The Dining Hall is open throughout the year except for staff holiday periods, currently a week each at Christmas and Easter, plus two weeks in August. Survival for residents during these closure periods is assured by the provision of self-catering facilities in all College residences.
Normal meal service is cafeteria (self-service) style, and the College attempts to cater for as wide a range of diets and preferences as is possible. Charging is by the University Card only, apart from short-stay visitors using Guest Rooms who may pay cash.
The standard pattern is of lunch and dinner Monday-Friday. There are no meals on weekends and Bank Holidays. Lunch is served from 12.15 p.m. to 1.30 p.m., and dinner from 6.45 p.m. to 7.30 p.m.; the cost varies according to what is eaten. Students may take as many or as few meals as they wish.
Students are encouraged to bring in guests and no signing-up is required for normal everyday meals, but members wishing to bring in more than 3 guests should obtain the permission of the Head Chef. During busy periods we reserve the right to impose further limits on guests, e.g. at the beginning of Michaelmas Term. Meals for student members are subsidised. All guests and other members (e.g. ‘continuing members’), are charged nearer the full economic price for a meal; Value Added Tax (VAT) is chargeable on all non-student meals.
There is a formal Guest Night dinner on Thursday evenings (weeks 2—8) in Full Term at 7.30 preceded by an early evening meal from 6.00-6.30 p.m. An informal Guest Night dinner is held in the Small Dining Room on alternate Tuesdays commencing in 1st week during Full Term as well as the normal evening meal. Members are asked to sign on the appropriate list in the entrance hall outside the Dining Room not later than 9.00 a.m. on the day indicated on the sign-up list. Late cancellations will involve full payment. Please note that you do not have to invite a guest to be able to attend a Guest Night dinner! Students are entitled to two half-price Thursday Guest Night Dinners per annum. Attendance is conditional on an activated University Card.
In order to give all students an opportunity to bring guests on guest nights, students are asked not to pre-book spaces by signing up with guests for more than two guest nights per term in advance. If spaces are available at the end of the week preceding a guest night, they can of course then be booked.