A summary guide to St Edmund’s Formal Dinner Arrangements
When you are booking yourself or a guest in for a meal, please remember to specify:
The maximum number the Hall can hold for each dinner is 110 - Bookings will be added to a waiting list at this point. Cancellations up to 48 hours before the dinner will result in automatic elevation of those on the waiting list to the attendee list. Any cancellations / waiting list changes less than 48 hours before the dinner will be done by the Fellow's steward emailing individuals on the waiting list. Please note that bookings cancelled after the booking system closes (at 12 noon, 2 days before the dinner) will still be charged. Please advise the Fellow's stewards and Kitchen of any last-minute cancellations as the seating plan will need to be altered in these circumstances.
The price and menu for each dinner are displayed in the booking system
Notes regarding dining, customs and dress Code
2.5 Academical Dress
This is obligatory on various formal occasions, including special services in the Chapel, Matriculation Ceremonies, formal dinners and degree ceremonies, and members are strongly recommended to purchase a gown on arrival. Secondhand gowns are sometimes available. There are different gowns corresponding to different categories of members of the University, as follows:
(a) Members of the College with Cambridge degrees wear the gown of their degree.
(b) Members with M.A. or B.A. status (see above) wear the M.A. or B.A. gown but with the ‘strings’ (the fastening tapes inside the front of the gown) removed.
(c) Affiliated students and undergraduates wear the College undergraduate gown (available from various College outfitters in the city). Hoods are worn with gowns for some events (e.g. the Inaugural Ceremony in the Chapel). Hoods are never worn in the dining hall.
‘Scarlet’ occasions (announced in the College Calendar) involve the wearing of their festal gowns by holders of Cambridge doctoral degrees (Ph.D. or higher doctorate). On such occasions, doctors of other universities may wear their own doctoral gowns. Doctoral hoods are worn as appropriate (e.g. in the Chapel for the Inaugural Ceremony).
Guests are eligible to attend some meals, but not all. Members are entitled to invite up to three guests a day to any meal from which guests are not excluded or limited. Fellows and students may invite additional guests provided they consult with the Fellows’ Steward and Catering Manager in advance. Children under 16 are not admitted to Formal dinners (see 8.10), but are welcome at all other meals and in particular at Family Lunches (see 8.10.2). Members are responsible for ensuring that their guests are aware of, and comply with, the dress code for Formal occasions in College (see 8.9.1).
8.5 Booking For Meals
Members are asked to note the arrangements for booking for meals, which vary from one category to another (see 8.10 for full details).
(a) For regular meals no booking is required.
(b) Members must book for all Formal dinners by accessing the Meals Booking System on the College’s website (http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/dbs) and following the instructions given there, including entering your name and those of your guests correctly onto the system. In case it is not possible to access the website Members should contact the Fellows’ Stewards by email: email@example.com Please indicate when making your booking on line if you wish certain diners to be placed together on the seating plan and any special dietary requirements. We are (only) able to cater for the following dietary requirements: vegetarian, vegan, halal, celiac, gluten free, dairy-free, and nut allergy. The Fellows’ Stewards and Catering Manager will try to meet all requests.
8.6 Cancellation Of Bookings
Please give prompt notice of any cancellation of booked dining places at Formal dinners. This should be done by using the on-line dinner booking system (http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/dbs/), up until the system closes. If it is necessary to cancel 48 hours before the dinner, please email the Fellows’ Steward (firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the College Kitchen). Last minute cancellations can cause severe difficulties. Full charges will be levied for all cancellations made after the list closes unless the place can be re-allocated to someone on the ‘stand by’ list. Those enquiring about the availability of cancelled places should email the Fellows’ Stewards. All arrangements of this kind must be made through these channels and not between individuals.
8.8 Special Dietary Requirements
The College will seek to respond to the needs of members with special dietary requirements. Vegetarian options are routinely available. Other special dietary requirements should be discussed in the first instance with the Catering Manager, who will try to prepare appropriate meals if this can reasonably be arranged, though the College cannot guarantee to fulfil all individual requests. The College should be informed if a member has a serious food allergy; this should be discussed immediately on arrival with the member’s Tutor and with the Catering Manager, who will be able to advise on the ingredients and labelling of College meals.
Dress Code And Customs For Meals
Formality in dress is welcomed but not enforced at dinner each day and at Sunday Lunch. Members are asked to note the various dress requirements associated with the different categories of event (see 8.10). Where the notes indicate ‘formal’ dress, this is to be interpreted as a jacket and tie or lounge suit for men, and the equivalent level of formality for women. The College expects members and guests to wear formal dress when this is indicated.
8.10.2 Formal Hall
Formal Hall is a three course meal including wine, held during term on the dates shown in the College Calendar. Members may invite up to 3 guests. Advanced booking is required (see 8.5). Dress is formal and gowns are worn (see 2.5).
8.10.3 Sports Dinner and Boat Club Dinner
The Sports Dinner is held at the end of the academical year and is open to all those who have represented either the College or the University during the year in a sports team. Guest attendance is usually limited to sports-related guests, e.g. members of other colleges who have helped the St Edmund’s teams in some appropriate manner. The Dinner is organised by the Sports Officer and advance booking is required. Dress is formal evening wear (men: black tie; women: evening dress) or Sporting blazer. Gowns are not worn.
The Boat Club Dinner held at the end of the Lent term is similar in style to the Sports Dinner.
8.10.4 College Guest Nights
College Guest Nights are four course meals including wine, held on the dates shown on the College Calendar. Members may invite 3 guests. It is particularly appropriate to invite Senior Members of the University as guests to these dinners. Members are invited to introduce guests to the Master or presiding Fellow. Advance booking is required (see 8.6). Dress is formal and gowns are worn. Guests who are members of the University should be asked to wear gowns.
8.10.5 Christmas Dinners
Christmas Dinners are traditional Christmas meals, held at the end of the Michaelmas Term. They are open only to members of the College and their partners and no guests may attend. Advance booking is required. Dress is formal and gowns are worn.
8.10.6 Supervisors’ Dinner
This dinner is intended to thank Supervisors and Directors of Studies who have worked with St Edmund’s students during the year.
8.10.7 Inaugural and Matriculation Dinners; Beginning of Year Dinner; Graduands’ Dinners
These are dinners which mark the beginning and end of the academical year. They are open only to members of the College and their partners, and no guests may attend. The Inaugural and Matriculations Dinners are open only to new members of the College and their partners, and to Fellows and to Members of the CR Executive. They take place at the beginning of the Michaelmas Term following the Inauguration Ceremonies held in the College Chapel. All new members will be allocated to an Inaugural Ceremony and are warmly encouraged to attend the dinner on the same evening. These dinners will be charged in the usual way. A list of those who are booked-in for the dinner will be displayed on the College notice board some days beforehand. Those who are unable to attend are asked to inform the Tutorial Office.
The Beginning of Year Dinner is open to all other members of the College and their partners. Advance booking is required.
The Graduands’ Dinner is open to those members of the College proceeding to their degree and other members of the College who have completed their course. Advance booking is required. Festal gowns are worn and dress is formal.
8.10.8 Fellowship Dinners
These dinners are open to Fellows, including Fellows in Classes A, B, C and D; Honorary Fellows; Life Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, Bye Fellows and Fellow Commmoners by invitation. They are held termly, following a meeting of the Governing Body. Advance booking is required, via the Master’s Secretary (email@example.com). Dress is formal; gowns are not worn.
8.10.9 St Edmund’s Feast
The St Edmund’s Feast is celebrated on the nearest Friday to 16 November, and commemorates both the Feast of the Patron Saint of the College, Saint Edmund of Abingdon, and the arrival in the College buildings of the first Master and the first four students on 2 November 1896. The Feast is preceded by Evening Prayer in the College chapel at which a sermon is given by the St Edmund’s Preacher, who is invited each year and is a distinguished member of one of the Christian churches. The St Edmund’s Feast is intended for the members of the College, and there are no distinguished outside guests, apart from the St Edmund’s Preacher. Other guests may not be invited to the Feast. Advance booking is required; priority will be given to those who have not attended the event in the past. Festal gowns are worn and dress is formal.
8.10.10 Norfolk Commemoration
The Norfolk Commemoration is the major College Event of the year, and marks the foundation of the College by the 15th Duke of Norfolk, Henry Fitzalan Howard, in collaboration with the Baron Anatole von Hügel. Distinguished outside guests of national and international standing are invited by the College from the academic world and from many other walks of life, e.g. political, diplomatic, artistic and religious. Attendance is by invitation only. A number of student members are invited to the Norfolk Commemoration. These may include members of the CR Executive, those who have obtained a First in a Tripos examination in the previous year or a prize and those who have obtained a ‘Blue’ or ‘Half-Blue’ in a sporting activity. In addition, a ballot is held to allocate a number of other student places. Any charge made for attending may be paid from a member’s University card. Festal gowns are worn and formal evening wear is compulsory. Members of the College are asked to ensure that they have the necessary dress before accepting invitations to the event. Blazers may be worn by holders of ‘Blues’.