Formal Hall Dinners

These dinners offer the chance to meet and talk with fellow College members in a slightly more formal environment. 

Formal Halls are typically held on Wednesdays at 7pm for a 7.30pm start, and consist of a three-course meal served with coffee.

Click for the menus of upcoming Formal Hall Dinners.

How to book a Formal Dinner

Reservations for Formal Hall must be made through your Upay account, accessed at www.upay.co.uk:

Upay - how to register  Upay - user guide   Upay - access your account

Any allowances are credited to your Upay account which is linked to your University card. Meals are then charged to this account by swiping your card at the Dining Hall till or when reserving a Formal Dinner ticket. Payments for guests will also be via their College member/host’s Upay account.

For returning Life Members without a University card please purchase a one off meal card from the Porters’ Lodge before going to the Dining Hall.

Please note, all attendees must be listed by name, to ensure invoicing and Covid-tracking records are accurate. 

When making your booking, please remember to enter details of any special dietary requirements that you or your guests have, at the appropriate stage.

Typically, booking closes at 1.45pm the day before (Tuesday). For cancellations, please email formals@clarehall.cam.ac.uk before bookings close. There are no refunds for cancellations after the close of booking on the Tuesday lunchtime.

Please note that there is a drinks charge (currently £4 per person) for all those attending Formal Dinner for wine and non-alcoholic drinks served with the meal. If you are in receipt of a meal allowance please note this will be charged separately and is not included in the Upay ticket price.

If you have any queries regarding Upay, please email accounts@clarehall.cam.ac.uk. For questions about your booking and the menu, please email formals@clarehall.cam.ac.uk.


Clare Hall Meal Menu Prices 2020-21


Guests at Formal Hall

To increase the chance of College members attending a College event, attendance at Formal Halls is currently strictly limited to Clare Hall members, with provision for up to one guest from within a household or social bubble. Non-Clare-Hall students, friends or partners from separate external households should not be invited to upcoming Formal Halls until further review.

Dining Protocol

The use of electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets is not permitted at dining events.  Please ensure that your devices are switched off or silenced before meals begin.

Dress Code

In order to ensure that Formal Halls are as enjoyable as possible for everyone, we ask that you dress in a fashion in keeping with the tenor of the occasion. Those attending are required to dress formally. Examples of conventional smart dress include: a tailored jacket, tie, button-fronted shirt, trouser suit, skirt or dress. National dress is also acceptable. While there is some room for interpretation, certain items of clothing (e.g.: shorts, trainers, sleeveless vests) are unacceptable and guests should expect to be refused entry as such.