The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch

Join us on Thursday 2nd April 2020 for the 13th annual Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch 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, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

The Lunch is hosted by the Lord Mayor and attended by a Royal Guest of Honour each year. Previous Royal Guests include HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH The Princess Royal and HRH The Duke of Sussex. In a relaxed and informal atmosphere, guests enjoy a delicious curry lunch, including unlimited wine and beer. 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.

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

We also have several new attractions and surprises planned for the day, so come along in April to find out!

Partners of The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch

ABF The Soldiers’ Charity works in association with the other two national service charities, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund.

Royal Navy & Royal Marines CharityRoyal Air Force Benevolent Fund

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.

Read about the story of pain management programme ‘graduate’ Jo-Anne Nightingale who was interviewed by Founder and Co-Chairman Michael Hockney MBE at a banquet to celebrate the Lunch.

Conversation with Jo-Anne Nightingale


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.

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 (£6,500 per individual), 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.

There are two ticket options available depending on the number of tickets purchased:

1) Individual Tickets / £100 per person.
To purchase individual tickets please click here.

2) Corporate Ticket Packages Groups of 10 or more / from £1,000 (extra places at £100 per person). For more information about what’s included please see our Corporate Ticket Package Brochure or contact Katy Wildman on or 0207 811 3201. To purchase a corporate ticket package please click here.

Ticket packages include:

  • Private entrance to the Lunch through Basinghall Street
  • Access to a corporate reception area in the Livery Hall – exclusive use throughout the afternoon
  • Complimentary glass of champagne on arrival
  • Opportunity to display branding in the reception area
  • Your logo listed on the ‘Corporate Ticket Package Hosts’ page in the Lunch Programme

Please note that tickets and packages are exempt from VAT.

*The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch welcomes guests who are obliged to attend in a wheelchair and use one throughout the drinks reception and the lunch. Guildhall is on two levels; there is a lift which links the two. There is a disabled wc on the ground floor of the west wing of Guildhall. Tickets for all guests, including those in wheelchairs are £100 each, including lunch, coffee and all alcoholic and soft drinks. We are happy to admit a registered carer with the guest in a wheelchair without charge. Guests who wish to come to the Lunch in a wheelchair must notify Polly Roberts, the LMBCL Manager, at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made to ensure that the guest has the best possible time at the Lunch. This will include a reserved space at the Lunch table for the guest in a wheelchair and his/her carer. Further information is available from Polly Roberts on 0207 811 3202 and


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 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.

Associate Sponsor




Supporting sponsor













Sponsors In-Kind

Noon Kerry Foods Private Cellar
Cobra Party Ingredients Coq d’Argent
Susannah Lovis Pinchbeck Gardeners
Capital Coffee Aramark Sodexo
City of London Club Country Life



The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch Committee Membership 2020

We are very grateful to those on The Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch Committee for their hard work, commitment and enthusiasm.

2020 Committee Chairmen

  • The Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Alderman William Russell
  • Mr Michael Hockney

Vice Patrons

  • Sir David Lewis
  • Alderman Nick Anstee
  • Sir Michael Bear
  • Alderman Sir David Wootton
  • Alderman Sir Roger Gifford
  • Alderman Dame Fiona Woolf
  • Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow
  • Alderman the Lord Mountevans
  • Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley
  • Alderman Charles Bowman
  • Alderman Peter Estlin


  • Lady Mayoress Mrs Hilary Russell
  • Alderman and Sheriff Professor Michael Mainelli
  • Sheriff Christopher Hayward
  • Mr Doug Adam
  • Mrs Fiona Adler
  • Mr Johnny Aisher
  • Mr Jeremy Archer
  • Mr John Barradell
  • Dr Heather Barrett-Mold
  • Mr Christopher Barrow
  • Mr Adrian Bastow
  • Lady Katherine Bathurst
  • Mr David Beard
  • Brigadier Greville Bibby
  • The Lady Bilimoria
  • Lady Bradshaw
  • Mr James Bromiley-Davis
  • Lady Catherine Carleton-Smith
  • Lady Carter
  • Field Marshal Sir John Chapple
  • Sir Trevor Chinn
  • Mr Peter Cooper
  • Sir Michael Craig-Cooper
  • Mr Tim Cramp
  • Mr Christopher Davey
  • Colonel Jane Davis
  • Mrs Caroline Davis
  • Mr David Duncan
  • Alderman Emma Edhem
  • Mr William R Firth
  • Mr William Fraser
  • Mrs Susie Freeman
  • Mr Christopher Freeman
  • Mr John Gallagher
  • Alderman John Garbutt
  • Mr Sean Gavin
  • Mr Andrew Gordon
  • Alderman Alison Gowman
  • Alderman Prem Goyal
  • Alderman David Graves
  • The Hon Elizabeth Green
  • Brigadier Tim Gregson
  • Mr Ian Grundy
  • Field Marshal The Lord Guthrie
  • Alderman Timothy Hailes
  • Mr Paul Herbage
  • Mr Stan Hodges
  • Mr Tom Hoffman
  • Lady Houghton
  • Alderman Robert Hughes-Penney
  • The Very Reverend Dr David Ison
  • Lady Jackson
  • Mrs Denise Jones
  • Alderman Gregory Jones
  • Alderman Vincent Keaveny
  • Lady Kent Noon
  • Mr Vaughan Kent-Payne
  • Alderman Alastair King
  • Miss Mei Sim Lai
  • The Rt Hon Mark Lancaster MP
  • Alderman Susan Langley
  • Lieutenant General David Leakey
  • Mrs Susannah Lovis
  • Alderman Nicholas Lyons
  • Mr Simon Martin
  • Alderman Bronek Masojada
  • Mr Adrian Morgan
  • The Right Reverend & Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally
  • Mr John Nichols
  • Sir Kenneth Olisa
  • Mr Tim Orchard
  • Mr Edward Plunket
  • Mr Martin Pope
  • Sir Jonathan Portal
  • Lord Howard of Rising
  • Mr Paul Rochford
  • Mr Michael Bradly Russell
  • Ms Victoria Russell
  • Brigadier David Santa-Olalla
  • Mr David Simmons
  • Mrs Annie Shepperd
  • Mr Nicholas Somers
  • Mrs Laura Taylor
  • Mrs Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP
  • Mr Rupert Uloth
  • Lieutenant Colonel Michael Vernon
  • Mr Adrian Waddingham
  • The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP

Livery Companies

We are delighted to have been supported by the Livery Companies below.

The Worshipful Company of Actuaries The Worshipful Company of Arbitrators The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars The Worshipful Company of Bakers The Worshipful Company of Barbers
The Worshipful Company of Basketmakers The Worshipful Company of Bowyers The Worshipful Company of Brewers The Worshipful Company of Broderers The Worshipful Company of Builders Merchants
The Worshipful Company of Carpenters The Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants The City Livery Club The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers The Worshipful Company of Constructors
The Worshipful Company of Curriers The Worshipful Company of Drapers The Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters The Worshipful Company of Fruiterers The Worshipful Company of Gardeners
The Worshipful Company of Girdlers The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths The Worshipful Company of Grocers The Worshipful Company of Gunmakers The Worshipful Company of Haberdashers
The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists The Worshipful Company of International Bankers The Worshipful Company of Leathersellers The Worshipful Company of Lightmongers Worshipful Company of Marketors
The Worshipful Company of Mercers The Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors The Worshipful Company of Musicians The Worshipful Company of Paviors The Worshipful Company of Pewterers
The Worshipful Company of Plaisterers The Worshipful Company of Saddlers The Worshipful Company of Salters The Worshipful Company of Tallow Chandlers The Worshipful Company of Tax Advisers
The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers The Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers The Worshipful Company of Turners The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers The Worshipful Company of Vintners
The Worshipful Company of Water Conservators The Worshipful Company of World Traders The Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights The Watermen


We were delighted to Launch the 2020 Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch at the Honourable Artillery Company on 20th November 2019.

Launch Party Speech

Enjoy the photographs from 2019’s Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch.

The Lord Mayor's Big Curry Lunch 2019

To see photos from the previous eleven Lunches please click on the links below: