I had no say in where I would be staying during my few days in London. It was all pre-arranged by the teachers and travel agents who were planning our school trip. However, I was quite pleased with Hughes Parry Hall as it was safe, clean, fun, and was located in a very central location for exploring London. Euston and Kings Cross tube stations were only a short distance away.
Hughes Parry Hall is an undergraduate dorm for the students at the University of London. However, it's obviously not restricted to University of London students alone, for we Canadian high school students evidently were able to stay there. While some of my friends shared a dorm, I got my own private dorm! It was wonderful, though a tad lonely the first night alone, but afterwards I loved it! I had my own bed with bedding, clean towels, a closet, a bedside table, and a wonderful view of the city outside my window.
Unique Quality: Because this is a university dorm, there is a cafeteria in the basement that serves breakfast promptly at 8am during weekdays. All the eggs (scrambled or boiled), bacon, sausages, baked beans, spaghetti-O's, tea, and toast that you could want and more was here and it was a fantastic start to the day. Breakfasts in the UK are a godsend for tired hungry students!
However, a Safeway was located a short walk down the road, as were many cafes and take-away restaurants, so if you plan to stay in London for an extended period, there's plenty of grocery shopping and cheap dining opportunities nearby. I have fond memories strolling down the road to the Safeway with some friends so we could buy orange juice in the morning. I think it was during that stroll that reality hit me: here I was leisurely enjoying London with my friends while my fellow students were stuck at home in Canada in school!
To continue on the unique qualities, every floor of this dorm had its own public kitchen facilities. I don't remember the details, but it was shared by everyone on the room and looked like there was a fridge, stove, cupboards, dishes, and sink facilities. I strangely remember this giant iron pot in which students were making instant macaroni & cheese!
There are public bathroom facilities on each floor - about 6 showers and toilets, each in their private stalls. The showers were quite nice because the stall was divided into a change room and the actual shower, so you had a lot of privacy to get changed.
The downstairs main lobby has a games room with a pool table, so it makes for a great social room and a sure bet of meeting fellow students who are also staying in Huges Parry Hall.
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