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Image of Photo of Formal Hall
Photo: Aiden Chan

Formal Hall

Dining at Formal Hall is a traditional and very popular part of College life.

Formal Hall is a three course dinner served by College staff by candlelight in our beautiful dining hall.

There's a dress code: suit and tie or cocktail dress, and students and Fellows wear their academic gowns. It's part of the classic Cambridge experience and always a memorable occasion.

At Jesus we have a Formal Hall five times a week at 7.30pm: Tuesday to Friday and on Sundays. Graduates dine separately on Wednesday nights in Upper Hall.

You can bring up to three guests, so it’s a great way to celebrate a special occasion with family or friends. Guests must also follow the dress code and the code of conduct for Formal Hall. 

Formal Hall tickets

Our Formal Halls are very popular, and it's a good idea to book your tickets up to seven days ahead to avoid disappointment, especially on Sundays or if there is a themed dinner.

You can book your ticket and let us know about any dietary requirements you or your guests might have up until 3pm the day before the Formal Hall or by 3pm on the Friday before if you are going to Hall on a Sunday night.

  • Tickets cost £6.95 for Jesus undergraduates and £9.20 for each guest and for graduates.
  • Tickets for Graduate Halls on Wednesdays are £10.20 for College members and £14.05 for guests, and the ticket price includes port and cheese after the meal.

You can buy your tickets on the catering department page on JNet, the College intranet, or on the computer terminal in the Porters' Lodge. If you haven't paid the kitchen fixed charge then your ticket price will be the same as for guests. Unfortunately we can't transfer tickets or give refunds.

We provide iced water but you will need to bring other drinks in yourself. You're allowed to bring soft drinks and up to a 750ml bottle of wine per person. The College bar sells a good range of reasonably priced wine.

When to arrive

On the night we recommend getting to the hall before 7.15pm because there's often a queue. Everyone must be seated by 7.30pm, when the Master says grace. 

Menus and special diets

We publish the menu for each Formal Hall at least a week in advance, you can find them posted outside the Hall or on JNet, the College intranet.

We can accommodate most dietary needs but there might be a small supplementary charge for special requirements. If you have any questions about allergies, or any other aspect of your booking, please contact the Manciple’s office by visiting us on J staircase, calling 01223 339485 or emailing manciple@jesus.cam.ac.uk.

Group bookings

Group bookings are only permitted on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. You'll need written permission from the Dean for group bookings of five or more guests.

Before contacting the Dean, please email the Manciple’s office on manciple@jesus.cam.ac.uk to check availability on the date you want to invite your group. Then you can apply for permission from the Dean on JNet, the College intranet.

Please allow at least two weeks for your request to be approved. We have to restrict the number of group bookings during Easter term, if possible please book for another term.

Children under the age of 16 are allowed to dine but you'll need to get written permission from the Dean. 

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