Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Co-living at The Collective, Old Oak

The Collective, the biggest co-living building in London, focuses on shared space and a community-based way of living. A handful of bloggers & vloggers were invited to attend a 50's inspired sleepover at their Old Oak apartment block and I was lucky enough to be Sophie's plus one.

Just a 10 minute walk from Willesden Junction tube, Old Oak has been open since May and is kitted out with Pinterest-worthy decor throughout. Although aimed at young professionals, there's definitely a premium student accommodation vibe that's more sophisticated than your uni digs. Prices start at £220 a week and include all bills - even a bi-weekly cleaner!
Us bloggers stayed in the standard rooms which although basic, are super modern, light and the bed, oh so comfy. We had our own en suites with kitchenettes shared between two. As there are so many amazing communal areas to hang out in, the small rooms aren't a big deal as the idea is you'll be spending little time there. There are larger rooms, studio apartments and 2 bedroom flats also available.
As for the event itself, there was SO much going on. The prosecco started flowing at 5pm and we had the opportunity to experience massages and manicures, courtesy of freelance therapists who work via London beauty booking app, Ruuby. Tracey did a fab job of painting my nails this gorgeous bright red, don't you think?
Next on our jam-packed itinerary was my personal highlight, the cocktail masterclass. Hosted by two of the lads from award-winning cocktail bar, The Vault, a hidden-away gem in Soho. The owner has a no-nonsense approach to their alcoholic creations, favouring flavour over fancy garnishes. The first cocktail they taught us to shake up was The Grasshopper. Popular in the 50's and comprised of just three ingredients, the Grasshopper is a simple but delicious concoction that tastes of After Eights. I'll definitely be impressing my loved ones with this minty delight over the festive period.
Once Simo and Chris had run through 3 more cocktails, all gin based, it was competition time. We were split off into teams to make our own cocktail to wow the guys with. The prize? Oh, only a ride on a Harley Davidson. So, there's three things you need to know here: I'm competitive as hell, love making cocktails and am obsessed with Sons of Anarchy. It's safe to say I took the whole thing really seriously, formulating a beverage including rhubarb liqueur, gin and soda and it paid off. My team won! My cheeks looked like those of a hamster's as they were squished in the helmet from smiling so much.
It was finally dinner time! The Collective has it's own bar and restaurant area and we got to choose a dish from the menu to try out. I kept it simple with a burger and chips which was much needed after a half day at work and rushing to get bands to the Kat Von D meet and greet, all before heading over to the sleepover event, phew!
From there, we strolled up to the in-house cinema to carry on with the 50's theme by watching Grease. As if the fact that the Collective has it's own big screen wasn't already enough, they have their own popcorn machine, sweets and yet more prosecco up for grabs just outside! The movie room itself is kitted out with a comfy sofa and masses of squidgy beanbags.
Post-movie, Sophie and I went exploring to see what else the co-living space had to offer and were quite frankly blown away. There are a number of larger kitchens and communal dining spaces, a library, gym, roof terrace, games room and even a spa!
I left the Collective, the following morning, feeling somewhat worse-for-wear but equally lucky that I got to attend such an unforgettable event. If I were ever single and working in London again, I'd definitely consider living at Old Oak as a way to meet new people and save money. I think The Collective is also a great option for people staying in London from overseas.

During our stay, we had numerous residents welcoming us or striking up conversations giving glowing reviews of their stay at the Collective - it felt like a very positive environment to live in. The event was curated with such attention to detail and we were truly looked after. Thank you SO much to The Collective and of course to the lovely Sophie for inviting me as her plus one, it was by far the greatest opportunity I've had so far through my blog.
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