Twitter.

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How to plan your next London office move

There’s no hard and fast rule to planning a smooth office move. It can take months of planning and organisation, not to mention the logistics of actually moving on the day.

You can always ask your employees to chip in and do their bit. But chances are, if you’re an SME based in London, you’d prefer staff time wasn’t spent packing computers and hauling heavy boxes. It’s bad for morale. And it’s worse for insurance reasons.

So if you’re planning a big office move in the near future, here’s a few helpful things the guys at Kiwi Movers can do.

Experts on site

One of the biggest stresses on moving day is making sure equipment gets from A to B without damage, loss or hiccups that may disrupt business as usual.

That’s why we’ve got our expert team of moving professionals at hand. They’re trained to make sure all office equipment, including archives containing sensitive information, are safely packed and secured during the office move. We can also insure your valuables during the move.

Dismantling/rebuilding of office equipment

Chairs, desks, cabinets, the lot.

We offer a full dismantling/rebuilding service for all office equipment. It means that, on the lead up to moving day, you don’t need to waste valuable working hours on prepping furniture and sorting out desks. Instead, our team will do the leg work – including rebuilding furniture at your new office – so your staff can keep on track, with minimal interference.

Crate hire

If you haven’t had the chance to pre-order boxes and packing materials, don’t sweat it.

As part of our service, we offer crate hire to help make the move as smooth as possible – especially for expensive or delicate equipment. We can also deliver it on-site and help do the packing.

Computer and IT relocation

We’ve already mentioned the importance of expensive equipment. It’s not just costly if things go wrong. It can also have a negative impact on your staff’s workload and require additional IT resource to keep your business afloat.

To keep things simple, we offer two types of service here: either an IT check-list (to make sure everything arrives on site) or a full IT relocation (meaning it’s our responsibility to pack and deliver your equipment). The choice is entirely up to you.

Peace of mind

Okay, so we said there were no hard and fast rules. But if you’re planning a London office move in the near future, here’s a few steps to get started:

  1. Contact us (either through an online form or by phone) for a free quote and to discuss your options
  2. Choose a moving date (we can do out of office hours, if that helps)
  3. Book a day off and relax. We’ll get on with the heavy stuff

Still looking for more information? You can also follow us on Twitter.

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