Eight things you only know if you ever lived in Cavendish Hall

Pa is a legend

Cavendish Hall for many is just another accommodation  in the West zone, but many who lived there will insist that it’s completely different, and in fact better than the rest. Slagging off the Cavendish name to other residents is completely fair game, but you’ve got to defend your incredibly uneventful hall in comparison to anyone and everyone.

The unassuming Cavendish exterior creates a façade on the iconic happenings. Either way, your Cavendish memories will always make up a substantial part of your UoN experience.

1. P is for Porter and P is for Pa

An integral part of the Cavendish experience, the best porter on campus undoubtedly belongs to Cavendish. Nicknamed Pa, if you get on his good side, he’ll be there to listen to you cry about all of your failed situationships and to lend a hand with his toolbox any day of the week. A good day in Cav is a day when Pa is on duty.

2. Being asked ‘was this your first choice?’

Granted, Cavendish isn’t exactly known for its glamour, but its reputation quickly precedes it. Freshers’ Week introductions will almost always be followed up by asking if you really wanted to be placed there. That, or one better, being asked where on earth it is. You know humanities, yeah?

3. Having a superiority complex over Willoughby and Ancaster

Residents of Cavendish desperately cling onto the JCR as the sole bragging point of the hall – “I promise you it’s the biggest and best on campus”. Though the new refurbishments have significantly reduced the chances of freshers pulling in the JCR. Imagine trying to chat to your hot new neighbour, but you’ve got to scoot your chair over to them – instant ick. Though it’s probably to prevent every single sofa being absolutely destroyed again.

Cav requirement number one is to have an odd sense of pride when it’s in conversation, despite ripping it to shreds with other residents. Realistically, Cav is kind of just a worse Ancaster, at least they have bigger beds, though we definitely still hold ensuite bragging rights over Willoughby.

4. The hype for Cav café

So you get an accommodation offer for Cavendish and it’s great, the hall has a cafe. The reality? The majority of Cav cafe customers are Ancaster students who didn’t want to trek that extra bit to Vesper.

The cafe is perfect location for catch up on beef from the night before, though the lack of ability for a midday pre-seminar pint once again lets Vesper take the crown. Cavendish Cafe is a last minute resort when you’ve woken up far too late for anywhere else. Nacho’s anyone?

5. Menu creativity

Not only will the plastic trays make you feel like you’re back in Primary school, the food probably will too. While all catered halls are infamous for the food, Cavendish really takes the cake. Not only will they serve you the same recipe of fried chicken five days in a row with a different name each night, but the rest of their meals are certainly questionable. The Kale Pesto Pasta which was just plain pasta with some kale on top will always hold a place in my heart.

Catered halls sounds great until you actually have to eat the food, you might be best just getting a meal deal from SPAR.


6. The poets of the smoking area

The cubby below the dining hall provided the perfect smoking area, you were guaranteed to bump into half of the hall around here. As a result, the walls slowly became filled with names and drawings; though somebody would always follow a name up with ‘smells’. University really matures us as people.

7. The multitude of uses for a pantry

The failure of catered halls dinner can always be supplemented by a cheeky ready meal in the pantries in Cavendish – I recommend the Tesco Mac & Cheese, but the smell will stick around and spread to the whole floor. Somehow it’s even worse than discovering sick in the pantry sink first thing in the morning. However, 4am toast sessions after a night out really hit hard in a pantry.

When no one was willing to host in their room, the pantries were always a saving grace. Top tip for uni: the Chatsworth building pantries are the same size as the rooms – rip some LED lights off your wall and suddenly you have the perfect place to host. It’s not quite the same as an afters in a uni house kitchen, but it’s probably as close as you’ll get in Cavendish.

8. Last but not least, the only real use for the Cav chat

Anyone got the hoover?

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