Self Catering at Oxbridge? Watch

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Katie J
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Ahh...so many questions;

Is there much about? (in colleges)
Whats it like?
Is it any good?
Do you get to chose this option?
How does it compare with catered?
Prices/rent etc? (averages & comparissons to catered)
What stuff is provided & what stuff do you need to take? (eg. kettles, plates, pans etc)
Do they have freezers? (my cousin didn't at Oxford but that was years ago)
Are there restrictions on eating in rooms etc?

That's all for now, please add/answer any questions!! Thank you!!
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Kalypso
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it depends a lot on your college as to what facilities are provided. This might be something you want to take into consideration when choosing a college.

In my college every room has a mini-fridge, which is very useful! There is also a small kitchen on every staircase/corridoor. There are no restriction on eating in rooms. We're allowed a kettle in our rooms, but no toasters etc (set fire/smoke alarm off)... We can however, put toasters in the kitchen. People I know at other college have no kitchen facilities, but are allowed toaster and sanwich makers in their rooms, but that means that you are dependent on either hall food or toast variations when eating in college. As far as I know, there is no accomodation that is specifically catered/self catered.
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Katie J
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(Just wanted to add, my offer is for Newnham so anything more specific to self catering there would be much appreciated! I am still interested in other colleges though! grey faerie, which college are you at?)
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Helenia
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At most Cambridge colleges you will have to pay KFC regardless of whether you self cater or use the buttery the whole time (KFC - kitchen fixed charge - is a universally unpopular charge to subsidise the buttery and supposedly provide gyp room [kitchen] facilities). The only exceptions are if you are on a kosher/halal diet, or have specific allergies etc, in which case you won't be charged, as they assume you won't eat at the buttery ever. There is no difference in rent.

I don't know about Newnham, but in the first year accommodation in Clare there are kitchens on most floors of the staircases. They're ok, but somewhat basic - fridge and two ring electric hob. Quite a few have microwaves that previous generations of students have clubbed together to buy, but not all of them, by any means. There are no restrictions on eating in rooms, but you will have to provide most things yourself, including kettle, toaster, etc.

It is possible to entirely self cater, but the actual facilities for it and financial arrangements are non-existent.
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Alaric
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(Original post by Helenia)
At most Cambridge colleges you will have to pay KFC regardless of whether you self cater or use the buttery the whole time (KFC - kitchen fixed charge - is a universally unpopular charge to subsidise the buttery and supposedly provide gyp room [kitchen] facilities). The only exceptions are if you are on a kosher/halal diet, or have specific allergies etc, in which case you won't be charged, as they assume you won't eat at the buttery ever. There is no difference in rent.

I don't know about Newnham, but in the first year accommodation in Clare there are kitchens on most floors of the staircases. They're ok, but somewhat basic - fridge and two ring electric hob. Quite a few have microwaves that previous generations of students have clubbed together to buy, but not all of them, by any means. There are no restrictions on eating in rooms, but you will have to provide most things yourself, including kettle, toaster, etc.

It is possible to entirely self cater, but the actual facilities for it and financial arrangements are non-existent.
Additionally, with respect to Clare at least, you can bring a kettle/toaster to have in your room as long as they're kept on a tray. Mini-fridges/Fridges aren't allowed in rooms unless there is a medical requirement to store large quantities of medicine. Some of the provided fridges have a small freezing compartment, but this is fairly rare. Recently the residents of the block I live in argued with the college to keep a freezer in a communal area which had been left there by mistake after the conference guests had left - but college doesn't guarantee it for next year. Some kitchens in second year accommodation have gas hobs, and there are, I think, two ovens in college.
Generally the provisions are pretty poor, but they get away with it by regarding it as being catered accommodation, even if it's eight and a half minutes walk away.

Having said all that, I'm not fond of the food provided by college, so I've not really been to buttery since last Easter. Last term my college bill food charges consisted entirely of one formal hall. The cooking can be a little limited by having two hobs, but I find if I'm careful I can eat for less than buttery and it doesn't take too long. The KFC is just bleeding annoying for me.

The vegetarian options are supposedly useless, one of my friends counted them only having 7 different regular dishes that they provide for vegetarians.

Alaric.
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Helenia
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(Original post by Alaric)
Generally the provisions are pretty poor, but they get away with it by regarding it as being catered accommodation, even if it's eight and a half minutes walk away.
You've timed it?

I am not looking forward to moving out of Mem, I can tell you that much! I eat at the buttery fairly often, but not as religiously as some of my friends, and I haven't actually been to formal this term, although I suspect I will have to soon. And yes, vegetarian provision is crap, so my friends tell me.
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Alaric
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(Original post by Helenia)
You've timed it?
I sometimes cut timing of things very close, though I hate being late, so I tend to be aware of how fast I need to walk and how much time I have. I tend to end up walking pretty fast, I had to do Caius in just under 8 to make my DoS meeting in time - and I did with 30secs to spare - so Old Court isn't much further. I know I can do New Museums in 10 because I had to to make a couple of lectures last term... if you're walking normally you'd probably add a few minutes to the times.

(Original post by Helenia)
I am not looking forward to moving out of Mem, I can tell you that much! I eat at the buttery fairly often, but not as religiously as some of my friends, and I haven't actually been to formal this term, although I suspect I will have to soon. And yes, vegetarian provision is crap, so my friends tell me.
I quite like going to formal, it's nice if you've got a good bunch of people, but buttery isn't usually worth it. I'd only get distracted by the table football table afterwards anyhow...
The accommodation stuff looks like it's going to be crazy this year because they're wanting to renovate U and V (Again :rolleyes: ) which takes rather a lot of rooms out. There's going to be more cosy doubling than this year I expect, fortunately (for me) third years all choose before the second years. However that does mean that you may have a chance at staying away from the colony if you want to share or put up with a minute room.
Colony really isn't that bad though, makesure you come to the accommodation open day!

Alaric.

PS: I ate a lot in buttery a lot during my first term, waned during the second term and didn't in the third or last term!
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naelse
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I'm not actually at Newnham yet, but it does say on the website/prospectus that it has proper kitchens, unlike most other colleges. Didn't see any when I visited though...
And the rent I heard is around £50-60 but I'm not quite sure where I found that out from, so I wouldn't trust the info.

So really, not really sure what I'm on about- in the same situation as you , really.
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Katie J
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Yeah I read that they had good kitchens (they reckon they have the best but they all say that!!) that was one of my reasons for choosing it. But again, like you, didn't see any in the building I stayed in for the interviews, I know there were good ones across the gap bit (really should look into names of places...). I was wondering if there was much choice as to whether you have them or not & if you pay any different to those that don't.

Is there any real reason for not having 'normal' facilities at Oxford/Cambridge? (other than the obvious old buildings, fire risks, & loving of communal eating!)
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Alaric
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(Original post by Katie J)
Is there any real reason for not having 'normal' facilities at Oxford/Cambridge? (other than the obvious old buildings, fire risks, & loving of communal eating!)
Err they want to screw you over for as much money as possible?
No, seriously.

Don't get me started on the love of communal eating, apparently that's why Caius has such an archaic system.

Alaric.
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Jamie
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(Original post by Helenia)
At most Cambridge colleges you will have to pay KFC regardless of whether you self cater or use the buttery the whole time (KFC - kitchen fixed charge - is a universally unpopular charge to subsidise the buttery and supposedly provide gyp room [kitchen] facilities). The only exceptions are if you are on a kosher/halal diet, or have specific allergies etc, in which case you won't be charged, as they assume you won't eat at the buttery ever. There is no difference in rent.

I don't know about Newnham, but in the first year accommodation in Clare there are kitchens on most floors of the staircases. They're ok, but somewhat basic - fridge and two ring electric hob. Quite a few have microwaves that previous generations of students have clubbed together to buy, but not all of them, by any means. There are no restrictions on eating in rooms, but you will have to provide most things yourself, including kettle, toaster, etc.

It is possible to entirely self cater, but the actual facilities for it and financial arrangements are non-existent.
Newnham facilities aren't bad - kitchenette type things with hob and oven and fridge. Also they have fridges in some rooms, with a kind of lottery to decide who gets them
quite cool
J
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Jamie
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(Original post by Alaric)
Err they want to screw you over for as much money as possible?
No, seriously.

Don't get me started on the love of communal eating, apparently that's why Caius has such an archaic system.

Alaric.
Fire risks are huge.
Also in places like corpus there is nowhere to put them. all the kitchens are in a room on each staircase as an almost afterthought. cept the new buildings and 2 renevated staircases.
J
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MadLy
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Well, Tit Hall facilities dont seem that bad compared to the others. We have kitchens on most floors, with a fridge and either a microwave or a hob/grill combo...or both! Though you can only fit about 2 people in them at a time......

However, we still get charged a KFC :rolleyes: and some kitchens have metered electricity!!

Um, hall food doesnt seem that bad......distinctly average, but Im sure Im gonna get bored of it pretty soon!
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DanMushMan
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Magdalene
fridge in every room
gyp rooms (or a proper kitchen) which vary quite a bit. The worst are basically a sink and a single electric hob. Most have an electric oven with 2 electric hobs. The better ones have microwaves and if you're very lucky a gas oven and gas hobs, and maybe a communial freezer (v rare)
I never eat college food unless its in hall, though the options still there. Still pay KFC which is a rip off.
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dreamer
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(Original post by foolfarian)
Fire risks are huge.
Also in places like corpus there is nowhere to put them. all the kitchens are in a room on each staircase as an almost afterthought. cept the new buildings and 2 renevated staircases.
J
So can you not get access to a fridge at all in Corpus?
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Jamie
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(Original post by dreamer)
So can you not get access to a fridge at all in Corpus?
we have a fridge in each kitchen - shared between 4 and 8 people tho (very tight for space)
Of course you can buy a mini fridge for your room. im looking for a stella one. anyone know where u can get them cheap?
J
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aliel
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(Original post by foolfarian)
we have a fridge in each kitchen - shared between 4 and 8 people tho (very tight for space)
Of course you can buy a mini fridge for your room. im looking for a stella one. anyone know where u can get them cheap?
J
I've got a redbull fridge
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dreamer
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(Original post by foolfarian)
we have a fridge in each kitchen - shared between 4 and 8 people tho (very tight for space)
Of course you can buy a mini fridge for your room. im looking for a stella one. anyone know where u can get them cheap?
J
3rd years with mini-fridges- do they sell them cheap at the end of term?
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Helenia
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(Original post by foolfarian)
Newnham facilities aren't bad - kitchenette type things with hob and oven and fridge. Also they have fridges in some rooms, with a kind of lottery to decide who gets them
quite cool
J
Wish we had a bloody oven :mad: We have a microwave, but there's only so much you can do in that. I don't think we're allowed fridges in our rooms, so we have one between 5 in the gyp room, which is rather crowded :rolleyes:
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oldthrashbarg
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(Original post by DanMushMan)
I never eat college food unless its in hall, though the options still there.
Why don't people eat college food? Is it low quality or just expensive?
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