Most people don't have access to kitchens in their first year, leaving the Hall kitchens as your main source of affordable cooked meals. Eating in Hall gives you the chance to catch up with friends in a friendly relaxed environment. Hall serves three meals a day, all to a high standard and accommodating all dietary requirements and allergies.

Typical Meal Times

  • Breakfast: 8-9am weekdays. A selection of cereals, continental and cooked options are available at breakfast (al­ though many people just have cereal in their rooms).
  • Lunch: 12-1:30pm weekdays. Lunch is available every weekday, and again offers hot and cold options. At weekends, breakfast and lunch are combined into one, as you'll see below...
  • Brunch: 11 am-1 pm Saturdays and Sunday Brunch is one of the best meals of the week!
  • Dinner (informal): 5:45-7:15pm (except on formal days when it finishes at 6:30pm).
  • Dinner (formal): seated for 7:15 Tuesdays,Thursdays and Sundays

Formal is slightly more fancy than informal Hall; you have to wear your gown, and there is waiter service (but you don't have to get dressed up - wearing your gown over trackies is totally acceptable). You can also bring your own wine. Whether formal or informal, dinner consists of a 3-course meal. Formals will be happening in Michaelmas term, but this again depends on Government guidance.

Cafe/bar: Alongside the three meals served in Hall, the bar is open from 11 am-11 pm, offering sand­wiches, wraps and paninis, as well as a variety of snacks and hot drinks at reasonable prices. This means you can still purchase food even if you miss a mealtime. Then, in the evening the bar itself is open to serve alcohol from 6pm.

Paying for meals: Evening meals are included on battels, and you pay for any other food bought within College using your till account. All students make a pre-payment at the start of term. This covers all your evening meals. This is £7.61 per meal. You can sign out of dinner if you don't plan to go that day, up until 1 am, and you will be reimbursed the cost of the meal, getting £5.14 back on battels at the start of the next term. Formal and informal cost the same.

Your till account is used to pay for drinks and snacks in the bar and cafe, and breakfast and lunch through the Buttery. You need to keep this topped up, and again can do this through the intranet ( or at the Bursary in cash during office hours. In the Buttery, you can run into debt up to a threshold of £15, but you can't run up a deficit in the bar or cafe. Any debt left on your account at the end of term is automatically added to the next term's battels. There are fines if you exceed the debt limit.

You pay for all food using your Bod Card, which is scanned in the Buttery. In the bar you can pay by debit or credit card, as well as your Bod Card.

Meal booking website: The same website ( is also used to book yourself into and out of meals. Login using your bod card number. You'll be automatically signed into informal dinner each day (if you are living in catered accommodation). Make sure to sign out when you want to and to sign on for formals if you want to go. For example, your College parent may suggest that you all go to family formal. Make sure to click cancel next to your early hall booking, and then book the sitting you want.

You can also change your preferences so you are automatically booked in for vegetarian, vegan etc. meals. Speak to Brian Cole, the catering manager (in 4OB or email to discuss any specific dietary requirements that you have.

Guest Night: Every two weeks the JCR has a Guest Night on a Friday evening (alternating with MCR Guest Night). Our guest nights fall on even weeks. Guest Night food is particularly good, so it is a fantastic opportunity to get friends or family over, and it's always well attended. The dress code is suits and ties or cocktail dresses, and no gowns. You can get wine from the JCR wine cellar or bring your own.

You sign up for Guest Night through the intranet system; be warned, tickets get snapped up very quickly. Guest Night costs £18-70 for New College Students and £24-36 for non-Oxford University guests.

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