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Students come from around the globe come to study in South Kensington at world class colleges such as Imperial College London, The Royal College of Music and The Royal College of Art. Those students lucky enough to have accomodation in South Kensington have the best of London on their doorstep. Here’s our guide to libraries, parks, food and nightlife for those students renting in South Kensington

Hit the books

If the Imperial library is chock-full around exam time, or you just want a change of solo study scenery, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea offers two nearby public libraries. The recently refurbished Kensington Central Library, round the corner from High Street Kensington tube station, has nearly 150 study desks, some with power points for laptops, as well as 40 public PCs. Closer to South Kensington, Chelsea Library at the Old Town Hall on the King’s Road is open until 8pm on most weeknights. A couple of local language schools also offer study space for students. The Mediatheque of the Institut Francais on Queensbury Place is open from noon every day except Monday, and houses a large selection of French language material in the UK. German cultural organisation the Goethe Institute on Princes Gate has a library with a reader’s bar – useful for coffee-fuelled cramming sessions. :: Kensington Central Library, Phillimore Walk, W8. Visit www.rbkc.gov.uk :: Chelsea Library, Chelsea Old Town Hall, King’s Road, SW3. Visit www.rbkc.gov.uk :: Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7. Visit www.institut-francais.org.uk :: The Goethe Institute, 50 Princes Gate, Exhibition Road, SW7. Call Visit www.goethe.de/london

Got the munchies?

If you’re after a hearty lunch between lectures, head to Raison D’Etre on Bute Street. Known locally for satisfying sandwiches and exceedingly friendly service, this French-style café is very popular with students from the nearby language institute, which is a credit to its authentically Parisian ambience. Whether you’re a science geek or not, the Dana centre (a lesser known part of the Science Museum stable) offers a great place to relax away from the tourist hoards in the main museum building. The menu features affordable lunchtime favourites – soup, salads, sandwiches – and there’s free Wi-Fi too, which you won’t find in many high street coffee shops. If it’s a mid-afternoon sugar hit you need, it doesn’t get much better than the sweet treats purveyed by the Hummingbird Bakery. This London institution is famed for its deliciously indulgent American-style baked goods – the South Kensington branch is perfectly placed for when a red velvet cupcake craving strikes. :: Raison D’Etre,18 Bute Street, SW7. Call 020 7584 5008 :: Dana Centre, 165 Queen’s Gate, SW7. Visit www.danacentre.org.uk :: Hummingbird Bakery, 47 Old Brompton Road, SW7. Visit www.hummingbirdbakery.com

After dark

South Kensington nightlife caters to a wide spectrum of budgets. At the top of food chain sits Boujis, the world-renowned nightclub frequented by celebrities from A to Z list and royalty alike. That starry reputation means queues to get in most nights and prices to match – expect to pay upwards of a tenner on entry and about the same for a glass of wine. Bar 190 at the Gore Hotel is in roughly the same price bracket, but offers a more refined atmosphere – ideal if you want to splash out on cocktails for a special occasion. For a more wallet-friendly night out, there are a number of great traditional pubs in the area. The Anglesea Arms’ terrace gets busy on summer evenings, while roaring open fires make the Hour Glass delightfully cosy in winter. :: Boujis, 43 Thurloe Street, SW7. Visit www.boujis.com :: Bar 190 at the Gore Hotel, 190 Queen’s Gate, SW7. Visit www.gorehotel.com :: Anglesea Arms, 15 Selwood Terrace, SW7. Visit www.capitalpubcompany.com :: The Hour Glass, 281-283 Brompton Road, SW3. Call 020 7581 2840

Going green

If you fancy a bit of a stroll, South Kensington is sandwiched between two of London’s best parks, each about a 25 minute walk away. To the north, huge Hyde Park offers140 hectares of leafy open space to enjoy, plus plenty of other activities to choose from: visit the Serpentine art gallery, row a boat on the lake or take a dip in the Lido (June to September). In the other direction, Battersea Park, just south of the River at Chelsea Bridge, is popular with runners and has a variety of sports fields. Closer to South Kensington, many of the gated gardens are only open to the local residents, but Onslow Square, about a minute walk from the tube station, is open to the public and ideal for lounging on the grass in the warmer months. :: Hyde Park. Visit www.royalparks.org.uk :: Battersea Park. Visit www.batterseapark.org :: Onslow Square, SW7.

Accommodation in South Kensington

As one of London’s largest private landlords, Residential Land have flats to rent in the best areas of South Kensington. Roland House on Old Brompton Road is ideally situated close to the colleges, tube stations and the local amenities. The modern flats in Roland House have fully fitted kitchens and modern bathrooms. Residents benefit from the free onsite gym and spa, 24 hour porterage, secure CCTV and entry systems and the free internet connection. With all bills included, prices for a Studio apartment start at £360 per week. For more information visit www.residentialland.com/rolandhouse or call 0207 341 6800