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Food at Christ Church


When thinking about which college to apply to, one thing to consider is the cooking or Hall facilities and the price of a meal there...

In most colleges, 'Hall' is a place where you'll go to eat - in some colleges, every day, in other colleges, less often, as each college's Hall system is slightly different.

My college, Christ Church, definitely has the cheapest Hall food out of all of the Oxford colleges: most of the students live in college and so are all on the 'Meal Plan' (although you can opt out of this) meaning we pay a lump sum at the end of each term to eat dinner every day in Hall - this makes each evening meal between £2.32 and £2.50, depending on how often you go. Our evening meal is three courses (starter, main, and dessert), meaning this is ridiculously cheap!

It's also worth noting that most of our accommodation doesn't have kitchens, although one of the annexes and our flats do - but most of the accommodation has microwaves, which are enough to make a decent lunch (you'd be surprised how much you can cook in a microwave - baked potatoes, pasta, etc…). Hall is also open at lunch, so I tend to eat lunch in Hall with friends - it's a really great opportunity to have a sociable library break. This is also pretty reasonably priced (although it's more expensive than dinner), and there's always loads of vegetables!

When people ask me what the food is like in Christ Church, I usually say that it's standardly British, which is actually really lovely, as it feels very homely and comforting. This also helps make dinner a really chill time to just relax with friends. Hall also puts on the occasional special night - if there's an event on in Hall, we'll get takeout dinners from hall, which is usually fish and chips and means we all go and sit in someone's room to eat, or sit on the grass in summer. Sometimes Hall does themed nights, like a curry night (where the portions are huge), which is a particular favourite of mine.

Christ Church Hall is also a bit different to other colleges because we have two dinner sittings each day, 'Informal' at 6:00pm, where you just come dressed as you are, and 'Formal' at 7:20pm. In most colleges, Formal Hall is more infrequent and more expensive than Informal, but at Christ Church both cost the same. Formal Hall in other colleges is also usually a bit more fancy, but as ours is every day, we just have to wear our gowns over our ordinary clothes (although sports kit and pyjamas are banned!) and at 7:20pm on the dot the gates to Hall are closed and Grace is read by a student in Latin (which isn't as fancy or posh as it sounds, it's just tradition because the college is so old!). At Formal the food is also brought to the table by Hall staff, whereas at Informal we get our food canteen-style.

To make up for the lack of a fancy Formal, we have two 'Guest Dinners' each term, one at the start of term and one at the end. For Guest Dinner, you ballot for a pair of tickets (one for you and one for a guest) and there is always incredible food served with wine throughout the evening - it's always a brilliant night! (I've written a couple of posts about Guest Dinner before.)

All in all, Christ Church Hall is brilliant!

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