Time & Leisure Food and Culture Awards
Time & Leisure Food and Culture Awards
Who’s the best in south west London and Surrey? As voted by our readers…
Now in their 10th year, the Time & Leisure Food And Culture Awards celebrate the very best in our neighbourhoods, from fine dining and family-friendly restaurants to cultural events and theatres. Top chefs Adam Byatt and Marcus Wareing are our ambassadors for this year’s awards, delighted to lend their support to recognise excellence locally.
Says Marcus Wareing: “I’ve always been a huge supporter of buying from local businesses and artisans. South west London and Surrey has an incredible offering, and we need to ensure we continue to support local restaurants, chefs and producers who are at the heart of our communities. These awards are a great way to give them the recognition they deserve.”
We invited you, our readers, to nominate and vote. And here’s what you said. Many thanks to everyone who took part and huge congratulations to our winners, and all of our incredible finalists.
Food Hero of the Year
Congratulations to Sound Lounge! Impressed by its eco credentials, you have voted the Sutton venue your Food Hero of the Year, as well as in several other categories. Sound Lounge, which offers a plant-based café by day and a grassroots music venue in the evening, reduces its environmental impact in many ways including using energy from 100% renewable sources, sending zero waste to landfill and has even created its own allotment garden.
“We are blown away to have been shortlisted in so many categories both as a cafe/restaurant and as an arts & culture space particularly when there are so many incredible businesses across the region who deserve recognition; and particularly after such a tough year! Sincere thanks to Time & Leisure Magazine and its readers.” Keiron Marshall & Hannah White, The Sound Lounge
Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year
WINNER: The French Table, Surbiton – serving contemporary French food, this much-loved independent restaurant has been going strong for over 20 years and has always been a popular choice in our awards. (Pictured top)
“We are delighted and a big thanks goes to the team at Time & Leisure for all the behind-the-scenes organisation! We’d like to thank everyone who nominated us and special thanks to our kind, creative and hard-working team who kept keeping on throughout 2021. Here’s to a kinder, calmer 2022.” Sarah & Eric Guignard, The French Table and The French Tarte
Highly Commended: No.97, Surbiton
Commended: Chez Bruce, Wandsworth. José Pizarro The Swan Inn, Esher. One One Four, Teddington
Recommended: Le Raj, Epsom. Artisans of Sardinia, Putney. The Harwood Arms, Fulham. Kashmir, Putney. No.12, Kingswood.
Local Restaurant of the Year
WINNER: Diba, Wimbledon – a firm favourite with our readers for its authentic Persian dishes in an informal setting.
Highly Commended: Lost Society, Putney
Commended: The Hideaway Thames Ditton Marina, Surbiton. Babylon, Raynes Park. Lobster & Grill, Sutton
Recommended: Macellaio RC, Battersea. The Alexandra, Wimbledon. Caballo Lounge, Epsom. Casa Nostra, Sutton. Cento Uno, Surbiton
WINNER: The Alexandra, Wimbledon – known for its commitment to the community (including free Christmas dinner for anyone who would be alone), our readers love this lively local.
Highly Commended: The Boathouse, Putney
Commended: The Jolly Coopers, Epsom. The Abbeville, Clapham. The Wych Elm, Kingston
Recommended: The Faraday, Epsom. The Green Man, Putney. The Harrow, Cheam. The Victoria, East Sheen. Marneys Village Inn, Weston Green
Best Family Friendly Restaurant
WINNER: Peppe’s at the Cardinal, Kingston – Giuseppe Prestigiacomo – ‘Peppe’ – is not only well known for truly delicious Sicilian cooking but his kindness and generosity in the community – and he makes everyone welcome in his relaxed restaurant.
“The Time & Leisure team have greatly helped spread the word and add creditability through the awards!” Peppe’s at the Cardinal.
Highly Commended: Sticks’n’Sushi, Wimbledon
Commended: Al Forno, Kingston. Antonino’s Pizza, Sutton. Casa Nostra, Sutton
Recommended: Cento Uno, Surbiton. Diba, Wimbledon. Georgian Sisters, Putney. Kashmir, Putney. The Hunger Hatch, Epsom
Best Delivery or Take Away
WINNER: Diba, Wimbledon – delicious Persian dishes served with flair – and available to have at home!
Highly Commended: Crumbs Bakehouse, Putney
Commended: Little Ginger, Kingston. Tsunami, Clapham. Cento Uno, Surbiton
Recommended: The Brown Dog, Barnes. Franco Manca, Wimbledon. Casa Nostra, Sutton. Sakura Yakiniku, East Molesey. Picky Bits, Epsom. Kashmir, Putney.
Most Innovative Arts / Community Project
WINNER: WIMF – Wimbledon International Music Festival, Wimbledon – an incredible event that opens music up to a wider audience and attracts world-class musicians.
“Time & Leisure has been at the forefront of encouraging, and reporting on, the cultural life of our SW London communities. The awards cover a wide range of inspirational activities that help enrich our lives. It has been my great pleasure, as founder and director of the Wimbledon International Music Festival, to have the opportunity to bring live music of the highest international quality to Wimbledon each November.” Anthony Wilkinson, Wimbledon International Music Festival.
Highly Commended: The Horton, Epsom
Commended: Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington. Putney Arts Theatre, Putney. Wandsworth Arts Fringe, Wandsworth & Putney
Recommended: Wimbledon BookFest, Wimbledon. Kingston Sculpture Trail, Kingston. The Farm of Futures, Tolworth. Sprout Arts, Tooting. The Sound Lounge, Sutton
Best Alfresco Dining
WINNER: The Boathouse, Putney – with a stunning riverside location, this is a popular spot with glorious views.
“We are humbled and honoured to receive this award. Thank you so much to our customers who have supported us through a challenging year, not just for us but the industry as a whole. We can’t wait for what 2022 has to offer, but more importantly, we can’t wait to continue to serve and host you.” The Boathouse.
Highly Commended: The Hideaway, Thames Ditton Marina, Surbiton
Commended: The Rubbing House, Epsom. The Loft, Wimbledon, Petersham Nurseries, Petersham
Recommended: Rick Stein, Barnes. Shambles, Teddington. Stein’s, Kingston. No.12, Kingswood. No 29 Power Station West, Battersea
Winner: Incognito, Kingston – with its imaginative cocktails and stunning décor, this top new bar is proving a huge hit.
“After a crazy first year that saw our grand opening delayed by eight months, it’s an honour to have been awarded the Time & Leisure best newcomer and makes all the hard work that little more worthwhile. After an amazing first six months, we can’t wait to welcome everyone to our world of pure imagination throughout 2022.” Incognito.
Highly Commended: Rocksalt, Epsom
Commended: Aspen & Meursault, Battersea. Coppa Club, Putney. The Hideaway, Thames Ditton Marina, Surbiton
Recommended: The Hunger Hatch, Epsom. The Sound Lounge, Sutton. Crust Bros at Sambrook’s Brewery Tap, Wandsworth. Crumbs Bakehouse, Putney. FFK Flava Full Kitchen, Sutton
Edible Epsom Award
Sponsored by Go Epsom
WINNER: The Hunger Hatch – a popular lunch spot with a big following.
“We are absolutely thrilled. A big shout out to you guys supporting and showcasing local businesses. A massive thank you to everyone who voted for us, we love what we do, and we hope that shines through every time someone visits us. ” The Hunger Hatch
Highly Commended: Pizzerium
Commended: Caballo Lounge. Rocksalt. The Faraday
Recommended: Yo Sarnie. Zig Zag Café. Blacks Burgers. Cappadocia. Bill’s Restaurant
Best Coffee / Tea House
WINNER: The Sound Lounge, Sutton – live music, plant-based food and an eco-friendly ethos.
Highly Commended: Organico, Epsom
Commended: The Pickled Pantry, Surbiton. Social Brew Café, Putney. TazZa Coffee, Sutton
Recommended: The French Tarte, Surbiton. Waterhouse Café, Kingswood. Bluebird Brothers, Battersea. The Hunger Hatch, Epsom. Lu-Ma Café, Wimbledon
Most Positive Food and Drink Experience in Putney
Sponsored by Positively Putney BID
Winner: Kashmir – serving authentic Kashmiri food prepared with skill.
“The best award is the love and support from all our guests.” Kashmir
Highly Commended: Artisans of Sardinia
Commended: Coppa Club. Putney Pantry. Yum Sa
Recommended: Smugglers Café. Social Brew Café. The Boathouse. Ghost Whale. Ma Goa
Family Attraction of the Year
WINNER: The London Wetland Centre, Barnes – a fabulous family day out for all ages, offering education and fun.
Highly Commended: Polka Theatre, Wimbledon
Commended: Chessington World of Adventures, Chessington. Epsom Playhouse, Epsom. Hobbledown, Epsom
Recommended: Wimbledon & Putney Commons, Wimbledon & Putney. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surbiton Food Festival, Surbiton. Wimbledon BookFest, Wimbledon. AFC Wimbledon, Wimbledon
Favourite Theatre Show August – November 2021
WINNER: Leopards, The Rose Theatre, Kingston – a bold new play exploring what it means to be ‘good’.
“After one of the most challenging periods in the Rose’s history, Leopards opened our 2021/2022 season as the first Rose Original Production in nearly two years. To have it recognised in this way is a huge honour and we are so grateful both to be open again and for our wonderful audiences who have supported us greatly throughout this time.” Rose Theatre
Highly Commended: Waitress, New Wimbledon Theatre
Commended: Dirty Dancing, Richmond Theatre. Heathers, New Wimbledon Theatre. My Night With Reg, Turbine Theatre
Recommended: 9 to 5 The Musical, New Wimbledon Theatre. Juliet + Romeo, Chelsea Theatre. Revellers Society, OSO Barnes. The Dresser, Richmond Theatre. The Sugar House, Finborough Theatre
Cultural Experience of the Year
WINNER: Wimbledon BookFest, Wimbledon – delivering incredible live events with top guest speakers, despite the constraints of the pandemic.
Highly Commended: Rose Theatre, Kingston
Commended: Painshill Park, Cobham. Richmond Theatre, Richmond. The Horton, Epsom
Recommended: Community Brain Shed X, Tolworth. Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington. New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon. Virtual Kew, Kew Gardens. Wandsworth Arts Fringe, Wandsworth & Putney
WINNER: No.97, Surbiton – incredibly knowledgeable, professional and welcoming team at this excellent independent.
“We’re super stoked to have made it to the top 10 finalists across various categories and having all four of our restaurants shortlisted is an amazing feeling! It’s a credit to our amazing staff and of course our customers. 2021 / 2021 has had its ups and downs for everyone but our community has stood by us all the way and helped us survive! We will be forever grateful. A massive thank you to Time & Leisure Magazine for their continued support championing local businesses and bring on 2022. Let’s smash it everyone.” Sam Berry, No 97, One One Four, Cento Uno, The Hideaway
Highly Commended: Lobster & Grill, Sutton
Commended: Bliss Coffee, Wimbledon. The French Table, Surbiton. Yori, Wimbledon
Recommended: Fox & Grapes, Wimbledon. Incognito, Kingston. One One Four, Teddington. Pizzerium, Epsom. The Hideaway, Thames Ditton Marina Surbiton
The Wimbledon Town Centre People’s Choice
Sponsored by Love Wimbledon
Winner: Leon – the popular branch of the health-conscious food group impressed our readers.
“The whole Leon family are honoured and incredibly excited to be chosen by the people of Wimbledon for this award. Good luck to all the brands in the category.” Leon
Highly Commended: Grilandia
Commended: Polka Theatre. CMYK. Diba Restaurant
Recommended: Dip & Flip. Kokoro. Lu-ma Café. The Alexandra. Bill’s Restaurant & Bar
Sponsored by Enjoy Sutton
WINNER: Casa Nostra – friendly service and fantastic traditional food at this popular Italian.
Highly Commended: The Sound Lounge
Commended: Lobster and Grill. TazZa Coffee. The Crown
Recommended: The Old Bank. Aya Lebanese. FFK Flava Full Kitchen. La Café. Antonino’s Pizza
Best Independent Retailer
WINNER: Ben’s Butchery, Epsom – free range and outdoor-reared meat with an emphasis on sustainability.
“It’s such an honour to be nominated alongside so many amazing businesses. A massive thank you to all our great customers and Conner, Martyn and Phil who without their hard work Ben’s Butchery wouldn’t be possible.” Ben’s Butchery
Highly Commended: Bachmanns, Thames Ditton
Commended: Bevan’s Butchers, Kingston. M. Moen & Sons, Clapham. Wimbledon Wine Cellar, Wimbledon
Recommended: Bayley & Sage, Battersea. Totally Swedish, Barnes. Vallebona, Wimbledon. Whisk, Wimbledon Park. Little Ginger, Kingston
Favourite Entertainment Venue
WINNER: New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon
“We are thrilled to win this and to be nominated for Cultural Experience of the Year and Favourite Theatre Show after what has been such a difficult couple of years for our Industry. We are so pleased the local community have supported and returned to the theatre as us we reopened and brought the theatrical sparkle back to SW19.” New Wimbledon Theatre.
Highly Commended: Banquet Records at Pryzm, Kingston
Commended: Battersea Arts Centre, Battersea. The Sound Lounge, Sutton. The Bedford, Balham
Recommended: Putney Arts Theatre, Putney. Richmond Theatre, Richmond. The Rose Theatre, Kingston. Landmark Arts Centre, Teddington. Outside the Box @ The Royal Oak, New Malden.
Who will be the winner of our Food & Drink producer of the year?
Adam Byatt will be on our judging panel to taste test the best – find out what the panel thought and who will be crowned the winner in March.
“I am honoured to be a part of the awards. South west London and Surrey are brimming with hospitality talent and these awards showcase the very best.” Adam Byatt.
Find out more about the Time & Leisure Food and Culture awards here.
A huge congratulations to all of our finalists. And thank you for supporting all your incredible locals…. here are their messages to you…
“We’re absolutely delighted to be nominated in two categories for this year’s awards, it’s been wonderful to welcome audiences back following our major redevelopment. We’re thrilled to know they like what they find and that Polka is making children’s lives better! Particularly at this challenging time for theatre we want to say a huge thank you to Time & Leisure for their ongoing local support. Polka is back!” Peter Glanville, Artistic Director, Lynette Shanbury, Executive Director, Polka Theatre.
“On behalf of myself and the whole team, I am delighted to accept this nomination in Time & Leisure’s 10th Anniversary Food & Culture Awards. My greatest passion in life is bringing people together over delicious plates of food, and to be recognised for that in such a lovely way feels wonderful.” Jose Pizarro, The Swan.
“We at Richmond Theatre are utterly thrilled to receive nominations in the prestigious Time and Leisure Awards. As theatre director of this beautiful venue, I am delighted for my team, our productions and our suppliers that their hard work has been acknowledged in this way and I wish to thank our customers for the stalwart support they’ve shown us since our re-opening. The awards are important precisely because of the sense of celebration that this news has given us at such a turbulent time for our industry. Congratulations to all nominees – we are honoured to be alongside you. Rachel Crocombe-Lane, Theatre Director, Richmond Theatre
“We are absolutely delighted to have been placed in the top 10 of cultural attractions. It is wonderful to have been chosen by Time & Leisure readers – thank you everyone.” Painshill Park
“The Landmark Arts Centre is both honoured and excited to be one of the 10 finalists in the Culture Experience of the Year and Entertainment Venue categories. After the most difficult two years in our 25-year history, to be recognised in this way means so much to the whole team – trustees, staff and volunteers – and it is made even more special coming from the readers of Time & Leisure. Throughout the rollercoaster lockdown months, we received so many messages of support from the local community and now it is great to welcome them back to enjoy a bumper crop of live music, comedy, exhibitions and activities. Roll on 2022!” Lesley Bossine – Arts Centre Manager, Landmarks Arts Centre
“We are thrilled that The Horton is a finalist in the Time & Leisure awards and has been recognised in two different categories. As a community-led charity project, it has taken us six years to realise the vision of transforming the semi-derelict former Horton Chapel into a wonderful cultural venue. Despite the challenges of Covid, we were finally able to host our first performances in December – live music and a full run of a brand new aerial circus show for families from Hikapee Theatre. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the region in spring 2022 when The Horton and its café-bar is fully open for food and culture.” Maria Reeves, co-founder The Horton.
“ The team at Lobster & Grill is delighted to be voted in the top ten and three separate categories. Time & leisure has been a great supporter for local businesses over the years and we also commend them. We would like to thank you all for taking the time to vote for us. Thank you Time & Leisure for making this happen in very difficult and challenging times we applaud you.“ Lobster & Grill
“We’re thrilled that Kingston Sculpture Trail has been recognised as a Top 10 Community Arts project by Time & Leisure. A collaborative partnership of Kingston First, Kingston Council, Kingston University and Canbury Community Trust worked hard to bring the trail to life, resulting in countless residents and visitors enjoying seven sculptures by world-class artists across Kingston town centre. The project brought a variety of exciting and unique public art into our shared streets and spaces for the whole community to enjoy and we loved seeing visitors, young and old, exploring the trail and interacting with the sculptures. The incredible legacy of the trail is a brilliant piece of permanent public artwork (“Party Animal” by Alex R T Davies MRSS”) selected by a public vote which will be enjoyed for many years to come and will enrich the experience of our town centre.” Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive, Kingston First.
“We’re thrilled to be nominated for the Best Alfresco Dining award. The last two years have been very challenging, so it’s great to see the teams hard work paying off.” Shambles
“We are delighted to be one of the 10 finalists in the Family Attraction of the Year category as part of Time and Leisure’s 10th Anniversary of the Food and Culture Awards. Here at Chessington World of Adventures Resort, we strive on creating memorable, fun days out that will be remembered by the whole family for years to come. Whether it’s coming face-to-face with one of our 1000 animals or experiencing a thrill on one of our rollercoasters, we can’t wait to welcome everyone back during 2022!” Kevin Mcllmurray, Head of Guest Operations at Chessington World of Adventures Resort
“I was so excited to receive the news that Pickled Pantry has made it to the finals for the best coffee house in the Food & Culture awards. Its been an incredibly tough couple of years for independent businesses and this is a huge boost to mine and the team’s morale. I’d like to thank our amazing customers that voted for us and my incredible team for their unwavering support in what’s been a stressful couple of years. Huge congratulations to all the other finalists.” Pickled Pantry
“We are so pleased to hear that Bevan’s has been nominated for best independent retailer, it’s been another challenging year for everyone and it is lovely for us to see the hard work of our team and the quality of our service and products recognised in this way. Hopefully 2022 will see people continuing to support high quality local and independent food shops like ours. We’d like to thank both our wonderful customers and Time & Leisure magazine for the recognition.” Robin Bevan, owner of Bevan’s Butchers
“We are deeply grateful to Wimbledon Park community that welcomed us so warmly when we first opened in November 2020, a very challenging time. Their continue support and love has got us among the finalists, and we are extremely honoured!” Whisk
“Little Ginger is 100% plant based and passionate about homemade food, using flavours from around the world. We bring delicious, colourful food joy – win for you and win for the planet. Thank you for the recognition.” Little Ginger
A massive thank you to all of our sponsors for helping make these awards possible:
Elys, Direct Colour, Love Wimbledon, Go Epsom, Enjoy Sutton, Positively Putney