Breakfast: Monday to Friday 08.00 - 09.00 (08.45 outside term), Dining Hall
Lunch: Every day 12.30 - 14.00, Dining Hall
Dinner: Monday to Friday 18.00 - 19.30, Dining Hall or Clubroom
Brunch (every Saturday) 11.00 - 13.30, Dining Hall
Meals are self-service and can only be paid for with your College smart card. The cost of meals, quite reasonable on the whole, though more expensive than at many colleges, is automatically deducted from the amount on your card. Junior Members get a discount of 25%.
You will be issued with a smart card when you first arrive. The card can be charged up by using one of the two machines in the Porters' Lodge. You can load your card by debiting your College account, or direct from your bank debit or credit card. If you misplace your smart card, then let the college office know immediately, so that they can credit the amount back to you before you end up feeding someone else. Make sure that your card is sufficiently charged to pay for your meal! It is probably also worth mentioning here that if you lose your card and report it to the College Office promptly they should be able to recover you balance. A new card will cost you £5 though (unless you are merely replacing a faulty one).
Menus for the week are posted on the noticeboard near the Porters' Lodge. Vegetarian options and salads are always available. Quality of food is generally reasonable (don't forget, this is institutional food, not haute cuisine). There is a Food Comments Book in the Dining Hall for any complaints or compliments to the chef. Please use it. The Members' Steward and the chefs take notice of what you have to say.
Formal Hall takes place on Tuesday and Friday during full term and Friday during vacations. Diners assemble at 7:15 pm in the combination room for pre-diner drinks before proceeding to the dining hall at 7:30 pm. There is then a three course meal with wine provided, coffee (for which people return to the Combination Room), dessert (fruits), port and dessert wine (back in the dining hall again). Special dietary requests can be arranged. You can also opt out of having alcohol which makes your dinner cheaper.
College members who wish to go to a Formal Hall need to book places by the morning before at the Porter's Lodge (12:00 noon at the latest). There is a sheet for each Formal Hall and you will need to write in your College Account Number (on your Wolfson Card) the number of guests, the names of guests, whether the guests will stay for dessert, and whether guests have any special dietary requirements. There is an extra form for dietary requirements; one copy is left with the sign up sheet and the other copy you must bring with you to the dinner. Every guest with a dietary requirement will need their own form.
For more information on prices and mass bookings (a party of more than 10), see the college website Catering page.
Dress and Etiquette
Formal Halls are held in formal attire (lounge suit for men and equivalent for women) and all Wolfson Members are required to wear a gown (guests don't need to). Gowns can be borrowed from the Porter's Lodge or the Graduate Union. Don't let the dress code deter you, Formal Halls are friendly, relaxed occasions. Unlike other colleges Wolfson has no top table and Fellows and students sit together.
Before sitting down grace is said by one of the Fellows. Dinners should not walk around during grace or while food is being served.
During dessert port and dessert wine are passed continually round the table to the left. Don't let the bottles get stuck, as people further down the table won't be happy!
Photography is only allowed in the gallery before the meal and during coffee and also during dessert once the port has been circulated. Please refrain from asking the staff to take your picture. It should be noted that such a wanton liberty as the right to take snaps of your fellow students and guests has been brought to you by long hard battles by WCSA. We would therefore very much appreciate a certain degree of consideration being shown toward the various malign influences who might well otherwise campaign for a new bought of prohibition. Be sensible.
Variations on Formal Hall
Music & Madeira: Formal Hall followed by a short recital in the Lee Hall (given by professional musicians), and Madeira served instead of Port. It is possible to book for the music only. The cost is higher than for normal Formal Halls.
Guest Night: up to five courses of the finest food and wine, where you may take one guest. The cost is higher and the dress is black tie. Book early!
Burns' Night: Honouring the Scottish poet Robert Burns in traditional style, with haggis, poems, whisky.
Themed Formal Halls: There are a number of themed dinners throughout the year, which do much to add an international flavour to the proceedings, including Halloween, St Patrick's Day, and Christmas.