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    Hey! I'm hopefully coming up to Christ Church this Autumn and I was wondering what it's like for vegetarians and vegans. At the moment I am quite good at making sure I get all the right nutrients without eating animal products and cook almost all my food from scratch but I'm worried that next year without a kitchen my diet is going to deteriorate to peanut butter on toast! So....what's hall food like, how often do you find yourself eating in halls (breakfast? or just a main meal?) and how easy is it to make your own meals (I'm told there are no cooking facilities at all are available)? Thanks!
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    Well the title of the thread refers to vegetarian and vegan diets. I have only spent 3 days at Oxford (during the interviews) and this was at Merton not Christ Church. But I can tell you that vegetarians like myself are well catered for. The food was surprisingly good. If you are vegan then I think you might have to talk to the kitchen to make a special arrangement.
    Maybe things are different at CC? But who am I to say so.
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    Did you not stay at Christ Church during interviews?

    Well during interviews the system seemed to be that vegetarians/ people with other dietary requirements had a little sign they put on the table in front of them and they were served a meal according to those requirements - so any dish that contained meat was substituted with a vegetarian dish for those that couldn't eat it

    I got the impression that you are expected to eat most of your meals in hall at Christ Church, though i expect that it would be very easy to make your own breakfasts, especially if you just have cereal/toast
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    I've had vegetarian meals at Christchurch before now - and they've been lovely. The food in general seems really nice there. I'm pretty sure the vegetarian option doubled as a vegan option too (with the possible exception of butter on potatoes - but these are served in a seperate dish, so you wouldn't have to have them.)
    I don't know the specifics at that college, I know mine (Pembroke) wants everyone to eat in halls, and you are only exempted from paying for them under exceptional circumstances (i.e. severe food allergies) for every other dietary requirement, they cook special meals.
    I imagine there will be some kitchens available there, but presumably not in every staircase.
    You could consider lying, i.e. saying you have a severe food allergy to animal products - so would strongly prefer to have your own facilities - which would hopefully get you into a staircase with a kitchen. I would not advise it however, as hall is a very good place to get to know people, especially at the start of the year. They may ask for proof, and if they're going to cook you a vegan meal, it shouldn't really be a problem!
    Just make your dietary requirements clear, and they will either have to cater for you, or provide you with a kitchen.
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    At Merton College you could always choose between the vegetarian and the nonvegetarian option, you could decide whether to pay or not for every meal, and there was a big salad bar with cheese and crackers. There was a big and nice kitchen but I understand it's shared with a gazillion people. The vegetarian food was definitely not worse than the non-vegetarian one or to other British meals I've had.
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    I've been wondering, since the catering is of such high standard as it is at some colleges, why would you lie to not make use of such a service?
    I mean, at other universities like Imperial people have to cook for themselves, and I doubt the majority would object to be provided with a service as that avaliable at Oxford.

    My point is that it's a priviledge to eat in Hall, so why would you avoid it intentionally (I would completely understand if there was a geniune dietary problem)?
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    Hall is nice for the first few months, but then you tend to get really tired of the food there. There isn't all that much variety, especially in vegetarian dishes. (Also they're far too keen on putting yucky mushrooms in every single thing. Grrr ...:mad:)
    I think I went to hall about 10 times in my entire second year. Mainly because none of my friends went regularly and hall was filled with strange and scary first years (in my college second years live on the other side of the site from first and third years, so we don't really know each other that well, and it's hard to meet new people after Michaelmas). I went almost every day in Michaelmas and Hilary of first year though.
    There are some quite nice restaurants in Oxford where you can get very appetising vegetarian food. (Alas it's well-nigh impossible to get real Italian pizza or pasta in the UK. But I guess I'm just used to Italian food as it's made in Italy and then it tastes so very wrong in most other places!)

    I'm sorry to say that Christ Church hall was by far the worst that I've had in any college. I had lunch there three times and dinner twice, and it was all very much beyond recognition every time. I suppose the non-vegetarian option might be better, but the vegetarian one is absolutely awful in my opinion.
    The only college that comes close to the unpalatability of Christ Church hall is New College hall. Well, of the colleges I've eaten at, anyway!
    (But tastes differ, obviously, so fair enough - or good for you, even! - if you end up disagreeing. )
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    (Original post by Sinuhe)
    Hall is nice for the first few months, but then you tend to get really tired of the food there. There isn't all that much variety, especially in vegetarian dishes. (Also they're far too keen on putting yucky mushrooms in every single thing. Grrr ...:mad:)
    I think I went to hall about 10 times in my entire second year. Mainly because none of my friends went regularly and hall was filled with strange and scary first years (in my college second years live on the other side of the site from first and third years, so we don't really know each other that well, and it's hard to meet new people after Michaelmas). I went almost every day in Michaelmas and Hilary of first year though.
    There are some quite nice restaurants in Oxford where you can get very appetising vegetarian food. (Alas it's well-nigh impossible to get real Italian pizza or pasta in the UK. But I guess I'm just used to Italian food as it's made in Italy and then it tastes so very wrong in most other places!)

    I'm sorry to say that Christ Church hall was by far the worst that I've had in any college. I had lunch there three times and dinner twice, and it was all very much beyond recognition every time. I suppose the non-vegetarian option might be better, but the vegetarian one is absolutely awful in my opinion.
    The only college that comes close to the unpalatability of Christ Church hall is New College hall. Well, of the colleges I've eaten at, anyway!
    (But tastes differ, obviously, so fair enough - or good for you, even! - if you end up disagreeing. )
    I know what you mean about the mushrooms, Wadham are obsessed too - the lowlight was breaded mushrooms with mushroom dip, followed by a stuffed mushroom one night! If mushrooms were a little more avoidable in Oxford, I'd plead vegetarianism more often!

    I find eating the vegetarian option (at Wadham you sign up online to be veggie, or not, on a night by night basis) is often a good bet, as cannelloni is cooked more predictably than steak, and the quality of the meat sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. However, college food IS very predictable - Wadham's meals are on a two week rotation (or were all of last year), and thinking "right, Wednesday of an odd-numbered week, that means it's fish pie... again, for the 9th time Michaelmas) is pretty depressing.

    I think the formal halls at other colleges, however, provide some relief from this as the food is more expensive but nicer (from my experience of eating at other people's halls) and shows more variety. If you get bored (as I did this term), make friends at other colleges and offer a hall swap. (Incidentally, there's now a couple of facebook apps, one for Oxford and another for Cambridge, that lets you tick of those colleges you've attended formall hall at, so I can't be the only one out there who wants to eat at every college before they graduate!)
 
 
 
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