The Big Lunch – Get Involved!

The Big Lunch: The Why’s and the How’s

The Big Lunch aims to bring communities together by getting as many people across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours. Communities all around the UK have been getting together since the project launched in 2009.

Having lunch with your neighbours may seem like a trivial thing but the benefits can be massive. These things may be overlooked in everyday life, but The Big Lunch gives you the opportunity to reap the benefits of a good community spirit.

the big lunch gathering come together

Friendship and a sense of community

Let’s face it- sharing makes you feel good. The Big Lunch is the perfect opportunity to share with the people that live around you! In socialising with people you may not normally spend much time with – you may find that you learn a lot from them as their lives have taken a different trajectory to your own. Not only that, but building trust and friendships with the people that live around you is incredibly rewarding. These are friendships that you can enjoy the whole year round.

If you decide to cook for your neighbours – you may want to cook as a family. This may be something that you don’t normally do and would be a great opportunity for bonding and to have a little fun together.

Try new foods

The Big Lunch is your opportunity to try new foods, whether you’re catering for other people or you’re eating other people’s food. The variety is not only healthy for you, but will give you a sense of adventure whilst discovering new flavours.

You may even find that you learn something new about yourself and different cultures!


The main reason for The Big Lunch is to enjoy yourself! This is a social event that should bring communities together and can be fun for all ages. Have a little fun with it!

Some Sharing Ideas…

Jamie Oliver’s – Easy cheese fondue 

the big lunch fondue

A quick one that everyone can help themselves to. So satisfying!

Serves 10


2 peeled and chopped shallots 

Olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs of fresh thyme or marjoram, leaves picked

50ml of cider

400g of Cheddar cheese

400g of Gruyere cheese

150g of blue cheese

2 tablespoons of crème fraîche


Heat some oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Grab a large saucepan with an inch or two of hot water and put it on a low heat. Put a large heatproof bowl over the saucepan so you have a bain-marie.

Cook the shallots in the frying pan for 5-10 minutes with a pinch of salt and pepper and the herbs. Once the shallots have softened add them, along with the cider and all of the cheeses to the bowl.

Let the cheese melt in the bowl, stirring occasionally. When the cheese has almost completely melted, stir in the crème fraîche and a little bit of hot water to thin the mixture a little. Have a quick taste and add more seasoning if needed. Ensure all of your dipping ingredients and skewers are at the ready. Croutons are a classic to dip, but anything of your choosing is perfect for this dish!


BBC Good Food’s – Simple Sushi 

the big lunch sushi

A great idea to involve everyone in the making process. Just lay the ingredients out on the table and have a go!

Serves 6


300g of sushi rice

100ml of rice wine vinegar

2 tbsp of golden caster sugar

3 tbsp of mayonnaise

1 tbsp of soy sauce

25g bag of seaweed sheets

Fillings of your choice:

Cucumber strips

Smoked salmon

White crabmeat

Canned tuna, red pepper


Great to serve with:

Pickled ginger

Soy sauce


Bold writing for Kids. The rest is for the adults.

Sushi Rolls

Pat out some rice. Lay a nori sheet on the mat, shiny-side down. Dip your hands in the vinegar water, and then pat handfuls of rice on top in a 1cm thick layer, leaving the furthest edge from you clear.

Spread over some Japanese mayonnaise. Use a spoon to spread out a thin layer of mayonnaise down the middle of the rice.

Add the filling. Get your child to top the mayonnaise with a line of their favourite fillings.

Roll it up. Lift the edge of the mat over the rice, applying a little pressure to keep everything in a tight roll.

Stick down the sides like a stamp. When you get to the edge without any rice, brush with a little water and continue to roll into a tight roll.

Wrap in cling film. Remove the mat and roll tightly in cling film before a grown-up cuts the sushi into thick slices, and then unravel the cling film.

Pressed Sushi

Layer over some smoked salmon. Line a loaf tin with cling film, and then place a thin layer of smoked salmon inside on top of the cling film.

Cover with rice and press down. Press about 3cm of rice over the fish, fold the cling film over and press down as much as you can, using another tin if you have one.

Tip it out like a sandcastle. Turn block of sushi onto a chopping board. Get a grown-up to cut into fingers, and then remove the cling film.

Sushi Balls

Choose your topping. Get a small square of cling film and place a topping, like half a prawn or a small piece of smoked salmon, on it. Use damp hands to roll walnut-sized balls of rice and place on the topping.

Make into tight balls. Bring the corners of the cling film together and tighten into balls by twisting it up, then unwrap and serve.


All Recipes – Perfect Summer Fruit Salad

the big lunch fruit salad

A great choice for a refreshing summer dessert. A healthy one too!

Serves 6


2/3 cup of fresh orange juice

1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup of packed brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon of grated orange zest

1/2 teaspoon of grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 cups of cubed fresh pineapple

2 cups of hulled and sliced strawberries

3 of peeled and sliced kiwi fruit

3 sliced bananas

2 peeled and sectioned oranges

1 cup of seedless grapes

2 cups of blueberries


Bring the orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, orange zest, and lemon zest to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat, and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.

Place the rest of the fruit in a bowl and pour the cooled sauce over the fruit. Cover and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours before serving.

For more information on The Big Lunch, please click here.