Court cuisine latest: The Old Bailey breakfast looks really underwhelming

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Food for thought

London’s Central Criminal Court

A photograph sent to Legal Cheek by one hungry Old Bailey attendee has revealed what lawyers and other court users are offered in the way of sustenance at the iconic London court.

The pic was taken inside the canteen of the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, a building which has made appearances in the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Law & Order: UK and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. The photograph isn’t quite celebrity standard though, showing what appears to be a bleak breakfast offering of four sausages and three cheesy pastries.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, the local authority responsible for the court, told Legal Cheek:

Catering at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) is currently delivered by an external provider. Customer feedback about the standard of catering is usually very positive.

That said, a number of lawyers we spoke to didn’t seem too pleased with their court grub. Anonymous legal blogger the Secret Barrister told Legal Cheek that “court catering facilities vary, but as a whole have declined significantly over the last few years.” He continued:

It’s abominable considering that no one in a court centre is there by choice. We drag people into unheated, leaking wrecks of buildings and force them to sit around all day without anywhere to get food or water, and then wonder why repeat defendants resent the court system.

Another lawyer, not wishing to be named, told us she’s “lucky to get a cup of coffee at court nowadays, nevermind food!”

The Old Bailey’s breakfast snap isn’t the first time court catering has been called into question.

Several years ago, Legal Cheek published a comprehensive round-up of the more bizarre culinary offerings in courts across England and Wales. First up, there was this mushy peas masterpiece spotted at Woolwich Crown Court:

Followed by this tantalising teacake and butter combo courtesy of Luton Crown Court:

And who could forget Kingston Crown Court’s incredibly complicated scampi and yoghurt “lunch meal deal”.

Until August 2014, HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) enjoyed a national catering contract with food services giant Eurest. Now, over three years on, Legal Cheek understands that many court canteens have been either replaced with vending machines or have closed altogether.

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Where’s the gains at, bro?


Not Amused

This has good example for young people of the limits of the state.

I am told that one of the current problems is that the young do not remember what a socialist state is like. So let me be clear – socialist states have awful food. It may seem trite to some, but not to me.

It is symptomatic of the limits of the state. A socialist state looks to government to solve all problems. It always fails. There is never enough money. There is never enough motivation. There state simply fails to notice small things.

If the food at the Bailey is ever to improve then it will require bottom up action by the Court users themselves. The state will never solve this problem.

You are generally better off doing things for yourself and those immediately around you. If you give your money to a distant state then it will were it on things you do not want andcwhen you have an issue, it will abandon you.



Tell that to the thousands of people collecting baked beans from food banks and eating them cold because they cannot afford to pay the electricity meter. The current system is not working.

Socialist capitalism would not condemn lawyers such as ourselves to eating tripe. It would, however, improve the lives of millions in this country. It may cost us some more tax, but it would be worth it.



Thank god. I don’t agree with you again. Normal service resumed.

Canteens in Courts and other public institutions are (generally) outsourced to private companies. Hardly the best example of a big state failing to look at detail, more of an example of outsourcing and privatisation making things worse because they have to slice profit of the top of the money they take.

Also. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam has the best food in the world. Well arguably the best – its definitely top 5.

Don’t let that get in the way of your nonsense though.



Mostly true. But Vietnam is one of the most entrepreneurial societies on earth, despite its communist government. Venezuela on the other hand…



Venezuelans are very entrepreneurial. Visit some live sex cam websites and you will see that many Venezuelans are setting up business in front of camera. Venezuelans are great.



I certainly see what you mean!

Not Amused

I do not think your argument works. The fact remains that the state, having a duty, failed in that duty.

The fact it uses outsourcing which itself has failed and often fails just rather makes my point.

People live better lives if they undertake duties themselves. That is the message of every single socialist state. People should not themselves outsource to the state – it is not up to the task.



To recap you said:

“Socialist states have awful food” – Demonstrably not true (see Vietnam/China/India)

“If the food at the Bailey is ever to improve then it will require bottom up action by the Court users themselves. The state will never solve this problem.” – If the food is to improve they should probably sack the current catering manager and get a half decent one. Whilst they are at it they should end the contract with the private firm and hire some nice dinner ladies, give them decent working conditions and a pension, sign a sensible deal with a suppliers and get the aforementioned dinner ladies to make yummy breakfasts at cost price with the shiny new catering manager making sure there is enough stock etc.



For the love of Jehovah, is this an example of early onset dementia in action ?

You are off your rocker. I mean fully – you should get help ! Both for your continuing critical lapses of judgement and bizarre mouth-foaming rants like this.




Better than the food you find on privatised trains.


Not Amused

Too young to remember British Rail I see.



You are comparing apples to pears. The world is better equipped to service a socialist state. As automation increases productivity and reduces jobs, the wealth must be shared and not channelled into the shareholders of a select few multi-billion pound companies.

You look at the world as if it is still 1960.


Not a criminal solicitor

What sort of person reads an article on a student website about rubbish food and then goes on a rant about socialism? You’re a bit of a weirdo.



How good is the judges’ lunch at the Bailey? Anyone know?

And what do High Court judges do for lunch? Nice dining room and haute cuisine, or pork pie and half a Guinness in the Seven Stars?

I assume district judges bring in a sandwich in a Tupperware box. With a Kit-Kat if they’re feeling wild.



Not Amused – give it a rest.



When will people understand that Not Amused is a troll and nothing more?


Sir Geffroy De Joinville

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.


Sir Geffroy De Joinville

Donuts are against LC’s comments policy?

Student website?
Toddler’s website



Kindly forgive a humble court hack his ignorance but is it not generally frowned upon to take photographs within a court building – even if the items snapped border on the criminal?


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