Should You Go Catered or Self-Catered?

In this blog, we discuss whether you should go for catered or self-catered accommodation in central London

Here at LHA London, we have 13 properties that have a mixture of catered and self-catered facilities. Both options have their benefits, but what will suit you better in the long run? We’ve compiled a list of things to consider when picking out which LHA hostel will fit your lifestyle the best, helping you to find the best long-term London accommodation to suit your needs.

Do you want to cook for yourself?

This may seem like an obvious question, but it is something that takes consideration. Cooking is a valuable life skill that is good to practise, as well as a big money saver if you shop smart. Would you rather take time to shop around and prepare your own meals? Or do you hate cooking and would rather have one less thing to think about? These are things to consider when thinking about going for catered or self-catered accommodation.

How flexible do you need to be for meals?

At our catered hostels, we have set mealtimes in the mornings and evenings on weekdays and midday on weekends. This is great for residents who study during the day or work a 9-5 job, as the timetable can easily fit around your daily routine. However, if you’re working irregular hours, or just want the freedom to eat earlier or later to fit your packed social schedule, this may not suit your needs as well.

How social do you want to be?

Having a dining room and dedicated mealtimes is great for getting together with other residents, as there will be plenty of people to chat to. The shared kitchens at our self-catered hostels can also be a great hub for social activity if you go in at the right times. However, if you want to eat with more privacy, maybe a studio is a better fit for you.

How good are you with handling mess?

It’s the typical flatshare problem – other people not wiping down surfaces, putting things away or leaving dirty pans in the sink. Even though our hostels are cleaned every day, we can’t always guarantee that you’ll have a roommate who cleans up after themselves and keeps things sparkling. At our catered accommodations, you don’t have to worry about unwashed dishes, as they’re dealt with for you!

Do you have any allergies or dietary requirements?

We have great chefs at our catered hostels who cook a varied menu that will suit most residents, however they can’t guarantee to serve your favourite food each day. If you have specific requirements, you may want to consider going self-catered so that you can control exactly what you are eating. And for more serious allergies, a studio where you’re not sharing fridge space at all may be the way forward.

Our catered hostels are Bowden Court, Sandeman-Allen House, Holland House and New Mansion House. The rest of our properties are self-catered properties with studios or large shared kitchens on each floor. Whether you’re a student wanting all inclusive accommodation or a young professional wanting a bit more freedom, we guarantee that one of our 13 hostels will be just the right fit for your lifestyle.