I am a Time Out Tastemaker. Intrigued? This doesn't (sadly) mean that I work for Time Out writing witty and entertaining copy about London every day, nor does it mean (even more sadly)that I am wafting around Poppy Delevingne style and party-hopping on a sea of champagne and canapes. It does mean that I am part of Time Out's 200 London Tastemakers and when we add our personal reviews to venues, films and events that are listed on TimeOut we get a snazzy button above our review saying 'Tastemaker' - whoop!
This didn't just happen overnight. TimeOut didn't call me up and say 'Hey, you're so awesome, want to come and write for us?'....which would have been a MUCH cooler story. I actually applied after seeing this advert in 2015 and wrote a riveting piece on why I loved Gordon's Wine Bar - which you can read here - and if you haven't been....quick sharp! Best cheese and wine in London town and you'll find it on Embankment down a tiny passage.
Anyway, distracted by wine and cheese. Time Out, like any good organisation in the digital age, are embracing reviews. Real reviews by real people started out as something to be feared - what IF they write something BAD? But these days it is the norm and we are used to filtering out nonsense for the good stuff. Trip Advisor and Amazon are excelling at this. I don't purchase so much as a toaster without seeing what thousands of Amazon users are saying. It is the perfect antidote to the over waffly sales and marketing speak that we use to sell things to you. Forbes backs this up by saying a survey by Bright Light Local says that 88% of customers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, plus there's the on and off site ranking benefits.
So I am pleased to be adding my little corner of London to Time Out, bringing hints and tips on how to get the best out of a shop, a place, an experience or just trying to throw a bit of light onto smaller places off the beaten track. While I was at it, I thought I could look at the venues who are using great PR and Marketing techniques for their London businesses. So that's what I am going to do. You'll also find the link to read my original review on Time Out too. It is also worth pointing out, that bar the odd cinema trip here and there, I am choosing to visit these venues and so the reviews are totally independent. I hope you enjoy and love London as much as I do. I've also met a lot of great people on the Tastemaker trail - find them all by searching the hashtag #TOTastemaker.