Somehow it’s no surprise that London’s been around for over 1,000 years. You can feel it. For one thing, the place is full of those blue plaques telling you that this was once the home of Charles Dickens (48 Doughty Street) or Nancy Astor (4 St James’s Square).
The great thing is that London’s not stuck in its past. It’s never going to become a beautifully preserved old fossil, the way some historic cities do. It’s got far too much energy and spirit and sheer cheek for that. You can’t stand back and watch London go by – you’ve got to jump right in. Which is what home exchange – living as a local – is all about.
Today, London has blossomed into the culinary capital of the world. And even if you don’t know one end of an egg from the other, you can learn to cook simple but exceptional dishes at home.
Local passions: Culinary
15 years ago, the idea of London as the world’s culinary capital would have been laughable. Today, it’s almost universally acknowledged. Whatever else the excesses of the 80s brought, they created a knowledge of, and demand for, fine food that has blossomed into a wonderful culinary culture in London. Here you’ll find the finest chefs, the most exquisite menus – and a chance to learn some chef skills yourself.
Even if you find it a struggle not to burn toast, you can learn to cook with the best. That doesn’t mean spending hours over ingredients you’ve never even heard of, either. The chefs carefully select dishes that you’ll be able to prepare and cook easily at home, with your new-found skills.
Geenee isn't just about helping you find a great holiday home. It's about helping you have a great holiday. So we've been out and about finding some excellent local services you might need. Which saves you the bother. Just pick the service you need from the drop-down menu and take it from there. (If you're not a member yet, you won't be able to see all our special service partners. So why not join up now?)
The only problem with a holiday home is that you arrive to an empty fridge. So just do what we do: order a full grocery shop online before you leave, so it arrives a couple of hours after you do. It’s simple, and you can kick your holiday off with a cup of your favourite coffee. (Or a glass of your favourite Scotch, come to that.) Try it out with two of Britain's leading supermarkets: Tesco or Ocado.
If your new holiday home doesn’t have built-in internet access, you don't have to spend the whole holiday offline. You can still check your email through a dial-up connection. It may not be as fast as broadband, but it's better than nothing. There are no set-up costs and you only pay for the phone calls. They're charged at the national rate of 3.95p per minute.
We recommend you register with Virgin at www.virgin.net. Join before you leave home. It's really easy and all you will need is the phone number of the home you wil be staying in.