I ate dinner in the Hawthorns for a week and have never felt more alone

No one was even there to judge me

The Hawthorns is a place where lonely people eat supper on the go. Yes, the food in catered halls is free, but the general consensus is that Hawthorns food is better than food in halls.

Given Wills are currently serving chicken a solid five days a week, I was keen to escape such madness in search of fish, pork, beef and optimistically lamb. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed by the exotic creations I encountered during my solitary week in the Hawthorns (although there was no lamb).



One woman with a broom constantly sweeping (quieter than death). After the Thursday I considered wearing sunglasses to filter the bright dentist-style lighting.


More clinical than a hospital: the five star hygiene rating doesn’t do it justice. At one point the chef wiped out on the squeaky clean floor. He was fine.

Spice rating



Limited as it was only me.


The chef only made one appearance (his little tumble) but the woman serving the food was ever so kind and did not judge me for eating alone all week.


Medium rare. A photo speaks 1000 words apparently.


There were no starters, but there was bread: bread which was so hard that if it was dropped from the top of a small building it would surely kill anyone below.


Main Courses

My favourite

The moussaka: the chef was ever so generous with the aubergine, a vegetable I fear the Wills chef has never come across.

The worst

The pork, accompanied by a “jus” which I can only describe as frogspawn.

The oddest

Either the “I don’t know what he’s done to it” fish or the not-so-classic chicken with stewed banana in a peppercorn gravy. The combination of the flat “road-kill” style chicken which was as tough as a car tyre with banana was oddly satisfying, but odd none the less. It’s a recipe that will catch on about as well as the 2012 Olympic mascots.



My favourite

General Potatoes, ‘boil ‘em, Mash ‘em, stick ‘em in a stew’

The worst

The andante rice (andante is a huge understatement) or the kale that looked like the suckers on an octopus’ tentacles.

The oddest

The broccoli cheese- there was definitely not meant to be cheese in it.


The accidental broccoli cheese…


My favourite

Chocolate cake, industrial size slices which combined together would recreate the “Boris Bogtrotter” cake from Matilda.

The worst

Bread and Butter (by this I do not mean Bread and Butter Pudding).

The oddest

“Cake with a lot of fruits inside” was the only description I got. Fruit was an overstatement as it was only full of fake cherries, but it was real cake at least.


This cake puts cupcakes to shame.

If I’m being honest, the highlight of my week at Hawthorns was the chef falling over but I can say that the Hawthorns food is considerably better than the food in halls, so maybe go out for a “free” supper there with some friends some time. Then again, maybe not. Literally nobody else ever does.