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Life-saving apps for flat-sharing expats in London


Flat sharing with strangers in a new city.

It can simultaneously be one of the most rewarding and unnerving experiences a 20 or 30-something can endure.

Sorting bills. Dividing house chores. Working out where’s the best place to go for coffee on a Sunday afternoon. There’s lots of different things you have to look forward to.

With that in mind, here are a few of our favourite apps that might help you along the way.



Ah, Splitwise.

It’s hard to remember a  time when flatmates would use whiteboards and fridge magnets to document who bought the last pint of milk.

That’s all a thing of the past now. Thanks to Splitwise, you and your flatmates can quickly and easily share bills and expenses all with a few clicks of a button. At the end of the month, this handy app tallies up your costs and sends useful notification to remind you who owes what.

Think of Splitwise as the impartial adjudicator in your household finances from now on.



Sorting out your bills is one thing. Deciding how to divide the chores and who gets the next Brita filter is something else.

Enter Chroma.

With this handy app, you can set up multi-member groups and make to-do lists for everyone to see. Either assign tasks or let someone else pick them up. The choice is entirely up to you guys.


It can be hard moving to a city like London and trying to find your way around – especially if you’re hitting the ground running with a new job that’s conveniently located 40 minutes from your flat.

CityMapper is one of the best (free) investments you’ll make. Enter your location, where you want to go, and you’ll be presented with a bunch of different options. There’s even a live-transport tracker, so you don’t need to check departure times or desperately tweet Transport for London. No one needs that.


London Coffee Network

You didn’t expect us to write a whole blog without mentioning coffee, right?

If you’ve just moved over here from New Zealand – and you haven’t quite converted to sourcing all your caffeine from Pret – then check out the London Coffee Network.

This extremely helpful little app shows you all the best local places to find great coffee. It’s simple to use and (best of all) you can earn points every time you use it. Go to one of their hotspots, scan your QR code at the checkout, and you’ll earn one point for every pound you spend.

This app pretty much has its own community following, so it’s also a good way to meet other like-minded, brew-fanatic individuals.

Flat sharing in London

There’s no hard and fast rule for making flat sharing easier for expats in London. A good place to start though is by checking the Kiwis in London weekly flat sharing post or you can download their flat sharing app here.

But nevertheless, hopefully a few of these apps will make all the boring stuff a bit more bearable – so you can get out and enjoy everything London has to offer.

Do you have any app recommendations for expats living in London? Following us on Twitter and share your thoughts.

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Moving to London? 3 simple rules to finding a new job


Moving to a new city is stressful enough without throwing a job hunt into the mix too.

Most of us at Kiwi Movers have been there already. So we know a thing or two about throwing yourself into the ring and finding a new job that makes you feel happy and content in your new city – whether you’re looking to climb the career ladder or you’re just after some casual work to pay the bills.

We won’t pretend to know everything about securing a job in London. But here are a few tips we’ve picked up along the way.


Sign up to local recruitment agencies

It might seem pretty obvious, but signing up to local recruitment agencies can make a huge difference when it comes to landing that new job.

Sure, most jobs are posted online – but a lot of recruiters barely have time to create digital advertisements before they snap up the right candidate. So if you’re already on their radar, it’s much easier to get a competitive advantage over other applicants.

Choosing a recruitment agency that specialises in your sector (e.g. digital, finance, accounting, construction) will help to make things easier as well.

Our friends Kiwis in London – follow them on Facebook – regularly post job openings too.

Freshen up your Linkedin profile

A good CV is essential for making an impression on a recruitment agency. The next step, however, is an updated, gloriously comprehensive Linkedin profile which shows off all your wonderful talents.

There’s plenty of useful blogs about how to create a knock-out Linkedin profile. We won’t pretend to do them justice. A couple of our favourites (not that we’re looking, of course) come directly from Forbes and the Huffington Post.


Work out your ideal commuting distance, and go from there

It’s not necessarily the most obvious point on our list. But in a city as vast as London, it’s a good idea to isolate the areas you’re interested in the most and go from there.

Focus on the zones that are easy to reach and explore the city’s seemingly endless array of transportation options. It might be the first important step to working out which jobs are worth applying for. And which ones can be left by the way side.


Moving to London

Well, we’re not saying it’s easy moving to London and finding a new job. But hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas to help make the hunt a bit easier.

Good luck!

What are your tips for finding a new job in a new city? Have we missed anything off our list?

Follow us on Twitter and share your thoughts.

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Moving to London? Find out if you’re an expat or an immigrant

71% of Expats Living in UK Don’t Believe they’re Immigrants, according to a new study conducted by Kiwi Movers.

Our study found that the majority (71%) of people who’ve moved to the UK from predominantly English-speaking countries don’t view themselves as immigrants.

Take the survey

The study involved more than 500 Kiwi, Australian, American, Canadian and South African citizens currently living in the UK.

Each was asked to select between two statements, based on which one they most closely identified.

“I’m an expat” – 71%

“I’m an immigrant” – 29%


Moving to London from overseas? Need to ship something to New Zealand? Use our shipping calculator to see if our door-to-door shipping service is cheaper than air freight.


When asked why they selected the statement they did, more than a third of respondents said it was due to their temporary residential status in the UK. This was the most common response.

However, 1 in 5 (19%) said they viewed themselves as expats rather than immigrants because the UK had a similar culture to their home country. A similar proportion (18%) said that they considered themselves not to be expats because they were native English speakers.

16% didn’t know why they identified more closely with the term expat than immigrant, while 9% said it was due to their peers referring to them in that way.

1% of those identifying most closely with ‘expat’ said it was because they live and work in a foreign country.

Of those who identified as immigrants, more than three quarters (76%) didn’t know why. 24% said it was because they live and work in a foreign country.

Why people identify as expats 

Kiwi movers reasons for being an expat

Of those who identified as immigrants most were South African (29%). Followed by Canadians (22%), Americans (20%), Kiwis (15%) and Australians (14%).


Kiwi Movers expat or immigrant

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers, who hails from Invercargill in New Zealand, believes the term expat insulates English-speaking, predominantly white foreigners living in the UK from the challenges faced by immigrants from countries with differing home cultures:

“I typically refer to myself as an expat rather than an immigrant, but rhetoric used during the EU referendum made me reconsider this. The term expat has a tone of privilege to it that may unfairly elevate us above others who’ve moved here to work.

By definition we’re immigrants as well as expats.But it’s rare to hear Kiwis, Australians, Canadians or South Africans being referred to this way.

There’s a strong ‘expat’ community in London and that’s a great thing. Australians, Kiwis, South Africans seem to naturally come together and form strong social groups. It makes sense. We’ve got a lot in common culturally.

Some of the EU referendum rhetoric focused on immigrants. But not on expats. I personally didn’t feel stigmatised or marginalised by this, even though friends of mine who are Polish and Latvian definitely did, but only because I consider myself an expat.”


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Our top 3 neighbourhoods for Kiwis in London


You’re probably sceptical already.

A city of 8.5 million people. With thousands of neighbourhoods. And seemingly hundreds of Itsu’s.  

How can we possibly pick three of our top places to live in London?

Well, you’re probably right. It’s a bit silly. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter where you live in this city of ours – there’s always something new and interesting to grapple your imagination and make you thankful for travelling all this way from New Zealand.

But if you haven’t quite made the move yet (and you’ve heard one or two rumours about the London property market), here are a few of our favourite places for budding Kiwis in London.


Where: Northwest London
Why: Leafy, lots of coffee shops
Best for: Young creative types

This is a great place for young professionals. Especially if you’re looking for cool and quirky coffee shops where you can dabble with your laptop and watch the world go by. There’s plenty to do around here – from bars, to a surprising choice of restaurants, and with easy connections to the bustling centre.

Our favourites? Have a look at Crouch End’s fantastic Picture House cinema and The King’s Head pub/comedy club.

Forest Hill

Where: Southeast London
Why: It’s surprisingly affordable for Southeast London
Best for: Young professionals who need good connections to city

Okay, so what London considers to be ‘affordable’ could be wildly different to back home. But like Crouch End, Forest Hill is bustling with young people and is a great place for aspiring creatives.

If you ever needed proof, there’s Canvas and Cream – a wonderful place to grab a spot of brunch (vanilla ice cream pancakes, by the way) and browse artwork by the neighbourhood’s most inspired and thought-provoking artists.

Don’t worry about being too far out, either. You can get to Victoria by tube in around 35 minutes.


Where: Southeast London
Why: Again, surprisingly affordable for Southeast London
Best for: Young professionals who need good connections to city

Whether you think it’s good, bad, or purely a preoccupation of old-school Londoners, Catford has emerged relatively unscathed from the paws of gentrification. This means housing is still pretty affordable (don’t quote us on that in a year or so, though) and you can find hidden gems like Blythe Hill Tavern with relative ease.

One of our top reasons for picking Catford, however, is its lovely park with plenty of space for outdoor sports and going for a run in the morning.

Neighbourhoods for Kiwis in London

It wasn’t easy whittling our list down – and we’re almost certain we’ve missed a few fantastic neighbourhoods along the way.

So it begs the question. Where would you recommend for other New Zealanders planning on making the move to London? Where’s the best starting point?

Follow us on Twitter and share your thoughts.

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London Movers – July Mover of the Month

The latest in our monthly London movers mover of the month giving a bit more of an insight into our staff and what makes Kiwi Movers a great company.

1) Date you joined Kiwi Movers?
Back in April 2013

2) Full Name?
Christopher Stewart Bone

3) Nickname?

4) Place of Birth?
Auckland, NZ

5) What is the most interesting London movers work you have done at Kiwi Movers?
We did job for a record label for artists such as The Prodigy , Basement Jaxx, The Cure and a whole bunch of other huge artists. We moved original tapes from their Wandsworth storage facility (a house stuffed from floor to ceiling with these tapes) into a storage unit.

6) Interesting Fact About Yourself?
Grew up in Singapore as well as New Zealand

7) In 5 years time, where do you see yourself?
I’m sure I’ll be a millionaire by then!

8) Favourite office person and why?
Regan! Because he’s the man. Obvs!

9) What do you enjoy the most about working for Kiwi Movers?
The flexible hours, plus over the last few years I’ve been able to come and go when needed. There’s always a friendly operations guy happy to give me work!

10) Best place in Europe you’ve been to so far?
It’s sorta Europe but not quite, but Turkey is my favourite so far!

11) Any advice for the new guys?
Lift like a pro and soak in as much of London as possible!

12) Why work for Kiwi?
The bonuses are the flexible work hours, seeing different parts of London and England as well as all the weird and wonderful people you encounter.

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Expat or immigrant – Is it time to acknowledge our privilege?

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Kiwi Movers was founded by a Kiwi and an Aussie living in London.

We are an international team. More of our staff hail from overseas than from the UK, including Zimbabwe, Australia and naturally our fair share of Kiwis. We’re dedicated to serve the people of London, but we couldn’t do it without people from outside of London and in a lot of cases, from outside England and the rest of the UK.

We’re proud to work alongside our British colleagues, but we also count Irish, Polish, Russian, American and Canadian colleagues as part of our team.

One thing we’ve noticed throughout our years of living and working in London is that there’s a very strong expat community here. Especially among the Aussies, Kiwis and South Africans.

It makes sense. We all tend to speak English. We all tend to like rugby, some of us like a beer, and we’re all living in a massive city in which we didn’t grow up.

Expats naturally come together. We help each other settle in, socialise, share job opportunities and celebrate our home cultures.

We use the term expat a lot. But what does it actually mean?

It’s actually a verb. To expatriate is to live in a foreign land. Ex = out of, patria = fatherland.

Which is what we do here in London.

But the term expat has a tone of privilege to it that unfairly elevates us above others who’ve moved here to work.

By definition we’re immigrants as well as expats. But it’s rare to hear Kiwis, Australians, Canadians or South Africans being referred to this way.

In identifying ourselves and our friends as expats, are we inadvertently distancing ourselves from people we perceive to be immigrants? If so, why?

The EU referendum rhetoric focused a lot on immigrants. But not on expats. I’ve personally not felt stigmatised by this because I consider myself an expat.

But what’s the difference between me, a foreigner living and working in London and an immigrant?

My first language is English, so that might play a part. But I know plenty of immigrants who speak fluent English.

My home culture is quite similar to that of the UK. That’s helped me assimilate almost seamlessly into the local culture.

I’m white, but then so are my Polish and Latvian immigrant friends.

Should people who identify as expats be more open to identifying as immigrants and if we did, how would it influence our perceptions of ourselves and our friends?

If a Kiwi overstayed their visa, would they be an illegal expat?

Probably not.

This post isn’t about criticising people who refer to themselves as expats, but about being more proud of our status as immigrants.

We shouldn’t be shying away from the term.

We’d be really interested to know what you think about the use of expat vs immigrant, so we’ve got a survey running on the site.

It’s got 3 questions and takes less than 20 seconds to complete. We’d be really grateful if you could complete the survey and share with your friends.

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Australian moving to London? You’ll love these websites


There’s nothing more exciting than moving to London and spending those first precious few weeks getting to know your new city.

The sights, the smells. The wonderfully elaborate tube map. It’s all easy to explore once you’re settled into your new home, even if it feels a little overwhelming at first.

Listen, we could wax lyrical about our favourite coffee shops and where to find the Australian embassy (it’s here, don’t worry). But we guessed you’d mostly have that covered yourself.

Instead, here’s a run down of our top London-based blogs by people who know our capital best – you guessed it, the ex-pats.


Australian Times


If you need information about travel, food and drink, and how to get all your documents in order, have a look at

This fantastic website is like its own digital community, where you can meet other like-minded expats and get advice from people who’ve already walked in your shoes.

There’s a pretty decent sports blog on there too.


Aussies in London


Social media is like a secret weapon for moving to a new city.

And Aussies in London is definitely one of our favourites. Here you’ll find opportunities to go on day trips with other wander lusters and learn more about your new home. The team regularly post about local meet-ups (drinks, picnics, you name it) and make a real effort to engage with other Australians in London.

Okay, so you’re probably no stranger to We even talked about it recently on our blog about how to make new friends in Blighty.

But the Australian community on there is definitely worth bookmarking and checking out. Like Aussies in London, there’s plenty of stuff going on and it’s a great way to dive head-first into the city’ incredible social scene.

Keep an eye out for pub crawls and Sunday brunches.


The Aussie Nomad

Need help navigating the NHS? Getting a UK drivers license?

Then visit the Aussie Nomad.

This short but sweet guide is gold if you’re moving to London and need to get your bearings. There’s lots of useful blogs on there, but this is probably the best starting point – especially if you need a good general introduction.


Australians moving to London


Take it from us. Packing your bags and moving to London is one of the most rewarding things you can do in the UK.

You’re especially lucky if you come from Australia and New Zealand. There’s a fantastic community here already and lots of different ways to make new friends and get this place feeling like home.

If you have any tips yourself, or want to say hello, you’re welcome to follow us on Twitter.

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London Mover of the Month – June

1) Date you joined Kiwi Movers? March 2016
2) Full Name? Adrian Cook
3) Nickname? Cookie or Whitey
4) Place of Birth? Palmerston North, NZ
5) What is the most interesting move you have done at Kiwi Movers? A pop star!
6) Interesting Fact About Yourself? I am a dairy farmer manager in NZ. I enjoy going hunting, and travelling

7) In 5 years time where do you see yourself?  Hopefully back in Waikato NZ, milking cows and hopefully have brought a house

8) Favourite Office person and why? I have two favourites; Issac and Robyn.
Issac is fair and friendly and Robyn is nice to talk to and does a good job

9) What do you enjoy most about working for Kiwi Movers? Awesome workmates

10) Best place you’ve travelled to so far in Europe? Cologne, Germany
11) Any advice to the new guys moving in London? Work hard ,listen and have fun!

12) Why work for Kiwi? Good team to work with

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Kiwi and new in town? How to make friends after moving to London


Moving to a new city and making friends isn’t always easy – especially if that city is London, with more than 8 million inhabitants stretched over quite literally hundreds of miles.

But don’t let that put you off.

If there’s one thing we love about this wonderful city of ours it’s the people. And if there’s something else, it’s the seemingly endless opportunities to experience new things and get involved in hundreds of different events across the city.

So if you’re from New Zealand/Oz and looking to make friends in London, here are a few of our well-chosen tried and tested favourites from your favourite London movers.

Join Kiwis in London on Facebook

Although not strictly limited to Kiwis (Aussies are welcome too, as is anyone who might find the group useful), this is an invaluable resource and community for New Zealanders living in London.

Flat shares, tips on getting settled, job opportunities, culture, exclusive offers for members are just some of the benefits of the Kiwis in London group. The great thing about it is that it’s run by Kiwis in London (obviously), so the content reflects the authentic experience. The guys and girls behind the page have been there and done it, so they can offer tips and make recommendations on all aspects of being a Kiwi living in London.

Secret Cinema

Have you ever dreamed of battling stormtroopers and rescuing Princess Leia? Ever considered what you’d do if there was a zombie outbreak and you suddenly found yourself abandoned and all alone in London? Or maybe the world of Pink Ladies and poodle skirts is more your thing.

It doesn’t matter. If there’s a film you love, or a Halloween outfit you’ve been dying to re-use, Secret Cinema will definitely not disappoint.

These incredible events offer a fully-immersive experience into the worlds and storylines of your favourite blockbuster films. But here’s the catch: you’ll be separated from your friends upon arrival and fully encouraged to meet new people and run around riot throughout the night. In fact, you’d be surprised how close a group of strangers can become after single-handedly trying to save the Resistance and blow up the Death Star.

Did we mention it’s insanely fun too?

We recommend booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

If all that sounds a bit labour intensive, you might prefer going online and letting the digital fates find you new and interesting people to hang out with. is a well-established and wonderfully helpful way to do exactly that. You can discover like-minded communities who love to organise weekend hill walks, play 5-aside, or just go on a pub crawl. There really are no limits.

If you’re starting a new job, by the way, it’s a good way to meet other professionals in your sector and do some networking.


Interesting Talks

Interesting Talks
brings together all the best and most popular lectures, presentations and discussions located in and around London.

You can filter according to subject and date, and browse potentially hundreds of different events – ranging from art and architecture to economics and engineering. It’s a fantastic way to new people, young and old, and get to know London’s diverse and magnetic cultural backdrop.

Planning on hosting your own event sometime soon? You can also post on Interesting Talks and invite other like-minded people to your shindig.


Making friends in London

We know it’s a little daunting getting to know people and making new friends in London. Trust us, we’ve been there too.

There’s lots of different ways, however, to make this city feel like home. Even if just it’s signing up to an amateur rugby club or finding out what’s going on at King’s College. We’re sure you’ll grow to love London as much as we do.

If you have any tips for other Kiwis out there, follow us on Twitter and let us know.

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Where to find the best New Zealand food in London

It’s safe to say the team at Kiwi Movers have made their home in London. We know this city inside out. But we’re always looking for new and interesting places that remind us of being back in New Zealand – whether it’s a good cup of coffee, or some great pub grub.

So if you’re new to this wonderful city of ours  (or craving proper Kiwi cuisine) here are our favourite restaurants and cafés in London.

The Providores

Founded by Kiwi Peter Gordon, this lovely fusion restaurant combines the best of European cuisine with world-famous New Zealand wine.

It’s located on Marylebone High Street – which is worth the trip in itself – and serves up a hearty selection of everything from beef pesto to miso-baked aubergine. There’s a seriously good weekend brunch menu too.

Ozone Coffee Roasters

There’s plenty of coffee chains to keep you up to your eyeballs in half-caf mocha lattes in London. But if you want some seriously good coffee, then head over to Ozone.

This lovely place started back in New Zealand, with owners Jamie and Karen Hodson opening a boutique roastery in New Plymouth. Soon, Ozone expanded and eventually took up residence in Shoreditch, becoming one of the best-known artisan coffee places in the community.

P.S. Ozone has a great blog too, if you’re interested.

Ben’s Canteen

Anywhere that specialises exclusively in burgers, wine and brunch is great in our books.

So, if you’re looking for pulled pork nachos and craft beers, then you’re going to love Ben’s Canteen. It’s like the best of worth worlds: you get the relaxed atmosphere of a local pub, but all the wonderful home-comforts from down under.

Did we mention the wine list? Seriously, have a look.

Sacred Coffee

Sacred Coffee is on a mission to bring Antipodean-style coffee and grub to London.

Back in 1992, Sacred Coffee’s owner Tubbs developed a taste for cafe culture whilst still at university in Wellington. But on a trip to London – over ten years later – he realised something was amiss. You’d be hard pushed to find a great flat white, the kind that defined the artisan coffee scene back in New Zealand. So he decided to do something about it

Sacred Coffee opened in 2005 and quickly became the first gourmet roast in the city. And since then, it’s been serving up fantastic Kiwi-inspired coffee and specialty teas from across the world.

Where to find the best New Zealand food in London

We’ve got a big soft spot for things that remind us of life back in New Zealand. So we’re always happy when we meet Kiwi customers and can share our favourite haunts and hidden treasures in the city.

If you have any recommendations or places we’ve missed out, give us a shout and let us know.

For more news about things going on in London, follow us on Twitter.

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Moving in London by yourself – the best and worst

It takes a brave man (or woman) who’s prepared to face the streets of London and make the move on their own. The traffic, the hustle, the parking tickets… but that doesn’t mean we can’t respect the effort either.

Whether you choose to move home in DIY-style, or enlist the help of yours truly, it’s never easy getting in and out of this city. Especially if you’re moving home, no less.

So if you’re still undecided about what option’s right for you, here are our best (and worse) reasons for embracing self-sufficiency in the moving process.


You can bribe friends with pizza (and optional beer)


We’ve all been there. You spend two years renting in London – arriving with nothing more than a worn-out suitcase and a bottle of your local’s finest – and suddenly you’ve collected enough stuff to give J.F Sebastian a run for his money.

Now it’s time to pack all your belongings up and enlist the help of your nearest and dearest.

We’d be lying if we said this can’t be fun. It’s a great chance to get everyone together and have a rummage through boxes and crates. Plus, if you’re a young student, we’d expect nothing less.


It feels like everything could break


One of the big worries for anyone moving house is making sure your stuff arrives at its new destination in a good state.

And part of this problem is to do with insurance. Despite the fact you’re more likely to damage your possessions during the move than any other time, most insurers won’t cover it – unless you use a professional removals firm. Preferably one that’s accredited.

If anything goes wrong, they’ll pay the costs and help make it right again. You’ll need to fill out a bit of paperwork if you do want to make a claim and if you’re taking you’re taking out additional cover in advance, you’ll need to declare the value of any expensive items.

It’s like having a safety net across the entire moving process.


You can have a good, ol’ fashioned clear out


We know everyone says moving is stressful – and sometimes it definitely is – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a bit cathartic too.

You get the chance to take an inventory of everything in your home and decide what’s important. And what really needs to visit the charity shop. If you’re moving home by yourself, then this is the best opportunity to de-clutter your property and get ready for the next big adventure.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t give you a helping hand too. Once you’ve done all the cleaning and sorting, we can collect the rubbish and take it where it needs to go – helping to make everything nice and simple.


You get a great workout


Carrying boxes up and down the stairs. Getting stuff in and out of the car. Maneuvering small children between the seemingly endless numbers of spiralisers and chocolate fondues.

Moving house is one of the most physically demanding tasks in our everyday lives.

And there’s the downside.

Getting all your stuff from A to B can be an exhausting job – physically, as well as emotionally. Now, if you like the sound of everything above, then you’ll be in your element. However, if you’re stuck for time and looking to make the move in the quickest, easiest way possible, then maybe it’s best left to the professionals.


The pros and cons of moving by yourself in London


We hope that’s given you a brief insight into the pros and cons of moving house by yourself.

Regardless of what option you choose, or even if you’re undecided, our team are here to help. Contact us for a free quote and we can see what option’s right for you.

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Kiwi Movers partner up with Under The Doormat


The team at Kiwi Movers is delighted to announce we’ve partnered up with Under The Doormat, a luxury platform for people to rent out their properties in London.

This joint partnership will help to bring our two businesses together, and encourage residents and visitors to London find unique and interesting places to stay.

Regan McMillan, our Founder and Director, has stated:

’We are extremely happy to have signed a partnership with Under The Doormat. We share their vision for bringing people together with vibrant, exciting neighborhoods in London – and showcasing everything our city has to offer.

We hope this partnership will be another chapter in our growing relationship with the business community around us. And if we help a few Kiwis along the way to find somewhere nice to stay, then we’re even happier.”


Movers and shakers in London

UnderTheDoormat provides the opportunity for homeowners to earn effortless extra income when they are away, and offers guests the local experience of staying in homes with personality and character during their visit to London.

To let your home when you are away, just share your home and your story with them and they do the rest so you come home to a clean home and some extra money each time you travel.

To book an introductory meeting, please get in touch with their great team on 0207 952 1650 or email [email protected]

This partnership with Under The Doormat is more good news for Kiwi Movers, having also received Which? Trusted Trader status in the last month.

For more news about our team and Kiwi Movers, follow us on Twitter and say ‘ello.

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6 reasons why you need an excess baggage service

If you’re planning on moving to London soon (there’s lots of Kiwis and Australians already here, we know most of them!) there’s a good chance you’ve got baggage on the brain. No, not the emotional kind. Luggage. Things like suitcases, bikes, and all those lovely gems you’ve collected along the way.

It’s not always easy taking these things home. And there’s nothing worse than having to abandon your possessions because you’re worried about the cost and fuss of taking them on a flight.

That’s where a good excess baggage service comes into play. So, if you’ve never heard of excess baggage before, here’s six things to think about before you travel abroad.

1. Heavy luggage. Good for arms, bad for morale

This is top of our list for a good reason. If you’ve ever tried to lug heavy bags across an airport, or get from one side of London to another with your bike, you’ll know this stuff slows you down. And it’s not a good start to your journey home, either.

That’s why we offer a door-to-door removal service. We’ll collect your baggage and deliver it exactly where it needs to go – at a time that works for you.

2. International shipping

It’s not always easy finding a baggage service that travels to the same places you do. We’ve been there, and the unhappy result is shipping your luggage and possessions to awkward destinations and having to pick them up from there.

So, to keep things as convenient as possible, here’s a list of the locations we ship to:

  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Canada (both coasts)
  • United States (yup, both coasts)
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Cyprus
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand

What’s better?

Our air freight means your luggage will arrive at its destination within 7-10 working days.

3. It could be more cost effective than flights

You know the feeling. You’re at the airport. They’re weighing your luggage… you have that sinking, nagging feeling that maybe you didn’t need every season of The Sopranos on Blu Ray/DVD to take back home (pfft, who are you kidding?). And that’s it – you’re baggage is too heavy and you’re slapped with a fine.

With a global network of handlers, we’re able to compete with even the biggest airlines and offer a cost-effective alternative to carrying all your luggage on a flight. You won’t need to worry about weight restrictions or – more importantly – about having to leave your important stuff at home.

It can also be cheaper to ship your cases, bags and backpacks compared to a lot of airlines.

4. You can take your bike, gym other favourite stuff with you

Speaking of important stuff, we’ll also to ship things like sports equipment and anything else you’ve collected along your journey. Tools are a popular request for us. Due to their weight, there’s a good chance you’ll get ‘hammered’ on the cost of taking these on a plane.

It sounds odd, but we ship a lot of snowboards from London too, due to the number of London movers who venture off on adventure breaks while using London as a base. And don’t forget guitars. Canadian crooner Brian Adams stands as one very good reason you should think hard before entrusting your treasured axe to airline handling staff.

If you’re moving from London, but don’t to part with your favourite couch or even want to take your entire household’s worth of stuff with you, we can ship that for you.

Leave no man behind, etc.

5. We’ll give you the packing materials

No, we aren’t trying to force you to go. But let’s face it, when it’s time, it’s time – and you might as well make everything super straightforward and simple.

As part of our excess baggage service, (but hopefully not as part of your permanent move from London), we sell boxes and lots of other packing stuff you need to get ready. We’ll bring it with us if we’re doing your move.

6. You can track your order

Just because you’re shipping your bike and bed doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to track your order.

As part of our service, you’ll be able to see exactly where your belongings are and how long it’ll be before they arrive. Nice and simple.

So, there you have it – our top reasons for trying out a baggage removal service if you’re traveling in and out of London anytime soon.

For more information, have a look at our excess baggage page and – as always – get in touch if you have any questions.

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Moving house in London when you’ve got kids – how to do it right

It’s easy to forget how stressful moving can be on little ones. After all, it’s not as if they need to worry about packing, organising the insurance, or working out what to do with all that leftover food in the cupboard.

The biggest thing on their mind is usually how their new room is going to be decorated (and to all parents out there, getting stuck into bright pink paint and never-come-off again dinosaur stickers, we salute you). But that doesn’t make the journey into their new home any less daunting.

Recent research has show that moving home can cause just as much stress and anxiety to children as it does to adults. Moving in London can be especially stressful, especially when you consider parking restrictions, traffic and the difficulties of access some of our city’s quirkier properties.

And like most big events in anyone’s life, it’s not until the day of reckoning that kids need extra support. So from one family to another, here are our tried and tested methods for how to move home with children.

Let them pack some of their own things

There’s a real temptation to pack and organise everything for your kids, especially if it means you’ll actually be able to find fluffy socks and Mr. Oink at the end of a long moving day.

But we think it’s a great idea to let kids get used to the idea of moving as soon as possible. Letting them box away possessions, choose old toys to donate to charity, and say goodbye to their room can help bring much-needed closure before transitioning to a new home.

Of course, this will depend on the age of your children. Too young and there won’t be much they can do (and we can’t really blame them for that). However, if they’re a toddler or older then this is the perfect time to get them involved.

Give them a special task on the day


One of the best ways to minimise anxiety and help get them involved with the move is with some light-hearted responsibility.

We aren’t suggesting you ask them to bubble wrap the household dishes, but instead encourage them to take charge of special tasks. It could be anything from collecting their toys – and keeping them safe – to making sure the family dog gets his lunch on the big day.

Either way get creative with it. Any distraction will make the day go by quicker and help your little one feel more involved. Plus, it’s one less thing for you to worry about. Everyone wins.

Get their room set up first

In the days before children, the first priority when moving into your new home was probably making your own bed (who wants to change sheets at midnight after all of that?). But when you’re travelling with kids it’s different.

Getting their room comfortable, familiar and safe can go a long way to making a new house feel like home. All you really need to do is unpack their favourite toys, make the bed and anything else that reminds them of their old room.

It’ll help them settle into a routine and make sure they don’t miss out on sleep too.

Then, once they’re set up and happy, you can get on with the rest. You won’t even need to worry about keep them occupied, or if they’re hiding in a box somewhere looking to surprise a unexpected mover (it happens).

Make the move into an adventure

This is probably our favourite part of getting the move right with children.

They already have wonderful imaginations, so turning the big move into an adventure of a lifetime can make all the difference. Let them explore every nook and cranny of the home, from the hidden cupboards to your own bedroom.

Need inspiration? Think Indiana Jones meets Kirstie Allsopp.

Bringing some excitement into the move will help them get used to their new surroundings and make the day actually enjoyable.

And if you have the dress-up outfits already, even better.

Make the most of being a London mover

Yes, the traffic is difficult and parking can be a nightmare, but you’re moving to, or within, one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting cities. This means you’re surrounded by great places to visit, eat and relax – so once you’ve got your unpacking in order and have done the boring admin stuff, you really should treat yourself and the kids.

If the kids have been particularly helpful (or just well behaved) during the move, you could use the day out as a reward. Here’s three free activities recommended by the Kiwi Movers team.

London Sky Garden – Great views, central location and fully accessible for wheelchair users. Oh, and it’s free. Book a free visit.

Golders Hill Park and FREE Zoo – Located in Hampstead Heath, this pretty park is one of London’s best kept secret attractions. It’s got a free zoo (with ring tailed lemurs), table tennis, normal tennis courts, a butterfly house and is conveniently close to Golders Green station. Find out more

.God’s Own Junkyard – One for older kids and young teens, this Walthamstow salvage yard plays host to neon artist Chris Bracey’s personal collection of work, from signs to movie props. It’s a neon wonderland. A great day out for any aspiring artists in the family. Pop into the Rolling Scone cafe for refreshments when you’re done. Learn more.

Image credit – Wiki Commons

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Kiwi Movers gets Which? Trusted Trader status

We are extremely pleased to announce that Kiwi Movers is now officially endorsed by Which? Trusted Traders.

After several months of contacting our customers, collecting feedback, and getting a feel for what we do, Which? now recommends our team as one of the top London movers in the business.

It’s great news for Kiwi Movers – but it’s even better for our customers, who now know we’ve been fully assessed and checked out by the best in the industry.

Getting endorsement

Being endorsed by Which? Trusted Traders isn’t always a quick and easy process. It can take months – and not all movers make the cut.

The first step was doing a credit check on Kiwi Movers to make sure our business was in tip-top shape (and not likely to drop off the map anytime soon). Next, Which? Trusted Traders got feedback from our customers and made sure our work met their strict standards. They examined our business procedures – to make sure everything was in working order – and even interviewed members of our team one-to-one.


Kiwi Movers gets endorsed byWhich? Trusted Trader London Movers












After all that was done and dusted, we signed up to their Code of Conduct scheme. This was probably the most important step in the assessment process. It is an agreement between our team and Which? to ensure we always follow the best business practices for consumers. It’s like a promise between us and anyone we work with again in the future. And it means we’ll always strive to deliver the best possible service – one that’s worthy of accreditation from Which? Trusted Traders.

Going forward

Listen, we’re obviously proud to be a Which? Trusted Trader. But what makes us really chuffed is knowing that our customers, now and in the past, have grown to expect these high standards from our team. It means we’ve been doing what we set out to do – and we have a new opportunity to keep the momentum going into the future.

There’s still a lot of hard work ahead (and stuff to move). But we’re confident this endorsement will be good news to our customers, safe in the knowledge we’ve been fully checked and assessed by independent experts.

Plus, we’d be kidding if we said it didn’t feel good too.


Image courtesy of

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Changes to CHAPS Bank Transfer Could Cost Movers £28 Million

Changes to how banks process large payments could lead to moving delays and costs of up to £28 million a year, warns a London removals and logistics firm.

The cut off time for payments made using the Clearing House Automated Payment System, better known as CHAPS, is being moved back an hour and forty minutes, to 17:45. This means that money transfers made as part of house purchases could be made any time up to 18:00 in the afternoon, potentially delaying the handover of the keys by almost two hours.

With professional removals costing in the region of £55 per hour, that’s around £110 more per move. Multiply that by the amount of house sales in a year (255,000 according to the Land Registry), that’s a whopping £28 million per year.

The knock-on effect of this is that movers will be waiting until later in the day to collect their keys, resulting in increased removals costs, especially if they’re hiring their removals team by the hour.

Currently, most removals firms work on the basis that transactions that haven’t cleared by the 16:00 it will be delayed to the following day. This means movers are unable to get their keys on the intended move date. With the extended operating hours of CHAPS, removals firms could be kept on standby for a further two hours, resulting in extra costs for customers. Transfers that remain incomplete by 18:00 could result in extra waiting time and an extra day’s removal costs, plus storage.

Firms often have to store goods over night to avoid having staff working later than is safe. Unexpected late working for removals professionals has obvious fatigue implications and we know any reasonable house mover wouldn’t want exhausted crews handling their stuff.

Extended working hours for crews also have industry-wide reputational implications. It makes things very difficult when staff have to work late with another big job on the next day. This puts additional pressures on the industry, making it harder to retain or attract new team members when they are immediately faced with potentially long and unpredictable working days.

Regan McMillan, director of Kiwi Movers explained how the changes could impact his customers:

“Moving is stressful enough and when a move involves a transfer of funds, things can be extra tense. Customers can’t get the keys to the property until the money transfer is complete, so if there’s a delay at the bank end, it has a knock-on effect with removals, storage and deliveries.

“The one upside of the current system is that we usually know by whether a transfer will go through on a given day, giving us enough time to get things into storage if necessary. With the time being pushed back, removals firms could be waiting on keys for a further two hours still to be told they’ll need to come back tomorrow. It could get quite chaotic and expensive for a lot of movers.

“We’ll be looking to offer a discounted hourly rate for customers who experience big delays due to the extended CHAPS rules.”


Two in five house buyers get into debt due to unexpected costs 

  • 65% of house buyers exceeded their moving budget by more than £100 due to unforeseen moving costs
  • One in ten had to find £500 or more to meet extra costs
  • Bank charges account for most common unplanned expenditure
  • 2 in 5 forgot to budget to buy furniture
  • Changes to bank processes could increase moving costs by further £100 (£28 million in total*)
  • Almost two in five (17%) borrowed to meet unexpected moving costs
  • The majority of people who’ve bought a property in the past five years faced unexpected costs that meant they exceeded their original moving budget, according to new Kiwi Movers research.

The most common source of unexpected expenditure were bank charges for money transfers. 65% reported not budgeting for these.

Transfer fees are typically between £40-£60 and cover the bank’s charges for moving the balance to the conveyancer’s account.

Insurance add-ons were another common expense that movers didn’t expect. More than half (51%) said they paid for indemnity insurance and went over budget as a result.

17% said they had to borrow, either on a credit card, overdraft, loan or from friends or family to meet unexpected house move costs.

Top budget-busters for house movers (expenses that weren’t originally budgeted for)


Bank charges 70%
Indemnity insurance 51%
Land Registry fee (disbursement) 38%
Moving materials (boxes, packing material) 22%
Furniture 19%
Stamp duty 6%


Time saving tips for movers

We can’t control the banks, but these tips might help you save a few minutes (and a few quid too).


  • Get a survey done beforehand. We offer these for free and so do many other removal firms. If there are parking issues, space issues due to property modifications made after you moved in, then it’s smart (and cheaper) to plan for these in advance.
  • Do your big clear out before you move. Why waste time and money lugging stuff that you actually don’t need?
  • Consider planning your move for the day after completion. Not always convenient and potentially more expensive due to time needed away from work, but it can help reduce the stress of dealing with the unknown.
  • Label your boxes by room. An old tip but it really does save time and energy when people are loading out your stuff.
  • Keep pets and kids away if possible. Moving can be stressful for pets and with kids on the scene too you can find you spend a lot of your time keeping them safe and entertained. If possible, enlist the help of a friend, relative or neighbour to watch them while you move.
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3 in 4 have relationship woes after moving house, here’s how to avoid them

We know moving can be stressful, but we like to make sure our customers enjoy a hassle free move regardless. But what happens when the removal trucks have all gone and you’re left with boxes and the task of finding a home for all your stuff?

New research by us says that almost three quarters of Britons say they experienced relationship problems after moving home with a significant other. The figure increased to almost nine out of 10 for those moving in together for the first time, with more than one in 10  of those saying the house move contributed to their relationship breaking down permanently.

Just 2% of those moving together for the first time experienced no relationship issues – even temporary ones – at all, while that figure jumped to almost one in three for couples already cohabiting.

Disagreements over the pre-move clear out and what to throw away were the biggest source of conflict among couples moving home together, ahead of financial issues and general move-related stress. Adjusting to one another’s habits was the biggest cause of friction for couples moving in for the first time.

11% of people moving in with a significant other for the first time say the move contributed to the end of their relationship. 6% of already co-habiting couples say a house move contributed to the end of their relationship. 17.5% in total say they experienced “serious” relationship issues of some kind after moving house together.

However stressful house moves are though, it seems practice makes perfect. The research revealed that the more moves a couple did together, the less likely they were to experience relationship problems.

Fewer than half of couples who’d moved together more than twice already said they experienced relationship problems on subsequent moves and of those, just 10% were described as serious.

Top causes of conflict for couples moving in for the first time

  • Adjusting to new habits
  • Lack of personal space
  • Financial disagreements
  • Sharing chores
  • Move-related stress
  • Disagreement over what to keep and what to throw away

Top causes of conflict for already cohabiting couples

  • Disagreement over what to keep and what to throw away
  • Financial disagreements
  • Move-related stress
  • Sharing of chores
  • Lack of personal space
  • Adjusting to new habits

Less common sources of friction came up too:

One female respondent said she resented splitting the food bill because her boyfriend was an avid gym goer who ate everything in sight.

Another reported that having to share a bathroom with her boyfriend caused problems, having been used to sharing with girls before.

One male respondent reported that his expectations of how the relationship would progress were too high, reporting that he was disappointed that nothing much had changed at all.

Another said he found his significant other’s commitment to tidiness difficult, especially when he couldn’t find belongings that had been “tidied away.”

Relationship coach and author Annie Kaszina offered this advice for couples planning on taking the plunge together.

“Agree on your game-plan ahead of time. Work out together how you can make this work; together.  Have a strategy for handling the issues that are likely to crop up, as well as an agreed method for resolving conflict (hint: pistols at dawn, sulks, and screaming matches are not the best methods of conflict resolution).

“Have a clear, shared policy on bills and money management, standards of cleanliness and hygiene, mutual support, and chore management.

“Be realistic. Don’t expect your partner to be a domestic god or goddess, especially if they showed no signs of that in their own place.

“Have a designated, shared bank account for shared expenses.”

Image credit – Wiki Commons

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Kiwi Movers honoured for innovative tenants’ rights campaign

We were recently acknowledged by the Wandsworth businesses community in recognition of our campaign work throughout 2015.

It was a fantastic privilege to take home the Highly Commended award for Marketing and Social Media at the Wandsworth Business Awards, run in association with the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce.

Throughout 2015, we’ve been conducting research and campaigning to learn about and raise awareness of issues faced by private tenants in London and throughout the UK. 


One of the cornerstones of our campaign was to highlight the financial hardship faced by renters forced to chase unscrupulous landlords for the return of their deposit.

Their research was cited by a spokesman for the campaigning and lobbying group Generation Rent in an editorial for the influential political website

By campaigning on issues that affects thousands of UK residents every year, our research earned national and international media coverage , including The Independent, Huffington Post and

Kiwi Movers director Regan Mcmilan said: “It’s great to be recognised by our local business community for the awareness raising work we’ve done this year. Every day we help people move house so we get a first hand understanding of the various stresses they face.

“We do our best to make every move stress free, but we were alarmed by just how many of our private tenant customers had problems getting their deposit back after leaving their home in a pristine position. That’s something we wanted to help with, so we decided to try and raise awareness of this issue using digital content and social media.

“We’ve earned coverage nationally and internationally, which has been great, but we primarily serve local people and businesses, so it’s fitting to end the year with award that’s about local businesses. “    


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British movers are getting more generous


We’ve recently conducted some new research. After noticing a growing trend among home movers for leaving gifts for the next people to move into their property, we decided to run a poll to see how many people actually do it.


Britons spent on average £22 on gifts for the people moving into their home in 2015. 7 in 10 said they had left a gift for the people moving into their new home.


The study of just over 1,000 people who moved house during 2015 found that wine was by far the most popular choice, with over half (55%) of those leaving gifts opting for a nice bottle of something for the new inhabitants to enjoy. Other popular gift choices include;


  • Chocolates
  • Flowers
  • Ready meals for the first night
  • A collection of essentials for the first night, including toilet paper, tea bags, milk and other basics.
  • Houseplants


A similar number to those who’d left a gift said they’d been the beneficiary of the same generosity, with 68% saying the previous occupiers of a home they’d moved into had left a gift for them.


Almost 1 in 5 (19%) say they’d now expect to receive a gift next time they move house.


Nice things you did for fellow movers in 2015


  • Buy a gift – 72%
  • Leave a card – 66%
  • Prepare useful information such as bus timetables and takeaway menus – 60%
  • Leave behind useful items such as paint, spare wallpaper or tools – 51%
  • Hire a cleaner before moving out – 48%


Most generous movers

People moving into property in the Surrey are the most likely to discover a gift from a previous occupier, while those living in the West Midlands are least likely to get a nice surprise.

Movers in London spend the most on gifts, at an average of £26 per household. Movers in the North East spend the least at £18.


From cash to sex tapes – the weirdest things people left behind when moving house in 2015

As well leaving traditional housewarming presents, Britain’s movers have also been leaving some more ‘exotic’ offerings.

Ellis King of London reported that the previous occupants of her flat had hidden a copy of the Paris Hilton sextape ‘A night in Paris’ in a makeshift wall in the kitchen, which she found while replacing the tiles.


Pauline Johnston and her partner found £300 stuffed behind the bathroom radiator when cleaning their new house in Manchester.

“The place was in need of a good clean when we moved in so I set aside an entire weekend. When a roll of £5 notes dropped out from behind the radiator, it was a very unexpected surprise.”


Other unusual ‘gifts’ left by house-movers included;


  • A corn on the cob-shaped sex toy found by a property developer in Nottingham
  • An antique dentist chair left behind by a London-based author
  • A letter from a child asking the new owners to take care of her first home.
  • A pair of glasses left in the freezer discovered by the new owners of a house in Glasgow.
  • A detailed history of the property stretching back to the 1800s found by an Internet entrepreneur when she moved into her Kent cottage.
  • An almost brand new washing machine left in the garage of a house in Berkshire, despite it not being mentioned in the contract.

Regan McMillan, Director of Kiwi Movers, believes the trend for leaving gifts is growing.

“It’s something we’ve seen a lot more recently while helping people move. Wine, flowers and cards are quite commonplace now, whereas they weren’t so common maybe five years ago.
It’s impressive to see how generous and thoughtful people can be during what is possibly one of the most stressful events in their lives.”

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What London Looks Like to Estate Agents – The Evolving Homogeneous Sprawl of London’s Boroughs

Kiwi Movers are proud to be a London company. Many of us moved here from other parts of the world. We love being here and we love helping Londoners move their stuff.

We recently did some research to see how others view London. We got stuck into Google’s data to see how London was viewed by estate agents. We wanted to know how an estate agents and online letting agents describes a neighbourhood, or a street, or an entire borough. There’s an infographic below, but here are some interesting findings too.

  • The most common adjective used to describe neighbourhoods in London (as opposed to those used to describe properties, like “spacious” which we filtered out) was “lovely.” It used over 280,000 times on one of the biggest estate agent websites.
  • The word “affordable” appears fewer than 700 times on the same site.
  • The word “coffee” is used more than twice as frequently as the word “family/families.”
  • “Up and coming” is still a favourite for describing less than “sought after” areas. West Ham, East Ham, Plaistow and Upton Park are among the most commonly described as up-and-coming.
  • The word “burger” is used in the descriptions for Wapping, Golders Green, Haggerston, London Fields and Gospel Oak.
  • The word “cocktail” is used in the descriptions of Shoreditch, Hoxton, Holborn, Clerkenwell and Brick Lane.
  • The word “coffee” is used in the descriptions for Tooting. Wandsworth, Islington, Shacklewell, Hackney and Clapton.


Kiwi movers - London according to estate agents.

London according to estate agents.

Comparison of terms

kiwi bar chart


Terms by inner London borough

london according to estate agents map



Islington Vintage
Child friendly
Media types
Camden Vibrant
Ex local authority
Ex local authority
Hackney Diverse
Jerk chicken
Street food
Kensington Royal
Lewisham Coolest
Lambeth Markets
Craft beers
Shabby chic
Southwark Cheap and cheerful
Tower Hamlets Bargain
Greasy spoon
Fried chicken
Great value
Wandsworth Gastropub
Good schools
Westminster Charming
Street food
Greenwich Bustling
Hammersmith & Fulham Pretty
Craft ales
Gluten free
Yoga bunnies
Wine bar
Gastro pub
Great wines
Acoustic music
Young professionals
Haringey Regeneration
Reasonable prices
Cheap fruit and veg
Gluten free


We used Google data to analyse the range of words on each web page. This research was conducted between the 15th and 27th October 2015 using,,,, and We used a process which automatically discounted words used to describe property, such as ‘spacious’ or ‘modern.’

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