Andrew Webster and Nick Telson are two Londoners who decided they wanted to dedicate their time to the pursuit of the perfect night out. They are the co-founders of the successful website DesignMyNight.com, and here they talk to The London Word about all the hidden gems and must-see areas of London that they have discovered, and that inspired them to become the entrepreneurs that they are today.
Where are you right now, and what have you been doing?
Nick: ‘Right now I am sat at my desk in our Old Street office, enjoying a strawberry Muller corner and Twinings lemon and ginger – I’m off the caffeine since Jan.’
Andrew: ‘In the office, catching up on emails.’
What is your favourite area of London?
Nick: ‘This is always a tricky question. For Sunday brunches and fresh air walks it has to be west London: Holland park area, but for partying and late nights it’s over the other side to Dalston area.’
Andrew: ‘Liverpool street, mix of east London and modern city.’
What is your most vivid London memory?
Nick: ‘Two years ago, being lucky enough to go on the Red Bull sessions on the London Eye. I was in a pod with Andy Weatherall DJing. Partying in a pod, with spectacular views of London was a great moment and defines London…there is always something fun to be done with the spectacular backdrop.’
Andrew: ‘Watching the sunrise at the top of Primrose Hill.’
What would your perfect London day out involve?
Nick: ‘Perfect day out would be a boozy brunch around Camden, followed by some hot chocolate at the top of Primrose Hill looking out to London. I’ve actually got a huge photo of the skyline from Primrose Hill blown up on a canvas and hung in my lounge. It always makes me smile.’
Andrew: ‘Exploring a new neighbourhood whilst taking in something old en-route.’
What would your perfect London night out involve?
Nick: ‘As owner of DesignMyNight.com I have to be very careful here! Again it really depends on what I’m looking for and that’s where London is great. It caters for it all. If I want a catch-up with mates then a local boozer is always an easy win; I live in Kensal Rise and my local Paradise by Way of Kensal Green is superb. I also love discovering tucked away bars where the drinks quality is high but the bar has not one ounce of pretentiousness. I’ll often be found propping up the bar at Rubys in Dalston or London Cocktail Club on Goodge Street for these drinks. But then there is the monthly blow out with my mates where we are fully prepared for a Sunday write off and hangover to come! Clubbing-wise I am more of a house/deep house fan so there are plenty of secret car park parties out there to be discovered or smaller boutique clubs, like The Nest in Dalston. London really does cover it all in terms of nightlife and that is why we created DesignMyNight and that’s why I love London more than any other city!’
Andrew: ‘Rooftop bar drinking with friends, then late-night club.’
What makes London unique?
Nick: ‘London is a melting pot of cultures, like no other city. I also think it is very “inclusive” to all types of people, more so than most cities. Black, white, gay, straight, London normalises everyone as “one” and that is exactly what, not just cosmopolitan cities should be like, but the world. There is still a way to go to a certain extent but London is definitely a paragon in the world for this.’
Andrew: ‘The dynamic and ever-changing food and drink scene.’
Which season do you most enjoy in London?
Nick: ‘Spring! I love crisp days, blue skies, lovely walks in the parks and then curling up by a fire in a pub. Can’t beat it!’
Andrew: ‘Summer. I love outside drinking.’
Where in London do you feel most creative?
Nick: ‘Probably when I am by myself just walking around. The way I wind down is by walking and walking and walking with my iPod on; along the river, through central London, along the canals… it’s the best time to zone out from everything and simply think.’
Andrew: ‘In our office in Shoreditch, surrounded by our A-class team.’
Where in London have you never been, but have always wanted to go?
Nick: ‘I genuinely think I have made sure I’ve been everywhere I’ve wanted to go on my London tick list – that I’m aware of.’
Andrew: ‘Sounds boring but Chiswick.’
Who is your favourite Londoner?
Nick: ‘It’s going to have to be three people and a cringe answer… but my mum, dad and brother. I’m nothing without them.’
Andrew: ‘Seb Coe, he represents us very well. Does he live in London though?’
What do you think is London’s best kept secret?
Nick: ‘Holland Park and the Kyoto Gardens. If, and it’s a big if, you can catch it on a beautiful crisp day with not many people there, it’s magical.’
Andrew: ‘BYOC is still under the radar.’
Which song, book or film do you think best encapsulates London?
Nick: ‘I’m really pleased James Bond brought the film franchise to London; who is more quintessentially British and London than Mr Bond?!’
Andrew: ‘Singing in the Rain.’
What do you miss most about London when you’re away?
Nick: ‘Familiarity. I feel 100 per cent comfortable in London. I know where I like, I know what I like and I know what I need to do to make me happy in London.’
How does London drive you mad?
Nick: ‘While I love London I could include a long list here, but it has to be rush hour on the tube; the people, the shoving, the rudeness, the coughs in your faces, the sweaty armpits, the elbows in the face, the being treated likea battery chicken just to get somewhere.’
Andrew: ‘The time it takes to get around.’
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Nick: ‘Give it a go, what’s the worst that could happen.’
Andrew: ‘Party hard in your 20s.’
Where would you go in London to revisit your past?
Nick: ‘I’m originally from north London so a trip back to the folks always takes me back to my childhood; although my bedroom is now my mum’s dressing room…I’m sure she had been eyeing up my room since I was five!’
Who is your biggest inspiration in life?
Nick: ‘From a business perspective I turn to my Dad. He has built up his own successful business from scratch so I always look to him for help and inspiration. I am, as most people are, inspired by Steve Jobs too. His biography is my favourite book in the world.’
Andrew: ‘Nelson Mandela; a life lesson of educating and patience.’
What would you recommend everyone in London do at least once?
Nick: ‘Go raving in the London Eye or have a cocktail in Rubys.’
Andrew: ‘Secret Cinema.’
What projects do you have in the pipeline?
Nick: ‘That would be telling but let’s just say we have big things planned for DesignMyNight this year. We are already London’s fastest growing nightlife site and attract over 1.5 million views a month but have a lot more exciting things to come… watch this space!’
Andrew: ‘A baby… oh and nightlife domination at DMN.’
Nick: ‘Being happy with who you are and surrounding yourself with people that make you smile.’
You can design your perfect London (or several other UK cities) night out using the boys’ easy to use project, here: www.DesignMyNight.com