What a year! As 2021 draws to an end, we wanted to welcome in the New Year by looking ahead to 22 moments we’re excited to celebrate in 2022! Next year’s calendar is bursting with highly anticipated events such as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the return of Glastonbury, the football world cup, as well as those precious moments closer to home that we hope to be able to celebrate without restriction! Our dedicated events catering team and café venues are all set to make sure that every occasion, no matter how big or small, will be one to remember!
1. The Return of Weddings
We were so glad to be a part of some wonderful weddings this year and we can’t wait for even more matrimonies in 2022. With many couples patiently postponing their big day until life begins to feel more settled, we’re hoping 2022 will deliver some long-awaited stability so that we can really get planning! With over a decade of experience catering weddings all over the country and abroad, we’re quite the experts in being flexible and following couples wherever their imagination takes them! If you’re already drumming up ideas for your dream day in 2022, get in touch with our dedicated events team and let’s make it happen! You might also like to check out our blog on wedding trends to look out for in 2022!
Veganuary is not a fad but an annual challenge encouraging people to commit to a vegan lifestyle for the month of January, and something we fully get behind at Social Pantry! Our sustainable dining options are designed to be inclusive of all dietary requirements, so we intentionally offer inspiring plant-based dishes and menus all year round. Veganuary provides an opportunity to celebrate the plant-based innovation coming out of our kitchens and encourage customers to try something new. From approachable café favourites such as “Chestnut mushrooms with cavalo nero, oat milk crème fraiche and zero waste pesto on sourdough” to lavish vegan canapes such as “roast chickpea with fermented potato fritter” and show-stopping plant-based desserts like “frozen peanut mousse, black cherry sorbet, and pecan praline”, we have plant-based options for every occasion!
3. Valentine’s Day
Celebrating Valentine’s Day seemed to fall out of fashion for a while. However, when restaurants were closed under lockdown restrictions over February 14th last year, many people felt deprived of this romantic occasion and the opportunity to express love so overtly. What’s more, lockdown reinstated the value of date nights, so this year, we anticipate romantic meals out to be all the more popular. They say the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach; therefore, our development chefs always have a lot of fun coming up with decadent recipes and subtly themed menus. Keep on eye on our Instagram for Valentine’s Day food inspiration guaranteed to surprise and delight your loved one!
4. Friends, Family and Colleagues Close Up
Whilst zoom calls, virtual events and working from home served an important purpose, socialising online will never be the same as in person. Video calls proved to be cognitively demanding whilst failing to meet our emotional needs for human connection. With restrictions on socialising hopefully long behind us, we will be celebrating the amazing benefits of spending time in the presence and close company of people who matter to us. Did you know that being with other people helps us to regulate our emotions? Co-regulation is the way that the nervous system of one individual influences the nervous system of another. It’s how we pick up on ‘good energy’ and take feelings of confidence and calm from people around us! Physical touch is another wonderful process that can’t be replicated online. Hugs cause a decrease in the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, and can even strengthen your immune system! Similarly, sharing food is hard-wired into us as a way of building connection and trust with others. At Social Pantry, we use food as a vehicle to bring people together. We can’t wait to celebrate the joys of in-person human connection at our cafes and also our office catering, dinner parties, events and weddings!
5. Birthday Bonanzas
If lockdowns and restrictions have curtailed your birthday celebration plans in recent years, 2022 is the year to make up for it! During lockdowns, many of us discovered the pleasures of enjoying chef prepared restaurant quality meals at home, but longed to share the experience with family and friends. We anticipate catering some super special private birthday dinners in the intimacy of people’s homes as well as in our South London cafes available for private hires of up to 40 people. Did you know we can help arrange everything from one of a kind personal invitations to beautiful tablescapes, flowers and organic decorations, immersive sensory experiences, playlists, performers, photographers and more? We have experience organising events at every scale and know how to bring high end details home and incorporate unique elements into your celebration, whatever the size or occasion.
6. Flex Appeal
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that in the case of flexible work design, the impossible turns out to be possible after all! Flexible working is here to stay, with hybrid working combining time in the workplace with time at home is set to be the new normal. In many cases homeworking can increase job satisfaction and productivity and make roles more inclusive and accessible. However, a physical workspace serves an important function and many employers and employees alike are looking forward to reconnecting with colleagues in person. There is a lot to be said for the energy, ideas, creativity and sense of closeness created by working together face-to-face. We like to think of our corporate catering as a conduit to these things as a great lunch goes a long way to bring people together. Plus delicious food is a great incentive for teams to return to the office!
7. Mother’s Day
Sunday 27th March 2022 is set to be the first Mother’s Day out of lockdown in two years so there are celebrations to catch up on! As a mother herself, Social Pantry’s founder Alex Head understands everything that goes into the wild wonderful act of mothering and brings her experience and insights as a parent to running Social Pantry and ‘feeding with love’. This Mother’s Day we will be celebrating the amazing contributions of mothers and mother-figures, and the value of maternal and feminine qualities! Our cafes are the perfect place for a celebratory Mother’s Day brunch and we will be popping the Prosecco to mark the occasion. For any devoted partners or children wanting to cook their Mum a special meal at home, we will be sharing some seriously special menu ideas that are bound to impress and guaranteed fail-proof – even when Mum isn’t supervising the cooking!
8. Supporting Small
Although small independent businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic, many companies were also met with unprecedented levels of community support. Lockdowns forced people to shop locally and as a result, local businesses experienced a surge in demand and developed new, loyal customers. Lockdowns propelled the need for brands to have an online presence and and served as an engine of innovation. Many are now reaping the rewards of strengthened social media presence, e-commerce, and delivery infrastructure to reach more customers than they did even pre-pandemic. Lots of businesses, however, are still struggling to recover, so we will be celebrating these positive signs of ‘post pandemic growth’ by continuing to champion small businesses at every turn!
9. Pride in Full Colour
After two years of cancellations, we expect Pride this year to be bigger, better, and brighter than ever before! At Social Pantry, we see a lot of natural, muted, pastel hues in keeping with minimalist wedding trends and subtle ways of showing love. Pride, however, is anything but muted! London Pride is a glittering colourful street party with singing, sashaying and sequins aplenty! And naturally, our events team go to town when catering and styling Pride parties with food and drink that looks as decadent as it tastes!
10. Zero waste
We have always taken sustainability seriously at Social Pantry and over the last year, we upped our game as we strive to become the first zero-waste catering company. We were delighted to bring sustainability consultant Nash Gierak on board and have been celebrating all the changes, big and small, towards being as sustainable as possible! We will be sharing lots of updates and zero-waste tips for you to try at home on our Instagram and blog.
11. International Women’s Day
Social Pantry’s founder Alex Head is regularly held up as an example of what it takes to be a successful female entrepreneur and was named one of the 100 most influential women in hospitality by CODE. International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to celebrate, and learn from, women who inspire us, as well as having important conversations about gender equality (preferably over a fabulous bottomless brunch available at both Social Pantry Café and Crane’s Kitchen). We will be celebrating the achievements of women at every level of Social Pantry and you can expect to read Q&As and hear their top pieces of advice over on our Instagram.
12. Mindful Moments
The pandemic has put an enormous strain on people’s mental health. However, the conversation around mental health has progressed massively thanks to the inspiring work of people such as Dr Alex George. It is now much more widely accepted that taking care of your general mental wellbeing through slowing down, resting, going offline, having meaningful connections with other people, and giving yourself time to process thoughts and feelings, is not a luxury. It is essential self-care and helps to prevent mental health issues further down the line. Our two cafes are ideal for enjoying a mindful moment. A change of scenery, a cosy light-filled space, comforting cuppa or nourishing breakfast, the experience of being taken care of; the opportunity to connect with other people or spend some valuable ‘me time’ without feeling alone – come on down and experience it for yourself.
13. The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
2022 is the year in which the Queen becomes Britain’s longest reigning monarch having held the throne for 70 years. The UK has a long history of organised street parties to celebrate royal engagements and with that, a fascinating legacy of dishes considered fit for a queen! All the way back in 1953, post-World War II rationing was still in place but families received extra sugar and margarine to celebrate the queen’s accession. These ingredients were used to create the era’s iconic party dishes of salmon paste, cucumber sandwiches, and cake with preserved cream. Thankfully those days are long behind us! In 2022, you can expect quintessential British food and drink with a modern twist. Our chefs work with the very best locally-sourced seasonal produce – a perfect fit for a patriotic party! Plus our event planners work with a range of stylists and artists who will be able to fit you out with handmade flyers and invitations, beautiful bunting, eco-friendly face paint and much more! Dare say we are very excited for this one!
14. Four day weekend
With the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee comes a fabulous four day long weekend! The bonus bank holiday will take place the first week of June. It’s set to be the perfect occasion to enjoy some early summer sunshine! Our South London cafes will be open all weekend, serving up fabulous bottomless brunch (plant based option available) and an a la carte menu for all tastes, ages and dietary requirements! We’re especially looking forward to making the most of the courtyard garden at Crane’s Kitchen. It’s our secret sun trap!
15. Protecting The Planet
We are hopeful that 2022 will be a year to celebrate positive action on climate change! The COP26 climate talks of 2021 led to the Glasgow Climate Pact explicitly planning to reduce unabated coal usage and reduce carbon emissions at a national and global level. This would indeed be something to celebrate! At Social Pantry, we are committed to sustainability in everything we do. From sourcing local produce, supporting a transparent supply chain, eliminating plastics, efficient energy use, planting trees and more. We look forward to another year working with our sustainability consultant Nash Gierak to take further action and become an environmental frontrunner in hospitality.
16. Glastonbury’s Glorious Comeback
After two long years of wading through muddy guidelines rather than muddy fields, Glastonbury is set to return in 2022. Come rain or shine, we know hardcore festival-goers will be desperate to get stuck in! However, if you haven’t been able to bag tickets for the world’s most in-demand music festival, then fear not! Glastonbury celebrated from the comfort of your own home can offer a private pop paradise. Invite your friends over, get out the fairy lights, light a firepit in the garden or claim your turf on the common and lay on a festival inspired spread all taken care of and delivered to your door by Social Pantry. We can recreate all your festival favourites like smashed-patty sliders and fully loaded hog rolls, or take things up a notch with your very own backyard champagne and oyster bar or Ottolenghi-style vegetarian feasting table.
17. Hen Party Perfection
2021 saw the gradual return of weddings, but many of the additional celebrations such as hen parties fell to the wayside due to the uncertainty and restrictions imposed by COVID. This year, we expect hen parties to return in full force as people will be able to plan more elaborate celebrations with confidence. As a female-founded business, we are big on celebrating the amazing women in our lives, so take pride in helping to plan the perfect hen do! We can coordinate with both the bride herself and the friends wanting to add a surprise personal touch to arrange a hen party as intimate and low-key or extravagant and luxurious as desired!
18. Winter World Cup
The Euro 2020 Championships was a major cause for celebration. The nation came together to celebrate England’s impressive sporting performances, the acts of great sportsmanship that took plae beyond the pitch (Marcus Rushford, we are looking at you), as well as the very fact of being able to celebrate something collectively after the loneliness of lockdowns. We’re hoping Qatar World Cup will have the same effect! And that we will have more wins to celebrate! Get the face-paint and Saint George’s flags out and gather friends around the television for a winter festival of football. Social Pantry can cater for gatherings of any size with at-home menus that deliver all the comfort of home-cooking without any of the stress! We’ve got you covered, whether you’re after a buffet of football stadium food-stand inspired favourite or a luxury take on the take-away you might otherwise have found yourself eating! And as always, keep an eye on the Social Pantry blog and Instagram for super simple, make-ahead recipes for those nights when watching the game takes priority over standing in front of the hob!
19. Real Life Events
After so many events were cancelled, postponed, or moved online over the last two years, almost anything taking place in-person is cause for celebration! We are excited for the full return of theatre, live podcasts, stand-up comedy, sporting events, fun runs, charity galas, conferences, Notting Hill carnival, concerts, festivals, and so much more! Let’s just hope our event planners are as skilled at planning their diaries as they are at planning events because with so much to look forward to, we expect to be busier than ever!
20. Baby Showers
A baby on the way has always been reason to celebrate, however baby showers have taken on a new cultural significance in recent years and are now bigger and better than ever before. And rightly so! Baby showers are equally a celebration of the baby on the way and the mother to be, and the occasion also marks an important life milestone for friends and family too. Our event spaces are available for private hire for up to 40 guests, and our events planners take baby showers as seriously as any other celebration and are experts in the latest baby shower trends! So if you’re after an Instagram worthy event delivered in sustainable style, look no further! We can also tailor the catering to the dietary needs of the mother to be with a dedicated non-alcoholic cocktail menu and gender-reveal cakes made with all natural ingredients less likely to overstimulate that baby in utero!
21. Christmas Parties
Christmas 2021 was thrown into chaos as Omicron swept the nation. Christmas parties were cancelled left, right and centre, and over 900,000 Brits were thought to be isolating on Christmas Day! Therefore when Christmas 2022 rolls around, we will be channelling years of pent up Christmas spirit into throwing the best parties yet. From raucous office parties that have people rocking around the Christmas tree, champagne and canapes in hand, to intimate private dinners with family and friends. We can even bring the magic to you and transform your home into a glistening grotto and lay on a feast to rival the iconic Christmas scene in Little Women! Our chefs have a bank of fabulous recipes they’ve been developing and are desperate to show off at long last.
22. Social Pantry
We survived the pandemic! The pandemic has had a huge impact on the hospitality industry and resulted in so many tragic closures so we are immensely proud and grateful to still be in business. What’s more, we’ve done so whilst upholding our core values, ethics and commitments to sustainability and social justice. In fact, pandemic or no pandemic, Social Pantry has achieved so much over the last year and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without the support of our amazing customers. So here’s to celebrating YOU! Thank you for all the support over the past year and we look forward to seeing what 2022 has in store!