The sweetest thing
Wonderful Wandsworth isn't known as Nappy Valley for nothing. The green expanse of the common is filled with the joyful cries of the youngest generation as their little legs power them around the park. In summer, you'll hear the thwack of leather on willow as groups of families congregate for picnics and lazy games of Cricket. Although Wandsworth may look and feel like the countryside, its centre of gravity is Northcote Road, filled with boutiques, tapas bars and gastropubs. Just around the corner you'll find St James Drive. A four bedroom four-storey Victorian home with a beautiful split level garden.
Fabulous Baker Girl
Your host is a stockbroker in the city, while his wife, who grew up in West Sussex and Mallorca, runs a successful business providing bespoke birthday cakes from the semi professional kitchen in the basement. They live here with their two children, aged 5 and 9, and a pair of cats who go everywhere with the family.
Icing on the cake
In the double-aspect sitting room at St James Drive you'll be torn between playing a game of table football or sinking onto the velvet sofa to drink in your surroundings. Double doors open onto the first of three gardens, this one with decking and wooden furniture. Head down the stairs and onto the lawn, where you can relax on a sun lounger and watch the kids climb and play. Down another set of steps is a whitewashed outdoor dining area that overlooks the kitchen.
And what a kitchen it is. With an Aga, a semi-professional range, and just about every gadget for the pampered chef, the dining table will be groaning with all manner of delicacies you've whipped up with very little effort. Of course, if you want to take it a little easier, head next door and watch a film on the projector, or let the kids do their worst with the boxes of toys and children's videos. There's even a Lego bas-relief sculpture on the cloakroom wall.
Upstairs you have two floors of bedrooms. The first floor contains a cosy, mushroom-coloured double, with a fireplace and its own ensuite. Next to this is a brace of children's rooms, one with twin beds, the other a single, and a further bathroom for them to share. But it's the top floor that is so magnificent. A super king-sized bed dominates the room, with its pretty metallic wallpaper. There's a walk in dressing room on one side, and then a huge bathroom complete with seven-way shower and low, wide bath tub, on the other.
Cherry on top
Wandsworth is one of South London's most desirable addresses. As well as its own Common, complete with duck pond and cafe, Clapham Common is just up the road. Northcote Road has an antiques market, chic boutiques and endearing trinket shops, and there are myriad restaurants and gastropubs offering up every kind of food. Anyone in search of the full gourmet experience need head no further than Chez Bruce, on a pretty parade of shops in Bolingbroke Grove. To head into town, hop on a train at Wandsworth Common and you'll be at Victoria Station in twelve minutes.