Time Out’s new Love London campaign asks people to nominate their favourite neighbourhood places for a poll. This leads us to a big question – do we want the whole world to know about our favourite haunts? Or would we rather they stayed a little bit secret and, well, local?
With the onslaught of chain coffee shops and generic restaurant chains, the quirkiness of a small, local business is more appreciated than ever. Nothing makes us happier than drinking a beer that has been brewed only a mile away, or eating a locally baked scone. Maybe the WiFi is a little bit dodgy and the cutlery doesn’t match, but that somehow makes it all the more charming. These places become a haven away from the cookie-cutter nature of the high street, and what makes it exciting is that not everyone knows about them. There is a satisfying sense of discovery in finding a new place away from the hustle and bustle, and the thought of sharing it with the world seems rather counterintuitive.
However, apps such as Great Little Place have already tapped into the idea of sharing lesser-known local places with a community online, allowing you to seek out places that are a little more off-the-beaten-track and deviate from the guide book. Equally, Y Plan opens up all of the more under-the-radar events that the masses may not have originally known about. All of this makes it more difficult than ever to maintain a sense of being in-the-know about something exclusive.
So, although it is great that services and brands are tapping into the idea of uncovering local hotspots, it feels like this might detract from the pleasure of finding them yourself. We can’t help but think that some places are meant to stay hidden.