I had little idea what I was getting involved in when I received my invitation to the 6 Friends Theory event from Mercure Hotels. A bubble of excitement rose inside me as I read the details and then watched the video. If I understood correctly, Mercure were planning to send someone around the world! I needed to know more.
How often have we said ‘it’s a small world’? The Six Degrees of Separation theory is what lies behind Mercure Hotels initiative. This suggests that everyone is six steps away or fewer, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. A chain of ‘a friend of a friend’ statements can be made to connect any two people, in a maximum of six steps. Such is the theory set out by Frigyes Karinthy in 1929. In this age of social media, Mercure are proposing to test the theory, offering one lucky person a round the world trip to do so.
Six Mercure Hotels will host the winner, on an unprecedented 30 day trip, starting in Paris, and scheduled for March 2015. Could it be you? I have wonderful memories of Paris last Summer.
If you’ve watched the video you’ll know that Mercure propose to select an individual, and take them to meet an Aboriginal from the Bundjalung tribe in Australia. They will meet through the chain of friends, and friends of friends, that connect them. Exciting? I’ll tell you how to get involved soon.
First I need to tell you a little about your hosts. Mercure are passionate hoteliers, dedicated to providing a warm experience in their network of 707 hotels in 53 countries around the globe. Part of Accor, the world’s leading hotel operator with more than 3,600 hotels, the Mercure brand has a strong personal identity. From the second I walked through the doors of the Mercure London Bridge, I was greeted with warm smiles. This continued throughout my stay, and everyone from the receptionists to the hotel maids had a friendly greeting for me.
Click on any photo to see it enlarged.
The bedroom was fully equipped, with tea and coffee making facilities and a plate of delicious fresh fruit. The first thing I did was to kick off my boots, put the kettle on, and check out the free high speed Wifi connection, which worked to perfection. Slippers and a towelling robe beckoned, and a full range of toiletries in the bathroom. A hot shower, and London waiting on the doorstep. What could be better?
The reception area has sleek modern lines, with inviting vases of sweets on almost every available surface. I don’t know how I restrained myself! Perhaps the prospect of supper in nearby Borough Market? The 4 star hotel is situated on Southwark Street and is just minutes from the London Bridge or Southwark Metro station. I have yet to visit beautiful Southwark Cathedral, but I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, just around the corner on Bankside. Tate Modern and the London Eye are a wander away, while St. Paul’s Cathedral is just across the river. The area is also perfect for a romantic evening stroll.
I think it’s probably time I got to the competition details, don’t you? Of course, it involves social media. Mercure are interested in the question of human bonds in the digital era. A societal study of friendship is being conducted alongside the Six Friends Theory operation.
To take part in the competition, you need to post a 60 second video on Facebook. In this, you should describe your personality and motivations, and explain why you think you are the best person to undertake this trip. As one of the judges says, ‘The candidate will be the nice friend everybody would like to go around the world with’. Is that you? You have until 10th February to convince everybody and pull in the votes on Facebook. Follow this link for full details. It just remains to wish you good luck, or ‘bonne chance’!
Mercure were kind enough to invite me to their promotional event, as part of a group of bloggers, but all photos and opinions are my own.