“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not
— Virginia Woolf
Dining is one of the focal points of our MCR, and eating in College allows graduates to get together and keep in touch over the course of the busy weeks during term-time. In addition to the 6-times weekly Formal Hall put on the by College, the MCR Dining Officers are responsible for organising MCR-specific dining events such as Superformal; they are your first port-of-call for anything dining-related.
College also provides breakfast, lunch, or brunch on weekends.
Unlike many other Cambridge colleges, Caius has ‘Formal Hall’ almost every night during Term. Formal follows First Hall, for which you don’t need a gown, and the same food is served at each. The only difference is the formality of donning a gown, being served 3 courses by the College catering staff, and being able to sit in the Gallery, which is exclusively open to graduates (as opposed to the main hall, which is open to all students). Dining in hall is one of the focal points of Caius life, both academically and socially, as it serves as a regular forum to meet other students while taking an evening break from the library or lab, creating the unique sense of community and intimacy that sets Caius apart from many Cambridge colleges.
The MDR (Minimum Dining Requirement)
Graduates at Caius are required to purchase 16 dinners each term (8 if you live out of college or if you have special permission from your tutor). Each dinner ticket entitles you to a standard 3-course dinner at Caius.
Superformal is the one of the grandest of the MCR dining events. Taking place once per full term, it is a 4-course, grads-only dinner served in Hall, including pre- and post-dinner drinks, in formal attire: either lounge suit & equivalent for women or Black Tie, depending on the theme (click here for more information on dress codes at College). No gowns though! The Dining Officers are in charge of scheduling the event and choosing the menu, as well as devising a seating plan, serving drinks, and ensuring the event proceeds smoothly that night.
Every Superformal starts with a champagne reception for pre-drinks, followed by dinner in hall, and concludes with port and cocktails served after dessert. Often the Dining Officers will arrange for the afterparty to continue in one of the Cambridge clubs.
Other Dining ents
The Christmas Dinner is the pinnacle of the MCR events, and one of the most hotly anticipated dining events in the MCR social calendar. It blows every other Dining event out of the water.
The MCR organises several formal dining events for grads over the summer, typically held in one of the smaller rooms at college (such as the Fellows Dining Room or Senior Parlour). These dinners also require formal dress, and include a 3-course meal with wine as well as pre- and post-dinner drinks.
Up to once per term, Fellows are invited to dine with Grads in the Gallery. The reverse of ‘Grads Dining on High Table’, this event provides another opportunity to get to know Caius Fellows in a more social, less strictly academic setting, this time in a more familiar and informal milieu.