The traditional ladies bridge lunch may be a dying way of entertaining, but food will always be a plus. In my book I quote a little poem by Della Lutes from Bridge Food for Bridge Fans:
We may live without money – to have is to spend it;
We may live without credit – we don’t have to lend it;
We may live without wooing – to woo is to wed;
But bridge-playing people must always be fed.
I have to say in my bridge-playing world, in Florida amongst retirees, the at-home ladies-bridge-lunch is rare. My friend had a bridge-lunch for me while I was in New Hampshire but she took us all out to lunch and just served dessert and coffee at home as we played bridge. Then too, I have not tried to entertain others for bridge since moving to Florida. It’s partly that eight would be a lot for my little condo and partly I’m just–I think–a bit lazy.
If an at-home lunch is rarely part of my bridge life these days, it is even rarer there’s nothing to eat when playing bridge. Only one club, since moving to Florida, when I was asked to substitute in a four-table club, was I served nothing but water. And I must say, it made me less willing to substitute there again.
At the Senior Center I can buy lunch, or take along a bag lunch. There’s always cookies, coffee, iced tea, available. My monthly club (up to 32 people at times) meets at a restaurant and we buy our lunch. A nice way of solving finding a space for a large group.
For my favorite Friday morning bridge club we meet in the community room of a member’s condominium — usually 12, sometimes 16 players — and we contribute to coffee and some kind of coffee cake. We have a few members who make wonderful baked stuff at times. We do also go out to lunch after the bridge game at least once a month–celebrate all birthdays–drink wine and enjoy ourselves.
And actually I have clippings around here of serious duplicate clubs that also deliberately include some kind of food as part of their appeal to members.
If you took the time to read the links I provided to that article in #37 about bridge in an Indian village, you’ll read that even there, launching a revived bridge club, they go to great trouble to serve food.
It’s why politicians both serve food and cheerfully eat all kinds of ethnic foods as they campaign–whether they like them or not. Sharing food is so basic to friendship and good feelings, I would be very suspicious about any bridge club with a “no food” policy.
I say some kind of food is essential to a sociable bridge club, and advisable for serious bridge clubs.