Mediatonic’s HQ can be found deep in the heart of central London. With over 150 mad geniuses in residence, London is the biggest Mediatonic studio in our little family and the main base of operations for our co-founders Dave and Paul.
We’re currently housed in the Shell building on the Strand, providing (on a good day!) an amazing view of the south bank of the Thames. The Embankment gardens are directly outside the south entrance to the building–a lovely walk in for tube commuters in the morning and a great place to stretch out for lunch in the summer.
With such a melting pot of different disciplines, our London studio has a wide range of different groups and activities set up by our keen Tonic Team. There are Life Drawing classes put on by our brilliant artists, with occasional beginner's nights in case you’re shy (no professionals allowed!). For cinephiles we have film nights and Studio Ghibli nights if you’re an anime fan, or monthly board game nights and a whole directory of Dungeons and Dragons groups if you’re a tabletop fan.
Upon visiting you may notice our unusually titled meeting rooms–each meeting room in our London studio is named after a pub that was important to Mediatonic’s history, such as our board room Pillars of Hercules, named after a favourite near the old Soho studio, or one of our smaller meeting rooms The Coal Hole, which can be found just next door.
Almost everywhere in London is easily and quickly accessible by via the tube, or via buses if you’re more remote. The best lines for getting into central London are the Northern, District & Circle, and Central lines, but in general as long as you’re living somewhere with easy tube access your commute should be simple. The Piccadilly line can take you to and from Heathrow airport, while you’ll have to take a train or the Gatwick Express in from Gatwick.
Fav Sites & Apps
The standard for all London travel, this app plans out public transport links from points all across London, showing you the fastest, most cost effective, or most rain-safe routes.
The official site of Transport for London, where you can access information about tube and bus routes, as well as live updates on the status of individual lines.
Two sites that are absolutely necessary for travelling into London from Gatwick airport, or for travelling to Brighton. Book tickets and keep on top of train cancellations or delays!
London is a huge and varied city, so everyone will give you a different opinion on the best place to live. Whether you prefer the hipster food hub of Shoreditch, the rich culture of the West End, or the deep history of Greenwich, there will always be a part of London that speaks to you personally. It’s well worth considering some areas further from central - it might mean an extra ten minutes on the tube in the morning, but you can generally find somewhere nicer to live at a cheaper price.
Fav Sites & Apps
People-focused sites that are useful if you’re looking for a room in a flat-share. Get a sense of a person’s interests and personality before committing to a flat with them!
If you’ve got a bigger budget, these are reliable and easy to use sites that are great for finding a studio or apartment to yourself.
And if you ever need to revive your spirits, you can always check out Vice’s list of worst rental opportunities of the week and be thankful you'll find a much nicer place to call home
Banking for Expats
Finding a good bank that also supports expats is crucial. Some popular UK banks like HSBC, Santander, and Barclays have a global presence, allowing you to open an account in your home country before you move. Several banks, such as Barclays, offer accounts specifically for people new to the UK.
Check these out
Short and simple guide to internationals opening a UK bank account, including differences between banking in the UK and other countries.
A detailed guide to Barclays international bank accounts, which also allows you to apply for an account online rather than at a branch.
Now the practical things are out of the way, let’s get stuck into the fun stuff! London is a diverse and wonderful place filled with awesome attractions, unmissable nights out, and tons of tasty food. Soho and Chinatown are great options, whether you’re looking for stellar Chinese food, a sophisticated gastropub or some Italian. Interested in a cheeky after-work cocktail? Try Covent Garden. Further afield, Shoreditch is full of trendy bars and restaurants, while Camden is famous for a grungy yet delicious pub and music scene. A personal favourite of Mediatonic is the board game cafe Draughts in Waterloo - who can refuse the double whammy of pub grub and board games?
Make sure you don’t miss out on the classic tourist experience! Our list of must-visits below cover the big London hits, but there’s plenty of industry-specific events as well. With a rich culture of indie developers, London is full of talks and meet-ups that can quickly help you find your place in the community.
Must-visits and Helpful Guides:
Both the classics and the modern are covered at these two famous art institutions, definites for anyone interested in art.
Iconic buildings scattered across London, these are all brilliant ways to immerse yourself in history and science.
Great hubs for art, design, narrative, and game-related exhibitions.
Useful guide of regular events going on across London.
There’s never a dull moment in London, which fits the Mediatonic spirit perfectly! At the London HQ, we’re all about keeping busy–enjoying the city as much as we enjoy the studio. Situated firmly in the centre of the city, we’re at the heart of one of the world’s biggest metropolitan cities and a massive hub for the UK game development scene.