A Brief History

In October 2007 I had a conversation with a friend, when the idea was conjured. I was describing how I wanted to create a dinner party on London Bridge for a friends birthday. I had heard stories from friends describing these magical scenes. One friend had described a couple dining on a frozen over pond in Hampstead Heath.

It is during this conversation that I realised that this idea does not need to be a temporary happening and there could be a dining table in public space that is fixed, permanent and available for anyone to use.

I was studying Social Anthropology at University at the time and I started to contextualise the idea and get excited about it many ways. I saw the table’s potential to challenge peoples interactions in public space and with each other.

In Spring 2008 alongside my friend Oli I laid out a table on Regents Canal. I invited passers by to join me for tea, cake and a chat. I saw how well it worked and how receptive people were to it.

The following year I was involved in a project in Regents Park. As part of the project I installed a huge round table, which circulated one of the trees. As part of the project I organised several workshops and events including a talk by a herbalist on the medicinal uses of daisies and a performance of a Greek Myth told with knives, forks, foods and other dining paraphernalia.

In January 2010 I approached Lee Valley Parks with the idea. They liked it and this journey began. I received funding in February from UnLtd and later sent out a brief to artists proposing the project and asking for designers. I received a range of responses and in the end chose Tabitha and Giles. The project has now expanded into this website and I very much look forward to celebrating the table in Lee Valley Parks later this year.