If there’s one thing that most people are prepared for when they are moving to London, it’s to spend lots of cash. This is chiefly because London is recognized as one of the most expensive cities in the world. Now that you are living there, it’s no doubt something you’ve come across quite frequently. Moreover, even if you’re no cheapskate, it’s always a bit heartbreaking to see another few pounds go fluttering out of your wallet.
Fear not, for even in a city as terrifyingly expensive as this, there are opportunities to save something here and there, or to get something and not have to hand over paper or plastic.
Looking for a good night’s entertainment? Try The Tuesday Night Experiment, every Tuesday at the Comedy Cafe, and the open mic night, every Wednesday, no charge. Guaranteed laughs and an overall fun night out.
Given that you’re right in the cultural melting pot, you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to music, with umpteen places offering a heady mix of styles to enjoy, all for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. Check out Proud Camden, Upstairs at the Ritzy, Dysart Arms and Favela Chic, to name a few. You’ll find everything from London’s up-and-comers in Jazz, traditional music straight out of Rio’s favelas, laid back Blues, indie-influenced Dubstep all the way through to psychedelic rock. And all free.
Festivals you say. Try the Notting Hill Carnival. With colourful floats and a melange of music and other performances on show, the festival runs from Aug 28-29 (a bank holiday weekend. Hurrah!). Add to that the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival with its open-air arts and performances running from Jun 23 – Jul 3. There’s also the Shoreditch festival, the Marylebone Summer Fair and the Thames Festival.
As for eating out, there are a fair selection of restaurants offering specials that will not dent your wallet. Bahn Mi Bay, Bi Bim Bap, Four Seasons, Golden Union Fish Bar, Koya and Pimlico Fresh have some excellent specials, especially in the summer. Beatroot, Comptoir Libanais, Maoz Vegetarian and Mooli’s will give you a top-notch meal that hovers at the £15 mark.
Living here means that you could enjoy an entire day out of your new rental and not worry about phoning your bank manager for permission first!