Living in College


One of the things that Queens’ prides itself on is its variety of catering that it offers, and that unlike some other colleges, it is always totally up to you whether you want to take advantage of this or cook for yourself. We can also be proud to boast some of the best food in Cambridge. Within college we are lucky to have a café, the buttery, the bar, and formal halls for eating.

  • Buttery is the name of our normal cafeteria and serves meals three times a day, every day, and always has a mixture of meat, vegetarian and lighter options on offer. It is especially famous for its weekend brunches!
  • Our café runs in the bar during the day and is great for grabbing a quick lunch or snack and is also a popular space for people to get some work done in a more relaxed setting.
  • The bar here at Queens’ is widely acclaimed across the whole University as a great social space and good value for money – you can get a pint for just over £2! Every evening the bar also serves cheap yet tasty bar food, which is popular as 13 | P a g e a good way to relax with friends after a day’s work and can be useful if you miss normal buttery because it is served until 9:30pm.
  • All of our accommodation also has gyps (kitchens), which are usually shared between a few people. Cooking can be a great way to save money but also to relax and hang out with friends. You are also very welcome to bring your food down to the buttery and eat with the others.
  • Besides the normal daily catering, being a student at Cambridge also offers some opportunities for more formal served dinners. Formal halls take place every week on multiple days and they are especially popular as a way to celebrate events like birthdays. As a Cambridge quirk, everyone dining is expected to wear formal wear and college gowns, which you can get on your first day here in college. On top of normal formal halls there will also be special occasion dinners such as year dinners and subject dinners, which are often black-tie events and usually happen in Old Hall which gives a unique, exciting atmosphere. In addition to these dinners college also runs Guest Nights, which are similar black-tie dinners in Old Hall to which you can bring your family and friends so that they too can experience the traditions of Cambridge, but you are also welcome to bring guests to regular formal halls

The easiest way to pay in the buttery, café and QBar is with your university card. That is run through the UPay system ( where you can manage and top up your account online (it is pay as you go). Formal Halls and Guest Nights are also paid through UPay. There is a phone app you can download! Alternatively, you can pay in cash. Your University card cannot be used at other colleges.