Enjoying a traditional Christmas dinner with the family is the highlight of the festive season for many – and for children at Chilton Primary School in Ramsgate it has come early.
As the big holiday approaches, the hard-working catering team are preparing extra meals for the special ‘come dine with me’ sessions that invite parents, grandparents and brothers and sisters into for a slap up lunch with all the trimmings.
For Chloe Ballantine and her team in the kitchen it means a lot more preparation as they prepare, cook and serve extra dinners and puddings for around 75 more people per session, with two sittings on each of the specified days to cater for demand.
Chloe said: “It is a challenge but it is so lovely to see all the families together and celebrating with a Christmas meal in our dining hall, with cheerful festive songs playing in the background.”
The food is nutritious and tasty and is prepared and cooked on site. As well as the full roast dinner and vegetables, the cooks also ensure there are options for diners who are vegan or vegetarian, have conditions such as coeliacs disease that is a sensitivity to gluten, or who follow a dairy free diet. Chilton is also a nut-free school.
Puddings are plentiful with choices including Christmas pudding and custard, chocolate cake, Christmas tree shaped shortbread, gingerbread, cupcakes, and chocolate and orange trifles.
Head of School Kate Law said: “We hold Chilton ‘come dine with me’ sessions throughout the year as they are wonderful opportunities for our families to share lunchtimes with the children.
“Our Christmas sessions are always extremely popular and are lovely social occasions. Our catering team excel themselves time and again to give us lovely food that is really tasty and nutritious.
“There is a real togetherness about these events and they give our children and their families memories that will last forever.”