Festive feast within castle walls for students who stay on
(17 December 2012)
International students at Durham University who remain behind this Christmas, are being given a chance to celebrate in grand surroundings.
The University, which caters for international students from more than 150 countries, is giving 200 of them a unique taste of Christmas celebrations with a lunch on December 25, in the Great Hall at Durham Castle.
Ricky Cohen, Deputy Director of Catering, said: “Some of our students are unable to go home during the Christmas vacation for various reasons. The Christmas Day lunch at Durham Castle offers students a unique experience. It is also an opportunity for people from different cultures to experience Christmas festivities.”
The special lunch was first tried out last year and proved a resounding success – complete with no fewer than 15 ‘Santas’ serving the Christmas pudding, followed by traditional party games, including pass the parcel.
Professor Graham Towl, Pro Vice Chancellor and Deputy Warden at Durham University, said he had thoroughly enjoyed last year’s event.
“Durham University is probably the only one in the world to offer Christmas Day lunch and festivities in the Great Hall of a Norman Castle,” he added. “It is a pleasure to join our international students for this day of festivities.”
This year’s event will begin with a drinks reception for guests in the Tunstall Gallery, before they embark on a guided tour of the hilltop Norman castle, which has been home to University College, Durham, since 1840.
Lunch will be served in the vast Great Hall, accompanied by Durham Cathedral Choral Scholars. The banquet menu will include:
Ceviche of salmon with a Niçoise-style salad
Roast breast of Cumbrian turkey with home-made stuffing and bacon rolls,
Chipolata sausages and pan-roasted gravy
Traditional Christmas pudding with brandy sauce
Alternative dishes are provided for anyone with specific dietary requirements.
Jenny James, Education and Welfare Officer at Durham Students’ Union, said: “Durham Students’ Union is proud to be part of this wonderful and unique event. In an increasingly internationalised and diversified University where many students are far away from home during the holidays, events like these are more important than ever.”
Tickets for the non-profit making event are now sold out. Elsewhere at Durham, accommodation at St Aidan’s College is available for residential students during the Christmas holiday. Various catering packages are also available, ranging from fully-catered packages for the entire Christmas holiday to individual meal tickets.