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: ticky@lincolnshirefoodpartnership.org

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

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