By Mike Shepherd and Vicky Rider.
The Aberdeen Big Lunch was held on Sunday 18th of July in Union Terrace Gardens. It was just one of many similar events up and down the country inspired by the first Big Lunch, started by the Eden Project, several years ago. The aim was to bring local communities together and about 200 Aberdonians and visitors took part in what proved to be a very successful event.
Free organic vegetarian soup and bread were provided for all with the cooking facilities made available – courtesy of Cafe 52 on the Green. The event was organised by Caspar Lampkin and his fellow students at Aberdeen University with the Friends of Union Terrace Gardens providing support. To mark the special occasion, Steve Bothwell and owner of Cafe 52, reintroduced the game of draughts to Union Terrace Gardens by donating three boards and pieces for use in the park. It was great to see the game being played in the gardens again after all these years.
The beginning of the Big Lunch saw ominous rain clouds hanging over the somewhat wet Union Terrace Gardens. I arrived early and brought a tent; why let a little rain ruin a fantastic free lunch? The threatened gardens were looking their best with bonny floral displays and were the perfect setting for this type of get together. There were also some great musicians enjoying soup, bread and some lovely banana cake whilst finding the time to entertain us as well! My little girl who is nearly two, especially liked the young man sitting on the bench playing his guitar. She even broke out into a peculiar dance, so thanks to him for keeping her amused for a while!
A fine day out was had with some tasty soup, good company and the added bonus of fantastic surroundings. It warms my heart, as much as the fantastic soup did, to see the gardens becoming so popular again. See you there next weekend? You have to bring your own food this time, unfortunately.