Last Sunday, people all over London turned out for The Big Lunch – a huge communal event that was also satisfyingly local.
Consisting of a series of street parties across the capital (and indeed across Britain), the idea behind The Big Lunch was to encourage community spirit by allowing folks to get to know their neighbours during a relaxed afternoon of food and fun.
Although I’m a dedicated North Londoner, I went to Brixton to attend the Big Lunch with some South London friends. Here I joined “Poet’s Corner” residents from streets Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare and Spenser who were gathered to share wine, women and song.
Well, maybe not women. But there was food and drink a’plenty as well as a bouncy castle for the kids and a makeshift stage in the courtyard of a block of flats.
In true London style, the event featured celebrities (restaurant critic Jay Rayner took to the BBQ, then tinkled the ivories), up and comers (we were serenaded by next big thing MPHO Sounds – whose new single Box N Locks mixes the “Echo Beach” riff with a hip-hop/RnB vibe), Buddhist prayer flags for bunting and even a real London Bus!
And connections were made – my local friend met a guy from two streets down and they decided to form a jazz duo; kids of all ages bonded over the joy of free cupcakes; and we all ended up back at the neighbours’ place for some post-Big Lunch African singing and drumming.
This was just one of many communal events in London that people can be part of this summer. All in all, I’d say The Big Lunch was a Big Success!
Did you go to The Big Lunch? Tell us about it…