After the indulgence and exhaustion of the festive break, it’s not unusual to feel burned out and below par. Like most people the run-up to Christmas wore me out and left me severel lacking in the zen department!
So as you can imagine I was delighted when I received an invitation to rebalance my Yang with my Yin at a meditation and conscious eating evening.
As the summary suggests, this wasn’t just any old evening of blissful relaxation and nourishing food. It was an evening with a difference – more precisely an evening that made a difference to someone else’s life. It was organised through a platform called FeedUp – the brainchild of entrepreneur Austin Tasker who explains it as “shared pop-up dining, for purpose.”
Austin told Belle About Town: “I wanted to build a meaningful legacy and work towards something that gave back to the world.” Living in a house-share and often socialising and eating together with his friends, Austin and his flatmates were always discussing new business ideas. Over a few months they polished a few ideas that resulted in one particular plan – a dining experience platform – an “Airbnb for dining”.
Austin designed the website overnight and he admits: “It was awful but it also kind of worked.” Then he and his friends hosted their own dinner events, organised and booked through the website, until one day a message from a stranger asking to join their dinner party with a friend changed everything, and that’s how FeedUp was born.
“We landed on our purpose of bringing people together, providing nourishing human connection as we knew we were making people feel good and our dinners were good for mental welfare”, he added.
For every ticket sold a meal is provided through UKHARVEST to those in need. Since its inception, FeedUp has provided more than 3,500 meals to people who desperately need them. They have a lot on their plate with a target to deliver 1 million meals over the next four years.
After climbing up several flights of stairs, we entered the grand room – high ceiling, beautiful large window taking over one of the walls, wooden beams and a cloud of cooking aromas that instantly made my mouth water. One side of the room was decked out with mats and props, candles, plants and fairy lights, creating a perfect space for a blissful yoga class. The other side, with its buzzy vibe, resembled a scene from a cooking show. Kali and her team were chopping, steaming, cooking, pans and plates clinking. They were in the midst of preparing a wonderful plant based spread, inspiring curiosity in me and my fellow guests.
Having changed into our yoga attire and taken to our mats, we joined in a gentle warm up. Emmy took us through a gentle yoga flow and finished with a relaxing yin class. Feeling re-energised and tranquil, we then moved to the dining room, where a table was laid out in a buffet style with beautifully looking and smelling dishes. Generous helpings of carrot and ginger dumplings, Jackfruit tostadas and Squash red curry were served with red rice pilaf and spicy beet salad.
With our plates loaded we returned to the yoga side of the room and chatted with our peers. We talked about ourselves, about the experience we just went through as a group, about the food we were indulging in. We talked about life.
And this was the mission of the evening and the mission of FeedUp – to bring people together, to create human connection and community through a shared experience and the love of food. And let’s face it, in big cities like London, we hardly make any eye contact with a stranger, let alone speak to them. What’s more, as well as doing something good for ourselves we were also doing good for others, we were all part of a bigger picture, a higher purpose.
We finished our meal with spiced apple chocolate top and after a short digestion time we ended the evening with a meditation.
I left the evening, simply put, happy. And for many different reasons. I was feeling full of bliss and calm, my belly full of nourishing food, and most importantly, someone else was getting a meal too. And not just for Christmas.
- To host your own event or to browse events in your area, visit www.feedup.co.uk