When I went to university there were no fees, reasonably generous grants and you could sign on over the holidays,  but our staple diet was chips and cheese.  Today students are rioting over the astronomical fees and debts they face, but student unions such as Leicester University’s are being done up at the cost of over £16 million and introducing full service restaurants.

I can’t claim to understand the economics of it but the 1923 restaurant in Leicester University’s Percy Gee Building undoubtedly appears a good thing. It opened last year along with the Student Union’s new O2 venues, shops and a Starbuck’s cafe.  It’s a smart, well-run space with courteous, efficient service and a sensibly varied menu that runs from traditional studenty baked potatoes through  mozzarella and tomato salads, rib-eye steak sandwiches with stilton and a selection of weekly specials  such as a whole baked lemon sole or butternut squash and sage risotto. 

1923 restaurant, by Steve Gibson Design.

It was an ideal place for a relaxed lunch away from the buzz of the rest of the building. Ross was reasonably positive about his ‘handmade’ burger (£4.95) which came with good looking, chunky triple cooked chips and  homemade sticky barbecue sauce, and  my whole baked stuffed mackerel (£7.95) was really quite impressive. Nicely cooked and stuffed invitingly with spicy vegetable-spiked cous cous it formed a toothsome plateful with sauteed new potatoes, crunchy green beans and mangetout and a well-made tomato cream sauce.  It was a very long way from chips and cheese.

The 1923 is also open midweek evenings and for breakfasts and afternoon cream  tea (afternoon tea!).    If you are in the area and looking for lunch it’s definitely worth consideration.

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