The Upper Hall: Meat and Potatoes

Life in Cambridge quickly fell into a routine. Classes started, and I grew familiar with the University's beautiful architecture and life beside the Cam. As students of Christ's, the college provided us with two meals each weekday. Breakfast was served promptly from 7:00-8:30 (not kidding) and we were given dinner around 6:15-8:00. All of the meals was served in the Upper Hall, a long wood-paneled room with rows of tables and cumbersome benches.
   I love breakfast. It's my favorite meal of the day by a long shot. So no matter how late my classes were scheduled, I happily dragged myself out of bed for it. In the morning the tables were always laden with a fancy array of cutlery, plates, cups, coffee, tea, marmalade, and juice. Which was kind of a bummer because by August there was only like six people showing up at all.
 A classic Full English Breakfast is a huge affair, one that is of great pride and joy to the English. It normally consists of bacon, eggs, sausage, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, tea, marmalade, black pudding, baked beans, and toast. How you were expected to eat all this at once, is a mystery even to me. But a cafeteria version of this was made for us everyday (thankfully minus the black pudding). I nixed the sausage and bacon (which is nothing like American bacon), but helped myself to toast and eggs daily.
Dinners were slightly different affairs, for two reasons. One, the menu changed daily so you never really knew what to expect, and two, everyone showed for dinner. We were left to our own devices for lunch, which we were all too cheap/busy to buy properly, so each night we swarmed the doors at exactly 6:14. The dinners (referred to as supper or tea there) always had meat, fish, and vegetarian entrees, served with various sides. I was impressed by the scope, variety, and overall regularity of the potato options served.
 Again, I really appreciated the consistency and quality of the vegetarian options. Here's a particular good veggie curry and samosas, which was a pretty common vegetarian dinner:
Puddings were also served, of course. This tiramisu made me so freaking happy I snapped a picture to remember its glory forever. An above average treat for dorm food, I thought.
Eating there was always quite a mixed bag; some days you wanted seconds, others you found yourself asking the staff politely for milk for your cereal. But eating at the Upper Hall was really the meat and potatoes of our days. It saved us all a lot of money on food, and gave everyone a chance to eat together everyday.


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