If you are somebody coming to university who is worried about cooking as they move away from home for the first time, then catered accommodation is probably something that you are interested in. As two of the undergraduate halls that offer this, I implore you not to choose either of Rutherford or Eliot.
Rutherford and Eliot are the two original buildings of the university, you might suspect that they are steeped in history and have an attractive aesthetic. However, these two were designed by an architect best known for his work designing prisons, and you can see why! The two buildings share the same basic design, but are essentially mirrors of eachother. You will likely get to know these hallways well, as they are entirely unintuitive, and it will take an eternity for you to find your way to your room. If the whole prison designing thing hadn’t worked out, then the architect would likely have a job for life helping to design the Labyrinth.
Once you finally arrive at your room, likely a mass of sweat and frustration from working out the way, you will wish you hadn’t bothered. The walls are of a garish pale-yellow colouring that does not cover the pattern of the bricks underneath, almost like a prison cell… The best strategy that I saw for surviving this squalor was from my friend, who did his best to cover the walls as much as possible using posters, a trip to Venue’s semi-frequent poster sales is a must.
One bonus of your room is the positioning of the bed. As the promotional photo of the accommodation displays, it is well placed for you and some friends to congregate and enjoy some Netflix (other streaming services are available). Or so you would think. Unfortunately, there is a wall plug outlet on that side, and the plastic holding the wires for this are positioned perfectly to be in contact with the middle of your back. Thus, unless you have brought several extra pillows or have lost feeling in your spine, then this is about as pleasant as walking over a floor made of Lego.
The only reason you would really choose Rutherford or Eliot is because you are someone who is not a confident chef and the other accommodations were full. These two provide you with the ‘Flex Catering Package’, which seems like a good option as it provides you with two £5 tokens each day with which to use at the various on campus eateries, which you can choose how to use, either buying one larger meal for £10 or two for £5. This is not really a problem for lunch, as many places are open that offer items for less than the value of one token. However, unless you have the body clock of a pensioner and eat dinner at half three, then your options dwindle substantially. And of these options, none of them offer any item for less than £5, thus you have to either have to use both tokens for this or pay the difference. This might work if the kitchen in your flat was not the size of Harry Potter’s bedroom, but as it is you can’t really use it for making anything more interesting than a Pot Noodle. Thus, your “catered accommodation” is either becoming very expensive to cover the cost of eating out twice-a-day or you are eating once-a-day. Which I imagine is a healthy way to live, especially as this is likely to be something like a burger.
Verdict: With a room that is hard to find and not worth the search and a catering package that doesn’t make any sense, Rutherford and Eliot are the go-to for people who plan on not staying in their own accommodation.
Views expressed in InQuire's satire articles are those only of the writer and InQuire does not endorse any of these opinions, this section is dedicated to entertainment purposes only. We use fictitious characters in our stories, except in regards to public figures being satirised directly.