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Wednesday 29 April 2015

What goes on behind the Sodexo scenes at Solent?

With 29 food outlets and a variety of menus cooked by award-winning chefs, hospitality on campus has never been so good. Here, the hospitality services team give an update on what’s been going on behind the scenes.

Working with the University’s catering provider, Sodexo, we here in the hospitality services team have created an exciting portfolio of restaurants, salad bars, coffee shops and vending areas for the enjoyment of students, staff and guests on the campus.

From Costa Coffee at East Park Terrace to gala dinners at the conference centre and home-baked goods at The Artisan Café, there’s always plenty of choice.

Fine dining at the Conference Centre

The Dock is the central hub for food at East Park Terrace, and is host to a variety of food outlets that will suit an assortment of tastes:

  • Aspretto, where you can grab a sandwich or a coffee,
  • Bowl, which serves comforting home cooking with some amazing daily specials,
  • Brunch, where you can get a full English at any time of the day,
  • Natural, if you’re in the mood for something healthy, and
  • Swanky Franks, who offer a selection of pizzas, hot dogs and burgers.

We also cater for all events on campus. Internal meetings, large receptions, governors meetings, graduation ceremonies and general celebratory events all fall under the remit of our team, who are also on hand to provide front of house support. Don’t forget to say hello next time you see us around!

Our catering provider Sodexo’s amazing ice sculpture

There’s always a buzz at the University’s Conference Centre, where our in-house event management team are busy producing exciting events for both internal and external guests. In the past, we’ve been lucky enough to have secured clients such as HSBC, The Prince’s Trust, Toni & Guy, the Royal Television Society and HMV.

We’re not just based in the city centre either – we have a number of satellite venues including Test Park, which is perfect for away days, activity sessions and weddings; and Warsash Maritime Academy, a waterfront location complete with function rooms, a water sports centre and a large restaurant bar.

Catering update FairtradeOur Fairtrade banana suit!

We thought it might be nice to share some unusual and interesting facts about the work we do here on campus. Did you know that…

  • Over 1,500 cups of Fairtrade coffee were served at the new Honest Café in its first month at the conference centre.
  • During graduation week, nearly 4,000 branded biscuits were consumed.
  • The Conference Centre hosts over 600 events per year.
  • The Dock restaurant at East Park Terrace can receive up to 180,000 customers per month.
  • The Honest Café made Solent the first University in the UK to have dedicated ‘healthy’ vending area.
  • Over 500 students jumped in our Fairtrade banana suit during Freshers’ Week to raise awareness of fair trade causes.
  • The newly refurbished ‘Natural’ café in The Dock has over 30 pick n’ mix salad options.
  • You can even get your parents to top up your campus card with some credit at

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can improve our services – if you’ve got a suggestion, please contact For the latest news from the conference centre, follow us on Twitter (@SolentUniCC) or like us on Facebook.