All first years live in and around Memorial Court. With all of your year just across the courtyard you can quickly and easily make friends. First year accommodation ranges from £750-£1150 per term. Clare first year accommodation is some of the biggest in the whole University and reasonably priced. Most first years choose to have en suite accommodation, with many of the rooms also being ‘sets’ (they have a separate bed room and study). Each staircase has a few gyp rooms (mini kitchens with microwaves, toasters and a hob) – it’s amazing what some students can cook with just a microwave and hob! Second years live in the Colony, which is a 10 minute walk along the river towards Magdalene. Third and fourth years mostly live in the Colony too, although some take rooms in the much coveted Old Court. There will be a number of rooms open at the open day so make sure you take a good look round.
Great Hall and Buttery
Clare has a flexible system where you have the choice of a very cheap meal in the Buttery (the canteen), cooking for yourself or having a 3 course formal dinner in the Great Hall (available Monday-Thursday for undergraduates). Mostly people use the college Buttery which is underneath the Great Hall in Old Court and average costs are between £1.50 and £3 per meal. Vegetarian options are always available and the Buttery provides a full English breakfast every morning. Fish and Chips Friday lunch time in Buttery is always popular as is brunch on Saturdays. Students dress up for Formal Hall, a three course evening meal served by waiters in the beautiful Great Hall. It’s optional, but a fun way to celebrate a birthday and fairly cheap in comparison to other Colleges at only £7.15 and with no corkage charge for bringing your own wine.
Cellars – College Bar
This is known as the best college bar in Cambridge as it is set in the atmospheric crypt under the Chapel. Drinks are cheap and unlike most other colleges, the bar is student run. Clare students can apply to work at the bar during term time to earn some extra money. Three times a term there’s a themed fancy-dress bop (College party) which is a great way to get involved in College life and meet people at Clare. Cellars also hosts comedy nights, pub quizzes and open-mic nights, together with jazz nights run by Clare Jazz, featuring performances from Resolution 88, The Handlers, the Tara Minton Quintet, the Veitch-Hitchcock quartet and many more. Cellars also has a foosball table, and was recently furnished with a new pool table.
Clare Ents is the most popular weekly student run night in Cambridge. Every Friday night the crypt under Clare College Chapel becomes host to the hottest new DJs and artists from Cambridge and across the UK. The Correspondents, Loick Essien and Jakwob Live, were the highlights of 2012/13, following past performances from the likes of Chase and Status, Bombay Bicycle Club and Tinie Tempah. Other performers included Prides, Kassoma, Gecko, and the ever popular, Clare-based Colonel Spankey’s Love Ensemble. The undisputed home of alternative music, Clare Ents is the only place to be on a Friday night.
The Forbes Mellon Library is the main college library located in the centre of Memorial Court. It is really big and light and provides a perfect working environment. The library has a huge range of books and can order any book you need and can’t find so there’s never any need to buy books, although the generous Clare book grants will support those who do so. The University Library is incredibly close to Clare (it’s the big tower out the back of Memorial Court) and is another good working environment. There are two ‘Law Reading Rooms’ based in the ground floor of one of the Memorial Court staircases which are available to Law and Land Economy Students 24/7.
The oldest and one of the most iconic bridges in Cambridge. Walking back watching the stars over Clare bridge is a perfect way to end the night. You can hire punts from the Clare Student Union for £3/hour, or £7 for an exciting midnight punt!
Clare Gardens and lawns- Arguably the most beautiful gardens in Cambridge, the Fellows Garden and Scholars Garden are open to students from early morning until dusk. These are perfect for relaxing or working in during the summer and snowball fights during the winter. Students can take their food from the Buttery and eat on the grass in the Scholars Garden. In the last week of term a Shakespeare play is performed and directed by students in the Fellows garden.
LCR- Common Room
Just next to the library. Comfy chairs, big TV, DVD player and tea & coffee. A great place to chill after a night out or when taking a break from work.
Music Practice Rooms
Near to the library these are open to anyone who has an instrument and doesn’t want to disturb their neighbours. When choosing accommodation you can specifically request a ‘musical staircase’!
Clare has its own modern auditorium in the Memorial Court Complex. The Riley is mainly used for conferencing but it is often made available to the students in the evening for film nights. It acts, essentially, as Clare’s own cinema!