At some point during your first year at QM you’ll begin to find staying in your room revising, writing coursework, reading and even watching Netflix (yes, I know!) tedious. So, for the majority of you, being new to Mile End you may not know where the best places to relax and take some time away from your studies may be. But fear not, here are my top recommendations:
- Ground: QM’s very own coffee shop. It may not be Central Perk, but it is a very good attempt and appropriate for a student budget! Ground is one of the more popular places to go on campus, particularly in the winter, so this is something to be aware of as they might not always have seats to accommodate you and your friends. However, being located adjacent to the SU Hub and The Hive it’s guaranteed that you can find seating in there.
- Infusion: QM’s little shop with a small seating area, located next to drapers, will more often than not guarantee you a seat with your £3.25 meal deal (sandwich/wrap, crisps/chocolate bar and a drink, inc. hot drinks from the self-service machine). This is a perfect place to go and meet up with a friend during a short break between lectures, seminars or tutor. One of my American friends, who was an associate student in semester one, and I would meet up here every Thursday after she had finished her morning lecture and before I started my afternoon lecture for a quick, mid-week catch up!
- Drapers Bar & Kitchen: When it’s not serving you a double vodka and cranberry or a red beer, drapers provides a casual restaurant environment, allowing you and your friends to have a burger and pint for £6, whilst playing a game of pool or catching up with the news. If you befriend students who are commuters, like I did, it’ll be very likely that you’ll have one day of the week where you’ll spend part of your three hour break here with them! Just a heads up, if you’re rubbish at pool/snooker like myself, start practicing now!
- Costa Coffee, Mile End Rd: It’s quite easy to get bored of campus when you live, study and socialise in the same place; particularly when you’re bogged down with work. Due to your workload it’s not wise to go too far away from campus, you still need to do your reading! So cross over the road and (EUREKA!) you’ve found a Costa Coffee. Costas are so wide-spread across the country, I doubt I need to do much explaining on this one. Despite this, I’m going to warn you that if you go there as much as my friend Beth and I did during exams, the staff will remember you, and your orders, and you’ll be left feeling incredibly embarrassed! Still, it’s a story nonetheless…
- Nandos, Mile End Rd: Now, being a vegetarian you may wonder why I am going to write about Nandos. However, being able to praise the vegetarian options, I would definitely recommend a trip here. With the appropriate amount of consideration, this can be a really cheap meal out with friends (bottomless drinks are a must!) and can easily fill up those long breaks between lectures and seminars.
- Wetherspoons – The Half Moon, Mile End Rd: On your way to Stepney Green tube, you’ll find The Half Moon. I’m sure the majority of you have come across a Spoons at some point in your lives but I’m certain they won’t be remembered as fondly as The Half Moon. You’ll spend a lot of your time here whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, dinner or after lecture drinks. Reasonably priced. A very nice interior (The Half Moon used to be a theatre). You can’t go wrong with spending some time here.
- Regent’s Canal: The crown jewel in QM’s magnificence is certainly Regent’s Canal, which flows adjacent to the QM campus; you can’t miss it! Just sit down, in the sunshine, with a group of friends or by yourself with a book or an iPod, and enjoy the scenery. Maybe make a picnic? Or order a pizza there (And yes, this is a true story. I’ve seen it happen!)?
(My very own instagram photo of Regent’s Canal, May 2014.)
Hope this helps for when you arrive in a few weeks!