The Eden Project
The Big Lunch - an Eden Project

2012 - What a year!

Blimey, what a spectacular year 2012 was for The Big Lunch and the UK. We’re really proud of everything we achieved with our Big Lunchers. Here are a few highlights and memorable moments…

The fourth annual Big Lunch was on June 3rd. As announced by Buckingham Palace, The Big Jubilee Lunch was part of the main programme of events over the central weekend of HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

We kicked things off with our friend Barbara Windsor and a hoard of Scouts as they launched The Big Jubilee Lunch inside the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Duchess of Cornwall with Scotland shaped cake


It was a proud moment when six face- painted local school children knocked at HRH The Duchess of Cornwall’s door with Big Jubilee Lunch packs and Diamond Jubilee cupcakes. They asked HRH to be patron of The Big Jubilee Lunch, and she agreed. Over the next two months, HRH visited Armagh, Northern Ireland and Holyrood, Scotland, for Big Jubilee Lunch launches and then on Sunday 3rd June, The Duchess of Cornwall and The Prince of Wales joined Londoners on Piccadilly for a Big Jubilee Lunch  – despite the torrential downpour!

The Big Lunch had everyone talking and was a discussion topic across the TV schedules. Whether over a morning coffee during BBC Breakfast or ITV Daybreak, elevenses with the Matthew Wright show or teatime viewing with The One Show – we were there talking about the benefits of getting together with neighbours! There were 9,000 pieces of coverage creating 900 million opportunities to see or hear about The Big Lunch – that’s an average of 14.5 times per person!



Along with our friends Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Barbara Windsor and Phil Vickery we made a TV ad asking the nation ‘what will you bring to the table?’  You can catch the ad again here .

60 celebrities and public figures also told us what they’d bring to the table, from pork pies to laughter and memories, read all 60 answers here.

8.5 million people took part in Big Lunches in all corners of the UK from the Isle of Wight to Laxdale on the Isle of Lewis.

Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at a Big Lunch


On the big day, the team ran around like headless chickens visiting lunches, giving interviews, meeting the Prime Minister at his Big Lunch at Number 10, and introducing HRH The Duke of York and his daughters HRH Princess  Beatrice and HRH Princess Eugenie  as surprise guests at two lunches in Fulham and Chelsea as they made their way to the pageant.


You told us about the biggest street parties your communities have ever seen,  with some of you throwing sponges at one another in splash boards for charity, clearing up while doing the highland fling, Mayoral addresses, Jubilee tree planting and good old fashioned street Tug of Wars. Small or large, come rain or shine, you had a great time. See some of the pictures here.


For the first time The Big Lunch also took off on an international scale. With pack requests from over 70 countries, celebrations began with 100 Scouts in Tuvalu and finished off with a Big Jubilee Lunch in the extremes of the Artic Queen Elizabeth Islands.

Tuvalu Scouts at a Big Jubilee Lunch Artic Big Jubilee Lunch











To close the campaign year, our very own Eden Project Directors Peter Stewart and Rita Broe were honoured by Her Majesty The Queen for their work on The Big Jubilee Lunch. They become Members of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO). MVOs are recognised for their personal service to the reigning monarch.


And our research stats tell us it was a great event for you too:

82% of attendees have kept in touch with people they have met at a previous Big Lunch
94% of our organisers think The Big Lunch is good for community
92% thought The Big Lunch brought different generations together
97% would recommend The Big Lunch to their family


Phew we think that’s about it…until Sunday 2nd June 2013!

Big Lunch gallery

Two men enjoying a pint at a Big Lunch

See great photos of Big Lunches across the UK and beyond.

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