Note October 2017: We don’t organise Supperclubs anymore. Please contact the colleges directly.
History, tales and fine dining. When you hear the term college food, the first thing which springs to mind is long tables, queues and mass production of tasteless food. This might have been the case before ‘the Jamie Oliver revolution’, but a lot has changed since then. Especially the food at the Cambridge Colleges is a real treat and unique dining experience.
In England, colleges and schools have taken Jamie’s criticism on board and are now working on tastier and healthier food. However, the food served in the Halls and historic rooms at Cambridge Colleges have always been excellent and takes college food to a completely different level.
Fine dining in the Cambridge Colleges
The historic colleges of Cambridge have a rich food history and an impressive collection of wine. They have some of the best chefs working for them, who, in their turn, compete every year in the Cambridge Culinary Competition in eight individual food classes. Last year’s winner was Clare College. I am sure it is almost everybody’s dream to go beyond the impressive College gates passing through the courtyards and corridors of one of the oldest seats of learning in the world for a fine dining experience. Unfortunately, this is only reserved for their students, the Fellows, weddings, celebrations, private dinners and the Cambridge College Supper Club.
Food traditions at the Cambridge Colleges
The food traditions of the Cambridge Colleges are fascinating. Every college has its own Formal Hall ( formal dinner in the main Hall) for which everybody needs to be formally dressed and don’t be late or go for a call of nature during a Formal Hall as there will be no food for you anymore!
Kings College has the largest Hall of the Cambridge Colleges, and they have various Formal Halls during the year. At St. Johns, you are very fortunate as the head of catering was previous a holder of a Michelin Star. At Corpus Christi, it is on Friday and Sundays. At Sidney Sussex, Formal Hall is 3 times per week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Graduates have their own on Tuesday and Thursday. Christ College is quite an exception as MAs and PhDs, and other higher degree graduates are entitled to dine with the Fellows up to ten times per academic year. However, only 6 students maximum per session.
Interesting stories about the food of the colleges
Just a few interesting stories about the food (history) of the Cambridge Colleges as I don’t want to give too much away. This would spoil the fun on our Cambridge Food Tour, on which you will find out a lot more about the tales and food history of the Cambridge Colleges. I find it fascinating, and I learn every day more by talking to people connected to the colleges.
Cambridge Burnt and more
Of course, everybody knows what a Cambridge Burnt is, but do you know how it differs from a Creme Brulee? Do you want to find out how to make a Grassy Corner pudding and why it is called like that or in which country the Scotch egg is really popular besides the UK?
Come and join me on one of my award-winning Cambridge Food Tours and you will find out!