School Life > Food


At Milton Abbey, the dining room is not just seen as a time for refuelling but a vital part of community life. Students catch up with friends over a meal in the grand but comfortable surroundings of our magnificent Abbot’s Hall. We encourage good manners and sociability. The Benedictine tradition of the Abbey, in which hospitality is highly prized, means our students eat their daily meals in a place which has had food and community at its heart for centuries.  

Our Caterers  

We are proud that our food service is provided by leading independent school caterers, Holroyd Howe. With a firm focus on nutrition, food safety, sustainability, satisfying the appetites and tastes of growing teenagers while helping them to develop healthy relationships with food, Holroyd Howe serve food that optimises the learning and development of our students.

Education sessions and theme days run by our catering team encourage our students to consider the environmental impact of food production and consumption and also encourage more varied, adventurous eating.    

Our Menus  

Our menus, which are bespoke to Milton Abbey, take into account seasonal and local availability to ensure fresh and varied offerings.

Religious, cultural and medical diets are all catered to by our experienced staff. Robust policies and procedures with regard to allergies and intolerances are in place to ensure your child’s meal is safely prepared.   

Student Voice 

We know that food is especially important when young people are away from home and we work hard to ensure student views are heard, through the Food Committee and individual feedback. The Committee meets each half term with chefs, the Catering Manager and Head of Operations.

Student views and preferences help to shape our menus and you can see example menus in the Downloads area. Boarders’ Choice suppers on weekends showcase student favourites, sometimes with live ‘theatre’ cooking or healthy versions of popular take-out food. Menus are balanced and varied, not forgetting the importance of an element of fun in presentation.  

Milton Abbey Food Favourites 

Every school has its favourites and our pupils particularly love their Sunday Brunch after Chapel, where all the daily specials are available in one, late-morning buffet breakfast.  Our Tuck Shop serves snacks and drinks at designated times and students have access to a House Kitchen to prepare snacks and hot drinks back in the boarding House.

Formal dinners are served at ‘socials’, with themes planned by our Sixth Formers, on at least a termly basis, giving students the opportunity to learn important lessons about etiquette and making conversation.  

At Milton Abbey, where our Hospitality Department has a proud tradition of launching culinary and hotel careers, many of our students have a particular interest in food preparation and service. The school community are only too happy to give feedback on their delicious creations at their many showcase events.  

Our farm raises a variety of animals from year to year, including chickens, pigs, sheep, game and turkeys, ensuring that our students understand the ‘farm to fork’ journey and the importance of high animal welfare standards. We also grow herbs and vegetables as part of our agriculture programme.

Every summer the school campus is scented with an abundance of fragrant wild garlic – Franco Manca pizza chefs come down to pick a crop and give our students a masterclass in pizza making. 

Who can I contact about school food?  

Your child’s Housemaster or Housemistress will always be happy to discuss this important aspect of school life. Our Health Centre works closely with House teams to support students for whom maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, or attitude to food, is a particular challenge and our Senior Nurse Manager, Dave Bennetts, who can be contacted via the Health Centre email below, will be happy to discuss any queries or concerns you may have about your child’s nutrition from a medical perspective:

Parents are always welcome to contact the Head of Operations, Tracey Edwards, if they would like further information about any aspect of our catering service or wish to be put in touch with Holroyd Howe’s dedicated nutritionist: