Things To Do in Barnes, Battersea, Cheam, Clapham, Epsom, Fulham, Kingston, Putney, Surbiton, Sutton, Wandsworth, Wimbledon

In pursuit of happiness

The pursuit of happiness begins with chocolate.

Easter is almost upon us and the search for a piece of perfect chocolate is almost too easy with many stores resembling Willy Wonker’s world! Here, here. I very much subscribe to Heston Blumenthal’s philosophy that eating is a multisensory experience and the only thing we do that uses all of our senses. Heston acknowledges that memories determine our food preferences from a very young age. He believes that ‘nostalgia, emotion, memory and the interplay of sight, smell, sound and taste all play an important part in our appreciation and enjoyment of food’. It makes complete sense. As a child I was allowed chocolate as a rare treat for special occasions such as birthday parties, Christmas and Easter. My memories associated with chocolate are all happy ones. Maybe I could break the cycle with reverse psychology and give chocolate to my children as a punishment. No more naughty step, it’s Mars bars for you!

We are delighted to have Heston - our very own Barnes boy - headlining our special food edition this month, which is dedicated to our local restaurants as we launch the 2014 Time and Leisure Food and Drink Awards. I am declaring nominations for the FADAs open. Last year 350 local businesses were nominated with more than 8,000 reader votes cast. The FADAs are the peoples’ choice awards, so for the love of food, vote for your favourite restaurant (see page 19). I acknowledge your tough task. The standard of our restaurants is excellent as is the diversity of cuisine and styles of dining. The tasty south west of London is the choice of destination for many world renowned chefs, including Heston, Gordon Ramsay, John Torode, Ainsley Harriott, Michel Roux Jr, Anton Mosimann, Antonio Carluccio, Ken Hom, Aldo Zilli, Peggy Porschen, Bruce Poole, Eric Lanlard, Claude Bosi, Sam Harrison and Rick Stein.

Also, this month, we bring you the colours of spring, the perfect kitchen design, a host of Easter activities and show you the best vantage points for the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race on 6 April. Have a very happy Easter and don’t forget to vote.

Kate Miranda is editor of the Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Putney editions of Time & Leisure Magazine.