Room type: Non en-suite single
Price: 132 pounds per week
Fisher Hall is located in Evelyn Gardens (EG) and is one of the oldest halls provided by Imperial College London. Its buildings are claimed to be as aged as World War II if not older. It is supposed to be removed from the student accommodation starting this academic year but due to the unprecedentedly fine exam results, there are more than expected freshers coming in into Imperial therefore it is reopened along with another EG hall, Bernard Sunley. Every year, freshers have been haunted by its dreadful reputation and its general impressions are old, cheap and miserable.
Evelyn Gardens is situated in South Kensington, an area that boasts some of the most exclusive real estate properties in London or even in the world and hosts a rapidly growing French community. Basically, there are two types of people living in the EG: millionaires and students. It is home to many successful merchants and professionals past and present. Take a leisure stroll around EG and chances are you would encounter all sorts of luxurious cars that you could imagine of: Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche and Bentley parked outside the quaint Victorian houses.
The distance between Imperial College London and Fisher Hall is worth a 20 minutes saunter. However, with a quick pace, you can most probably reach the campus within or about 15 minutes depending on your walking speed and how long you are impeded by the traffic lights. There are two tube stations both situated about 10 minutes from Fisher, namely Gloucester Road and South Kensington.
Around Fisher Hall
Fisher Hall is a very convenient hall to live in. You can find a mini supermarket called Sainsbury’s in Fulham Road, approximately 1-2 minutes away from the hall. It sells most of the groceries and daily utilities that you’ll need at cheap rates. Located next to Sainsbury’s, there is a Marks and Spencer as well. Needless to say, M&S goods are pricier but at the same time of better quality. On your walk to and back from campus, there is an even more high-end supermarket called Waitrose. (M&S’s nemesis although Waitrose is slightly dearer) However, all of these are mini stores and they may not sell everything that you would ever need. There is a Sainsbury’s megastore and a large Waitrose near Gloucester Road station located about 10-15 minutes from Fisher. There is also a movie theater called Cineworld. It is one of the cheapest cinema chains that you can find in London, approximately 8-9 pounds per movie for students. Fulham Road also houses many high-end bakeries, boutiques, restaurants, thrift shops, cafes and bookshops. Take a walk down the road and you may stumble upon something interesting and useful.
If the Imperial website were credible, this year, single rooms are the only room type and each costs 132 pounds per week. Prices used to range according to room sizes and last year’s single rooms were about 100-120 ppw. Fisher Hall is known to have a small kitchen system. Kitchens are normally shared between 6 to 8 students and each student will have a kitchen cabinet. There is also a ‘public cabinet’ shared between everyone in my kitchen. Garbage in the kitchens will be cleared everyday, but the kitchen will be cleaned at every alternative day. (I think? Lol)
I used to live in a double room and it was very spacious. However, since there are only single rooms this year (again, from the website), I do not know what they are going to do with the used-to-be double rooms. If these rooms are offered to you guys then they will serve as single rooms that are really spacious. Single rooms in the past years had a range of sizes. Some/most were so small that you can barely fit a person sleeping on the floor in a sleeping bag. However, there were also some single rooms that were so immense that you can easily fit couches and even more in them. Smaller rooms will most probably cost less while the larger ones more.
There is no en-suite room in Fisher Hall so toilets and showers are shared, between both genders. Toilets will be cleaned every weekday so prepare for foul toilets during the weekends. Showers are also shared and will be cleaned every weekday. Toilets and showers are quite ample so if you found one occupied, find another one nearby. You would never have to queue for them.
Laundry is located at the basement. There are 4 dryers and 4 washers. Dryers cost 1 pound per cycle (50 minutes) and washers 2 pounds per cycle (38 minutes) or 2.20 for superwash cycle. There is also an iron in the laundry and a few couches and a table for you to hang out with hall mates. Yeah, sometimes you will see alcohol bottles on the table, waiting for the janitors to attend them. My advice about doing the laundry would be not to accumulate your clothes to such a substantial amount that they jam up in the machines. Also, the laundry will be quite crowded and you may have to queue to use the machines during the weekends. Try to do your laundry during weekdays or in the early morning during weekends and you will hardly have to queue.
There is a common room in Fisher Hall, mainly serves as a place for people to socialise. Free breakfast will be served there every Sunday in a corner called Fish Bowl. There is also a pool in the common room, along with a foosball, an X-BOX and a television. We used the television for X-BOX, movies and even used it to watch the Game of Thrones premieres together.
We had a handful of activities organized by the hall seniors last year. Some of them include a hiking trip to Seven Sisters, theatre trip to The Lion King, Harry Potter Night, French Breakfast, Formal Dinner and Summer Garden Party. We also had jogging and football practice every Saturday to prepare for the inter-hall football tournament. There was also an inter-hall Hyde Park Relay and Fisher Hall was the winner!
Featured in room
Bed with mattress, a sink, ethernet (there is no Wi-Fi here except in the ground floor and basement), wardrobe, laundry basket, study table, table lamp, chair, drawers, shelf, landline telephone
What to bring
Duvet, pillow, bed sheet, pillow and duvet case
Internet cable (you can buy it from Union Shop)
Cooking utensils and cutleries
I think Fisher Hall is a decent-ish place to live in. It is reasonably priced, sensibly distanced from campus and it is a tranquil area to reside. That being said, try to keep your volume down at night to avoid disturbing your neighbor. However, a major drawback of Fisher would be its dodgy and old condition. If you could get used to that, then I think there should not be any major problems during your stay in Fisher.
There are much more that I would like to share to those who are interested. Should you have a query of whatsoever, feel free to approach me.
Contributed by: Jia Zheng Woo (2nd year Biology)