In the depths of the early 90s recession, an invitation to a pay-your-own-way lunch at Quaglinos from a bloke who ran a typesetting business would normally have gone in the bin.

But the invitation came from Phil Jones, the bloke who ran APT (the best typesetters in the business). He delivered work by yellow cab, took no prisoners at 5-a-side, and his kerning was outstanding.

His first lunch at the Oval had 6 attendees. Numbers grew and the Quaglinos lunch in ‘94 was fully subscribed. Marcelo Minale, Alan Fletcher and Erik Spiekermann were there. Today, Podge is an annual fixture for leaders in the design, digital, sports and music industries.

The operations are simple. The ticket price is set. You eat, and drink and swap tables half way through. Sponsors pick up the bar tab. Bacon sarnies arrive at teatime.

Podge is now a brand, with a spirit and set of values all of its own. A once modest range of printed items has become an integrated campaign. Agencies clamour to be involved.

Phil Jones remains at the heart of it all. After APT, he ran Real Time Studio and merged it with direct marketing colossus Evans Hunt Scott. He’s been chair of the Typographic Circle, an awards judge and a consultant. Podge runs on a tight, entirely voluntary team.

Through Podge, Phil has created networks and friendships that remain uniquely strong. Guests and their tablemates have been bought out or fallen out. Enemies have kissed and made up. Some kissed and got married.

20 years on, Podge remains an acknowledgment of the importance of a good lunch, and testament to the determination and conviviality of Mr Jones.

Patrick Baglee (from New York) Thinker & writer for brands & businesses

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Re: Digital Podge food concerns

Hi Babs,

You sure about your meat supplier? Meat smelt and tasted very bad. (don’t worry I’ll give it a quick swill first).




With this lot we just serve them any old crap, they won’t know the difference. We’ll just ply them with drink and they’ll be none the wiser.


Starter Covert layers of char vegetables with rocket pesto (V)
(we will put in mozarella in the layer but it will be indetectable)
  • Bletchley raspberry and chocolate mousse with lemon cream
  • Safehouse Cheese
  • Lancashire bomb disposal with grapes and celery
116 Pall Mall SW1Y 5ED Fri 28 Nov Drnks 1230 Lnch 1315 Google Maps ›