Formal Dinners

A basic Guide:

Where do I find these events?

Navigate over to the Somerville meals site ( and click ‘Booking’. You will see a calendar of all the meals. Sign-up doesn’t open until a 2 weeks (at 6pm) before the formal night and they fill up very quickly. These events may include the following:

Guest Nights

  • These take place on some Tuesdays and Fridays  (in the weeks that do not have Special Guest Nights).
  • They are 3 course meals served by the wait staff.
  • You have to sign up via the meals site (once sign-up is open).
  • You can also sign up as many as 2 guest who are not Somerville members.
  • The guest names and dietary requirements are entered immediately upon signing up and can be altered up until 24 hrs beforehand if needed
  • Dress code is smart (for example a suit).
  •  Payment is automatically taken through EPOS in the same way as for regular hall dinner.
  • Alcohol is not included but you are welcome to bring your own (Generally people bring wine)

Special Guest Nights

  • These take place twice a term on Fridays in weeks 3 and 6.
  • They are 4 course meals served by the wait staff.
  • You can sign up as many as 2 guests who are not Somerville members.
  • Dress code is officially formal (e.g. black tie).
  • Otherwise, they are the same as Guest Nights.

Exchange Dinners

  • At least twice a term 15 members of the MCR will host 15 members from another college for dinner, they will then host us at their college.
  • Wine is included! There is also a drinks reception in the MCR before dinner, and generally wine and cheese afterwards.
  • These are organised by the social secretaries who will send out all the information on the colleges, timings, and dress codes via email nearer the time. Sign-up for these events is via the social secretaries – you will not find this information on the meals page!
  • The cost and payment for this is detailed in the form sent out by the social secretaries when sign up form for the exchanges is live.
  • Usually these are very popular.

SCR/MCR/JCR Symposiums

  • Every so often, members of the Somerville community are invited to give presentations about their work in these Symposiums.
  • Sometimes, dinner will be included (at the very least there will be snacks).
  • They are free to attend and a form is sent around to sign up for both giving and attending a presentation.
  • It’s a great way to find out more about what your friends and fellow Somervillians are getting up to, and they are strongly encouraged.
  • Dress code is casual.

Subject Dinners

  • Each subject area (English, Engineering Science, Maths, etc) will, once a year, have a formal dinner to which all the Somerville undergrads, postgrads and staff in that field are invited.
  • They are free to attend.
  • Keep an eye out for these (they take place in Hilary Term) because they are sometimes not advertised well.

Other Special Events

  • Freshers Dinner a (free) formal dinner for all freshers held early in Michaelmas term, there is a drinks reception beforehand.
  • Burns Night a normal guest night with a Scottish theme to celebrate Robert Burns
  • Foundation Dinner when we celebrate Somerville, expect lots of red and black (even the food!)
  • Halfway Hall (2nd-year undergrads only; these people being halfway through their degrees)
  • Supervisors Dinner, a Formal Hall that is free if you invite your supervisor along
  • Leavers Dinner, a Formal Hall to celebrate members who have finished their degree. 

Informal Hall

Of course, all the above is in addition to ‘regular dinner’ (informal hall). More information about that can be found here.