It’s no secret that the food at St Mary’s is among the best on the Crescent! The dedicated kitchen team, headed by chef John, prepares three delicious meals each day, including daily options for vegetarian, vegan and gluten/dairy free diets. There’s a wide range of food available, which means you’ll never go hungry, and you’ll never have to cook for yourself. Typical meals include:
- Breakfast – cereals, fruit, yogurt, toast & spreads.
- Lunch – hot lunch (such as pasta, Mexican tacos, burgers) plus sandwich options and fruit; salad bar and cold lunch options in warmer months,
- Dinner – hot meal (such as roast, chicken parmigiana, curry) followed by hot or cold dessert.
- Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are available in the kitchenette, 24 hours per day.
Late Meals or Packed Lunch?
Sometimes you’ll have late lectures or sports practice, and won’t be here at dinnertime – don’t worry, you won’t miss out. On Monday to Thursday nights, meals can be put aside and reheated when you return. Similarly, if you can’t get back to College for lunch, simply take a sandwich or roll with you – the salad bar is set up each morning. This means that you’ll save money by not having to buy lunch on campus. If all else fails, the College kitchenette is a student privilege and is usually open 24 hours per day, and stocks bread, cheese, cereal and milk, so it is rare that you should ever be hungry.
Sharing meals is an important part of life at St Mary’s, and a really great way to get to know other students. Each College has its own unspoken rituals, and at St Mary’s there’s a tradition of filling tables from the front. This means that you won’t feel anxious about where to sit, and you won’t be left alone on a table. Just like at home, you’ll always look forward to meal times. And like at home, you’ll be asked to help out with some of the meal preparation or clean up – but only one meal per week, which isn’t much to ask. Plus, time flies when you’re helping out with your friends.
‘High Table’ is held every Monday and Wednesday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Attendance at these two dinners each week is expected, as part of the committment you make to our community when you are offered a place. These dinners have a different feel, with the students all wearing their black academic gowns (available for purchase when you arrive at College). Dinner is served to the table, rather than buffet-style; and the Principal, Dean and Tutors attend. High Table is a very important part of College life, and represents coming together as one. It engenders a great sense of community, and as such, you’ll be asked not to commit to part-time work on these evenings.
At various points throughout the year, special dinners are held to mark Commencement, College Day, Sports Day and Valete. St Mary’s also hosts regular Faculty Dinners – a great opportunity for students to meet senior university leaders.