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Food, Glorious Food!

June in our area is a mouth-watering prospect.

Voting for the T&L Food and Drink Awards is coming to a climax, the Foodies Festival is returning to Clapham Common and Michel Roux Jr is joining us for a chat before appearing at the Clapham Pottery summer fundraiser.

In the last few years it seems as though our south west London summers have come to be defined by matters gastronomic. Each year the summer calendar is increasingly filled with festivals dedicated to eating and drinking excellence, while farmers markets and organic stalls are cropping up all over the area. Is this a trend that we can see repeated across London – a reflection of an increasingly food-aware society – or could it be that there’s something especially tasty about the south west? Unlikely as it may seem, there could be something in the latter. One internet source reveals that south west London has more chefs-inresidence than any other part of the capital. Admittedly, this is an unsubstantiated and possibly outdated ‘statistic’, but even according to my own limited local cencus we can claim Gordon Ramsay, Ainsley Harriott, Michel Roux Jr, Anton Mosimann, Aldo Zilli, Peggy Porschen, Bruce Poole and Adam Byatt – which surely can’t leave too many big names for other areas! The number of restaurants per capita is also higher in SW than in SE – according to yet another unreliable internet source.

What then – apart from highlighting a stark decline in the quality of investigative journalism – does this all mean? Well, it means that we are living in an area that is gradually defining itself as a gastronomic Mecca; a destination for food tourists; a place where chefs want to live, where festivals know they will be well-received and where almost 6000 readers have already cast their votes in this year’s T&L Food and Drink Awards!

It’s time to grab a fork and dig in…

Jon Watt is editor of the Clapham & Battersea and Fulham editions of Time & Leisure Magazine.