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Time Out Love London Award Winners 2018

Time Out Love London Awards 2018: the winners

Thousands of Londoners picked their favourite places in our citywide vote. Here are the local gems they loved the most

James Manning
Isabelle Aron
Written by
James Manning
Isabelle Aron

What makes London great? Is it the history, the culture, the food? Well, yes, all of those things. But the vital factor is diversity: this city’s multifarious mix of people and neighbourhoods. The Time Out Love London Awards, supported by the Mayor of London, are a chance to celebrate that by handing over to the people who know the capital best: Londoners.

Sixty thousand votes were cast in this year’s Love London Awards, with thousands of people nominating their favourite places in more than a dozen categories. (If you were one of them, thanks – we couldn’t have done it without you!)

Now we can finally reveal the winners: the 13 local spots that picked up the most votes in their fields. From city icons and world-famous venues to independent restaurants, pubs and shops, they’re a fittingly eclectic showcase of the greatest city in the world. A big hand, please, for the winners of the 2018 Time Out Love London Awards!

Who won in your neighbourhood? See the full Love London Awards results.

Time Out Love London Awards 2018: the winners

Most Loved Local Bar or Pub
  • Bars and pubs
  • Colliers Wood

The Sultan

Managers Helen and Steve Tribbel explain how this Wimbledon pub has become a second home to locals

‘We have a group who come in on a Monday night – Brian, Alan and Gary. There were four of them but Ken sadly passed away earlier this year. They play nomination whist. Brian comes in first to set up the table, complete with a felt cloth. They’ve even got an automatic card-shuffler. It’s usually pretty obvious if one of them is losing, but I won’t say who – it’s always good-natured.’

Runner-up The Kenton, South Hackney

Most Loved Local Brunch Spot
  • Restaurants
  • British
  • Southwark

The Table Café

Co-owner Shaun Alpine-Crabtree on why brunch is a serious business at this Bankside café

‘We have people who’ve been coming here for a decade. They order the same dish every time and even want their food presented in the same way – toast on this side, eggs on that side. That’s a huge part of what we do. We get to know people on first-name terms. I once made the hideous mistake of removing one of our brunch dishes – sweetcorn fritters – and I got people going “How dare you, who do think you are?” As a restaurant, we’ll respond to that sort of thing. The locals definitely have ownership of it.’

Runner-up Urban Pantry, Turnham Green

  • Cinemas
  • Independent
  • Peckham


Director Simone Brown explains why this SE15 picturehouse is unique

‘Last year there was a fake news story that the cinema was closing, and we were inundated with messages of support and petitions to the council – we even ended up on the “Six O’Clock News”. Some people come in two or three times a week. A few are so well known to staff that as soon as they appear at the front doors, their popcorn, drinks and ice cream are waiting at the counter.’

Runner-up Genesis Cinema, Stepney

  • Nightlife
  • Canada Water

Printworks London

Head of development Matthew Johnston on why this Surrey Quays spot is an important cultural space

‘There was a bleak period for music in the capital a few years back, but there’s a really good energy at the moment – clubs are opening and reopening. It’s great to be part of this rebirth. Without entertainment, culture and creativity, London just wouldn’t be London.’

Runner-up Moors Bar, Crouch End

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Highbury
  • price 1 of 4

Highness Café & Tea Room

Owner Onur Goksu explains how this Highbury café has helped bring people together

‘A young couple who met while working in our cosy area upstairs celebrated their fifth anniversary together last month. We reserved a table for them so they could mark the occasion with afternoon tea. Most of our customers are regulars – they’re part of the family. We got broken into last year and everyone turned up with flowers and cards the next day. It was so thoughtful.’

Runner-up Coffee in the Wood, Colliers Wood

Most Loved Local Culture Spot
  • Museums
  • Film and TV
  • Elephant & Castle

The Cinema Museum

Co-founder Martin Humphries on what this award means at a time when the museum is under threat

‘It’s overwhelming. We know people love the museum, but we didn’t realise quite how many. This is so important at a time when our museum is in danger of being closed down due to the redevelopment of the area. We hope that The Cinema Museum will survive. To have the whole of London behind us makes me think we can do it!’

Runner-up Tate Modern, South Bank

  • Attractions
  • Sightseeing
  • Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

The superstar among Thames bridges may not be an unlikely champion, but it’s a worthy one. Over its 123 years guarding the Pool of London, Sir Horace Jones’s mighty span has become an icon of the city, endlessly photographed by tourists and fiercely loved by Londoners. And while the ticketed Tower Bridge Exhibition is well worth your hard-earned, the spectacle of the mighty Victorian arms lifting to let a boat through won’t cost you a penny.

Runner-up St Paul’s Cathedral, St Paul’s

  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Harringay

The Banc

Co-founder Fabio Teixeira on how he turned an old bank into a restaurant and shisha lounge

‘I opened The Banc with my friend Jan – we met at Park View School, which is 50 metres from the restaurant. The building was an old Barclays bank that had been derelict for more than ten years. We have a customer who gets on so well with our staff, he comes in every day to have his special shisha – Irn-Bru and frozen blueberry. He’s been here the last 35 days consecutively, but one of our other regulars holds the undisputed record: 76 days in a row.’

Runner-up, Most Loved Local Late-night Spot Moors Bar, Crouch End

Runner-up, Most Loved Local Restaurant Romulo Café, Kensington

  • Nightlife
  • Clubs
  • Vauxhall

Royal Vauxhall Tavern

Programme manager and producer Catia Ciarico explains why this south London pub is an LGBTQ+ institution

‘The RVT is more than just a venue. It has huge significance for the people who perform here and visit us, as evidenced by the campaigns over the last few decades to save the RVT when it’s been under threat. As one of the oldest surviving gay venues in London, it holds a special place in the LGBTQ+ community.’

Runner-up Dalston Superstore, Dalston

  • Music
  • Music venues
  • Brixton

O2 Academy Brixton

General manager Nigel Downs shares the inside scoop on the famed Brixton music venue

‘The Prodigy are our most frequent artist. They’ve performed here 23 times! Also, the lead singer of Papa Roach loved playing here so much he named his son “Brixton”.’

Runner-up Luna Lounge, Leytonstone

Most Loved Local Park
  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Victoria Park

Victoria Park

Park manager Dave Hime explains why this east London green space is vital for the community

‘Many locals don’t have a back garden so the park becomes their back garden: they can enjoy this beautiful space for free. No two days are the same. One January morning there was a man swimming naked in the west lake. We think he was still partying from the night before. On another occasion we received a call from a local resident informing us that one of our swans was in the lift of a nearby tower block, on the twenty-first floor. I called the swan sanctuary and they went to rescue it and returned it to the park. No one knows how it got up there.’

Runner-up Greenwich Park, Greenwich

  • Bars and pubs
  • Cocktail bars
  • Fulham

King’s Head Cocktail Bar & Courtyard

Co-founder Nenad Petrovic explains why locals love drinking alfresco at this Fulham boozer

‘The courtyard is a secluded spot; people forget that they’re on a high street in London. When we have music and DJs outside, it feels like an island party – we’re just missing a beach! Our regulars all have their favourite seats. One of them, Dan, actually has a cocktail named after him. He lives locally and when he tried one of our “cocktails of the day” he said he loved it but wanted it to be a bit stronger and to add tequila. Now it’s on the menu as a Dan the Man. He was pretty chuffed. It’s not for the faint-hearted.’

Runner-up Frank’s Cafe, Peckham

Most Loved Local Shop
  • Shopping
  • Specialist food and drink
  • Camden Town

Mei Leaf

Owner Don Mei shares what makes this Camden Town tea shop and café stand out

‘We deal in small-batch curated tea, so pretty much everything is limited-edition. We love hunting down precious teas that you can hardly ever get – they’re a world away from the scented blends and standard export tea.’

Runner-up Cheeses of Muswell Hill, Muswell Hill

Time Out Love London Awards: learn more

Time Out Love London Awards 2018
  • Things to do

Thousands of Londoners voted for their most loved local shops, restaurants, pubs, landmarks and more. Now discover the winners of the Love London Awards 2018. Who won in your neighbourhood?

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