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New world food court opens in Senate House after major refurbishment

Senate House - article

The revamped Senate House. All photos by Rebecca Noakes

Press release issued: 18 May 2021

Senate House has reopened with a new world food court, space for Bristol SU and a soon-to-open bar.

The major refurbishment has transformed the building with the addition of a spectacular new dining and socialising space which can host 500 eaters and drinkers.

The inside of the 1960s building now has a modern, airy feel to it, with the main dining area set in a room with 10-metre high ceilings.

The food court, called Source Marketplace, opened on Monday and the bar, called The Beckford after race relations champion Carmen Beckford MBE, opens on June 21. Both are open to students, staff and the general public.

Once Covid restrictions ease, neither The Beckford Bar nor Source Marketplace will use any single use plastic.

As with all University of Bristol cafés and bars, everything sold is fairtrade and locally sourced where possible.

Above the food court is the recently opened SU Loft, where students can work and relax, and the Global Lounge, a cultural hub where UK students and the 150-plus nationalities that study at the University can connect.

The Global Lounge is set to open in September, along with a one-stop-shop for Student Information Services, additional study areas, prayer rooms, a collaborative space for postgraduate research students and a revamped SU Living Room.

Senate house from outside

Senate House from the outside. All photos by Rebecca Noakes. 


The food court - Source Marketplace

The new food court will serve thousands of punters a day with a menu that changes daily, all made from produce sourced from within a 20-mile radius.

Five counters serve a wide variety of cuisines, including an array of vegetarian and vegan dishes, grab-and-go sandwiches, street food, a salad bar and stone baked pizzas.

The cheffing team come from a range of countries and that is reflected in the food, which draws on kitchens from across the world.

Coffee from a special barista machine imported from Italy will be served with breakfast from 8.30am until late.

Street artist Kid Crayon will soon be painting a mural across one long wall of the food court.

Source Marketplace is currently open from 8.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday, with longer opening hours to be added later in the year.

Senate house from balcony

The bottom floor of Senate House. All photos by Rebecca Noakes. 


The Beckford Bar

The 100-person capacity Beckford Bar, run by the SU, serves a range of drinks, with alcoholic pints starting from £2.90 and non-alcoholic bottled beer starting at £2.

Drinks can be taken into the wider food court. Meanwhile, the bar has a full AV set-up for major sporting events and the occasional private function. However, most SU society events will continue to be held at the Balloon Bar in the Richmond Building.

University of Bristol students chose the name Beckford after Carmen Beckford MBE, who was one of the founding organisers of St Paul’s carnival and in 1982 became the first black woman in the South West to be awarded an MBE.

There will be a mural of Carmen on the wall, painted by local artist Natasha Sweeting.

Burst Radio will be played through the speakers at both The Beckford and Source Marketplace.

Beckford body

The Beckford Bar. All photos by Rebecca Noakes. 

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