Dining Hall

Formal Hall in Easter Term 2021

We are excited to be able to offer Formal Halls once again in Easter Term. Here’s all you need to know about what will be different this term and what we’re doing to keep everyone safe. 

Dining Hall

When will Formal Halls restart? 

Formal Halls will begin at Wolfson College on Tuesday 18 May 2021 and will continue until Tuesday 27 July.  

What are the seating arrangements and capacity? 

We’ll have a maximum capacity of 72 people who can attend Formal Hall with each dinner. 

We will set up 12 tables of six places. 

Social distancing 

We ask that you adhere to social distancing rules at all times. 


You can book your place from 5pm each Tuesday for the following week on our Formal Hall Booking System. 

Please make your Formal Hall bookings online by 12 noon the day before.

We are currently unable to offer guest rooms. 

Running Order

19:00: Arrival and seated pre-dinner drinks 

We are not able to host a pre-dinner drinks reception as normal, so we will be inviting diners to get to the hall a little earlier than usual, at roughly 19:00, and have their pre-dinner drink sat at the table. Anyone wishing to meet up before this time are asked to wait outside the main building or in the East Court Marquee.

Please remember that tables are not reserved and we cannot guarantee that groups will sit together, so please arrive early if you want to sit together.

19:30 – c.21:00 Grace, starter, main course, sweet, closing Grace 

At 19:30 we will commence with grace and dinner will follow. Once we have served dessert and coffee, closing grace will be said. Port and cheese will be served at the table. Anyone wishing to leave at this point may do so.

After the cheese and port service has finished, you have the option of ordering a limited drinks selection from the bar to be served at the table. 

22:00 Departure 

Guests will be asked to vacate the Hall at 10pm, and to maintain social distancing as they depart.

What’s the dress code? 

The dress code for Formal Hall will remain the same. Diners should wear formal business attire, e.g. jacket and tie or equivalent. College Members should wear a gown, and guests who are members of the University may do so. Persons who do not meet the dress code, including appearing in jeans, training shoes, beach footwear, shorts and/or hats or caps, will be refused entry. 

If you are unsure of the requirements, please consult the Butler before the event as the College may be able to assist.

Mobile phones and cameras

The use of cameras, mobile phones, or any other electronic device is not allowed during Formal Hall at any time. Please ensure that your mobile phones are switched off before coming in to dine. 

Remaining seated 

As these dinners are formal occasions, it is expected that you will remain seated throughout the meal. Moving around the tables, particularly during service, creates a problem for both staff and other diners. It is also not usual to leave the table during the meal unless a diner feels unwell. If you must leave at any point, exit and return as discreetly as possible. Please note that this dispensation is not intended for taking cigarette breaks.

Dietary requirements

Please notify us of any special dietary requirements when you book. If you have made such a request, please see the Butler during pre-dinner drinks and they will issue a 'Special Dietary Requirement' slip. Show this slip to a member of the serving staff, and leave it on the dining table at the end of dinner.

How much does it cost?

Cost, paying, and account information remains unchanged, and can be found on our What happens at Formal Hall page. 

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