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Unique ways to experience the city of London

Last Updated on January 27, 2014

Living like a local is a mantra many travellers aim to live by. There is something special about being immersed in new experiences, uncovering hidden gems around town and meeting unique people along the way.

In London, a number of new businesses have sprung up that are changing the way visitors to the city can experience the city, away from the normal tourist haunts.

Clever cooking with Housebites

Housebites is a quirky little business that takes on the traditional takeaway food industry, by allowing chefs to cook a small but well-curated menu and delivering this food to you directly. Food ranges from Mexican, to Jamaican and classic French cuisine. londonProfessional chef-come-entrepreneurs help to fuel the business, with major postal codes being covered by their team. Handpicked chefs help cook up carefully curated menus for customers in the area, and deliver the meals via courier, or sometimes personally to your door. So if you are stuck for what to eat in the city and don’t fancy a restaurant, then Housebites might just be the ticket.

Stay in an ‘unhotel’ with onefinestay

Founded in 2009, onefinestay is a London based start-up that enables visitors to the city a chance to stay in upscale homes around town, with all of the amenities of a five star hotel. Their mantra is about helping visitors to ‘live like a local’ and become fully integrated into the surroundings, atmosphere and culture of the homeowner. onefinestay apartment in london(onefinestay’s Whitfield Street in Soho)

The business, which also operates in New York, has over 600 upscale properties available, from around $150 per night, all the way up to over $1,000 per night for the most exclusive homes. Some standout onefinestay homes include a boathouse, multiple warehouse conversions and an apartment in the clock tower of St Pancras Chambers, near Kings Cross Station. A truly unique way to stay in the city…

Rent someone else’s Whip

Collaborative consumption is a new trend sweeping London, whereby reusing someone else’s property has become increasingly popular. Companies such as (where you can rent parking spaces at private properties) can help to save both money for the user and utilises unused inventory for the owner in one fell swoop.

For travellers, transportation can be a major burden and cost. WhipCar solves a few of these issues. Car owners in London offer their motor vehicle up for rent, with the view to a local driver being able to borrow it for a few hours or more. The upside is that this usually slashes the associated costs with conventional car hire and may be more convenient, location-wise, than larger rental firms.

Just punch in your postal code for your accommodation and see what WhipCars are available in your area.

With a multitude of businesses now catering to a more personalized experience in the city, it’s no wonder more visitors to the capital are looking for an alternative taste of all things British.