b'study bedrooms. House captains or senior prefects sometimes have the privilege of getting the best rooms. Food glorious food You will be relieved to hear that our reviewers, who always try and have lunch in the schools they visit, have never been faced with the grim fare endured by the likes of Oliver Twist and Jane Eyre. Nor, we hope, will todays boarders nd themselves aficted in adult life with boarding school eating. This not entirely polite style of consumption, which stems from parsimonious portion control at schools in the 1960s and 70s, is characterised by rapid scofng of everything in sight before someone else snafes it. Food is always a hot topic when we speak to pupils and never more so than at boarding school. Schools increasingly outsource provision to some extent, rather than cook everything from scratch in house, and quality, quantity and variety of whats provided can come in for some trenchant criticism both from pupils and parents. While you cant please everyone, schools do their best to be responsive to criticismsome are even trialling limited menu options for pupils to select what they want to eat in advance. Wonderful cooked breakfasts (almost always the favourite meal of the day, according to pupils), vegetarian and vegan options, salad bars, in-house coffee shops and cafes are almost standard these days. Most schools have a central dining hall, but at some, such as Winchester College, Rugby, Oundle and Malvern College, boarders eat all meals in their houses. This may be a practical arrangement if houses are a little distance from the main school building, but it also has a benecial inuence on table manners as well as making it easier for staff to spot a child who isnt eating. Boarders will also have access to house kitchens with toasters, microwaves etc, and fresh fruit is always available. Nor have tuck boxes been 48'