Formal Hall

Formal Hall is a served meal in the Cripps Dining Hall and is intended to be a formal occasion when you can entertain guests both private and guests from other colleges.

Formal Hall takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday evenings (alternate Thursdays and Fridays will be MCR only commencing with the first Thursday of each term).

How to book in to attend a Formal Hall.

Go to www.upay.co.uk to book online for Formal Hall. In order to access the Formal Hall booking pages you will need to log in as you would if topping-up your cashless account.

Once logged in you select the function booking option from the menu on the left hand side of the screen.  From the calendar that appears select the date of the Formal Hall you wish to attend and follow the on screen instructions.

You can book a maximum of 3 tickets, 1 for yourself and for two guests.

Queens’ Fellows are most welcome to join their students and Formal Hall meals can be booked in the same manner as High Table (indicating you would like to dine at Formal Hall).

Special Diets and Ticket Options

There are 10 ticket options for booking into Formal Hall which are shown below:

  1. Standard Meal – This ticket is for students and guests with no dietary requirements
  2. Vegetarian Meal
  3. Vegan Meal
  4. Halal Meal
  5. Meal without any Gluten ingredients added
  6. No Pork
  7. Nut allergy
  8. No Dairy
  9. No Fish
  10. Other Diet

Students or guests who require the other diet ticket should book online as normal but need to email the catering department on conferences@queens.cam.ac.uk to inform them of their dietary requirements.  The email needs to contain your name, the date you are attending Formal Hall and your dietary requirements for the meal and needs to be received at least 48 hours before the Formal Hall you are attending. 

Please note; Kosher meals require 5 working days notice, request to be made in the usual manner

Payment and Tickets

Payment is made when you book the tickets on line and can be either by a debit or credit card or from your cashless account.  Once the booking is confirmed you will see a confirmation page which needs to be printed and bought with you to the Formal Hall and will act as your ticket.

Formal Hall Reservation cut off times:

The system will not accept bookings after 2.00pm the day before the Formal Hall with the exception for Formal Hall on Sunday night.

Booking close

Day of formal hall

Tuesday 2pm

Wednesday

Wednesday 2pm

Thursday

Thursday 2pm

Friday

Friday 2pm

Sunday

Guests and Groups

Note: Currently external group bookings are not permitted

Formal hall is limited to 80 places with each member of College bringing 1 guests each, if you are interested in bringing more guests, increasing the number of places available, or arranging a group booking please contact the Catering Management Team as detailed above.

In order to facilitate additional places (above 90) at Formal Hall it is necessary to a charge a sur charge of £2.50 per additional person.

Please note: Guests under the age of 18 years of age are not permitted to attend Formal Halls in College

The Formal Hall Etiquette and Guidance

You must enter Hall by 7.30pm (this is the time that Fellows High Table starts). Please ensure that you and your guest arrive in plenty of time as the Formal Hall will commence promptly at 7.30pm. If you arrive after this time, you and your guests will not be permitted to join the Formal Hall and entry will be refused. Please note: that your tickets will be non-refundable if you arrive after 7.30pm.

  • Gowns must be worn by all members of College
  • Stand in silence when the first gong is sounded and while the Latin Grace is said
  • No walking about the hall during the Formal. Speak to a member of the Food Service team if it is necessary to leave the dining hall during the dinner
  • When the gong sounds during the meal stand in silence while the English Grace is read and the Fellows leave Hall
  • No singing of Happy Birthday until after the Fellows have adjourned to the SCR
  • Hats may not be worn
  • NO drinking games to be initiated at any time during the dinner

COVID 19 Guidance:

  • Please sanitise your hands before you enter the cafeteria servery area or dining hall
  • Whilst there is no longer a formal requirement for face coverings and social distancing, we ask that courtesy and respect is shown to others, that crowding is avoided wherever possible and not to attend if displaying symptoms of Covid 19 or other serious transmissible illness.

Wine at Formal Hall

Tutorial Policy allows a maximum of half a bottle of wine per person (no spirits or fortified wines are permitted).

Refunds for Formal Hall tickets

In the first instance a request for a refund of a formal hall ticket should be made to the JCR/MCR Steward.  The JCR/MCR Steward will decide whether to forward this request on to the Catering Management Team.