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Catered or self-catered accommodation

(73 Posts)
questioner123 Fri 22-Mar-19 17:38:31

Can I have your words of wisdom please to help my DD decide between these two accommodation options?

She is a vegertarian and quite fussy, but hates being around mess and raw meat haha, hence why she is considering catered!

Many thanks everyone

OP’s posts: |
ifonly4 Fri 22-Mar-19 18:22:29

Which uni is her firm? Someone may know what veggie options are like there.

She may not change, but my DD used to be fussy and then chose to boarding school - even though there was still plent of choice it was different from home. 18 months later she'll eat virtually anyting.

questioner123 Fri 22-Mar-19 18:38:11

Bristol is her firm. Thanks for your reply!

OP’s posts: |
BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Mar-19 20:35:01

DD was in Wills (catered) at Bristol. The food was supplied by the same company as at her boarding school but it was nowhere near as good! The blocks in the old quad have small kitchenettes but no real food prep areas. As DD isn’t vegetarian, I don’t know what vegetarian offerings they have in the dining hall but I’ve no doubt you can ask. I think I would do it for the first year if the menus look ok. There are lunch options at or around the university or she could prep a packed lunch. Being catered saves being around messy kitchens but she might have to accept communal living in y2 and share a kitchen with other students when she shares a house. She might need to be a bit more flexible and accept others might not be the same as her in their food habits!

CraftyGin Fri 22-Mar-19 20:37:38

Self catering unless totally inept in the kitchen.

questioner123 Fri 22-Mar-19 21:24:02

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Yes but at least in second year she can choose who she wants to live with! How did she find Wills and the food there on the whole? Would she choose Wills again? This is my DD’s first choice if she goes catered! Thanks in advance. grin

OP’s posts: |
Muchtootall Fri 22-Mar-19 23:50:52

My DD is in Wills and happy there. She likes the food but says it’s a bit repetitive. Bubbles - Out of curiosity which school had the same food as Wills Hall?

Hollowvictory Fri 22-Mar-19 23:52:19

What's her other choice other than wills? There is more to consider than just the food

Hollowvictory Fri 22-Mar-19 23:52:38

Sorry what I meant is what's the self catering option

HarrietSchulenberg Sat 23-Mar-19 00:06:09

When I went to university I went for fully catered for my 1st year so that I could have a guarantee of being fed! I have already recommended that to ds2, who is only doing GCSEs atm but is aiming for university.

TapasForTwo Sat 23-Mar-19 00:08:48

DD is vegetarian and an excellent cook. She ruled out Nottingham because there are no self catered halls for first years. She wants self catered only.

happymummy12345 Sat 23-Mar-19 00:14:50

I went self catered and I'm so glad I did.

BlackPrism Sat 23-Mar-19 01:26:31

Self-catered. My cousin went catered and didn't have any cooking facilities which meant that if she missed the meal slots (due to a late lab or a work shift) she didn't get a hot meal.

BlackPrism Sat 23-Mar-19 01:27:45

Also what's she going to do after uni? Won't she most likely be in a flat share where she doesn't get to pick housemates? Shell need to get used to it....

Hollowvictory Sat 23-Mar-19 08:19:54

@BlackPrism what do u mean? She'll be sharing with random whether she goes to wills or any other hall.

hellsbells99 Sat 23-Mar-19 08:46:47

I think catered can be more sociable

ifonly4 Sat 23-Mar-19 08:56:32

ww.bristol.ac.uk/accommodation/media/docs/catered-accommodation-menu-examples.pdf

If you haven't found this already, have a look. I seem to remember my friend saying they have themed nights, ie pizza night, thai night, which seems to be the case from the above.

Xenia Sat 23-Mar-19 11:30:08

One of my twins was at Bristol in Wills Hall last year and he is a vegan. He was very happy with the food. His twin (not vegan) was in a different catered hall near byto Wills and again had no complaints about the food, probably because they do their own cooking at home so a catered hall was like being in a hotel for them, better than home!

VanCleefArpels Sat 23-Mar-19 13:23:26

My DS was catered at UoN, the thought process being that a) he would be regularly fed and b) especially in the early weeks it was one less thing to worry about. He got Breakfast and dinner and a preloaded card with £5 a day for lunch at any of the campus outlets.

In hindsight he says he wishes he went self catered for 2 principle reasons. First was that the food was not good and served at weird times (very early dinner in particular) . Most of the students resorted to some extent to reheating ready meals in the corridor kitchennettes. He did concede though that at the start it was a good social experience.
The main reason however that he though self catering was better was because in catered halls the layout is often the traditional corridor set up with no central communal area apart from the cupboard sized kitchenette which actually makes it difficult to socialise. Far harder for green freshers to have to go out and knock on others' doors to say hello rather than getting chatting over the kettle in a communal kitchen in a self catered flat. And no place to pre-drink on Club nights !!! He was very envious of his school friends who were in flats (although at Nottingham these are not so favourably located)

TapasForTwo Sat 23-Mar-19 13:24:41

"I think catered can be more sociable"

Hmm. I'm not so sure. If you are very shy, and have social anxiety it must be very daunting to go down to what is ostensibly a huge canteen full of strangers. I would have thought it would be less scary to go into a shared kitchen where you will meet maybe 5 or 7 other people.

DD would hate being restricted to meal times as well.

VanCleefArpels Sat 23-Mar-19 13:38:53

tapas exactly my point - in a corridor you have to pluck up the courage to knock on someones door to meet them!

TapasForTwo Sat 23-Mar-19 13:52:48

I cross posted with you VanCleef. Your post wasn't there when I typed mine. When we looked at Nottingham and asked about self catered flats the student showing us around told us that it was mainly third years and post grad students that stayed in them, and they were much further away from the main campus.

DD's boyfriend is in a self catered flat and they have flat parties several times a week (although I'm not sure the frequency is such a great idea either)

BackforGood Sat 23-Mar-19 13:55:54

"I think catered can be more sociable"

Totally disagree with this.
When you are in the kitchen, prepping or eating your meal, that's when you get to mingle with the other students in your flat and there is a lot of socialising goes on (as long as it is a flat with a decent size kitchen diner).
Both my dc had 'flat meals' sometimes, and, around that regularly cooked in 2s or 3s.
I think the issue with catered is the timing of when you eat - if you miss that slot (be it through not getting up in the morning or being at a sports fixture or going to visit a friend or a shift at work) you don't have that money credited back. Not so easy to justify nipping to 'spoons with your mates if you've already paid for the meal in halls.
Students, on the whole, don't tend to live by such regulated times as most of us.

I''d definitely recommend self catering.

BackforGood Sat 23-Mar-19 13:57:53

She ruled out Nottingham because there are no self catered halls for first years.

Really ??
That will save us a trip then - dd2 was thinking of looking there but won't if that is the case.

user1493413286 Sat 23-Mar-19 13:59:50

I was catered by first year (ten years ago) and I’m really glad I was. It was so overwhelming being in a new place, meeting all new people, the freedom, the nights out etc that I don’t think I would have eaten very well at all. It’s Small things like would I have made sure I ate before a night out if I was sorting my food out and even when I completely ran out of money I always knew my food was sorted out. It’s a social thing as well that me and my housemates carried on when we moved into a house in second year and gives structure to some quite u structured

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