Herb Lester Associates was started in the UK by Jane Smillie and Ben Olins. With backgrounds in media, they wanted Herb Lester to have a distinctive voice and to follow their own interests rather than to respond to passing fashions. Everything they include is there because they like it and think their readers will too.
They research each city the old-fashioned way: asking friends, acquaintances, cab drivers and concierges for their tips and then walking, tasting, sipping, and peering into doorways and down alleys. They turn that research into a compact guide with enough suggestions to keep you entertained, with a list of shops, bars, restaurants, cafés, galleries, museums and parks, each one carefully described.
The guides are independent – no one pays to be in them, and there’s no advertising.