Scarf is a not-for-profit social enterprise which seeks to assist these young people by providing them with hospitality knowledge, skills and experience from mentors in the hospitality industry.
Participants embark on a 10 week programme where they take part in wine education, formal service practices, cocktail training, beer education, coffee making and more. The programme concludes with a dinner service, the now famous Monday Night Dinners. Scarf trainees get hands-on experience in a real restaurant environment whilst being guided by their mentors.
On this particular Monday night, the venue was The National Hotel in Richmond. Or, The Nash, as it is affectionately known. A beautiful big old pub that has been stylishly and industrially renovated. I was in a party of seven, seated at a solid wooden table. Our earnest waiter, Josh, enthusiastically poured water, took our drinks and then food orders, watched over by his very encouraging mentor. He did a great job, even if his anxiety was palpable.
And Scarf are doing a great job too. Creating a meaningful community. It's a cosy, bright accessory to keep out the chill of modern urban malaise.