Food and Drink

Wolfson is an almost entirely cashless community. You pay for cafeteria meals and photocopying with your University card or Wolfson card, which also allow you access to secure College rooms and entry to the College from Selwyn Gardens when the main gate is closed. You add funds to your catering account at a service point using your debit or credit card.  (Service points are located at the bottom of the main staircase and in the first floor servery.)


Full details of the College's catering services and up-to-date menus are posted on the Catering webpage. Members are welcome to bring partners and guests into meals. Children are also welcome to come to cafeteria meals in the company of their parent(s). If you have any special dietary requirements please discuss these with the Head Chef.

Electronic communication is prohibited at all times in the Dining Hall. This includes:

  • Use of a mobile phone or similar for talking or texting; emailing; Skype or similar.
  • Listening to music, even with headphones.

Use of a Kindle, iPad or laptop, for reading only, is permitted only at Breakfast.

Why we ask you to refrain from using electronic devices in Hall

Formal Dining: Formal Hall

A leisurely formal dinner with wine and waiter service takes place at 19:15 for 19:30 in Hall or the Combination Room on Tuesdays and Fridays in Full Term and Tuesdays outside of Full Term (except during the month of August and the Christmas and Easter periods mentioned above). Those who wish to dine must book in before 12 noon on the day before they wish to dine at

Formal Hall - What you need to know gives essential information on booking, prices, terms and conditions, the format for the evening and much more.

The Term Notices give dates of subject and other special dinners and events. 

Students have one free Formal Hall, which can be taken between 1 October and the end of the Easter Full Term, and only at standard Formal Halls and Music & Madeira, i.e. not at Burns Night (Lent Term) or Guest Nights. In addition all Students are invited to a subject Formal Hall on a set date within the course of the year as a guest of the College.

Students are encouraged to bring guests to Formal Hall. These guests will be charged at the student rate, and this charge will be made to the account of the host who has invited the guests. Students may invite up to three guests (i.e. a party of up to four) to a Formal Hall.

Wolfson does not have a high table. Fellows and students sit together. Before dinner, drinks are served in the Gallery or Combination Room. At dessert, wine and port are passed continuously around the table from right to left. Dinner begins and ends with grace, and diners do not leave the room before the presiding Fellow. Smoking is not permitted. It is customary to wear gowns for Formal Hall and members should be smartly dressed. 

If a College Society or members of a particular course wish to come into Formal Hall as a group and sit together, please see Formal Hall - What you need to know for further information.


Photography is not allowed during the main part of Formal Hall. It is however allowed in the Gallery before the meal and during coffee. Photographs may also be taken during dessert after the wine has been circulated, but please ensure you do not disturb other members who are dining. Please do not ask members of the waiting staff to take photographs: they have a job to do.

Special Dinners

Special formal dinners occur from time to time. Guest Nights (dress code is lounge suit/national dress, with gown for College Members) are open to all Members; those wishing to dine should book online using the Formal Hall Booking System.. Some special dinners are by invitation only, e.g. the Matriculation Dinners for new students in October, and Foundation Day Dinner in June. Governing Body dinners are for Governing Body Fellows only.


Every resident has access to a kitchen with dining area. Shared kitchens have communal cookers, fridges, etc. and individual cupboards. You will need to supply your own crockery, cutlery, and pots and pans. You are also expected to do your own washing up and help to keep the kitchen clean and tidy.

Safety in the kitchens

There have been a number of fires in recent years in the kitchens due to negligence on the part of students who have left cooking unattended. Although these fires were discovered in time to prevent serious damage they were potentially dangerous. As a result of these incidents the following additional safeguards have been introduced:-

1. Deep fat frying is NOT allowed.

2. Any student who causes a fire by leaving cooking unattended, or any other act of negligence, could have their room licence withdrawn.

Please refer to Safety and Security.

Vending machines

Vending machines for sandwiches, snacks and drinks are on the ground floor of J staircase and there is a machine for hot drinks in the Club Room.