Dessert In Oxford the word 'dessert' is used in a very particular way. It describes a separate part of a meal, taken in a different room and consisting of fruit, nuts, chocolate and other fine things, and a variety of after dinner wines (in our case port, madeira, the same red wine offered at dinner, and a white dessert wine). At formal hall the Principal (or in the Principal's absence the Vice-Principal or the most senior fellow dining) presides. When we move to the dessert, which is taken in the Old Library (if there are no more than twenty present) or in the SCR lunch room (if there are more than twenty) the most senior fellow present presides. Gowns are removed at this stage. The person presiding decides where everyone is placed, ensuring a mixture of senior and junior members and arranging for no-one to sit with the same people they were next to at dinner. The fellow presiding has the task of circulating the wines, which move in a clockwise direction around the table and should be passed on to the left. The bottles stop with the fellow presiding, who usually circulates them three times. Port and madeira are drunk from small glasses; red and white wine from the larger glasses. The food can be taken in any order and should be passed around so that everyone has a full choice of what is available. At the end of dessert the person presiding will call things to an end and invite everyone to take coffee in the Senior Common Room.