Benenden School describe their impressive food offering which has won them a Tatler School Award

Can you run us through the school’s dining offering? Benenden is renowned for its excellent food – in fact it won the Best Food Award in the latest Tatler School Awards. We are able to offer a wonderful range for pupils and staff, from home-cooked favourites to the most sophisticated dining. You can see some typical menus here.

What do you think makes your school’s meal offerings special? The quality and variety of our freshly prepared and locally sourced food ensures the Dining Room and Café are the social hubs of every school day. We prioritise seasonal menus, with lots of fruit and vegetables to promote good health.
We were very pleased with Tatler’s description of Benenden’s food, in which they said: “Fuelling all this enterprise must be the incredible food: comparable to Ottolenghi’s finest, these girls eat bowls of edamame beans, sushi rice with beetroot and roasted vegetables and skate fillets with tomatoes and caper berries – all finished off with the most delicious brownies.”

Do children have access to snacks between mealtimes? With long and busy days running from 8.30am into the evening, it is important for Benenden girls to keep their energy levels up! There are two specific break times every day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – and the boarding house kitchens are open in the evenings for pupils to make a light snack before bed if required. Fruit is also available throughout the day.

How often are menus changed or rotated? New menus are designed each week. Our fantastic team of chefs are inspired each week to serve the most delicious food. Enthused by regular feedback from the pupils and staff, our chefs create innovative and nutritious menus, with something for everyone.
We are always taking into account requests from our pupil body – a great example being the meatless Mondays we introduced last year as part of our drive to be more eco-friendly.

How are reluctant eaters encouraged and looked after? A wide range of special diets are catered for, safe in the knowledge that all ingredients are sourced by the team and therefore fully traceable. At Benenden, everyone is wonderful at looking out for one another and our pastoral team will quickly pick up on any pupils who are not eating healthily and will work with them to help them achieve a balanced diet.

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