London lover or hater?
Yep, London has its lovers and haters. Maybe you zoom in on the negatives - sardine-like Tube conditions, super-expensive tourist attractions, paying through the nose to live in a middle class ghetto. You're only in it for the money, or for the greater employment opportunities. You're gonna make a lot of money and then quit this crazy scene.
Maybe you love the buzz of London. You relish the fact that you can go clubbing till 4am on a Monday morning - even if you rarely do. Every weekend is a city break, and you dig the constant stream of new ideas/marketing gimmicks keeping you entertained (rooftop Jacuzzi cinemas or bike workshop cafes, anyone?).
Cool Places wants you
Whether you're a lover or a hater, there's surely one thing about London that stands out above all others. Something that will make you say, once you've left the capital and retired to a big house in the country, 'Ah, I miss everything.'
This is what Cool Places and HotelClub UK are trying to find out with their latest competition. They want to know your favourite London experience and are giving away a swanky hotel stay for the best answer. They'll also be compiling an epic crowd-sourced London guide from the top 101 contributions. You can read up on the full details of the competition here.
So far, they've got Bill Bryson on board (recommending the London Library and a continuous green walk through Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens) along with several other celebs. To enter, just check out the Cool Places blog post and follow the instructions to submit your comment on the Cool Places Facebook post or via Twitter using the #LDNEXP hashtag.
What does 'London experience' even mean?
Well, it can mean whatever you want it to, but here are a few ideas that come to mind:
The highly personal - Did you meet the person of your dreams on the top floor of a double-decker bus? Do you have fond memories of racing around Hamleys as a five-year-old? There's no reason why your London experience can't be something like that.
The foodie tip-off - A friend of mine always says that free time in London either revolves around eating or drinking. Your favourite #LDNEXP could be tracking down the best gourmet burgers in the West End or chilling with a craft beer in Brixton.
The tourist draw - In a city like Brighton, you can count the attractions on one hand. London's a different story. There are the well-known free museums and art galleries, and then there are a host of other museums and art galleries which get less publicity - like the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill. Your #LDNEXP might be spreading the word about one of these hidden gems.
The great escape - A lot of Londoners work long hours and follow it up with a lengthy commute. Perhaps you don't want a busy social life on top of that. Maybe your ideal London experience is simply getting away from it all with a quiet walk along Regent's Canal. I think mine would be something like that.
Those are just a few of the possibilities. Let your imagination run wild. It'll be interesting to see what kind of results come in.