Exeter has so much choice when it comes to meals; as if one menu boasting several meat and vegetarian options for reasonable prices wasn’t quite enough, there’s also a selection of sandwiches, snacks and paninis available in the bar. Feeling overwhelmed by this choice, as well as an obligation to experience the ‘traditional’ side of Oxford college life, we decide to go for the hall menu, and leave the bar’s delights for another day (and there really, really must be another day).
Eli went for the self-styled combination of chicken, croquettes and runner beans. The abundance of options means you’re not stuck with eating something you don’t like, but it did slightly affect the cohesiveness of the meal as a whole.
Anora indulged in something that sounded more gourmet than it looked; a walnut and goat’s cheese stuffed Portobello Mushroom, that in spite of its slightly overwhelming saltiness, was a delight as far as texture and flavour were concerned.
Pronouncing the five-star quality of the food before even setting foot in the hall, Eli’s opinion was greatly altered by an encounter with the runner beans, which were of the al dente persuasion. Unable to even cut the green beans with her knife, Anora felt assured that her inner-cynic had cast a respectable gloom on Eli’s repetitive chanting of ‘five stars, five stars’. But that said, when treated like finger-food, the beans had a fresh crunch.
The hall staff were incredibly friendly – we didn’t feel judged for our carb-centric tenden- cies, nor were we made to feel unwelcome as guests. The experience overall was enjoyable, and while it might not be ‘five stars’, Exeter comes close.