Students having lunch in the Hall - Photo: © John Cairns -

Life at Merton: Food & Drink

Eating together is an important part of Merton’s communal life. The Hall provides a stunning setting, graduates eat alongside undergraduates, the staff are friendly, and the food is excellent as well as good value. You can even keep up with what's cooking via the Merton Kitchen Facebook page.

  • The swipe card system means you only pay for the meals which you actually eat
  • Vegetarian options are always available; halal and kosher food is available for members of College and their guests; and, wherever possible, we will try to meet other special dietary requirements
  • Optional Formal Hall occurs more frequently than in many Colleges and is very popular
  • Meals are available throughout the year, with closures confined to short periods at Christmas and Easter
  • Over a substantial part of the Long Vacation, the Fellows, Lecturers and graduates take meals together
  • There are places for graduates at every High Table Guest Night in term

Dining Hall meals

Breakfast - a continental breakfast with cereal, toast, boiled eggs, fruit, homemade Greek-style yoghurt, and English muffins, served with tea or coffee.

Brunch - a hearty meal served on Sundays in place of breakfast and lunch.

Lunch - includes soup, a main course, salad bar, sweet treat and fruit.

早晚餐 - comprises a main course and dessert.

Formal Hall - this includes three courses. All students are required to wear gowns.


Meal Days Times
Breakfast Monday to Saturday 8:15-9:15am (8:30-9:00am during vacations)
  Sunday Brunch 11:30am-1:00pm (11:30am-12:45pm during vacations)
Lunch Monday to Saturday 12:15-1:30pm (12:00-1:00pm during vacations)
  Sunday Brunch 11:30am-1:00pm (11:30am-12:45pm during vacations)
Dinner Mon/Weds/Sat Supper 6:00-7:00pm (6:30pm during vacations)
  Tues/Thurs/Fri/Sun Supper 6:00-6:30pm (6:30pm during vacations)
  Tues/Thurs/Fri Formal Hall 7:15pm (during Full Term only)
  Sunday Formal Hall 7:30pm (during Full Term only)

Daily meal charges for 2023-24

  • Breakfast: £2.45
  • Lunch: £4.46
  • Dinner (supper & formal Hall): £5.50

Kitchen Facilities

There are three large kitchens on the main site for student use, as well as kitchen facilities available in the Holywell Street accommodation.


The College Bar provides a relaxed and informal environment for all members of the College to socialise. It offers both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and its toasted sandwiches have a devoted following.

Our halal and kosher food

Microwaved halal and kosher meals are available on request at breakfast, lunch and early supper. Halal and kosher meals at Formal Hall need to be pre-booked.

Members of College can choose from the following options (subject to availability; meals on offer may vary):

  • Halal
    • Chicken with Jollof Rice
    • Chicken Masala with Chana Dal
    • Chicken with Calaloo & Jerk Vegetables
  • Kosher
    • Beef Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
    • Roast Chicken & Gravy
    • Cod with Tomato Rice