Dining in College

Dining takes place on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Unless the Fellows' Steward gives permission, high-table dining is limited to occasions on which there are present at least four people, of whom two are the Master or Governing Body Fellows. Downing members in the categories below who are out of residence are welcome to dine with Fellows at High Table twice in each full term and may bring with them one guest only (whose meal and alcohol will be charged). On the first occasion, dinner will be free of charge for the alumnus/a, although guests' meals will be charged for. On the second occasion, both meals will be charged for. Unless otherwise explicitly noted, all wine and spirits taken before, during and after dinner are charged for all diners. If dining is cancelled by the Fellows’ Steward for any reason, the College will notify you as soon as possible, and this is likely to be in line with the booking deadline timings below. On these occasions, it may be possible to use the servery in the early evening but, regrettably, student Formal Halls will not be an alternative.

Members wishing to organise a dinner open to their whole year group are asked to contact alumni.events@dow.cam.ac.uk for more information on how to arrange this. The Conference Office can help you to organise smaller private functions. 

You are eligible to dine at High Table if you meet one of the following criteria; you have a:

  • Cambridge BA or any other Cambridge postgraduate degree, and 19 terms have passed since you matriculated at Cambridge
  • Cambridge MA
  • Cambridge postgraduate degree or qualification and have reached the age of 24 years.

Places at High Table may be booked through the College Office by emailing: htbookings@dow.cam.ac.uk. Email requests to dine in should include:

  • Your name and that of your guest, if you are bringing one.
  • The date on which you wish to dine in.
  • Any food allergies or intolerances you have and those of your guest, and requests for vegetarian meals.
  • Confirmation that you meet the eligibility criteria by giving your degree and when you took it.
  • Your contact details for billing purposes.

Please be aware of the deadline for booking a dinner at High Table:

  • Monday High Table - book by 10am on the previous Friday
  • Wednesday High Table - book by 10am on Tuesday
  • Friday High Table - book by 10am on Thursday

Cancelling your booking 

If you need to cancel your booking, please email htbookings@dow.cam.ac.uk by the booking deadline. If you cancel on the day of your booking, please be aware that your meal allowance will be counted as having been taken and, if it is your second meal in a full term, or you have a guest booked in, you will be charged for these meals. If your cancellation is due to illness, your guest’s meal will not be charged.

Staying in College

Alumni who wish to stay in College may book guest rooms, subject to availability, by telephoning the Accommodation Office on 01223 762063 or emailing the Accommodation Office.

If you would like to hold business or private meetings in College, please visit the Conference Office website for more information