Inside London #7: there will be Boulud…

Never let it be said that we would turn down a friend in an hour of need. Especially when said friend is offering dinner. Travel blogger Heather Cowper (who so expertly guided the Smith blog around the gastronomic delights of Lisbon not too long ago, and penned a review of Hotel Avenide Liberdade to boot) recently invited us to join her and a flotilla of fellow foodies to Knightsbridge’s latest dining sensation: Bar Boulud.

Q&A: PSFK trendspotter-in-chief Piers Fawkes

PSFK logoFew companies keep their fingers on the cultural pulse of web technology, design and trend development quite as firmly as PSFK, the online consultancy that began as two friends sharing their observations on cultural and consumer trends and ballooned into an international innovation company with offices across the globe and an inspiring blog. We caught up with one half of the founding team, Piers Fawkes, and got the low-down on what he does, how he does it, and, of course, where Piers likes to go on his holidays…

First up, what does PSFK stand for? What inspired you to start the business?

It was originally the initials (mixed up) of the founding writers (myself and Simon King). In fact, PSFK was a previous business I ran with Simon. I wasn’t expecting the ‘trends site’ project to go anywhere so I used the URL I still had to save me money buying a new one. Simon has long since departed and runs the fabulous fashion label London Denim.

Scraper sites: pesky opportunists

Don’t you hate scrapers? OK, unless you’re a web geek you might not know what one is*. But have you ever typed in a website address slightly incorrectly and got a page which at first glance looks like the one you’re after… but then you realise it’s an imposter? Let’s say you type in what you think is the URL for the Smith homepage but miss out a letter ‘S’ somewhere in the middle of the address – well chances are you’ll get one. Ugh. And I’m not going to dignify their existence by putting in an example link here, sorry.

Apart from all the breach of copyright issues with the content, the problem these scraper sites present within the travel industry is they can divert users to unlicensed agents or dupe web surfers into making a booking not with the hotel or company they think they’ve sought out.

‘I Love Your Blog’ awards

I love your blogA big Smithy thank you to Erica Johannssen of photo-based travel blog Travel Blissful who has kindly presented the Smith Travel Blog with an ‘I Love Your Blog’ award.

As much as we’d love to hog the glory and leave it at that, we felt we ought to share the bloggy love a little, so here’s a quick run down of our favourite web spots to while away the day…