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Issue 471, 228 October 2001

Superb drinks and incredible edibles

"ItÕs the best meal IÕve tasted here," said Rachel Airey from maths, tucking into her lunch at the newly opened senior common room on Monday 8 October, following its transformation into a stylish cafˇ bar.

The new dˇcor seems to have won the approval of customers. The well has been filled in to create seating space for over 200 people, and new furniture and decoration creates a more congenial atmosphere for informal meetings, or that all-important break from work. "The round tables make it cosier and much easier to talk," commented Nigel Bruce from ISS.

Catering manager Beverley Kenny said: "We really want to make sure we offer the best service possible, so comments and feedback are most welcome. We hope that staff and postgraduates enjoy the new facilities, and come back for more."

The service has been designed to respond to the needs of staff, as Beverley Kenny explains: "ItÕs a new concept to open first thing in the morning, with coffee and pastries for breakfast, but we felt staff needed a place to either come for take-away food, or to bring visitors for breakfast meetings. WeÕve extended the lunch times as well to offer as much flexibility as possible."

The new kitchen with its own serving area means the food is served closer to where itÕs cooked. This impressed Stephanie Pollard from the trials unit (below): "You can see what youÕre going to eat before you choose now. And thereÕs more choice as well."

The best of the old sits alongside the new, and not just in the prices. As Dr Catherine Watson (above) Ń also from the trials unit Ń said: "TheyÕve kept the soup Ń my favourite!" ThereÕs still fish on Fridays and traditional toasties, as well as new vegetarian options and a self-service salad bar. Plans for the future include an official launch in November and wine and cheese evenings.

The cafˇ bar opens daily at 9.30am with lunch served between 11.30-14.20.

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