Letters from the dorm

Three times a day, every day, the entire college community meets in the dining hall to feast on a wide range of food while enjoying the company of friends.

The school day formally begins at 7am, when breakfast starts: overcooked sausages, bacon swimming in oil brine and baked beans compete with the all-you-can-eat cornflake bar.

To break the monotony, there are only baked goods on offer on Wednesdays: soggy croissants, chocolate muffins and chocolate-filled buns.

Lunch is served from 12.45pm, and the menu includes, but is not limited to, shepherd's pie, seafood paella, roast lamb shanks, Cornish pasties and pork chops in plum sauce.

Fridays are, I assume, meant to be a showcase of British cuisine, and the dish at the top of the menu is (you guessed it!) the world-famous fish and chips. Surely there is nothing more British than this dish except the queen.

Dinner, or 'tea' as it is called here, is usually a case of more simple fare, such as British interpretations of curry rice, lasagne and spaghetti. Highlights include roast meats, ice cream and waffles with maple syrup.


Unfortunately, desserts are often recycled, and bowls of rock solid jelly, cheesecake and treacle tarts never seem to leave the dessert racks.

The building which houses the dining hall is quite impressive - a stone hall with panelled walls and a grand herringbone-patterned oak floor, furnished with eight sturdy, long tables and a salad bar in the middle.

Under the stained glass windows hang portraits of former headmasters who have gazed upon successive generations of students lunching away to their hearts' content.

The southern wall is a memorial to former students who fought and died in the various wars, and is a reminder of the history of not only the building, but the college as a whole.


The architecture is not the only thing that has stood the test of time. I am sure that the smell of baby back ribs and the sound of laughter and conversation will remain in the dining hall for many years to come.