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Canteen: The York Place Diner 1884

Paella, on offer in the York Place Diner 1884
Paella with monkfish, prawns, mussels and chorizo, on offer in The York Place Diner 1884


In honour of the school's foundings the canteen at Varndean School is called the York Place Diner 1884.  Run by a team of vibrant and creative individuals who deliver excellent food and service, we've created an environment where students can have fun and relax so they can eat better and do better. 

Research shows that what we eat and drink can have a huge impact on our health and energy, which is why we make sure health and wellbeing is at the heart of our service to you. Every day we have a range of healthy foods on offer to both students and staff. See the Healthy Foods on Offer Daily section below for full details.


Read more about what we are doing as a school to help the environment. Full story HERE. 












Life Water- 

Every Life Water drink funds clean water projects across the globe, through charity partner, As a school we have sold  2,000 cases of Life Water; it takes 10,000 cases of water to fund a project so we have done amazingly!


The Canteen Garden - Locally Grown

Students and staff have been working hard to revamp a tired space off the canteen. The new canteen garden is already growing herbs for use in the canteen and food technology lessons. See the gallery for photos of the project.

The Dolphin Pod

Due to the popularity of the food on offer we brought in a new food venture in the summer term in 2017. Offering street food and more opening times, The Dolphin Pod has been a great success helping to ease the queues in The York Place Diner 1884.

We marked the arrival of The Dolphin Pod with an official opening on 12th May 2017. Andrew Kay from Latest TV came to cut the ribbon and sample some street food. 


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In addition to break and lunchtime the Dolphin Pod is also open after school until 3.30pm All food is freshly prepared and served in our familiar eco friendly packaging. Like the canteen, The Dolphin Pod is cashless, operating with Wisepay cards only.



Catering Tariffs for Students & Staff

Full price lists of items available in the canteen.









Healthy Foods on Offer Daily 

In addition to the weekly menus and any themes or promotions, we have a range of healthy foods on offer every day to both students and staff.

Water and other drinks on offer daily


Fresh fruit and veg on offer daily

Examples of the carbohydrates on offer

Proteins on offer daily

Dairy and alternatives on offer daily

Oils and spreads on offer daily


Weekly Menu cycles 

We operate a three weekly menu cycle.







We serve a wide selection of healthy foods on a daily basis - see the drop down section above.

About the food 

Through our love of food we source quality ingredients and our team produce all the food on site. We develop menus that are seasonal, modern, creative, imaginative, flexible and nutritious for the diverse population of the school, falling in line with the Government's School Food Standards Policy.

We have several hot food counters and a deli service. If you have a specific allergy or dietary requirement please let us know.

We use a wide range of ingredients with many of our products containing various allergens. As such there may be traces of various allergens present across our product range. Customers who are intolerant or allergic to certain ingredients are advised to request further information from the Chef/Manager prior to purchase.

Our trained Allergy Champion (Chef/Manager) would be pleased to tell you what’s in our food, the steps we take to avoid cross-contamination and help assist you with your choice.

We cater for vegetarian, vegan and Halal diets with hot and cold choices - please see daily menus and ask staff.

Cashless Payment System - Wisepay

Cashless Catering FAQ's 

Please see our Catering Cashless FAQ's. If you still have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us for further information


Wisepay log in linkTo save students having to bring cash into school for their snacks and lunches, we will be moving to a new cashless swipe card system from September 2016.

Full details can be found on the payments page, or you can log in to Wisepay.

Themes and Promotions

Throughout each academic year we celebrate some events with special days, themed days and promotions.

Our canteen opening times for students:

  • Breakfast 08:00-08:45
  • Morning break 10:45-11:00
  • Lunch 12:35-13:20
  • For staff the cafe/deli is open 08:00-14:00

Find out more:

School Food Plan

Children's Food Trust