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Delicious, sustainable, varied and nourishing – food at Downside is a serious matter! 

We proudly partner with Holroyd Howe, an award-winning caterer, to manage the important business of food at Downside. We understand that food is a vital part of your child’s wellbeing and happiness whilst they are at school. Food is such an vital part of life here we pride ourselves on including input from pupil’s, parents, staff and suppliers to ensure that every child looks forward to every mealtime. 

What’s on the menu?

There are always a wide range of options including vegetarian/vegan options alongside meat and fish dishes from the hot counters, an extensive salad bar, soup, fresh fruit and delicious puddings. Our food is clearly and beautifully presented with labels to help pupils navigate the different dishes. Pupils with special dietary requirements are catered for mainly through our regular menu, but we also easily accommodate allergies and other dietary requirement in consultation with parents and pupils. In line with our Benedictine ethos, Fridays are meat-free, and our fish and chip option is always popular. Our team are always welcoming ad helpful and clearly enjoy their role in feeding our hungry minds! 

Themed food events 

Here at Downside there is always a reason to celebrate. Themed events and celebration dinner are always a highlight and take place throughout the year. We use pupils’ suggestions regularly as well as throwing in a few surprises of our own.

Shaping our menus

We are proud of the fact that our menus are in a constant state of flux; ever developing and evolving. Not only with the seasons but also based on the input that pupils provide. We are proactive in seeking feedback not only from the Student Council meetings, but also from informal visits to houses and “post it” feedback sessions in the Refectory. As long-standing partners, our catering team 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 try new things, and vote on their favourites. This means pupils eat meals that they request and enjoy a nutritionally balanced menu. This interaction 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 eating a far more enjoyable and rounded process. 

Working with local suppliers 

We regularly invite 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 Dole 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.

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