Entertainment and Lifestyle
- Places to Eat Out (near Fischer Hall, near Conway Hall)
- Culture, Activities, and Entertainment (near Fischer Hall - Sightseeing, Entertainment, Museums, and near Conway Hall - Entertainment, Museums)
- Gyms and Fitness Centers
The choice of cafes and restaurants around Fischer Hall is endless. For a light lunch there are multiple branches of Starbucks, Costa, Caffè Nero, and Pret coffee shops, and some independent cafes, such as Orsini and Sandwich Express on neighbouring Whitcomb Street.
Haymarket, Piccadilly Circus, Covent Garden, St Martin’s Lane and Soho have a huge selection of restaurants from all around the world.
Previous faculty and students have recommended Notes café just off Trafalgar Square, Pizza Express on Haymarket or the Strand (especially for children), Assaggetti (Italian) on Haymarket, Brasserie Zedel (French) just off Piccadilly Circus, and Côte (French) on St Martin’s Lane and in Covent Garden.
Conway Hall is also surrounded by coffee shop chains such as Costa and Starbucks. York Road, Lower Marsh, or any side street offer many other independent cafes. On Lower Marsh there is a market from Monday to Saturday selling street food, fresh fruit, and vegetables. For a real treat head to the Southbank Centre, less than five minutes from Conway Hall, and eat at the Southbank Centre Market (every Friday to Sunday).
There are numerous restaurants around Conway Hall including Auberge (French) just off Waterloo Road, and Cubana (Cuban) on Lower Marsh. The Southbank Centre also has a selection of international cafes and restaurants.
Situated on the corner of Trafalgar Square, Fischer Hall is surrounded by culture, history, and landmarks.
To the south of Trafalgar Square is Whitehall, home to Government departments and ministries. You can also find The Cenotaph on Whitehall, a World War I memorial erected as part of a peace parade. An annual National Service of Remembrance is held there. Further along the road is Horse Guards Parade, a ground where the Trooping the Colour ceremony is held to commemorate the monarch’s official birthday. Below Whitehall is Downing Street, residence to the Prime Minister.
Just a 10-15 minute walk from Fischer Hall are St James’s Palace, London’s oldest place, and official home of the monarch, Clarence House, official residence of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and Buckingham Palace, the London residence and workplace of the monarch.
St. Martin's in the Fields, in Trafalgar Square, is a famous church that has been drawing visitors for over 700 years. Rebuilt in the early 18th century in the English Baroque style, the church is now well known for its Café in the Crypt and for its lunchtime concerts on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Fridays at 1:00 p.m. Evening candlelight classical concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., for £6 to £20.
Her Majesty's Theatre on Haymarket is home to one of London's most famous West End productions, The Phantom of the Opera. The show is performed Monday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with additional matinee shows on Thursday and Saturday afternoons at 2:30 p.m. Cheap tickets can be purchased at the Half Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square, which is the only official discount ticket outlet, or at the theatre box office one hour prior to show time.
The Theatre Royal Haymarket has been home to some of the most popular theatre productions in London. Shows are performed Monday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2:00 or 2:30 p.m.
The Odeon Cinema in Leicester Square offers a variety of mainstream films throughout afternoons and evenings, as well as hosting premieres from time to time. The Prince Charles Cinema, just round the corner, provides a home for film festivals and art-house, foreign, and second-run films at much more reasonable prices.
The Garrick Theatre in Charing Cross Road is home to many of the West End's best-known theatre productions. Shows change regularly but are currently performed Monday to Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday evenings at 7:00 p.m. Matinee performances are on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
The Criterion Theatre on Piccadilly Circus is currently home to The 39 Steps, a play based on a classic Hitchcock. It follows the protagonist through a hilarious and gripping quest to solve the 39 steps, clear his name of murder, and save King and country. The show is performed Monday to Saturday at 8:00 p.m., with matinees on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., and Saturday at 4:00 p.m.
For discounts, students under 26 should visit London Theatre Tickets.
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square houses one of the world's finest collections of European paintings ranging from the 13th to the 19th centuries. See the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and many more. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Friday until 9:00 p.m. Admission to the main galleries is free.
The National Portrait Gallery, located on the corner of Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road, contains the nation's leading collection of portraits of the most notable figures of British history. Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and until 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. Admission to main galleries is free.
Southbank Centre – The Southbank Centre is a world-famous arts center and festival site less than a 5-minute walk from Conway Hall. It hosts a wide array of music and dance performances, art exhibitions, readings, talks, and more. Many of the activities at the Southbank Centre are free! The center comprises of several buildings:
Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall are both used as concert and performance venues. Royal Festival Hall is the main building of the Southbank Centre. It contains an auditorium and performance venues, a bar, a café, a restaurant and shops. Queen Elizabeth Hall is linked to the Purcell Room, which is the center’s smallest venue. It plays host to intimate readings and recitals.
Hayward Gallery is known for its 60s Brutalist architecture. It is also a venue for art exhibitions, projects, and installations.
Saison Poetry Library holds the Arts Council Poetry Collection that contains English language poetry from around Great Britain and the world, translated poetry, an archive of poetry magazines, and more. Membership is free.
Many events and activities at the Southbank Centre are free, or reasonably priced, and the website has a comprehensive calendar of what’s on. The whole of the center has free Wi-Fi, and there are plenty of spaces where you can sit and relax, read, study, eat, or meet friends. Meeting rooms are also available for hire.
British Film Institute (BFI) promotes understanding and appreciation of film and television. The BFI on the South Bank screens almost 1000 films a year, and runs the annual London Film Festival in the second half of October. The BFI has one of the best film and television collections in the world, and its archives preserve around 1 million titles, both classic and contemporary. The BFI also owns the IMAX cinema right outside Conway Hall, which has the largest cinema screen in Britain!
The National Theatre is also located on the South Bank. It comprises of 4 theatres – Olivier, Lyttelton, Cottesloe (soon to be Dorfman), and The Shed. The National not only puts on plays, but also talks, backstage tours, and exhibitions. Like the Southbank Centre, The National Theatre is a great space to meet friends and hang out. Some Concerts and exhibitions are free. £15 theatre tickets are available through Travelex.
Shakespeare’s Globe and Sam Wanamaker Playhouse are just a 20-minute walk from Conway Hall. Located on the South Bank, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a reconstruction of the Elizabethan Globe Theatre. It is partly open-air, so productions run from May to October. On the same site is the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, a new Jacobean style indoor theatre, which runs plays and concerts all year round. Standing tickets at Shakespeare’s Globe start from £5, and seated from £15. At the playhouse standing tickets start from £10, and seated from £25. Student and child discounts are available on seated tickets. There are also tours of the theatres.
The Old Vic and Young Vic are neighboring theaters, just down the road from Conway Hall. The Old Vic is situated in an iconic building and has welcomed many famous names to its stage. The Young Vic supports new generations of actors, new concepts, and diversity. Tickets at both theatres start from around £10. Shows at the Old Vic are at 7:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday, with matinees on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2:30 p.m., and at the Young Vic are at 7:45 p.m. Monday to Saturday, with matinees on Saturdays at 2:45 p.m.
For discounts, students under 26 should visit London Theatre Tickets.
Tate Modern is a world famous modern and contemporary art gallery, displaying artworks and installations from around the world. It opened in 2000 in the converted Bankside Power Station and is currently being expanded. The gallery is free to enter.
London Undergraduate Program (LUP) students can join the King's College London gym just across the road from Conway Hall on Stamford St. For more information about their rates, facilities, classes, and hours, please see the website.
If you wish to explore other gyms, the LUP office can provide proof of address for membership purposes. Other gyms near Fischer Hall include LA Fitness, Fitness First, and Virgin Active. Near Conway Hall are Colombo Centre, Soho Gyms Waterloo, Fitness4Less, and The Gym Waterloo.
Please note that gym membership varies. Some gyms may accept international credit cards. Others do not require you to join as a member and offer pay as you go options. It is worth enquiring in person at the different facilities.