11 student-friendly spots in Bristol for a first date, to help secure a second

If you’re fed up of one-night flings and the morning walk of shame, ditch the club and try one of these spots to spark love instead

There is a nauseating number of couples visiting the Christmas market in Cabot Circus these days. How has anyone found the time and got lucky enough to bag a bae who can buy them an overpriced hot chocolate?

If you’re not quite in the Christmas-market stage of your relationship, there are plenty of spots that aren’t too studenty bound to impress your date and spark those romantic connections. Eventually, you too can wander hopelessly in love under the neon signs of sports direct and the crackheads of Cabot.

1. CARGO at Wapping Wharf

Located in Wapping Wharf, these old cargo containers have been converted into several different places to eat, drink and shop, each independently owned. This is a very quaint location and has amazing food for lunch and dinner, offering a range of cuisines from small plates and tapas to full meals. The pretty views across the harbour are the cherry on top of the cake.

2. Flying Saucers pottery painting

If you’re a little more artistic, this pottery painting art space located on The Triangle is a great activity to bring out your creative side. With lots of different items to choose from, why not add some artistic flair to your boring Wilko home plates and bowls and impress your crush by creating a true masterpiece? This is a cute, wholesome date spot with a friendly and relaxed atmosphere perfect for a first meet-up.

3. City Farm Bedminster

Slightly out of the city, Windmill Hill Farm is certainly an outside-the-box date idea. The farm has cows, pigs, sheep and ducks, allowing you to reconnect with nature after long weeks of studying. It also has a cafe, a farm shop with produce to purchase and a gift shop, with souvenirs to remember the day by.

And finally, always bring a jacket – giving it to your date to protect them from the cold will make them all the more smitten.

4. Roxy Lanes

If you want something more activity-based, Roxy Lanes near Cabot is the place for you. Featuring 10 lanes of bowling, pool tables, batting cages, beer pong and more, you won’t run out of things to do. Not only is it open until 2am, but it also has a huge bar with a wide variety of drinks to keep you going. Thank god they don’t make you wear those awful bowling shoes so there should be worries about getting the ick.

5. Cube Cinema

If you’re looking for something cosy for the winter months, the Cube Cinema is quite the upgrade from watching Netflix in a grotty student house. Found in Stokes Croft, this independent cinema and performance space is intimate, friendly and volunteer-run. They offer a variety of viewings and a well-priced bar, so there’s definitely something for everyone, but romance should be your genre to get those feelings flowing. The Cube puts an indie twist on the classic, tried and tested cinema date spot – you can’t go wrong here.

6. OddKin Cafe

This Café on Whiteladies Road offers a variety of tasty food items and pastries paired with amazing speciality coffee, sure to please even the biggest of coffee snobs – what else could you want? Their funky menu items are both intriguing and delicious (the halloumi crumpets are incredible), this is not a place to miss if you want to impress your date with your quirky brunch spot knowledge.

7. Jungle Rumble Golf

Jungle Rumble Golf is an adventure mini golf course situated in Cabot Circus, equipped with a stocked bar and a unique atmosphere. Offering a range of student discounts and deals, this is great for a budget-friendly, fun and competitive date. Getting a second date is sure to be easier than a hole-in-one!

8. Wiper and True Brewery

This brewery and taproom can be found in the Old Market and is a true hidden treasure, serving a variety of local beers and wine. There is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating in an aesthetically pleasing garden, as well as a food van serving fab dishes in a lively environment. Not many students go here, so if you want to be sure you won’t have any awkward run-ins then this is the place to go.

9. NQ64

Is your crush a wannabe gamer? This lively arcade bar includes a range of retro arcade games and consoles to play and compete with each other on. They also have an extensive crafted cocktail menu, offering happy hours throughout the week. Perfect for bringing out your competitive side and showing off your skills, whilst replaying nostalgic games from your childhood.

10. Harbourside street food market

If you and your date are both massive foodies, this is a must-visit spot which offers an array of cuisines and beverages – there’s something to everyone’s taste. These are good-sized portions making it ideal for sharing dishes and eating as much as your stomach desires. Open on Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 6pm, it’s a great place to escape the books on your weekends and enjoy amazing food, looking across the harbour for a perfect daytime date.

11. Magari

This traditional Italian restaurant in Wapping Wharf is a great affordable dinner spot, serving delicious choices of pasta which are made fresh on-site every day. This is a really intimate restaurant with super friendly staff, the ambience is sure to encourage your romantic connection.

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