As a student, it’s extremely important to plan to relax and spend time with people. It’s easy to isolate yourself so you can get things done, and as productive as that may be academically, that doesn’t do well for your personal wellbeing. So, here are some things I like to do to relax!
One of my favourite things about Leicester is how big the city is on the arts. The Phoenix Theatre is a small cinema and art gallery situated near the city centre; I’m more interested in the cinema part. Student tickets to the films are £6, and although the screens are small, the selection (and the price!) are stellar. Currently, they’re playing films that have won Oscars this past weekend, like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Ladybird, as well as classics like Moonrise Kingdom (for you Wes Anderson fans out there) (me!!) and Mulan (for you Disney lovers out there). The Phoenix also screens foreign films and old films, and sometimes they hold Q&A sessions with the director of the film or film experts.
But there’s more! My personal most favouritest thing the Phoenix does is that they have a ‘stage on screen’ series, which are basically plays, ballets, and operas that are recorded, that they then screen. Pretty self-explanatory! They have a fab selection of Shakespeare plays from the likes of the National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Currently, the Ninth Doctor’s (as in Doctor Who) Macbeth with the National Theatre is screening!! What a crossover that is. They also have operas (my favourite!!!). Unfortunately, I missed the screening of my favourite opera, La traviata, but it doesn’t matter, I guess I’ll just have to watch it at the Royal Opera House instead!! *Insert heart-eyes emoji*. Can you tell how excited I am about all of this?? So many double and triple punctuations!!!
Another cool thing is that they offer film courses/workshops, so whether you want to pursue a career in the film industry or you’re just really into films, these would be a good starting point or stepping stone to build your film education!
I love, love, love sitting in coffee shops to either catch up with friends or do work. It’s just something about the atmosphere that’s magical to me. I think it’s the combination of the aromas in the air and the fact that they’re designed for people to spend a long time there, so there’s a certain level of comfort and familiarity that makes you feel like you could be sitting in your own living room (but with better decor).Those bright red carpets in the library just don’t do it for me.
My standout coffee shops in Leicester are 200 Degrees and St Martin’s. I divide my time between the two and spend too much money on tea I could just brew myself at home. I just can’t stay away! When I’m in a studying mood where I need noise in the background, coffee shop sounds are the perfect remedy.
In first year, I ended up at the Leicester Market on one of my first ever ventures out into the city centre. It was a little overwhelming with all the Midlands accents yelling prices at me. But, the fruits taste so good and they are so fresh! Beware, though – because the fruits are super fresh (Superfresh, hehe), they go bad pretty quickly, so you should aim to eat them all within three days of buying them. If you’re big on eating whole foods and making sure your food comes from natural sources, the Leicester Market is definitely better than any supermarket. They’ve also god a food hall that sells various cheeses, fresh seafood, and fresh meat. The Leicester Market is also the site of the annual Christmas Market in Leicester, which has got yummy chutneys and mulled wine and goes on for about two weeks in December.
Ah, the Loaded Dog. It’s a classic student pub, and I really do miss it when I’m home (in Canada, we don’t have pub culture, and it’s one of my favourite British things to do, so I truly miss it when I’m away). The Dog does a pub quiz every Sunday evening, which my friends and I attend almost every week. There are three rounds: the first two are general knowledge and final round is themed. Every week is a different theme, and in the past, we’ve had Disney, Harry Potter, Peep Show, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and football, to name a few.
The Dog was actually renovated over Christmas, so when we all came back in January, we were shocked. Before the renovations, it was lovely and old (with character) and a quintessentially British pub with lots of wood and the odd Union Jack. Now, it’s colourful and cool and hip. I don’t hate it, but part of me wishes they’d kept more of their original, old pub vibe. In any case, it’s a swanky joint in which I spend a good amount of time.
So, these are the places I like to spend time in whenever I’m in Leicester – if I’m not at home or at uni, I’m at any of these four places! It’s time to start saying my (long, drawn-out) goodbyes and, Leicester, I will miss you so.