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On your marks, get set, wait! It's the Soho waiters race

Isabelle Aron

No one likes to wait ages for their food, so when it comes to waiters, a need for speed is up there with the ability to not spill burning hot liquids in your lap. This Saturday, loads of London waiters will be battling it out to be crowned the swiftest server in the capital at the annual Soho waiters race, which has been going on since the 1950s and returned to London last year after a nearly decade-long hiatus.

The race kicks off at 3.30pm outside Soho pub The French House on Dean Street. Kind of like an egg and spoon race, but for waiters, everyone taking part has to carry a tray in one hand, loaded up with a napkin, half a bottle of champagne and a champagne glass. As well as fame and glory, the waiters will be competing for free meals and raising funds for new charity The Waiters Benevolent Fund, which was recently set up by the Soho Society to help struggling waiters.

The race is part of the Soho Village Fête, which is now in its forty-first year, so once you've watched the waiters battle it out, stick around because they've got loads of stuff going on including live music, food from Pizza Pilgrims, a coconut shy, snail races and tug of war. And if the waiters' race has got you feeling all competitive, you can sign up for one of the fête's other niche competitions and try your hand at spaghetti eating or alpine horn blowing. 

The Soho waiters race is at 3.30pm on July 5 at the Soho Village Fête, St Anne’s Gardens, Wardour Street, W1D 6AF. Find more info here.

Find more cool things to do in Soho here.

Image: Iona Wolff.

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