What does the future hold?
We’d like Latitudes to be like the weather and the planets, cyclically rotating and recurring at a number of smaller and larger scales. Weeknights could be smaller and simpler affairs, like the familiar dinner party, gathered around any size of table. Weekends could then host larger and more lavish gatherings, with even larger monthly spectaculars following the lunar cycle.
How often would you like to host these dinners?
The ideal would be to have at least one a day somewhere across the city. Every evening over 7 million people are eating dinner in London every night, so it’s not hard to imagine just 12 of them deciding to get together. Ideally you’d get the event info off an app. Imagine one evening your plans change and on the spur of the moment you feel like meeting some new people, or sampling some new food, or just exploring the city and the world at once. You open the app and it tells you where your nearest dinner is, who’s going, what they’re cooking and whether there are still places available. It shows you what countries they’re cooking from, and gives links to background information and recipes – some of which might have already been tried and rated by other group members, with pics to boot. The map also shows your nearest foodstores – whether an ethnic shop or a large-scale supermarket which other latitudiners have tagged with specialty foods. The map gives you the quickest route to the venue by foot or bike, bus or tube, and you’d have the host’s number so you can call and ask for further directions or ask if they need anything.
What about outside London?
We’d love all this to be happening all around the world – to be dining physically with those across the table, and virtually with those across the seas. Sister events are slowly starting to appear around the world as the word and energy spreads. During the LocalGlobal Thanksgiving for 60 at the end of 2010, we begun the evening with a Skype video-chat with a group as they finished at 2am their time in Vietnam, enjoyed a mid-meal chat with friends in Vienna, and handed over as we finished to the Bahamas as they begun. It wasn’t hard to imagine a continuous, round-the-world, 24-hour dinner; and then to imagine one that lasts all year, each country passing the baton to its neighbour. And as hosts of the 2012 Olympics we’re already discussing how we can welcome the visiting world in style around our communal table.
How do you seat 100 people?
Alex and the guys at atmos have been designing a vast, bespoke, 18-metre-long table, sculpted from the contours of the world, to seat 100 lucky people. Guests will sit on ocean valleys and dine off the coastlines of the world, their meals illuminated by the cities of the world. There are even plans to develop a range of Latitude tableware and glassware, all generated purely from geographic data.
Some preliminary images can be seen here.
This is a journey for all of us. We’ve met great people, eaten great food and been to great places over the past months and years, and we’re looking forward to all sorts of new and amazing stuff to come.
Come join us.