Dining is an important aspect of boarding at Barnard Castle School as mealtimes bring us together as a community. Not only does the dining hall provide a unique social setting but it also helps us to reinforce our care for boarders by providing them with high quality, nutritious meals and educating them on the benefits of enjoying a balanced diet and leading healthy, active lives.

Boarders generally take all their meals together. Breakfast, lunch and tea are freshly prepared daily and served by our in-school catering team. Breakfast is served at 7.35am and tea is at 5.15pm. Boarders may be joined by day pupils who have the option of arriving early for breakfast and staying for tea, Monday-Friday. Lunch is taken as a whole school in our magnificent panelled dining hall. Boarders eat lunch with the day pupils. Our summer and winter seasonal menus are rotated on a three weekly basis to provide plenty of variety and choice from a range of hot and cold main courses, including a full salad bar. Popular lunch choices include Wednesday’s carvery and fish and chip Friday. Breakfast choices change daily as well, varying between continental, waffles and pancakes and full English.

Boarders are, of course, fully catered for at weekends too. Saturday tea is a relaxed occasion, generally with a theme such as burger night, Chinese night or panini night. Sunday breakfast is substantial and is followed by Sunday roast in the evening, which can be served at lunch or teatime depending upon the boarders’ activities schedule. When boarders are on excursions, the school catering team supplies healthy packed lunches, or sometimes they eat out.

We can cater for special dietary needs and allergies, with menu items marked as vegan, vegetarian or gluten-free. Menus are available for pupils and parents to view at any time and our Catering Manager is always keen to discuss specific requirements. The serving team are very well informed about individual pupils’ needs and also about the ingredients within each dish. Local suppliers, such as Organic Acorn Dairy and Peat’s Butchers, are used as much as possible. The views of pupils are important to us and boarders have the chance to contribute to the development of catering through the boarding Food Committee, which provides a regular forum for sharing their views with the Catering Manager and Headmaster.

“Boarders praised the catering department, which provides for special diets and is attentive to boarders who may suffer from allergies.” Independent Schools Inspectorate, 2016

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