Under The Doormat Blog


The key to your local stay


The sky’s the limit: London’s stunning views

Some think London’s ever-growing collection of skyscrapers are pillars of modernity: the capital’s embrace of the 21st century and its eagerness to compete in the league of global cities. Others think they are overzealous developments, simple symbols of excess obscuring the soul of the city. What cannot be disputed, however, is the extensive change they’re providing to the landscape, and the magnificent views on offer. Here’s a pick of our favourites.

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Meet Erskine Berry

It’s hard to put a label on Erskine, our new London Director. He is a self-starter. A manager. A marketer. An events specialist. To say that he has had a wide-ranging and extensive career in the tourism and events industries wouldn’t do him justice.

 

Our new London director

Let’s begin with the self-starter. He has founded two firms, the first of which provided specialist services to the UK’s premier broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV. After selling the firm he pursued a further period in education, before he joined Altitude London, managing events for corporate clients including Barclays and Deloitte.

Now the manager, and marketer. He was a director
of Capital Attraction Partners, the second firm he founded that specialised in producing cultural events for the capital and helped to deepen his knowledge of London.

So why has he now decided to join UnderTheDoormat?

“After two years it’s a proven model: I’m delighted to be joining UnderTheDoormat at what is such an exciting moment for the company, to see it take off. There is a friendly, open brand which is really filling a gap in the market, and I can see that coming from the drive of the team.”

Erskine is a member of a six-a-side football team and loves to go travelling. “It’s a means of getting away from the daily life, you know – managing deadlines etc. My favourite place is Cuba: to see an incredible mix of music, being on an island where you can be right by the sea, as well as a place dripping with history.”

We’re excited that he has now joined UnderTheDoormat as its London Director, overseeing our expansion across the capital. He will play a key role in managing the operations of the team, as well as the overall strategy for the city.

Erskine edit 2

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Picture perfect: this summer’s best art exhibitions

This summer is just the icing on the cake of an exhibition programme bursting to the seams with originality, variety and majesty. A review of Mr Men characters lines up alongside a retrospective of Georgia O’Keeffe, while Whitechapel graffiti provides a close match for the Royal Academy.

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Our exciting growth: some of our latest arrivals

Over the past few weeks we’ve had a number of new homes become available across London.

With over 50 sites now covering the city from Notting Hill to Knightsbridge and from Maida Vale to Marylebone, we have the perfect home for every local stay. Take a look at some of our most recent homes below.

We have also been expanding into a number of new areas in London, as seen with the recent launch of our area guide for Primrose Hill  This is an exciting period of growth at UnderTheDoormat, and we are delighted to work with so many homeowners across the city.

If you are interested in letting out your home please visit the page here.

New homes collage 2

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Market Pull, Technology Push or…?

There are two strategies that companies adopt to innovate in order to reach potential customers: traditional companies can implement either a market-pull or technology-push strategy. The main question is now: “what strategy do companies operating in the sharing economy implement?”

 

The sharing economy

To begin we can provide a short description of both strategies mentioned above. The market-pull strategy is quite simple since companies who intend to use it usually gather information from the market concerning what people want. It is thus only a matter of understanding what potential customers actually need, but which is not on the market yet. After this first process, companies try to develop a product or service which is the closest to the outcome of the customer-needs analysis.

A little more complicated to implement is the technology-push strategy, also called “innovation push.” This strategy aims to develop either a new product or service. The challenge here is to “teach” customers about new and innovative offers. The starting point is technological development, and from that the firms’ managers must be able to create demand in customers for what has been invented.

Instead sharing economy firms are neither market-pull nor tech-push companies. The fact here is that these companies do not create something new but thanks to the ability of their founders, team members, managers and so on, they provide something that goes to satisfy a pre-existent need but in a more attractive way. The real innovation in the sharing economy is the business model that companies implement. Their ability is to understand that not only customers have needs but also normal people, so-called peers: that is, making money. In times of difficulty, after the global crisis occurred in 2007, an alternative way to make money is definitely well received by those with assets to exploit. At the end of the day, sharing economy firms make their money by keeping part of the value created when two groups interact who would never have otherwise met.

To answer the original question: “what strategy do companies operating in the sharing economy implement?”  we can now assert that they aim to have an innovative business model, which puts together different pieces of something already existing but in a different way rather than developing a web of products. Thanks to this substantial difference with other firms, they are creating wealth in the economic system by enabling the movement of money where otherwise there would have been nothing.

tech push

 

 

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London’s best pop-up food markets

London’s street-food markets (pop-ups, ephemeral restaurants: they take many names) are in full swing for the summer, with regular appearances every weekend across the city. Traditionally the haunt of small, independent chefs and outlets, increasingly they are incorporating larger, more established restaurants; however, this has failed to detract from the sizzling array of cuisines on offer.

 

North

Camden Market Street Food

Camden Market

Round the corner from Camden Lock you can find this culinary diamond; it feels as if the market is hiding away from the street, but the smells that greet you reward a hungry search for some great food. There is a rapid turnover of stalls meaning from one week to the next you will always find a new treat, although beware of the crowds at weekends.

When: Every day, 10:00-late

Nearest tubes: Camden Town, Chalk Farm, Camden Road

 

East

A photo posted by Pump (@pumpshoreditch) on


Urban Food Fest (Shoreditch)

Home to 15 food trucks with stalls changing every week, what sets Urban Food Fest apart are the incredibly well-stocked bars: featuring cocktails, wines, beers and exotic soft drinks. On a hot day it may be a bit stuffy inside, a crisp drink on ice will be worth it.

When: Saturdays, noon-midnight

Nearest tubes: Shoreditch High Street, Old Street.

Pump Shoreditch

Pump lies just next door to Urban Food Fest in what is London’s golden mile of street food. It offers a similar diversity, but, given the more permanent and established nature of its vendors, the food is a bit tidier. While drinks are on offer, for refreshment it’s best to stick with its neighbour.

When: Every day, 11:00-late

Nearest tubes: Shoreditch High Street, Old Street

 

South

Pop Brixton, Brixton, SW9

Pop Brixton

Pop Brixton represents manufactured spontaneity at its best, with a series of wooden boards and shipping containers lying just off Brixton Road. There is still a fun atmosphere, though what it does best is the food: Vietnamese fried chicken, sensibly-portioned pizzas and sumptuous ice cream are just the surface of this culinary masterpiece. The heaving crowds (yet still-short waiting times) are testament to this.

When: Every day, 9:00-23:00 (until midnight Thurs-Sat).

Nearest tube: Brixton

Street Feast Model Market (Lewisham)

Street Feast represent the pinnacle of the pop-up scene, with four venues across South and East London run in a slick operation. The venues are something to behold, with a large number of stalls from which to eat and drink, although the food on offer is perhaps lacking in breadth with an overt focus on meat, burgers and heavier foods. You also have to pay £3 entry (after 19:00).

When: Friday 17:00-late; Saturday noon-late.

Nearest tube: Lewisham 

Boxpark (Croydon – Opening soon)

Croydon is to receive its largest pop-up venue in the form of Boxpark – though we will have to wait until September. This is a transplant from the company’s first location in Shoreditch, with an identical concept of small retail spaces designed for a wide variety of independent shops, food and drink outlets. There will be a particular focus on local firms, such as Croydon-based The Cronx brewery.

When: From September 2016

Nearest station: East Croydon (by tram or national rail, 15 mins from Clapham Junction)

 

West

Macaroons

Lyric Square (Hammersmith)

A hub for West London’s office workers, this weekday lunchtime-market has grown from a small collection of farm shops selling homemade ware to an international bizarre of snacks, bakers and high-quality lunches. The stalls don’t change often, meaning that the highlights (particularly the sushi and Thai) are always present.

When: Thursdays and Fridays, 8:00-17:00 (though food ends about 15:00).

Nearest tube: Hammersmith

Fine Foods Market (Acton)

Fine Foods Acton is more of a farmers’ market than a hip street-food set-up, but that does not take away from the care and attention paid to the cuisine. The market mixes locally-sourced and (often organic) produce with food stalls to create an inviting Saturday-afternoon atmosphere.

When: Every Saturday, 10:00-15:00

Nearest tube: Acton Central

 

Pergola on the Roof (Shepherd’s Bush)

This is a food court – but with a slight twist. Pergola is providing a Mediterranean atmosphere under a canopy of flowers on the roof of the BBC’s old television centre, with four restaurants and two bars set to raise the roof in White City. If you sign up to their newsletter you will also receive a free drink.

When: Wed-Fri (18:00-23:00); Sat (12:00-23:00); Sunday (12:00-21:30) until 29th August.

Nearest tube: Wood Lane

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Seven best alternative places to work

As a start-up we know that sometimes it’s necessary to work wherever possible (and believe us, we’ve had to work everywhere). But sometimes you’re about in London, or just fancy getting away from the office. Here we consider some of the best alternative places to work in London.

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