During full term, formal three-course dinners are served in the College’s beautiful Hall every evening except Saturday. Dinner in Hall, at which gowns are to be worn and Grace is said, is a traditional part of College life, and it is hoped that junior members of the College will dine regularly. The Code of Conduct for dining in Hall can be found in the Student Handbook. Hall is open from 19:00 and large parties must be in Hall no later than 19:15. Dinner in Hall is at 19:30 on Monday to Friday and at 19:45 on Sundays, with no admittance after dinner has commenced.
When dining in Hall, diners often dress formally, though this is not compulsory. Dinner is three courses followed by coffee. Those who purchase wine tickets (most people) are served three glasses of wine, either red or white for each glass, and the available wine is usually excellent. For those who don’t wish to have wine, non-wine tickets are available for £3 less.
Guests are also welcome to dine in Hall, and it is a great way to entertain family and friends. You are permitted bring up to four guests per person.
Tickets can be purchased with your University card at the ticket machines in the College Bar and main-gate porters’ lodge, and online at www.upay.co.uk. Vegetarian, kosher, halaal, dairy/nut-free, and gluten-free meals are all available, and are booked in the same way as the default meal. It costs just £10 for a three-course meal with wine, and £15 for guests.
One of the key aspects of graduate-student life at St John’s is BA Table. This is when one of the three tables in hall is set aside for graduate students only, and it takes place every Tuesday and Friday during full term. Make sure you purchase your BA Table ticket online well in advance, since it often sells out. A key part of the social aspect of BA Table is the Sherry & Port offered in the SBR before and after hall, for just £1 per glass, charged to your college account. Tickets for BA Table are available only to graduate students, and can be purchased in the same manner as regular hall tickets.
Buttery Dining Room
The Buttery Dining Room (normally called just the Buttery) in Second Court, is an informal cafeteria open for three meals a day (except for Sunday breakfast). The atmosphere is casual and friendly, the quality of the food is usually good and the value (ignoring the obligatory fixed charge) is superb: approx. £2.50 for a cooked breakfast and £3.50 for a large two-course lunch or dinner. Along with hot meals, you will also find separate counters for: cold meats, hot desserts (e.g. pudding), cold desserts (e.g. yoghurt), drinks, sandwiches – not to mention the salad bar and jacket potato counter.
Menus for hot meals, which include a vegetarian option, are posted weekly during Full Term in the SBR and the Buttery, and are also available on the JCR website. You can pay for the à la carte fare by credit using your University card or by cash. You may also bring up to two guests. Mealtimes are as follows:
Weekdays in Term
Breakfast – 8.00 AM to 10.00 AM
Lunch – 12.00 PM to 1.45 PM
Dinner – 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM
Weekends and Vacations
Breakfast – 8.00 AM to 10.00 AM (not on Sunday)
Lunch – 12.00 PM to 1.30 PM
Dinner – 6.00 PM to 7.30 PM
The Buttery is also often open between these times for you to purchase tea, coffee, sandwiches and cold drinks.