We all love the print room

Isaac returns for his weekly column, but this week he’s strangely upbeat…

Pretty much every day of my life consists of sitting in the Print Room café, downing cup upon cup of tea, chatting away with friends and acquaintances alike. Whether it be doing work, escaping the numerous library sessions or simply for a bit of peaceful relaxation, the Print Room in recent times has become a hub, a salvation for studentkind among UCL students. I for one have deep love for this café, and amongst friends it has been noted that I ALWAYS seem to be there.

The location for starters is just perfect, managing to be situated between every area of UCL, with easy access to the main quad, the engineering building and even SSEES. Strolling past there is a magnetic pull as the vast majority of us are roped into to buying a tea or a coffee, simply for the fact the Print Room is conveniently placed and provides adequate justification for being 10 minutes late for a class. After all, what is your ‘Stoics, epicureans and skeptics’ class without a cup of the finest (doubtful) fair-trade coffee there is?!

Due to the respectable opening hours of 8am-9pm Monday-Friday (with live music being presented on a Friday evening), it is easy to see why the Print Room is somewhere that comes to mind when the question of hot beverages comes to mind. After 2 or 3pm alcohol can be purchased, and although most people do not indulge in this opportunity, the fact that the choice is there is satisfying. On summer days (people have a while to wait), it is not uncommon to see students sitting outside in the glow of the sun with a Peroni after a hard days work (also doubtful).

The pricing at the Print Room is somewhat subjective, depending on who you are and where you come from. For example, a person brought up in London would be more than happy to pay the requested £1 for a cup of tea, seeing this as the ultimate bargain compared with the extortionate prices of Costa and Starbucks. However, being from Yorkshire, the concept of paying £1 for a cup of below-average cup of tea doesn’t tickle my fancy. I have even started to bring my own cup and Yorkshire Tea teabags in order to get a decent brew, whilst at the same time saving money. For a bite to eat prices vary. For a pastry or some kind of cake, expect to pay from 80p-£2, while paninis and pastas range from £3.45-£10. It depends on how much you are willing to fork out.

There are a number of different people who work at the Print Room, all from different countries, all doing/done different degrees, and it provides a pleasant, multicultural atmosphere that serves as a microcosm of UCL generally. There is an Irishman, a Polish man, a Lebanese girl, and a charming half-Armenian lady to name a few. Over the course of my time at University, I have come to know a few of these staff and they are genuine people that are pleasant for the most part.

The only bad thing I can say about the Print Room is the shocking assortment of music that is played. From the Backstreet Boys (I secretly enjoy it) to classical Indian Music, there is a lot of variety, but the majority of the time the music does not suit the mood. I know this is ultra critical, but perhaps they should adopt the system ULU uses, where people can download an app for iPhones that allows you to choose a song that is placed in a play queue. During Christmas it was almost unbearable as Mariah Carey was blasted through the speakers, with occasional salvation in the form of Ella Fitzgerald.

All in all, the Print Room serves as more than just a café, it is a legitimate epicenter of University life. I enjoy it and often plays the role of meeting place with friends. Most people will agree with me when I say that The Print Room café is rather important in our everyday lives, as caffeine makes the world go round.