The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch took place on 4th April 2019 and was attended by HRH The Duke of Sussex.
The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch first took place in April 2008, hosted by the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress at Guildhall, the centre of the City of London’s governance, ceremonial and philanthropy. It was a Civic and Guildhall event, but with several differences. A fixed price gave access to unlimited curries and accompanying wines and beer, there would be no seating plan, everyone would serve themselves – and go back for seconds - and everyone would sit on benches!
From the outset, the Lunch had several purposes. First to raise funds to support soldiers and former soldiers, both regulars and reservists, who had served in Iraq and, subsequently, in Afghanistan and their families. Secondly, to raise awareness in the City community of the role of the Armed Forces of the Crown. Third, to build awareness of the national charity that works ceaselessly to support soldiers and former soldiers and their families – ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. Finally, to emphasise to city workers, the breadth and depth of the City’s philanthropy towards those in society who need help and support.
The first Lunch in 2008 attracted 700 guests and was held in a marquee in Guildhall Yard as the Guildhall kitchens were out of action at the time. Following its success, the attendance grew year on year and by 2016 the Lunch had grown to the extent that we now use all the principal rooms in Guildhall. Over the last eleven years the Lunches have contributed a total of over £1.9 million to help those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From the 2018 onwards, The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch has extended its remit and now supports all members of the Armed Forces of The Crown who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families; through the three national service charities, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
To accompany a menu of delicious curries to suit all tastes, the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch is fortunate to have the support of Private Cellar. Private Cellar provides two superb wines each year, specially selected for us by Andrew Gordon and Laura Taylor. Both Andrew and Laura are long-serving members of the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch Committee.
Michael Hockney MBE
Founder and Co-Chairman, The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch