Formal Hall booking

Formal Hall is a wonderful three-course plated dinner served in the candle-lit hall on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings at 7.30pm during term.

  1. Tickets for Formal Hall are available to book via Upay or via the dedicated Upay Chilli app.
  2. New students will need to set up a Upay account by visiting the Upay website or downloading the Upay app for smart phones or tablet.
  3. You will need the College affiliation ID which is DOWNING and the University card number.
  4. The Upay app is the best place to view all of the Formal Hall events available, all of our special meal deals and special offers, the current total of your loyalty points and their redemption value.
  5. Guidelines for booking Formal Hall
  6. Formal Hall is held on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings from 7.30pm to 9pm during Term only.
  7. You must book yourself and guests into Formal Hall in advance via UpayChilli.  Space may be limited.
  8. Whilst we are happy to allow additional guests, (dependant on space availability) the current total in the first instance that you may book is up to a maximum of 4 guests, with your own ticket making 5 in total - please allow time for fellow students to book into each dinner before requesting additional tickets on top. Additional tickets need to be arranged via the Deputy Catering Manager.
  9. The Servery doors are opened from 7pm, please arrive by 7.15pm for 7.30pm seating. The Fellows dine in the hall at 7.35pm prompt. This allows time for the Supervisor to check you and your guests in.
  10. The Buttery bar is open from 7pm to 7.20pm, on Formal Hall nights only, for the purchase of College wine, and/or to pay £1 per bottle corkage. This can be paid on your University College Card or by Debit Card payment (we are a cashless College).
  11. When booking guests into Formal Hall please indicate your guests’ full name in the area provided. This is extremely helpful when sorting group requirements.
  12. When adding special dietary instructions to a booking, please indicate the name of the person in your party to which the request applies. This information must be received before the cut off time for bookings.
  13. When emailing catering with Formal Hall related questions, please send your message to Please indicate in the subject line if the query relates to an MCR or JCR Formal Hall booking. NB: please do not email the Catering Manager or Deputy Catering Manager directly.
  14. Please adhere to the cut-off times for booking tickets; 11am the day before for Wednesday and Friday dinners, and 11am on Friday for Sunday dinners. It is difficult and very time consuming to amend final details of a booking beyond these times.
  15. The cut-off times listed above apply to cancellation requests or changes to your booking.
  16. All requests emailed after 3pm on a Friday will most likely not receive a reply, so it is imperative that the time restraints for bookings are adhered to.
  17. While we are happy to allow additional guests (if spaces are available) up to a maximum of 5, please allow time for fellow students to book into each dinner before requesting additional tickets.
  18. If 2 or more groups wish to combine seating so they all sit together this is to be arranged in advance via email to We will leave a reserved sign on a table with the name of the student making the booking. We require the full names of all members of the group prior to the dinner.
  19. Before you arrive for Formal Hall, please ensure that your group booking has been confirmed by email from the Catering team; it is advisable to bring a copy of the email.
  20. If no group booking email is received then you and your guests will be asked to take seats that are available anywhere in the hall - these may not necessary be together. Please note we do not reserve group seating for parties smaller than 8.
  21. If you wish to sit together we advise you to arrive at 7pm.
  22. Downing groups larger than 10 should be discussed with Andy Lingham and organised as a private Formal Hall.
  23. Society and external university groups should book a private dinner via the Conference Office and not request a private formal.