During term time, cafeteria-style meals are available from the Servery between the following times:

Lunch: Monday to Friday, 12 noon – 1.30pm

Brunch: Saturday and Sunday, 12 noon – 1.30pm

Dinner: Monday to Saturday, 5.45pm – 6.45pm

Go to the Servery with your University Card, collect a tray and cutlery and make your choices from the wide selection of dishes on offer. There is always at least one hot vegetarian or vegan dish available.

Pay for your meal by going to one of the tills that are situated near the Hall doors. Give the operator your card and, if it is valid, your name will appear on the screen. Your meal selection will be keyed in and charged automatically to your College bill, which you pay at the end of each Term. You may have a receipt if you wish.

You may sit anywhere in the Hall except at the High Table if it is laid up for Fellows (at the right-hand end of the Hall as you enter from the Servery). After your meal you should clear away your tray and dirty plates etc. onto one of the tray trolleys.

Please note: outside of NPR, opening hours are likely to change and you are advised to check your emails from the Catering team for details of the current service.

The Butterfield Café and Bar

The Lord Butterfield Café and Bar serves breakfast sandwiches and, later, a large range of made-to-order hot and cold baguettes, snacks, cakes and speciality coffees. There is a large flat screen television, Wi-Fi, and plenty of space to relax.

Opening times for the Café are:

During NPR: Monday to Friday 8am – 4pm

The Bar is open to all members of the College during hours recommended by the Bar and Amenities Committee (usually 7.30pm - 11.30pm), on which students and Fellows are represented.

The Butterfield Building also has a large party room in the basement for social events, which may be booked by emailing the JCR Entertainments (Ents) Officer.

Meal charges

The price of each menu item on sale in the Servery is displayed on a price list. You will also be able to see the charges for each selection you have made as it is keyed into the till. Cost of an average main meal can be found on the Fees and Charges page although, of course, the exact cost depends upon your selection.

Charges for Formal Hall are lower for College members than for guests. If you wish to arrange a private Formal Hall please contact the Internal Events Co-ordinator. More information on Formal Hall at Downing College is given below.

The key to using all catering services is your University Card, although you may pay by bank card. If you do pay by bank card and cannot produce identification showing that you are a Downing student, you will be charged an additional fixed charge per meal and if you cannot prove you are a student at the University your charges will also be subject to VAT.

Formal Hall

Formal Hall is held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7.30pm – 9.00pm during Term only. These times are subject to revision. Attendance at Formal Hall is never compulsory.

On these days you may choose to dine at Formal Hall instead of using the cafeteria service. Formal Hall is a fixed-price fixed-menu formal dinner with waiter service. It is an occasion for junior members to bring in students from other colleges and other visitors as guests. Coffee is served as part of the meal.

More information on conduct and dress code for Formal Hall is here.

Reciprocal dining rights with Girton College

The College has reciprocal lunchtime dining arrangements with Girton College.  This means that Downing members may have lunch at Girton and will be charged the same rate as their own students. Similarly, members of Girton may have lunch in the Servery at Downing and will be charged the same rate as our own members.

You will need to carry your University Card with you as proof of College membership in order to claim these discounts.

Safety and general information

The College operates in line with stringent food safety legislation and guidelines. If you wish to discuss food safety issues, please arrange to see the Catering Manager or his Deputy.

Food is a very personal matter and the Catering Team are anxious to provide the kind of dishes you want. If you have particular dietary requirements, the Catering Manager will accommodate your needs where possible. If you have a complaint about a particular meal it is important that you raise it immediately with a member of the Catering Team.