Moving to a new city can be an extremely daunting yet super exciting experience and part of your life. You’ve left behind all of your home comforts and quite often, your close friends and family that you’d often rely upon for attention and weekend plans. It’s a fresh start and a chance to learn new things, explore new areas and make new friends. I’ve been in this situation just 2 times, the first being when I went to University in Southampton where I didn’t know a soul and the other was when I first moved to London just under 2 years ago. One thing that really helped me out in these times were the people I lived with, they really made all the difference and made my life in a new city and so I’ve teamed up with Ideal Flatmate to show you guys my tips for bonding with your new housemates to make your time in a new city all the more exciting.
I love living with people, I don’t think I could ever live alone. I require constant attention and fun and so cohabiting with like-minded people is super important to me. However there are things you need to realise about having housemates and all living in harmony. You’ll need to respect that everyone needs their own space. Someone may have had a down day and not feel like socialising all of the time and so you’ll need to be able to be happy in your own company, much like when living at home with your parents. As well as this you’ll have to pull your weight around the house or flat, it wouldn’t be fair to leave all of the cleaning and tidying to one person, so be conscious to do your bit and keep issues to the minimum.
I’ve been pretty lucky over the years with who my house/flatmates are. At university it was just the luck of the draw, we were in random flats of 8 and we just lucked out in that we were all very social and easy going which lead to 7 us living together for the entire 3 years. I think we’d all agree that having a good social circle at uni enabled us all to create some of the best memories of our entire lives and it’s so weird to think how different it would have been had we lived with different people that we may not have got on with. Since moving to London i’ve lived with a handful of people but have only really had one housemate disaster, it just shows that if you have the chance you should try and get to know someone well before you sign a contract to live with them as they can make your life a lot more difficult if they turn out to be a not very nice person. I’ve also learnt that you should try not to sweat the small stuff. If someone does something to annoy you slightly, sometimes the best option is just to say nothing and move on with your life. If it isn’t going to matter in a week’s time then just bite your tongue.
Recently, I’ve moved to a new house with 2 of my previous university pals, it’s always stressful looking for a new place to live as everyone wants different things and it has to be a location that works for everyone – we had a few setbacks but in a way we’re glad these happened as now we’re very happy in the new house that we’re renting. It’s great as we all know each other inside out and so the house works well as a whole, we know when someone wants to be left alone and we all live very separate lives but also love doing things together. I feel that it’s so important to have your own circle of friends but to also do things as a house so that you can continue to bond. And so, in our first month of living in the Clapham/Battersea area we’ve been trying out new places and exploring our local area. Here are a few of the places we’ve discovered in our short time here and a few ideas of things you can do with your housemates:
Brunching is one of our favourite things to do in the whole world. I love finding new brunch places and the variety of different dishes and drinks that you can enjoy in the morning if you’re either preparing for a boozy day, recovering from a hangover or just having a well-needed catch up with friends.
The Breakfast Club which is just off the very popular Northcote Road near Clapham Junction. Breakfast Club is a chain of restaurants which serve breakfast food ALL DAY LONG! so even if you’re not in the Clapham area there may be one near you (there’s also one in Brighton too). I opted for the HUEVOS AL BENNY – Poached eggs, peppers, avocado, chillies & hollandaise on an English muffn with a choice of fried chicken or chorizo. Whilst my housemate went for the AVOCADO, EGG & CHEESE BREAKFAST SANDWICH with onions, sun-blushed tomato & sriracha mayo. Both of these were amazing but there’s just so much on the menu that I want to try that we’re going to have to return very soon.
Balans Soho Society is always very high up on my list for brunch spots. We had one of these near my last flat in Westfield and i’ve been hooked on their HIGH SOCIETY BRUNCH – (poached eggs, lobster, avocado, bacon, English muffin, hollandaise) ever since i first tried it, but this time i switched things up and went for one of the most glorious tasting pancakes I’ve ever had. This one’s a definite recommendation from me, it’s also near Clapham Common station and so is a very handy location.
The third brunch spot we found and were very impressed with was Ben’s Canteen, which is about a 10 minute walk from Clapham Junction where I had the FRIED CHICKEN BENEDICT (Fried chicken, poached eggs and BC Hollandaise) which was so tasty. However, all of the dishes looked amazing and I had so much food envy even though I was more than happy with my choice. Ben’s Canteen had a really chilled atmosphere and was filled to the brim with families, it was just such a lovely place to brunch.
PUBS & BARS
There’s not much better in life on a warm day than sitting in a nice pub garden with your perfect tipple of choice and having a little chinwag about your day and people watching your evening away. We’ve come across a few lovely little watering holes in our short time here and can already tell that these are going to be a couple of the places that we spend a lot of free time in the evenings and weekends as a group.
The first pub we ventured to was called The Victoria on Queenstown Road/Silverthorne road. This isn’t the most glam of pubs, but each time we’d walked past it, it was practically bursting at the seams. Filled to the brim with people and so we gave it a go.
They have a long list of cocktails which quite often are 2 for £10 which is very handy. I think this offer is available until 11pm on a Friday and so this could be a great place to get the party started.
The menu also has a lot of choice including traditional pub staples and some healthier/interesting options so we’ll definitely back to test this out.
The Sun is located in Clapham Old Town, just a short walk from Clapham Common Station and has a lovely beer garden which has been very tightly packed each evening since the heatwave struck. They have live music every Thursday and Friday night. It’s quite a young crowd and everyone seems to be having a great time which gives it such a lovely atmosphere. Plus it has cute lights and there are always dogs hanging around with their owners and so this is enough to make it anyone’s favourite pub. However, in my humble opinion, the house white wine is not one I’ll be opting for again.
No. 32 The Old Town, it’s beautiful and hosts an amazing rooftop terrace which is decorated with little fairy lights and plants. Perfectly cosy area to have a drink and then continue to have 10 more or so. I’ve actually been here a few years back when they held a Peroni Cocktail Night but I’d forgotten all about this gem. They’re open each day from 9am and so you can go there for whatever you fancy from breakfast and brunch to social snacks and Sunday Roasts, this is a small, modern and sophisticated bar which we love.
We also headed to a pub called The Latchmere in Battersea for some dinner before taking part in their weekly pub quiz. The Latchmere is a part of the Three Cheers Pubs chain and has their weekly quiz on a Monday (there’s also another pub in this chain called The Avalon which is closer to Clapham South and holds it’s quiz on a Monday evening if Battersea is a little bit far out). If you want to head down for the quiz then I’d recommend reserving a table as it got incredibly busy with people battling it out to be the smartest in the room. I’ve always been into doing pub quizzes with my housemates as it’s always close-by and you can have a fun, yet relatively cheap evening out (and if you win then you’re going to be more rich than when you started, it’s all so exciting.) Unfortunately we came stone cold last and didn’t win any prizes but this just means that we’ll have to practice for the next one by watching The Chase for hours on end. Even though we didn’t manage to win at the quiz, we definitely won on the food front. I had the most delicious Prawn Risotto whilst the others went for Fish and Chips and a Burger. What’s more is that The Latchmere are doing 50% off food until the end of August if you sign up and show them the voucher from HERE. You can thank me later!
As well as going out and spending all our money on doing lots of things within the area, we equally enjoy staying in. My last flat had no living room so it’s a huge treat that we can now all sit in front of the TV together and binge on Queer Eye and Love Island… Which finishes today – in celebration we’re holding a Love Island Final Party/Gathering with a few pals and a lot of pizza and wine. It’s a lot cheaper than heading off to a bar or pub to watch it and it also means that we don’t have to find our way home afterwards and that we can just slide straight into bed. LIVING THE DREAM. We’re trying to make the most of the lovely weather and the space that we finally have and so we’ve had a couple of smaller bbq’s in order to work our way up to having a full on house-warming party/my housemates birthday party. We just know we’re going to have to clean up the house on a hangover afterwards which is scary.
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