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BLOG : London useful information guide

Once you have arrived hotel concierges are usually pretty reliable, but you shouldn't rely on their expertise alone. A good hotel thrives on repeat business, so you can usually trust that a recommendation they make is not going to be somewhere dreadful, but this also means that they are more likely to stick to suggestions they know will please most tastes. If you are looking for the hottest new restaurants, current exhibitions that are wowing the crowds or off the beaten track treasure trove shops that not everyone knows about they may well be out of touch. Similarly tour agencies' lists of things to do if you book a package are a safe way to start you off, but to find something that you can really brag to your friends about it's always nice to sniff out something new.

Anyone can be a reviewer these days - a few minutes searching online will show you that most restaurants, entertainment & historical venues and hotels will have some kind of feedback available from pleased…or disgruntled customers. There's no need to take everything on face value and you can usually tell when a reviewer is trying to smear a reputation if they are sandwiched between a series of glowing reports. Make your own judgement but it's always helpful to have other people's experiences to draw on rather than just some carefully chosen blurb in a brochure. Indeed, it is the very fact that the whole world can be a 'secret shopper' that businesses are having to be more careful of their own quality standards. Social networking groups such as Facebook and Twitter often have groups set up swapping their ideas for great things to do…or things to avoid…when in London, as do other web forums. Just type in some general keywords you are interested in and see what comes up. You may well be guided towards a better deal on excursions, theatre tickets, food discount vouchers and the like that you would otherwise never have known about.

After all, who better to provide a london useful information guide than those who have been there, done it and got the proverbial t-shirt!

Please note: Opinions expressed on the londontheatredirect.com blog are those of the relevant contributors, not of London Theatre Direct Ltd, its owners or staff. London Theatre Direct Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by contributors.