Normal Term Time Service arrangements

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all available in College during term time. 

Mealtimes in Hall

Breakfast 08:00-09:00 Monday-Friday

11:00-13:00 Saturday

11:00-13:00 Sunday

Lunch 12:00-13:30 Monday-Friday

Dinner - Informal Hall

(Self service)

17:30-19:15 Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

17:30-18:30 Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday

Dinner - Formal Hall

(Waiter service)

19:15 Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday

Gowns must be worn

Dinner - Guest Night

19:15 Friday

MCR: wks 1,3,5,7

JCR: wks 2,4,6,8



Undergraduates will need to bring their University Cards with them to meals. You are automatically signed in for the Early sitting.  If you do not wish to attend or wish to book on to a different sitting, you will need to book off of the Early sitting.


Graduates must book their meals before 10am on the day that they want to go to Early sitting dinner in Hall, using the the meal booking system. Payment for lunch and breakfast is organised electronically through your university card ('Bod card'). You will need to bring it with you to meals.

Guest Nights

Fridays alternate between JCR and MCR ‘guest nights’, a more formal and social occasion than regular Formal Hall. Dress is smart (no gowns required) and no more than two guests are allowed. A more expensive menu is served, and most groups choose to bring wine (bottles are also available from the College bar). You will need to sign on in advance of guest night if you wish to attend.

The number of places at Guest Night Dinner is limited to 150, so early booking is recommended. The system will penalise you if you cancel after 10am on the Thursday before, so please make sure you only reserve places you know you will fill.

Please note that you must accompany your guest/guests to all meals in hall. 

High Table (Graduates only)

Up to four MCR members at a time are permitted to dine on high table at their own expense on battels for food (drinks extra - turn glass over if you don’t want wine) on Thursday in full term. You may use the SCR before/after dinner but may not invite guests. Sign-up is by email to the SCR Butler, Hassan Hamed, by 10am on the Thursday in question.

The Tutor for Graduates dines at High Table on three or four Wednesday evenings during Full Term, and on these occasions will be delighted to entertain first-year graduates free of charge. Because High Table has limited space, she will take up to four guests per session. The Student Services Administrator sends out an invitation at the beginning of each term to the first-year graduates, with places available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are able to attend, the Tutor will be pleased to offer you a pre-dinner drink from 18:45 for 19:15 on the Wednesday in question.

Signing on and signing off for Formal Hall and Guest Night Dinners

You will be charged the full price of the meal upon booking. If you fail to cancel your booking or do not attend, no refund will be given.

You can book attendance in advance, using the meal booking system.  Meals and menus for the following week are uploaded and available to book on the previous Thursday from 12 noon.

(e.g., bookings for 4th Week will open on Thursday of 3rd Week).

During term, undergraduates living in College accommodation that is not classified as self-catering are automatically booked. The default setting is for the early (‘informal’) sitting. It is up to you to sign off if you don’t wish to attend or change to Formal Hall and Guest Nights. All other students are required to book-on for dinners as required. You need to do this by 10am of the day in question for the early sitting.  The signing on/off ability for all Guest Night and Formal Hall dinners will close the previous day at 10am.  i.e., Monday for Tuesday Formal Hall, Wednesday for Thursday Formal Hall, Thursday for Friday Guest Night, note that Sundays Formal Hall will close two days previous at 10am.  No refunds will be offered after this time.

Up to two guests can be registered in advance for any meal.  Should you require more than two guests please seek help from the Catering Manager.

Please note that you must accompany your guest/guests to all meals in hall.

For information on current meal prices, please see Battels (rent and meals) | New College (

Dietary and Allergenic Requirements

New College readily caters for students with genuine dietary and allergen requirements, given sufficient notice. To help manage these and ensure complete customer satisfaction, we ask that you register a medical dietary/allergen request with the Catering Manager, Brian Cole, upon arrival at College. After this, requirements will only be changed through notifying the Catering Manager. This information will appear for each meal you sign up for and the kitchen will prepare your meal accordingly. There is no seating plan for Guest Nights and Formal Halls, so it is your responsibility to notify the waiting staff of your dietary requirements for each course. We do provide dietary cards to aid with this process, which you can collect and must show the waiting staff at service to allow them to deliver the correct meal to you (see guidance notes below).
Please note, due to the vast amount of special dietary and allergen requests and the requirement to cater for these, we CANNOT cater for individual likes/dislikes. 

Use of Allergen ingredients
New College operates a very robust and individually tailored allergen catering provision for all guests. It should be noted however that our kitchens do produce a multitude of varying dishes using ingredients that include those listed as possible causes of allergic reactions.
Students should be aware that whilst we will take every precaution and have strict procedures in place, we cannot absolutely guarantee our dishes are 100% trace-free from all allergy-causing ingredients. Advice is readily available for those with severe allergies and dietary requirements - please contact the Catering Manager, Brian Cole, if you would like any more information.

Helpful Guidance Notes

  • When changing a dietary requirement, students are asked to email the Catering Manager or Sheena Hinton who will arrange to have their record amended and pass this information on to the Food Service Manager and Head Chef.
  • For sit-down plated meals, the Food Service Manager prepares name specific or colour coded Dietary Requirement cards that need to be collected by the students when arriving at a dinner - their name is checked off upon entering the hall.
  • Students are requested to notify the serving staff of their dietary requirements when each course is served so that their prepared meal can be delivered. Whilst it is the student's responsibility to do this, all waiting staff are requested to be extra vigilant and look out for diet cards when serving.
  • After the first course is served, the seating position of those with severe allergies to food (e.g. nuts) is noted so that the correct meal can be served to them for the remaining courses. With diners often swapping seats during the meal, it remains the student's responsibility to notify the serving staff of a dietary requirement for each course.
  • If a student/guest notifies the waiting staff that they have a dietary requirement but do not have a ticket or wish to change their dish, the kitchen is informed, and an alternative will be arranged where possible.

Halal Provision

The College's Halal provision has been led by consulting our current students who eat Halal meat. Currently, their preferred provision is to have Halal options at dinner 3 days per week, and a large range of vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian dishes on the other days. 

All formal halls and guest nights offer a Halal option. 

Food Code of Practice

You can view the College's Food Code of Practice in our policy documents section.

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