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Students’ Guide to Le Cordon Bleu London School

The adventure of a lifetime is about to begin. You’ve decided to move to one of the greatest cities in the world and while it might feel daunting, we’re here to help. From visa applications, flat-hunting, transport and the best foodie spots, we’ve created the ultimate guide to moving to London. Read on to learn insider tips, as well as everything you need to know to make it in London.

Visa Requirements

If you plan on moving to London from outside the UK or EU, it’s important to make sure your visa and documentation is in order.

When applying for a visa, students must hold a Confirmation of Enrolment letter or CAS from their chosen centre of education. Le Cordon Bleu will provide this documentation to all international students before their visa application process begins.

Le Cordon Bleu aims to assist all students with their application process. For more information, our dedicated international students webpage has everything you need to know about UK visas and studying in London.


With a population of more than 8 million people, London is a buzzing metropolis, which can seem daunting to new residents originally from smaller cities. It’s not uncommon for students to feel nervous travelling around the city. However, rest assured London is a very safe and welcoming place.

Like most large cities there are some generally safety guidelines all residents should follow. Where possible, don’t walk alone at night, never leave your bag unattended and try to keep you mobile or other expensive electrical items out of sight.

Visitors to the capital should also exercise caution in crowded places, out at night or visiting popular tourist attractions. In the extremely unlikely event you’re the victim of crime, please dial 999 to avail of police assistance.

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No one likes to get sick especially when abroad, but if you do, it’s good to know there’s medical treatment available. The National Health Service (NHS) offers free or reduced fee treatment for anyone from the European Economic Area (EEA), Switzerland or a country with a bilateral healthcare agreement with the UK.

For a list of nationalities qualifying for treatment, please check the Department of Health website.

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Where to Live in London

Generally-speaking London can be divided into North vs South or East vs West. North and West London are considered more desirable by renters, thus making competition fierce and accommodation more expensive. East or South London are currently undergoing waves of gentrification and boast some of London’s best up-and-coming neighbourhoods.

Deciding where to live in London is always a tough decision, but in most cases, budget will be the deciding factor when it comes to living in London. As a rule, the further you live from Zone 1 the cheaper the rent.

Le Cordon Bleu is situated in Zone 1, in the West End of London, making it difficult for students to secure budget accommodation near the school.

Cheaper accommodation can be found in Zone 2, but a studio apartment in Zone 2 will still set renters back around £1,550 per month. Clapham and Brixton are two popular neighbours found south of the river in Zone 2, while Fulham and Hackney are popular north of the river.

Living in Zone 3 offers renters more space but a longer commute. Typically, you can expect to spend one hour travelling from Zone 3 to Zone 1 during rush hour. Popular neighbourhoods in Zone 3 include Tooting, Wimbledon and Golders Green.

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Accommodation Guide

Accommodation Costs

When it comes to costs, remember to factor in bills, TV licence and council tax when calculating your overall accommodation costs. Council tax differs from borough to borough and depends entirely on where you live. To find out how much the council tax is for your perspective prospective accommodation, make sure to check your area’s council charge band.

Before moving in, you’ll be expected to pay one month’s rent as a deposit, plus your first month’s rent and any agency fees. Once paid, your landlord should provide you with a comprehensive tenancy agreement and lease.

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Types of Accommodation

Please note that no money, for either rent or a deposit, should be given before seeing a property and meeting the owner or representative. It is a common scam technique to request money in advance for a property that does not exist.

1. Short Term Accommodation

When you first arrive in London from overseas, it might be worthwhile booking short term accommodation before finding a permanent base. The below options are just a small selection of the hotels and hostels that are available near Le Cordon Bleu London. For further hotel listings and more up-to-date pricing, please visit comparison sites such as:

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2. Shared Accommodation

Most people moving to London will opt to live in shared accommodation. It’s vastly cheaper than living on your own and a great way to meet people and make friends.  

If you want to find a room in a shared flat or house, without the expense of dealing with an estate agent, our students have reported that the below sites are great resources to try.

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4. Student Accommodation

Moving to London as a student means there’s an extra accommodation option available to you – student halls. London offers a wealth of options, when it comes to student residences. While student halls are more expensive, the weekly rent normally includes all bills and utilities, making it easier to budget.
The below websites are great for students searching for their ideal accommodation. My Student Halls is a search engine for student halls and lets you search by price and location. Best Student Halls is an accommodation comparison service, which provides accommodation availability and rates across the UK. International students should check out Zebra Housing, which specialises in finding accommodation for international students.

Londonist DMC
Londonist DMC is a student accommodation agency located in Central London providing both short-term and long-term accommodation, from 2 weeks up to 51 weeks. Currently, they offer accommodation across 12 different London locations including King’s Cross, Spitalfields, Portobello, Highbury, Islington and many more.

They provide a number of different accommodation types, including, stylish 2-bed apartments, en-suite rooms, studios or fully-serviced apartments. Students arriving directly from the airport can avail of the Londonist’s airport transfer service, first day assistance and welcome packs. For more information, please visit Londonist DMC website.

Homes for Students
Homes for Students is one of the UK's leading providers of student accommodation offering a range of student accommodation across London and the UK, with shared and en-suite bathrooms, from cluster apartments to studios, deluxe rooms and student houses. Homes for Students is part of the ANUK national code, which demonstrates their commitment to providing good quality housing for students.

London accommodation is located across the capital, with sites in Chelsea, Camden, and even in Bloomsbury, five minutes from Le Cordon Bleu London. Prices vary depending on the accommodation chosen. For more information, please visit Homes for Students website.

Casita is a trusted UK accommodation placement service and are ready to assist in finding your perfect student home in London. Casita offers an extensive choice of high quality purpose-built student accommodation within easy reach of Le Cordon Bleu London. Representing 110 buildings and offerings over 20,000 student rooms they can meet a range of budgets, duration and facility needs.

Their full booking service is 100% free to our students. For more information and to submit an accommodation request please visit: http://www.casita.com/lecordonbleu

The Other House
The Other House offer flexible stays from 6 months to over a year, provide a flexible alternative to rigid private rental contracts or Assured Shorthold Tenancies, no fixed move-in dates, more flexible payments schedules, no guarantor requirement, streamlining of the rental process, particularly beneficial for international residents with no credit, or students.

The Other House provides fully furnished flats, all-inclusive living, full access to gym, pool, resident’s lounges, all included in the rate. You will also benefit from a weekly professional cleaning service, account manager/liaison, networking opportunities, cultural and social events. Enjoy easy access to Central using the Piccadilly, Circle and District lines– only a 2-minute walk from Gloucester Road, and 15 minutes from Le Cordon Bleu. For more information and to submit an accommodation request please visit:


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5. Recommended Estate Agents

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6. Managed Apartments/Studios


After securing accommodation in London, it’s time to conquer the city’s transport system. With a population of 8.7 million people, it’s imperative that Londoners can travel around with ease.


London Underground

The London Underground, also known as The Tube, is one of the city’s easiest and most comprehensive forms of transport. Since opening in the 19th century, the underground has become the lifeblood of the city, ensuring its citizens travel easily throughout the city.

The London Underground has 11 separate lines and covers 270 stations. As a guideline, from Sunday to Thursday, the tube runs between 05:30 and 00:30. In recent years, a new Night Tube service is in operation on Friday and Saturday nights, with two lines (Victoria and Central) offering a 24-hour service, although previously this was also in operation on three further lines (Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly) and these services may return soon. It is best to check services ahead of time on the Transport for London website.

Go to Transport for London’s website to download a map of The Tube or top up your travel card. On arrival in London, you can set up your Oyster Card for payments on public transport in London. These handy travel cards offer Londoners discounted travel rates and allow you to add bus or tram passes to your card, meaning you can seamlessly hop from Tube to bus when needed. You can also use contactless payments if your bank and/or device (Apple Pay, Google Pay etc.) support this option.

Students can obtain even cheaper rates when they sign up for a Student Oyster Card. Sign up for a student card and get 30% off the price of a standard adult fare.

London Bus

London’s iconic red double-decker buses travel throughout the city and surrounding suburbs. While travelling by bus might take a bit longer, it’s a great way to familiarise yourself with the city and its streets.

London buses are cash-free meaning you have to pay with your travel card or a contactless payment card. A single bus fare costs £1.65 with a contactless payment, however travellers can make a second bus or tram journey for free within one hour of touching in on their original bus journey. There are also weekly, monthly and annual payment options which could work out cheaper depending on your usage.

Santander Cycles

Many Londoners prefer to bypass public transport altogether and instead cycle through the city. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Boris Bikes’, after Boris Johnson, the London Mayor who launched the scheme, Santander Cycles cost as little as £2 to hire.

With hundreds of docking stations found throughout the city, sign up to Santander Cycles to save money and get easy access to bikes across London.

International Airports

With five international airports, London is very well-connected. More than 50 countries are within a three-hour flight time and upwards of 300 international destinations have direct links to London.

In terms of proximity to the city, London’s airports are ranked as follows: London City, Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted.

Getting from London’s airports to the city centre is relatively easy and stress-free.

By far the closest of all the London airports, London City Airport is located in the East End of the city on the Royal Docks. From here, you can take the DLR northbound, before changing trains and connecting with either the District, Circle or Hammersmith lines. Once on the Tube, you can travel easily to your destination.

Heathrow airport is serviced by rail by both the Heathrow Express and the Piccadilly Line. The Heathrow Express is the fastest way for travellers to get the city centre, with the journey lasting 15 minutes, travelling by Tube takes 50 minutes.

Like Heathrow, travellers flying into Gatwick can take the Gatwick Express rail service, which takes 35 minutes and arrives into Victoria station. Unfortunately, no Tube connections are available between Gatwick and London city centre.
Stansted and Luton airports are also connected to the city centre via rail. The Stansted Express departs every 15 minutes and arrives in Liverpool Street Station. In Luton, travellers can avail of a number of direct trains and transport options.

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London Weather

Winter (from December to February): Temperatures are usually around 0-6 degrees. Rain is common during the winter, and although snow is rare, it is advised to wear warm clothing throughout the season.

Spring (from March to May): Weather conditions can be very unpredictable during the spring. Temperatures average around 11-15 degrees. There are occasional spring showers in March and April and it is wise to bring a waterproof coat.

Summer (from June to August): Generally the summers are sunny with occasional rain. Temperatures average 20 degrees but it can sometimes be much warmer.

Autumn (from September to November): This time of year is similar to spring. However summer can extend into September. A cold wind typically arrives around the end of October as the leaves start to fall.

For more information on London weather, please visit the Met Office website.

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Getting to Le Cordon Bleu

After taking in all that information about transport in London, it’s time to answer the most important question. How do I get to school?

First off, it’s good to note or remember the exact address of the school (below) in case you ever get lost.

Address: Le Cordon Bleu London, 15 Bloomsbury Square, London WC1A 2LS

If you’re travelling on the Underground, take the Piccadilly and Central Lines to Holborn – the school’s nearest Tube station. When you reach Holborn station, follow the signs marked ‘Way Out’.

Once you arrive at street level, cross the road and turn left onto High Holborn street. From here the school is only a five-minute walk away.

Continue straight for 2 minutes before turning right onto Southampton Place. Continue straight until you reach Bloomsbury Way. At the top of the street turn left and walk a short distance before turning right onto Bloomsbury Square. Le Cordon Bleu is the second-last building on the left hand-side of the street.

About the Area

Le Cordon Bleu is located in London’s West End, meaning students will never have to go far to find delicious food, famous sites or things to do.

Places to Eat

There are plenty of foodie options for students to try near the school. Whether you fancy French, Italian or British cuisine, there’s something to suit any palate.

Our top restaurant picks include:

  • Franco Manca – Authentic Italian pizzeria
  • Asadal - Authentic Korean restaurant
  • Holborn Whippet – Relaxed pub serving burgers and pizzas
  • Hummus Bros – Levantine restaurant serving hummus, warm pitta and falafel
  • Great Queen Street –  Gastropub serving modern British food
  • Le Cordon Bleu Café – Of course we had to include our very own café, visit Le Cordon Bleu Café and indulge in gourmet sandwiches, salads and sweet treats.

Places to visit
Because the institute is so centrally located, students can easily visit some of London’s top attractions. Russell Square, a grade ll listed square, is a stone’s throw from the school and is a beautiful green space that student’s can enjoy. The square has its own café, which is open from 7am, and regularly hosts cultural and music events.

The British Museum is a treasure trove of artefacts from around the world, including the world-famous Rosetta Stone. You can explore the museum for free daily from 10:00 to 17:30.

Another great museum near the school is the Charles Dickens Museum. One of the most famous literary figures in British history, it was at 48 Doughty Street that Charles Dickens wrote some of his best-loved works. Book lovers can visit the author’s London home from Tuesday to Sunday between the 10:00 and 17:00

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