It has been called “London’s swankiest hotel”. But last Monday Claridges served a different kind of clientele, as the executive chef personally delivered meals for 15 homeless people and 10 volunteers at Farm Street church in Mayfair.
The meals are part of a scheme organised by the West London Day Centre, Marble Arch, to care for a group of homeless people, provide a warm bed for them through the winter months, and work towards rehousing them and reintegrating them into society.
Farm Street church, run by the Jesuits, is one of several Catholic and Protestant churches – as well as a synagogue – in the Mayfair area which take turns in caring for the homeless.
“Every night they have somewhere to go,” said Scott George McCombe, Farm Street parish administrator who works with the homeless. He said there is a high success rate in rehousing them.
They are fed and accommodated in the church hall at Farm Street on Monday nights in October and November, and April and May next year.
The food is provided by around 10 local hotels and restaurants.
“They are very generous to us,” said Mr McCombe.
The meal delivered to the church by Claridges executive chef Martyn Nail was delicious, he said. It included freshly baked bread, chicken breast in mushroom sauce, fruit crumble with custard and cakes.