Cuffing season approaches: Here are the best first date spots around King’s
Prepare yourselves, there’s a LOT of walking
There’s nothing like cold weather and the clock’s going back to remind us cuffing season is approaching. Here are some of the best first date spots around King’s you can use as a coping mechanism to avoid your seasonal depression.
Somerset House and WatchHouse Somerset House (the café next door)
Somerset House, which is adjacent to Strand and King’s building, is a perfect spot for a first date. Grab one of their amazing iced lattes at WatchHouse Somerset House, and then pop to one of the exhibitions they’re currently running: Sonya Dyer: Three Parent Child (free entry, ending on 12th November 2023) and Theresa Weber: Cycles of Unmasking (free entry, running until 1st February 2024). Alternatively, The Courtauld Gallery, a permanent exhibition, which has a collection of world-class art, including Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.
The ice rink in front of Somerset House, is also reopening on the 15th November. Nothing quite sets the mood like a mutilated ear and soggy jeans!
BFI, Southbank Centre, and other places on the South Bank
If you’re looking for something more intimate, consider taking a leisurely stroll across Waterloo bridge to the south bank. There’s plenty of options to please anyone, from the Christopher Nolan fanatic to the Italian exchange student you met during freshers.
There’s the BFI Southbank & BFI IMAX, which do both new releases and re-releases ( including ‘The Dark Knight’ of course,) as well as classics. You can also opt for the more theatrical route and choose the National Theatre – at the moment they have Death of England: Closing Time and The Confessions running, with The Witches. You’ll also have the chance to show off whatever adjectives you’ve retained from GCSE Spanish , as The House of Bernard Alba will be showing soon.
To end the night, enjoy some icy riverside views with a warming cup of affordablemulled wine from the food market. Continue west to the Aquarium – where you can fulfil your inner child and maybe sneak in a smooch (or two) whilst some aesthetically challenged fish stare at your side profile!
If you would rather stay on the north side of the river, get your steps in and have a relaxing walk from Strand to Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery is right across from it and it’s free entry, opening daily from 10am-6pm, with extended hours until 9pm on Fridays.
Alternatively, Prince Charles Cinema, which is just a five minute walk away from Trafalgar Square, is one of the best independent cinemas in London that shows both classics like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, In the Mood for Love, and second runs like Barbie and Oppenheimer (cheaper than new releases for those on a budget).
If the weather chooses to not betray you, grab another bottle and stagger up to the monument in Trafalgar Square. Enjoy the view and stay until it gets a little too cold and you’ve finally got an excuse to hold hands. Justify spending the night at their dingy student accommodation by saying it’s warmer indoors.
The British Museum and Bowling
The British Museum is a 15-minute walk away from Strand Campus – free to enter and opens daily 10am to 5pm (apart from Friday – closes at 8.30pm!). The British Museum has a collection of exhibits from all across the world, which is a reflection of the legacy of the British Empire’s colonial past. Show off your intelligence (from all the lectures you definitely don’t skip) and sensitive side by seeing how quickly you can pivot from appreciating the statues, to reciting tomes full of post-colonial critical theory. If that doesn’t quite work out, you could always flex your bowling skills at All Star Lanes just next door open Monday to Sunday.
Tate Britain and Tate Modern
Theatreland (West End)!!!
This is the ultimate location if you’re even planning on taking a theatre nerd out. Strand Campus is literally adjacent to the Theatreland – if you are worried about the potential awkwardness of keeping yourself afloat in conversations, drag your date to a play or musical and then make up a “hot take” afterwards. Suggestions include: Les Misérables, Matilda the Musical, Disney’s The Lion King, Frozen The Musical, Mamma Mia! and plenty more.
UCL Mully’s Bar
Feeling a bit daring? For those of you sleeping with the enemy, try a UCL Bar. Meet up with your date in front of Bush House, and make your way up to either UCL Mully’s bar or Phineas bar. Drinks are cheaper than the Vault (a Jägerbomb is only £2.60!!!), and they are always running events. Varying from karaoke nights on Saturday evenings at Mully’s, to Jazz nights every Tuesday at Phineas. To avoid the awkward shuffling through your pockets, remember to bring both your student ID and your actual ID!