Food & Dining
Food is an important issue in the GCR and there are many opportunities to enjoy it: Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner (informal/formal) or weekend brunch in our beautiful hall, exchange dinners with other colleges, food tastings, and, last but not least, the wonderful end-of-term black tie dinner.
We aim to provide you with the essentials to enjoy food in Christ Church. If you have further questions or if you are not sure about something, do email your GCR Food & Dining Officers for Michaelmas Term 2015, Felix Tennie and Franz Rembart. You can also find more information in the GCR Freshers Guide and the Blue Book.
- Dining. If you want to dine in hall, you can attend informal (6.20pm) or formal hall (7.20pm) every night during term (Week 0 until end of Week 9), this term from 4 Oct to 11 Dec 2015. Graduates have a reserved table (top right) during formal hall (most graduates tend to attend formal instead of informal hall).
- Dress code. For informal hall, you can arrive as you are. For formal hall, the most important is to wear your gown. And maybe don’t come in your training clothes, but you definitely won’t need to come in a suit (imagine doing that every day…)! Don’t forget your gown for the formal setting – they won’t let you in otherwise.
- Procedure. Dinners are served and formal hall starts with a grace, so be on time, since you may be refused entry after the dinner has started. The best is to arrive a few minutes earlier to get a good place. There are usually several students waiting ante-hall (the area in front of the entrance to hall) and if you want, you can buy drinks in the Buttery Bar (pay in cash or with your bod card: top up via http://topup.chch.ox.ac.uk).
- Menu. The Menu will be sent out a couple of days before the start of each week. The food is the same for informal and formal hall.
- Sign-up. If you are a fresher living in St Aldate’s don’t worry: you are already signed up for a season ticket for this term. If you are not living in St Aldate’s and want to have dinner every night without thinking about it (or live in St Aldate’s and don’t want to be on the season ticket), email email@example.com to opt in or out of the season ticket. If you are not on the season ticket and want to sign in for individual dinners, email firstname.lastname@example.org by 10am on the day you wish to dine stating the day and the setting (informal/formal) you want to attend (for Sundays by 10am on Saturday).
- Special take-away dinners. If there are other events in hall and there won’t be dinner in hall for us, the hall usually offers a take-away dinner option (watch out! These can be collected at different times in the McKenna Room next to the hall entry!). This will be specifically highlighted on the menu.
- Dietary requirements. If you need a special diet (e.g. Vegetarian), you can get a diet card which you place next to your plate during dinner and you’ll get an alternative meal. In order to get a diet card, bring a passport-size picture (of yourself of course) and talk to the hall manager (just go to hall in the morning after breakfast and talk to a staff member).
- Guests. You can invite up to two guests to the daily dinners by emailing the hall manager (email@example.com) by 10am on the day you want to have guests (for Sunday email by Saturday 10 am) stating the number of guests and their dietary requirements. Guests don’t need to wear gowns for formal hall.
- Prices. ChCh student on season ticket (average price per meal): £2.38 (you pay for every dinner of the term, no matter if you attend or not); ChCh student normal sign-up: £3.54; Guest of ChCh student: £8.13 (£6.77 + VAT).
- Breakfast/Lunch/Brunch in Hall. There is also the possibility to have breakfast or lunch in hall, which is from 8 to 9am and from 12.30 to 1.30pm on weekdays, respectively. These are buffet-style and you can pay with your bod card for you and your guests. You can top-up your bod-card here: topup.chch.ox.ac.uk. There is also the possibility to pay in cash but the prices will be higher. On the weekend, you can join the brunch (11am – 1.30pm on Saturday, 11am – 12pm on Sunday). Guests are welcome for breakfast, lunch and brunch. A guest charge between £1.87 and £3.05 will be added per guest.
- Guest Dinners. Almost every week during term there will be a guest dinner, which basically means that 30 people (dress code: formal, i.e. suit but no gowns) will be allowed to have hight table food on a designated table (central middle, usually on a Wednesday). These dinners are followed by port and cheese in the GCR. You can get places for up to two guests for these dinners, which is a great chance to show your family and friends your college. It is under no circumstances possible to have more than two guests per student, since these dinners are heavily oversubscribed. Since we have only 30 seats for these dinners, we will send around an online ballot (usually by Thursday of the week before the dinner) that will be solved using random selection (usually by Friday night). You can, however, state special circumstances, if you have your parents or a very close friend coming. We can, however, not promise that you will get a place. There will be a waiting list in case people can’t make it. We decided to give you the same priority every week, so it’s a new game every week. If you find this system unfair, do join our next general meeting (OGM) to suggest alternatives.The current prices for these dinners are: ChCh student: £9.96; Guest of ChCh student: £11.85
Please do note that you can invite friends every day to normal formal hall, which is a safer and cheaper alternative (see above). Most people are very impressed if they get the possibility to dine in our hall and a special dinner may not make such a big difference.
This term the guest dinners will take place on the following days: Friday, Week 1; Wednesday, Week 3; Wednesday, Week 4; Wednesday, Week 6; Wednesday, Week 7.
- Exchange Dinners. This term, we will have two exchange dinners, which are basically guest dinners converted to the sake of connecting to another college in Oxford. This works via a ballot, too, and you agree on attending two dinners, one in ChCh and one in the other College: you pay for the dinner in ChCh and the exchanging students pay for the dinner in their college. These dinners allow 15 of our students to host 15 students from another college. We will have a reception before the dinner and port and cheese in the GCR afterwards. We will also provide a limited amount of wine for the dinners.This term we will have two exchange dinners, one with Kellogg’s, and another three-way exchange dinner with St Hugh’s and St Antony’s. The dates are the following:
Kellogg exchange – Price £22.81 (includes one guest night dinner at ChCh and one formal dinner at Kellogg’s, including pre-drinks); ChCh @Kellogg – Monday, Week 3; Kellogg @ChCh – Wednesday, Week 5.
St Hugh’s/St Antony’s exchange – Price £35.16 (includes one guest night dinner at ChCh, one formal dinner at St Hugh’s, and one formal dinner at St Antony’s, including some wine and pre-drinks); St Hugh’s/St Antony’s @ChCh – Wednesday, Week 2; ChCh/St Antony’s @St Hugh’s – Wednesday, Week 4; ChCh/St Hugh’s @St Antony’s – Thursday, Week 7.
We will send out an email with more information on these exchange dinners closer to the date.
- Other food events. In addition to normal dinners, there will also be a Christmas dinner (no guests allowed) and a Black Tie Dinner (guests are allowed, but realistically, you will only get one guest in) at the end of this term, which we are all looking forward to. This term’s Black Tie Dinner will take place on Wed, Week 8.