As some of you may know I was in London, recently. London – where else. Could be my personal slogan.Twit-followers may even have picked up some stories about my adventures there. Adventures they were, really, as this time the road to London was almost as rocky as the road to Dublin. Even when me and Babs finally made it to London the issues kept on piling up! But without wanting to sound arrogant, I can honestly say: We rocked! All obstacles tackled!
Here’s a little story on one of the Major Obstacles. The Accommodation.
We all sometimes hear those stories of how tourists end up without no accommodation. The accommodation turned out to be double booked. The accommodation exploded the other day. Or, worst case scenario, the accommodation was eaten by giant ants.
Whenever you hear these stories, you think: “Won’t happen to me. I always research everything. I’m a star at planning and organising. Nope, not happening to me.” Admit it; that is what you think! Well, it’s what I think anyway.
Me and Babs booked a twin room in Bethnal Green, through Airbnb. All sorted. I know the area very well as I lived there for a while, only 1 minute away from the house in which we had booked the twin room. So all very handy and no searching for the best public transport options as they are still in my system.
But as the whole start of our holiday went a tiny bit pear shaped, so did the accommodation. The landlady lost the key. How sad… Don’t mention “spare key” – apparently some people who rent out houses don’t ‘do’ sets of spare keys. How much more sad…
There we were – exhausted, no beds, no place to stay.
We were about to give up, but held on to the one rule of nature: when there is despair and bad luck, there will always be relief and angels on your side at some point. That point was when it turned out that Amhurst Hotel still had a room left for us. Within our budget-budget.
Situated in Stamford Hill Amhurst Hotel is an eco-friendly hotel that offers an array of rooms – double rooms, twin and triple rooms. You can choose from en-suite, self-contained or basic room (the last have shared bath rooms and kitchen). Though some of the rooms are still basic, a number of rooms have recently been renovated and refurbished and look brand new. We had a twin room with shared sanitary facilities and for some reason we never had to wait in line before using the bathrooms – and the sanitary was always clean. Amhurst Hotel has two kitchens for the guests who went for the “shared” option – basic equipped so don’t expect to be cooking 5 courses, but it is perfect to cook your breakfast and heat up a quick dinner. If you opt for a self-contained room, you get your own mini kitchen. Which I can imagine is ideal if you’re on a business trip or staying in London longer than the average holiday-trip.
All rooms come with a kettle, tea, wifi, towels and sink and all this for very reasonable prices. The laid back and helpful staff are always ready whenever you have questions. Add to that the fact that from Stamford Hill you can simply get anywhere in London. What more do you want?
With bus stops at stone throw distance and Manor House (Piccadilly line) and Finsbury Park (Piccadilly and Victoria line) respectively a 2 and 5 minutes bus ride away you easily get to other nearby areas and Central London. Remember that the Victoria line stops at Highbury & Islington where you can jump on the Overground. Bus 253 and 254 bring you to Clapton in 10 minutes and many other buses will tour you through the neighbourhoods Stoke Newington, Haggerston, Hoxton and Shoreditch. So, even staying local will leave you with enough to discover.
Overall, Amhurst Hotel is the place to go if you’re looking for budget but good and (eco-)friendly accommodation. Staying there will make your trip to London just perfect!
Of course, if you start your holiday with a lot of bad luck you also have to end it that way. The train that was supposed to take us home got eaten by a giant snow monster. We added two extra days and nights to our stay in London and stayed at Amhurst Hotel. Where else.