"lunch on this occasion began with soles, sunk in a deep dish, over which the college cook had spread a counterpane of the whitest cream "
Dining hall, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge
Creative Commons AttributionDining hall, Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge - Credit: Cornell University Library, Flickr

Dining at Oxford and Cambridge colleges has been (and often still is) a more formal affair than at most other British universities - undergraduates were (and sometimes still are) expected to eat in the college refectory (known in Cambridge as 'in hall') and to wear their academic gowns during the meal.  

When A Room of one's own was published, the standard of college cuisine would have been expected to match that available in the average upper middle class household.

Some colleges have become famous for particular recipes - for example, Trinity College is associated with Crème brulée which is believed to have been introduced to the college by one of its dons in 1879 (not all sources agree on this point!). It is sometimes also known as Trinity cream or Cambridge  burnt cream.

 Recipe for Crème brulée

Crème brulée
Public DomainCrème brulée - Credit: Schlaier, Wikimedia Commons