Happiness – who doesn’t seek that? 2015 marks 170 years since the death of Sydney Smith, nonetheless his thoughts on a comfortable home are as relevant today as ever before, or at least in our minds! When looking for accommodation in our great city of London, Merino Hospitality could not agree more with English author and wit Sydney Smith’s insight regarding bricks and mortar. In an era when choosing your home comes with a great price tag, why not seek the very best that it can buy? If Smith was right, you will be securing your very own slice of happiness!

Sydney Smith is just one of the many famous faces to have laid his hat in beautiful Bloomsbury, where Merino Hospitality calls home. He lived at 14 Doughty Street and a plaque has been fixed outside the house since 1905 to mark this historical site. English Heritage is a UK registered charity that is dedicated to caring for more than 400 historic buildings, monuments and sites throughout England. As part of their great work, they run the Blue Plaque scheme which was originally founded in 1866 by the Royal Society of Arts. Blue plaques are placed on buildings throughout London to celebrate the diverse architecture within our capital city and demonstrate the plethora of famous figures that have worked here or made this place home. There are currently no less than 880 blue plaques across the capital and 2016 will mark the 150th anniversary of this magnificent scheme.

There is no shortage of blue plaques in Bloomsbury, making the streets buzz with the history of its former residents and past accomplishments. Taking a short stroll from any of our serene properties will lead you in the footsteps of great writers, poets, reformers, an intelligence officer, scholars, architects, inventors and even a clown! Let your feet lead the way on a saunter around Bloomsbury and see how many plaques you can find, you will not be disappointed by the boutique shops, yummy treats and tree lined streets that you will encounter along the way.

Tweet us @staymerino with your findings!!

 

by Louise Carr-Merino

If two years ago I had been randomly asked if I was ready for the World Cup, I would immediately have started talking about the usual suspects: Germany, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Messi, Ronaldo… and England 1966.

Not this year though; this year that same question takes on a whole different meaning. And that meaning, ladies and gentlemen, is rugby.

With just one month to go now, The Rugby World Cup (RWC) will be in the UK between September 18th and October 31st this year, with matches in 12 cities across England and Wales, for what promises to be an absolutely epic tournament. This is the greatest prize in world rugby, and since its inception as a tournament in 1987 it has grown to be one of the most important sporting events on the planet. It is hosted every four years between the top international teams (20 teams nowadays), with Australia, New Zealand and South Africa each winning the title twice, and England clinching their one cup in 2003.

London will be host to 17 matches across three stadiums – Wembley, the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, and Twickenham – including the opening match between England and Fiji on September 18th, as well as two quarter finals, both semis, and the final itself on October 31st.

Defending champions and all round tough-guys New Zealand (#1) open their tournament against Argentina (#8) on the 20th, in their search for a record third Webb Ellis Cup.

Pre-tournament #2 ranked Ireland, who have never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage at a World Cup, come into the tournament on the back of successive Six Nations victories in 2014 and 2015, so expectations in their camp will be high for a good run this year. The Irish will open their campaign against Canada (#18) in Cardiff on match day 2.

Host nation England may only be 4th in the pre-tournament rankings, but having finished second in this year’s Six Nations Championship back in February, and with the local crowd behind them, they will be in high spirits and will be a rather tough bone for anyone to bite on.

Australia (#3) will also open their tournament against Fiji (#9) on match day 4, but they are sure to have a tough time in Pool A with England and Wales (#6).

South Africa (#5) is in Pool B and will also have to be considered serious contenders for a third crown; they will open against Japan (#15) on match day 2. (§)

As a relative newbie when it comes to rugby, but a Londoner for over 7 years, I am really excited about this tournament being in the UK, and I cannot wait for it to begin. And with quick access from Russell Square to all three London match venues, I bet our guests are looking forward to it too!

Russell Square – Stratford: 25mins

Russell Square – Wembley Park: 28mins

Russell Square – Twickenham: 42mins

 

 

by Andres Esteves

Image credit: Rugby World Cup website

(§) Pre-tournament rankings accurate at time of writing.

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