Food at Downside
Delicious, sustainable, varied and nourishing – food at Downside is a serious matter!
Downside’s caterers, Holroyd Howe, take their responsibility towards nutrition at the School seriously. They understand the impact a healthy diet has on these important years of development. As such, the welfare of all the pupils is at the heart of everything they do – every day.
What’s on the menu?
There are always vegetarian/vegan options as well as meat and fish dishes from the hot counters, as well as an extensive salad bar, soup, fresh fruit and delicious treat puddings. Individual dietary requests are catered for by arrangement. One day a week is meat-free, with plans to possibly increase this. The food is clearly and beautifully presented with labels to help pupils navigate the different dishes. The catering staff are always welcoming ad helpful and clearly enjoy their role in feeding our hungry minds!
Themed food events
Our catering team love to celebrate the seasons as well as festivals and observance days – from harvest festival to Christmas, a Willy Wonka day to Around the World – a celebration of international cuisines.
Shaping our menus
We are proud of the fact that our School menus are in a constant state of flux; ever developing and evolving. Not only in response to the seasons but also based on the feedback that the catering team receives. This feedback comes from the pupils themselves via regular Pupil Council meetings that catering staff attend. They have built a relationship of trust with the pupils that makes them receptive to new ideas and concepts.
Our caterers also provide regular tasting counters to help pupils – and staff – try new things, and vote on their favourites. This means that, at Downside, pupils eat meals that they request and enjoy a nutritionally balanced menu. This input also helps to generate interest and appreciation for the food on their plate. Our pupils understand where it comes from and who cooks it, this makes them eating it a far more enjoyable and rounded process.
Working with local suppliers
The catering team regularly invites food suppliers in for pupils to have the opportunity to talk to them, and for the suppliers to meet their customers! Suppliers, such as fruit and vegetable supplier Total Produce and meat supplier Ben Creese – visit us and hold demos focussing on local and seasonal food as well as some tempting super foods. Tasty samples always help, but showing things that may be new to pupils, along with foods that they love (Cheddar strawberries!) is always a good place to start.