New Mayor of London Sadiq Khan names Tooting Arts Club and Battersea Park among his favourite locals as Time Out launches Love London Awards 2016

Posted at 11:29 am September 5, 2016

A big celebration of small businesses is coming to the capital as Time Out, the trusted global brand for inspiring and enabling people to make the most of their city, launches its Love London Awards 2016.

Whether it’s the tiny bar with the smoothest martinis, the cat café or the quirky shop with rare vintage dresses – Londoners have lots of love for those hidden gems in their city. They can now get behind them and nominate their favourite local, independent businesses to give them the recognition they deserve.

Ahead of Time Out’s Love London Awards 2016, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has revealed his favourite local haunts in the capital:

·      Tooting Lido “It’s a grade II listed Art Deco lido, there’s freshwater in the swimming pool, it’s open 365 days a year. When the sun’s shining, it’s a wonderful place to go. My daughters love it.”

·      Tooting Arts Club – “They did a production of Sweeney Todd in Harrington’s Pie and Mash Shop which Stephen Sondheim attended – now they’ve taken it to Broadway! It’s a real example of the culture we’ve got in Tooting. I’m also patron of Polka Theatre in Wimbledon that does some great childrens' productions.”

·      Battersea Park – “I’ve recently rediscovered Battersea Park. It’s a great park: you’ve got the Pagoda, the children’s zoo and they’ve just reinvigorated this lovely old display from the 1951 festival there. You can’t beat London for green space!”

·      Tooting’s restaurants – “It’s one of the big jokes in Tooting that I’ve never named my favourite restaurant so I don't fall foul of the other owners. But our curry restaurants are great. Lahore Karahi, Spice Village, Masaledar are very good - great quality food, really reasonable prices, always a cheerful, smiley waiter serving you.”

Nominations for Love London Awards are open throughout September across five categories: bars & pubs, restaurants, cafés, shops and cultural venues. Voted for entirely by Londoners from October 6 to 31, the winners will be revealed at an Awards ceremony on November 14. Now in its third year, the Awards are part of Time Out’s commitment to support local, independent businesses. Over 20,000 nominations and almost 320,000 votes for local venues were generated across more than 90 London neighbourhoods since 2014. 

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: "From Cricklewood to Croydon, Barnes to Barking, London’s local businesses are the beating heart of our city’s vibrant communities. I’m asking Londoners to get behind their neighbourhood favourites in the Time Out Love London Awards 2016. It’s an excellent way to show your appreciation of your favourite local shops, restaurants, cafes, pubs or cultural venues in each corner of the capital and tell the stories behind these hidden gems.” 

Caroline McGinn, Editor in Chief at Time Out London, added: “Since 1968, Time Out has been dedicated to discovering and championing the best of the city. And best doesn’t always mean biggest. A genuinely brilliant neighbourhood pub, bar, café, shop, restaurant or cultural venue can make all the difference to your life in London. Londoners are always eager to tell us how much they cherish those unsung heroes. Our Awards are an opportunity to celebrate them and give some love back.” 

Last year’s Time Out Love London Awards surfaced some unique small businesses that demonstrate the sheer creativity and boldness of the capital’s entrepreuneurs: from BOW WOW London dog boutique to Crouch End’s culturual hub, Art House Cinema. For food and drink, Vietnamese restaurant Cay Tre in Soho and Love & Scandal café in Waterloo came out top, with The Kenton in Hackney crowned best pub.

The Time Out Love London Awards 2016 is supported by the Mayor of London’s Office. Londoners can nominate between September 1 to 30 on timeout.com/lovelondon 

The Mayor’s Office’s support for Time Out Love London Awards coincides with the #LondonIsOpen campaign which aims to show the world that London remains entrepreneurial, international, and full of creativity and possibility, while reassuring the more than one million foreign nationals who live in London that they will always be welcome. Supporting the Love London Awards demonstrates how every corner of #LondonIsOpen, to visitors, tourists and locals alike.