Formal Halls   Leave a comment

Last week I enjoyed “formal hall” at Lincoln College (where an NIH-OxCam classmate lives) on Thursday, as well as one at Wolfson (with guests on exchange from Kellogg College) on Friday night. These dinners, served every night at some colleges and more rarely at others, are a longstanding tradition at Oxford. The food (usually quite good) is served by waitstaff, and students dress in some college-specified combination of formal attire and their appropriate gowns. Grace is said in Latin, and at the more traditional colleges, faculty members (“college fellows”) sit at a separate “high table” overlooking the students. The Christ Church formal hall affair is the meal after which Harry Potter hall was modeled.

Both of these meals and the ensuing nights were good fun, though there wasn’t much opportunity for picture-taking. I have, however, now attained the iconic Oxford achievement of cycling to dinner with a black gown flowing out behind me. Below find a couple of pictures of Lincoln College’s library.


Update 12 Feb 2011: Last night, I was lucky enough to be invited to formal hall by another lovely NIH-OxCam classmate at Keble College. This time, I managed to get a couple of pictures of Keble’s hall before dinner began.


Posted 7 Feb 2011 by John McManigle in Notes

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