Tickets for the 2020 Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch on Thursday 2nd April 2020 are now on sale. Hosted by the Lord Mayor and held at the historic Guildhall in the heart of the City of London. The Lunch demonstrates the City’s support for members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and veterans through the three National Service Charities; ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
There are two ticket options available:
- Individual Tickets: £100 per person
- Corporate Ticket Packages: Groups of 10 or more / from £1,000 (extra places at £100 per person)
Lunch Sitting Times
Lunch takes place for all guests in the Great Hall and food is served buffet-style; seating is unreserved, so guests can meet and network with others. Guests are welcome to stay for the duration of the Lunch (12pm- 3pm) and take part in all the activities available. There are 3 specific sittings for Lunch in the Great Hall. These are at 12:30pm, 1:15pm or 2:00pm. When booking your tickets, please specify which sitting you would prefer.
Why come along?
- Be a part of one of the most hotly anticipated events in the City’s annual calendar
- Rub shoulders with senior officers of the British Army and other services
- Indulge in delicious curries and unlimited beer and wine
- Bid on money-can’t-buy prizes in our silent auction or try your luck with our prize draw
- Visit the stalls run by the Livery Companies of the City of London
- Purchase a glass of champagne or a delicious cocktail and be in with a chance to win either a diamond pendant or a watch
- Check out our Authors Corner – we’ll have several renowned authors selling and autographing their books
Who the Lunch Supports
The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch is one of the City of London’s biggest fundraisers supporting all members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and Veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan through the three National Service Charities; ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Thanks to the funds raised each year by The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch the National Service Charities are able to support people like Lance Sergeant Mark Smith. To hear Mark's story, watch the video below:
Specific Support: The Pain Management Programme
From 2019 – 2021, the Lunch will focus some of the funds raised on a specific and worthwhile theme – employability. Aligning the Lunch with the Civic and Mayoral theme of employment.
One of the biggest inhibitors to veterans getting into the world of work and sticking at it is pain. The causal factors involved are complex, whether physical or psychological. King Edward VII Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health has developed - and tested - a six-month-long Pain Management Programme specifically for veterans, designed to help prepare them for employment. The Lunch will fund up to 18 veterans on this programme each year from 2019 - 2021, as part of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity grant-giving. It will cost up to £120,000 each year, which will still leave us with a significant sum to fund other programmes that support employment and employability and the wider work of the three National Service Charities.
Click here to read about the impact of the Pain Management Programme for Miss Jo-Anne Nightingale.
2020 Lunch Sponsorship?
We’d love to hear from companies and individuals who would be interested in sponsoring the 2020 Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch. For more information on the different sponsorship packages available, please see our sponsorship brochure. Alternatively, please contact Katy Wildman at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0207 811 3201.
The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch 2020 Sponsors
The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch is very grateful to all of our past sponsors and sponsors in-kind.
Who attends the lunch?
Every year guests include senior leaders from the City’s business and professional communities, members of Livery Companies and Ward Clubs; senior officers of the British Army and the other services and members of both Houses of Parliament.
What is the history of the lunch?
The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch (LMBCL) 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 drinks, 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 regular 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 to 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 twelve years the Lunches have contributed a total of over £2.1million to help those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
From 2018 onwards, The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch has supported all members of the Armed Forces who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan and their families; through the British Army’s National Charity, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity and in association with The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Additionally, for the 2019 – 2021 Lunches, The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch will link with the Civic and Mayoral theme of employment and employability and provide financial support for veterans to take part in the Pain Management Programme at King Edward VII Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health. For more information visit Support Page
Who is the Royal Guest of Honour?
Due to high security measures, the Royal Guest of Honour is announced only a few days before the Lunch. Previous Royal Guests have included HRH Prince of Wales, HRH The Duke of Sussex and HRH The Princess Royal
Who does the Lunch support?
The Lunch supports all members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces and veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, through the three National Service Charities – ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.
Specifically, part of the money raised from the 2019, 2020 and 2021 Lunches will provide financial support for veterans to take part in a programme designed to help prepare them for employment. King Edward VII Hospital’s Centre for Veterans’ Health has developed – and tested – a six-month-long Pain Management Programme specifically for veterans. The Lunch will fund up to 18 veterans on this programme each year from 2019 – 2021, as part of ABF The Soldiers’ Charity grant-giving. This project will also align the Lunch with the Civic and Mayoral theme of employment and employability. It will cost up to £120,000 each year (£6,500 per veteran), which will still leave us with a significant sum to fund other programmes that support employment and employability and the wider work of the three National Service Charities.
You can find out more about the Pain Management Programme here.
What is The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch Committee?
A 100-strong volunteer committee help to organise all aspects of the Lunch and is chaired by Mr Michael Hockney and the Lord Mayor. They meet on five separate occasions and are instrumental in securing prizes for the auction and draw, selling tickets and corporate packages, and sourcing sponsorship. The Committee is made up of a range of individuals from a variety of backgrounds including leading business people from the City – senior accountants, bankers, investment managers, lawyers, the chairmen of financial and professional institutions – and senior military figures.
Who is on the Committee?
The full 2020 Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch Committee List can be found here.
What is a Silent Auction?
Silent auctions are auctions held without an auctioneer. Guests place their bids on electronic tablets at the Lunch.
Who is the Lord Mayor of the City of London?
The Lord Mayor of London is the City's mayor and the leader of the City of London Corporation. One of the world’s oldest continuously elected civic offices, it is entirely separate from the directly-elected Mayor of London.
What is a Livery Company and how do they support the Lunch?
The Livery Companies of the City of London, currently 110 in number, comprise London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds. The Lunch is supported by over 50 of the Livery Companies in the City of London. You can see which Livery Companies support the Lunch here.
They all support the Lunch through many different channels. These include:
- Making a £6,500 contribution (or multiples of this) towards the Lunch to fund one place on the Pain Management Programme
- Making a donation of any amount
- Buying tickets on behalf of their members
- Advertising the Lunch to their members
- Putting on an event in support of the LMBCL
- Running a Livery Company selling stall on the day of the Lunch
What is a Ward Club and how do they support the Lunch?
City of London ward clubs are civil society organisations based in the wards of the City of London. You can see which Ward Clubs support the Lunch here. Ward Clubs support the Lunch through various channels. These include:
- Making a donation towards the Lunch.
- Buying tickets on behalf of their members to the Lunch.
- Advertising the Lunch to their members.
Are there any other events linked with The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch?
Yes, there are multiple supporting events for the Lunch. These include:
- The Lord Mayor's Launch Reception: Each annual Lunch is launched by the Lord Mayor in November. The reception is attended by the Civic and Mayoral Party, the LMBCL Committee, sponsors, supporters and Livery Masters and Clerks. During the evening the Lord Mayor makes a speech outlining the aims and objectives for the Lunch that year.
- To read the Co-Chairman and Founder, Mr Michael Hockney's, speech at the 2020 LMBCL Launch please click here.
- The Garden Launch: Every March there is a launch for the opening of the Commemorative Garden in Guildhall Yard. The Garden is designed (and maintained) by the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and remains in place until the evening of The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch. The Lord Mayor, a Royal Guest of Honour, celebrity gardeners and Masters and Clerks from the Livery Companies and Ward Clubs in the City are usually in attendance.
- The Lord Mayor's Thank You Party: Each annual Lunch holds a Thank You Reception in May, to thank all those involved on the day. The Lord Mayor announces the final result of the Lunch that year and publically thanks key sponsors and supporters.
- Other Satellite Events: Committee Members and Livery Companies sometimes hold their own events in support of the LMBCL and any funds raised goes towards the final total. To hear about what Satellite Events are on throughout the year, please get in touch with Polly Roberts on email@example.com.
I want to book several tickets, but don't yet know the names of my guests - do I need to fill out all their details?
No - at this stage you can simply leave the guest names section blank. We will need their names by 20 March 2020.
Do you need the addresses of all my guests?
No - we will send all the tickets out to the main booker.
I want to book tickets for a group and take advantage of the corporate area. Can I do this directly?
Yes - call Katy Wildman on 0207 811 3201 or Polly Roberts on 0207 811 3202 or e-mail using firstname.lastname@example.org
What do we need to bring on the day?
Each attendee will need to bring along their ticket and photo ID.
What is the dress code?
Dress is lounge suit or Service Dress with leather/medals for serving personnel and Badges of Office for the Livery.
What are the main timings on the day?
12.00pm The Lunch Opens
12.30pm First Lunch sitting begins in the Great Hall
1.15pm Second Lunch sitting begins in the Great Hall
2.00pm Third Lunch sitting begins in the Great Hall
2.45pm Prizes are drawn in the Old Library
3.00pm The Lunch Closes
What are the specific lunch sitting times?
There are 3 specific sittings for Lunch in the Great Hall. These are at:
Lunch takes place for all guests in the Great Hall and food is served buffet-style; seating is unreserved, so guests can meet and network with others. Guests are welcome to stay for the duration of the Lunch (12pm- 3pm) and take part in all the activities available. When booking your tickets, please specify which sitting you would prefer.
What else goes on at the Lunch?
- Diamond and Champagne Bar: Each glass of Pol Roger champagne purchased gives you entry to a draw to win a diamond pendant designed and made by Susannah Lovis. A glass of champagne is £20, three glasses for £50 or a bottle for £100.
- Watch and Cocktail Bar: Each Coq d’Argent cocktail purchased gives you entry to a draw to win a bespoke hand-made watch from Harold Pinchbeck. One cocktail is £20, three cocktails are £50 or seven cocktails are £100.
- Prize Draw: In the Old Library and Livery Hall you will find opportunities to take part in the draw. The draw allows you to put your ticket in the ‘pot’ for the draw prize you particularly want. Staff will be selling draw tickets throughout the Lunch, at £20 each, or three tickets for £50 or seven for £100.
- Silent Auction: This year’s prizes for the silent auction promise to be spectacular. Further details will be released in February 2020. The online auction will close at midnight before the Lunch and the highest bid online will become the opening bid at the Lunch. You can take part in the bidding throughout the Lunch, using hand held iPads found on tables in the Great Hall or big stands in the Old Library, Livery Hall and East Crypt. If you must leave the Lunch before bidding closes at 3.00pm, maximum bids can be left during the Lunch on the iPad system.
- Coffee and chocolates from Capital Coffee are available in the Old Library to enjoy after Lunch.
- Livery Company Selling stalls: There are several Livery Stalls selling a range of items, including flowers, fresh fruit, Charity merchandise and signed books
Will I receive a printed ticket in the post?
Yes, if you book before 15th March 2020, we will post out official printed tickets in the post. If you book after 15th March 2020 please bring a copy of your confirmation email with you on the day as your ticket.
Can I arrive earlier than my specified Lunch Sitting time?
Yes, all activities open at 12 noon irrespective of your Lunch sitting time and will be open until the end of the Lunch. We just ask guests to go to lunch in the Great Hall at a specific time (12:30pm, 1:15pm or 2:00pm) as each Lunch sitting has a carefully managed capacity.
Is there reserved seating?
No, there is no reserved seating in the Great Hall.