Friendship Through Food

With the invention of the modern day restaurant, communal dining had somewhat died out with the exception of celebration days and religious festivals. 

Even through the peaks and troughs of the last 2 years, venues are opening across Lincolnshire offering a new way of socialising that stem from ancient traditions; from ‘Ordinaries’ of the 17th Century to government funded communal eateries in War time Britain.

Communal Dining

There is currently a growing trend offering shared spaces for strangers to meet and ‘break bread’. Communal tables are returning and becoming a fashionable way to eat out. Long dining tables with large shared dishes being passed around provide a warm and friendly atmosphere.

This same amiable atmosphere greets customers in our county’s community cafes and groups. A place to share food and meet people doesn’t need to be exclusively for evening diners.  

Mint Lane Cafe in the heart of Lincoln city itself is entering its 5th year welcoming a diverse clientele. 

Mint Lane Cafe, Lincoln

CJ the General Manager of Mint Lane CIC told us recently:

“At this time of global disconnect and isolation, social eating is more essential than ever.

The communal sharing of food is a great human universal, a natural way of transversing social barriers, developing trust and building communities as well strengthening friendship and familial bonds.”

Often these social eating spaces naturally evolve as an extension of a wellbeing centre.

DLH Cafe, Bourne 

The Don’t Lose Hope Cafe in Bourne is open through the week offering a space for people to explore the emotional and therapeutic support of the centre whilst having lunch or coffee and chatting with fellow visitors. 

There is a slower pace here than at a regular commercial cafe and to be honest this is very welcome in a time where we, as a nation, are expected to keep lifting our collective foot metaphorically on and off the gas!

We’re really grateful that this is a growing trend in our county. If you have had positive experiences or have found somewhere new that offers a sublime social eating space please do drop Ticky a line:

This article was published in the Lincoln Independent, where we have a regular column.

School Food

Infant and Junior school meal providers, whether in house or external caterers have been supported over the last decade by a variety of effective schemes helping them to deliver healthier and more nutritious lunchtime meals. So now what about our secondary schools? Time for lunch From Year 7 onwards we see a drastic change in […]

Learning from Mrs Smith

A project exploring our sustainable past for a sustainable future, at Mrs Smith’s Cottage. Be More… Seasonal. Sustainable. Hilda. During this time of climate crisis more people are looking to the past to learn new skills and rediscover traditional knowledge that will be able to help us live a more sustainable and environmentally friendly daily life.  […]

Learning to love vegetables

What’s the difference between snot and broccoli?  You can’t get the kids to eat the broccoli! We’re all trying to get the kids to eat more veg, right? “You can’t go play till you’ve finished your carrots. Just try a tiny bit. There’s pudding when you’ve finished your first course.” Coaxing, rewards, punishments… We can […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: