To cook, or not to cook?

Good morning everyone! The week before last we gave you a whistle stop tour of our different accommodation types. This week we’re looking at catered versus self-catered, to help you decide which is right for you.

Catered residences – What are the benefits?

Catered accommodation can be a great choice for your first year at University as it takes away the hassle of cooking for yourself, including the time it takes to shop, prepare meals and wash up. In catered halls, you’ll receive high quality and nutritious meals throughout the term, whilst having plenty of time to socialise and study.

In our catered residences, meals are enjoyed in communal dining halls, giving a great sense of community and an opportunity to make new friends.

Find out more about Catered Halls >>

Which residences are catered? 

  • Holland Hall – En-suite rooms with a glass-fronted dining room and a sun terrace, both with a stunning view over the Exe valley.
  • Mardon Hall  – A mixture of single and twin standard rooms and includes a wood-panelled library (now used as a study room) and grand staircases.
  • Birks Grange Village – Self-catered, catered and studio accommodation. The catered residences have en-suite rooms and there are also communal spaces and a small shop.
  • Exeter Halls – Lopes Hall, Ransom Pickard and Pennsylvania Court giving a mixture of standard, twin and en-suite rooms. The large dining hall and social area for all three locations is based in Lopes Hall.

Our catered residences are all on-campus and are available on a 32 week contract. This means that you will need to move out of your room during the Christmas and Easter holidays. However, we can arrange alternative accommodation for you during these times if you wanted to stay in Exeter over the vacation.

What type of food is available?
The University catering team provide a great variety of choices. Included in your accommodation fees are 16 meals per-week: Breakfast and dinner Monday to Friday with continental breakfast and brunch options at the weekend. You’ll need to provide your own lunches and snacks, but there will be a fridge in your room and some residences will also have utilities rooms to prepare food.

What about special dietary needs?

Dietary requirements can be catered for by letting our chefs know in advance. Each meal will have vegetarian options.

Find out more about meal times, special diets and sample menus>>

Self-catered accommodation – what are the benefits?

Shopping and cooking for yourself is a great skill to acquire for life post-university. You learn a lot about budgeting, what you like to cook and when you want to eat.

If you’re doing a course with late lectures and workshops, or if you are going to be involved in sports or societies, you may wish to choose self-catered accommodation so that you can be flexible about your meal times.

Another thing to consider is the choice of food available. Whilst our catered accommodation offers a fantastic variety of options, if you’re a fussy eater or have certain dietary requirements, you might find it easier to cook for yourself.

Many students that live in shared accommodation find that the kitchen area is the social area of their flat or house. Cooking meals together is a great way to socialise as well as helping you to save money.

Which residences are self-catered?

A list of our self-catered residences is available here. We have 3 options available: En-suite, standard and studio.

  • Shared kitchens (En-suite and Standard)have a cooker with an oven, hob and grill, microwave, fridge/freezer, water boiler/kettle, dining table and chairs, and an ironing board. You will need to bring pots and pans, cutlery and crockery.
  • Studio kitchens have a microwave or combi-oven, hob, fridge with freezer compartment, water boiler or kettle. Our studios at Birks Grange Village and Lafrowda also have a dining table and chairs.

Need a day off from cooking?

The University campus has a huge variety of food outlets across campus which offer takeaway options. Isca eats also deliver a fantastic range of foods to designated collection points across the campus. The University catering team also offer meal package cards, allowing you to buy a number of meals in our catered halls up-front, so that you can have a night off from cooking and enjoy a meal with friends in the catered dining rooms.

You can also treat yourself to a variety of takeaways or a meal out from restaurants around the city.

We hope this has given you some food for thought when you come to apply for your University accommodation. Have a great week!

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