London

William IV pub opens to homeless for free Christmas meal

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Media captionTens of thousands of people saw the pub's advert via social media

A north London pub has opened up its doors and served free Christmas meals to the homeless and hungry thanks to the support of social media.

The William IV pub in Islington was inundated with offers for help after its initial post advertising the meal was retweeted nearly 10,000 times.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver donated vegetables while taxi companies dropped people off at the pub for free.

Chef Adam Hardiman said he had enough food to serve about 400 people.

Manager Max Kalton said: "We never expected anything like the reaction we got.

"Twitter really took off. We put the board out on Tuesday and did a little tweet about it and within the first half an hour we'd had 50 retweets and we thought 'oh well, that's good' and then it quietened off for a bit.

"And then we looked at our phones at about 8 or 9 o'clock that night and I don't know who retreated us but it must have been someone famous because it had just taken off and everyone was jumping on board sending me emails and sending me messages about what a great idea it was."

Image caption Chef Adam Hardiman (right) said he had enough food to feed at least 400 people

The idea was Mr Hardiman's who said he had always wanted to cook for the homeless.

Last Sunday was very quiet and as the pub would be closed over Christmas, he said to Mr Karlton that instead of freezing the food, they should offer free meals instead.

Roy Drane, who is not homeless but lonely after his wife died, was there early to enjoy a meal.

"I think it's very, very good what they've done here today," he said.

"It's marvellous the food that's been laid on here today, it's unbelievable and it's very nice indeed."

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