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The government may have performed a U-turn on its pasty tax plan, but there is an even better lunchtime gift for Londoners today.

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In a public relation charm offensive, Barclaycard is dispelling the myth that there is no such thing a free lunch.

More than 10,000 Londoners will be treated to an impromptu free lunch today to mark the launch of Barclaycard PayTag, a new contactless way to pay.

The Lunch On Us event will see a 140-strong PayTag team around major locations such as Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street and Oxford Circus waiting to surprise people with the invitation to buy their lunch with a quick tap of a PayTag attached to the teams’ mobile phones.

Katherine Whitton, consumer marketing director at Barclaycard, said: “Offering 10,000 Londoners the chance to enjoy a free lunch on us is the perfect way to show just how easy PayTag is to use.”

To help promote the lunch offer, food artist Carl Warner recreated some of London’s most famous monuments - The Gherkin, The Shard, The Olympic Stadium and Big Ben - made entirely from everyday foods.

It took five men 40 hours to create the structures using 20kg of sea bass, 200 green beans, 140 cocktail sausages, 12 melons, 2 bags of pretzels and 12 cheese triangles.

No food was wasted in the construction as all the ingredients used in the sculpture were either past their sell-by-date or not suitable for human consumption.

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