May I introduce you to your new best friend, your best friend who just so happens to be very well connected. The kind of best friend that you, having finally discovered them, will never want to let go of…and, guess what, they're well-travelled!
Your new best friend, of course, is Urbanologie. Sitting face to face with - what the Evening Standard has commended - 'London's best connected man', in the idyllic al fresco terrace at Kensington Pavilion, I couldn't help but feel star-struck. 35-year-old Founder, Hugo Campbell-Davys is the living and breathing tube map that spans the swankiest venues our capital has to offer; he is the walking bible, updated on a daily basis to reveal the curative luxury lifestyle guide - the 'high-end', 'hip', and 'happening' New Testament - to the ever-increasing global crowd of champagne-happy disciples kneeling at his feet.
What's more, Urbanologie happened by accident: 'It was a hobby', the former PR extraordinaire shrugged, 'a friend of mine suggested setting up a private newsletter to get the right information to the right people. New bars, hotels, restaurants, events, pop-ups in London. We did it for two years, and then decided to include other international destinations'. Indeed, last November saw the launch of the new website which now covers eight destinations, including New York, Miami, and Ibiza. Next stop: Monaco. For the very reasonable annual membership of £100, members gain access to the everything-in-one-place app - launched five weeks ago - to have Hugo quite literally at their fingertips wherever they are in the world: 'It's in the user's hands, a constant luxury travel companion, with loads of destinations on one platform'.
It is essential to distinguish between Urbanologie's manifesto, and your standard concierge. 'Our brand logo is 'the world according to "U"', clarifies our travel guru, 'we're placing concierge back into the hands of the user; it's much more fun discovering new places for yourself, living like a local'. A huge point of difference is time scale; Urbanologie is the only lifestyle guide out there that is updated daily; your new best friend will reveal the hottest new openings to you before the said launch has even set a date. Inevitably, such fierce updating comes at a price, and it was here where I was not at all surprised when Hugo chuckled his manifesto to live by: 'Work hard, party harder'. 'So, I'm out every evening. Last night I did four events, an hour at each. I'm at my desk at 7am; the first thing we do is start updating', he brushes off casually, in his super-cool, yet humble, well-spoken manner.
Samuel Johnson once said: 'When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life'. With this in mind, I asked 'London's best connected man', don't you ever get tired of London? 'No' was his simple answer. 'So much energy, so much buzz, so many great openings. It's the greatest city…did you know there's a Breaking Bad RV truck - a cocktail bar pop-up - coming soon? I didn't...but now, I - like the other 6,500 privileged members - do. I felt honoured. Reluctantly, I left Hugo to continue his relentless mission, but not before putting the life-size app in front of me to the test: 'One last thing', I announced, 'I'm not a Londoner, I need a dress for tomorrow night, where is good to go nearby?' As if I had typed "high-end womenswear" into the app myself, the curative genius instantly responded: 'Oxford Street will be hot and heaving. You could try King's Road. Otherwise, hop on the bus, and head straight to Shepherd's Bush, Westfield's awaits you'. So, there you have it - I headed to Shepherd's Bush, Mr Campbell-Davys headed to Selfridges, where he was to investigate its swanky roof-top restaurant which I can't wait to read about. Calling all Londoners: London's ultimate networker will ensure that "U" - when in London, or travelling - really are the first to know. #Smartphone