The truth about catered living

Is it the right choice?

Meals provided, flats cleaned, bills included and end of year grade not counted… catered halls is the obvious option, right?

Yes you don't have to worry about food shopping, cooking and washing up, but are you missing out on fajita nights, eating what you want when you want and basically just having an oven?

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Broadgate Park

"The meals may look okay, but from someone who has eaten them, they are not nice" says an ex Southwell Hall resident, talking about their experience of catered meals in his first year.

He tells us about how the chicken was always "dry" and the rice "hard" and that "no matter what the pudding was claimed to be, they all tasted the same".

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Southwell Hall

An ex Cripps halls student underlines that not all is negative. She explains how "the eating hours meant that everyone would see each other regularly, not just those who lived in your flat which allowed broadening of friendship groups, especially around holiday seasons".

However, timings proved an issue. If you got to the (very early) 5:30pm opening then your meal was fresh(ish) but if you came towards the end of the dinner timings, your meal would have been sitting out, gaining dust.

In the following picture, we can see what looks like well cooked, tasty pieces of chicken with chips. But upon further inspection, the poorly cooked chips have onions mixed in with them. This was apparently the case for a lot of the meals that included chips, so if you don't like onion/are allergic… then no chips for you!

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A new Instagram account has pledged it's dedication to giving the truth about Newark hall's questionable servings, and here is one of their recent posts showing their meal in all it's glory.

There are of course questionable pros and cons to both catered and non-catered living, but make your choice wisely!