Catering at Intercollegiate Halls
Find answers to the most common questions about the catering at the University of London Intercollegiate Halls.
Meal times and entitlement
Breakfast 8:00 - 9:30 (weekdays)
The catering staff will serve your meal and check it against the entitlement. You can have 6 items e.g. piece of fruit, a piece of toast, a slice of bacon, sausage, fruit pot, yoghurt (each item counts as one).
At breakfast, you are also entitled to an extra piece of fruit (7th item) which you can take away to have later in the day.
Brunch 11:00 - 12:30 (Saturdays and Sundays)
For brunch your entitlement is 8 items, each item on the brunch list is classed as one item, e.g. piece of fruit, a piece of toast, boiled egg, a Danish pastry, sausage, a fruit pot, yoghurt. At brunch, we serve a main dish which is the equivalent of 3 items.
During brunch service, you are also entitled to an extra piece of fruit (9th item). The catering staff will serve your meal and check it against your entitlement.
Dinner 18:00 - 19:30 (every day)
Dinner consists of 3 courses served by the catering staff.
- A bowl of soup and bread roll
- One main course and two side dishes
- The last course can be either a cold/hot dessert or a piece of fruit.
- For residents who live in our catered accommodation across the Intercollegiate Halls of Residence, meals are included in the accommodation fees.
- Self-Catered Residents (at Garden Halls, College Hall and International Hall only) can also register with the Allocations Team, to purchase a meal package for the whole academic year. Please email for more information. Meals can also be purchased on a daily basis online via the Accommodation Portal*.
- If catered residents have family or friends to visit, meals can be taken with the resident by purchasing a meal ticket via the Accommodation Portal*.
- Residents are issued with an ID card on arrival, you must take your hall ID card (or guest meal ticket) with you to every meal in the dining hall as this proves that you are entitled to a meal. The catering staff will not serve you if you do not have your ID card.
* Garden Halls have a till in the dining room, so meals can be purchased with the catering staff at these sites
- The dining room is a busy space during meal service and at certain times, queuing for meals should be expected. Therefore we ask residents to check the menus/ entitlement and make a choice before approaching the counter, so residents can be served quickly.
- Residents should take all of their entitlement whilst at the counter, the catering staff are unable to serve residents twice or allow residents to return to get items that have been forgotten. This causes hold-ups for others waiting to collect their meals and will increase waiting times.
- Please ensure that you attend for meals at the stated times and take into consideration queuing at busier times, any late arrivals will be unable to be served outside of our service hours.
- Your meal package cannot be separated or invoiced, therefore no deductions to your fees can be made for meals not taken.
- Students with college commitments who cannot return in time for the evening meal can pre-book a late meal at reception. This usually consists of salad, jacket potato or a sandwich, a piece of fruit and yoghurt, and can be collected from reception in the evening. This late meal is not a suitable regular alternative (and cannot be taken in addition to the main meal) for residents. If you expect that late dining will be a regular occurrence then a catered hall may not be the right option for you.
- During meal service, a vegetarian option is always offered and may include eggs and dairy products. The eggs we use in our recipes are free-range.
- Our Catering Managers are happy to discuss menu options and other food-related matters and can be contacted in each hall. Please speak to them directly or send an email to the hall management.
- Unfortunately, due to the type of kitchens and catering we offer in the halls, we are unable to cater for special diets. However each day during service, the chef on duty is able to provide you with details of the content of our meals from our chefs catering documents this would be the most up-to-date information held on the day about allergens. If you have an allergy, we ask that you speak with the chef to ensure you are aware of the content of the items available.
- The dining hall is the social hub of the hall. We hope that you will eat your meal in the dining hall and take the opportunity to meet friends and the staff. You can take food out of the dining hall but only if you provide your own clean, sealable plastic container. The kitchen does not provide takeaway boxes or disposable cutlery. Please do not remove any crockery or cutlery from the dining hall. If these items go missing, there may not be enough for everyone!
Frequently Asked Questions
The catering plan includes breakfast from Monday to Friday, brunch (instead of breakfast) served at weekends and dinner served daily.
Lunch is not provided.
If catered residents have family or friends to visit, meals can be taken with the resident by purchasing a meal ticket via the Accommodation Portal. You will then have to collect a meal ticket from reception in your hall.
Please note that this option is not available to residents of Eleanor Rosa House and Handel Mansions as these halls are fully self-catered and there is no dining hall.
Students with college commitments who have to leave the hall early in the morning can request a packed breakfast. This normally consists of pastries, fruit and yoghurt. Those who cannot return in time for dinner can request a late meal. This usually consists of salad, jacket potato or sandwich, piece of fruit and yoghurt. Both meals can be pre-booked and collected from reception.
These options are not a suitable regular alternative (and cannot be taken in addition to a main meal) for students and if you expect this to be a regular occurrence then a catered hall may not be the right option for you.
Your accommodation fees include meals. This package cannot be separated or invoiced; therefore, no deductions to your fees can be made for any meals not taken.
No reimbursement or allowance will be given to you if you do not take the meals provided, except by prior agreement with the Hall Manager in respect of any period where the taking of meals is not permitted as part of a recognised period of religious observance. The agreement must be discussed one week before the period of observance in writing to the Hall Managers office.
Students in catered accommodation do not have access to cooking facilities and therefore are unable to cook their own meals.
Residents living in self-catered accommodation have the option of purchasing a meal plan on top of their accommodation.
The meal plan price is £8.75 per day for the 2023/24 academic year.
You will have to commit to taking the plan for the whole academic year and you have an option of paying for it in three termly instalments. If you’re interested in purchasing a meal plan, please contact the hall management after your arrival.
Please note that this option is only available to residents in halls with a dining hall (i.e.: College Hall, Connaught Hall, Garden Halls, International Hall and Nutford House).
We serve regular cow's milk (semi-skimmed or lower) and soy milk.
Unfortunately, the University is unable to cater for specific dietary requirements as part of our meal plan (including a vegan diet). This is due to our kitchens' layouts, storage limitations and current catering operating structure.
There are 14 recognised allergens varying from wheat to dairy produce. We appreciate some people may be allergic or intolerant of other food substances or ingredients in addition to these or may suffer from conditions affecting what they can eat. The University has a robust and accredited procedure for purchasing all food items and all products are verified within our Food Safety procedure. We aim never to place our residents at risk so if you would like to obtain more information about allegens in our food, please speak to the on-site chef manager. Air-born or severe allergens (e.g. nuts) are not able to be controlled within our facilities.
We do not serve a halal specific diet, but we regularly aim to provide a halal option during dinner service - this will be clearly indicated on the menu. Our kitchens are not halal separated and any halal meat is obtained from animals who have been stunned.
We provide a vegetarian option every day, and from time to time, this option will have no animal products within (i.e. it will be vegan).
For these reasons, our catered accommodation and meal plan are generally not suitable for students with special dietary requirements or significant allergies, especially those with a history of anaphylaxis. We make this clear in our Hall Handbook and on our website during the application process. If you think you may be affected by this, we very strongly recommend applying for self-catered accommodation. Please state in your application that you require self-catered accommodation for special dietary reasons.
If you have applied for a summer extension and have been successfully given one, the catering plan will not change; however, the meals might be served at a different University of London hall dining room.