Ah, the difficult third date. By this point, you’re probably pretty certain whether or not you’re into each other, but maybe you want another date just to make sure the spark is there… After the nerves and Dutch Courage of the first couple of dates, the third date is often a more low-key affair. But what to do, if not dinner or drinks? This early phase of a relationship often finds the burgeoning couple pressured for interesting, unique and wonderful date ideas to carry the relationship forward.
Medicine and romance: a happy mix?
If you work in the medical profession, or are dating someone who is, a trip to a local medical museum could perfect. It gives you the chance to talk about work, or just marvel at the gory sights from medicine of yore, and handily, we’ve rounded up some of the UK’s best for you.
Wellcome Collection, London
London’s Wellcome Collection offers something different, displaying medical artefacts alongside works of art in a bid to explore ‘ideas about the connections between medicine, life and art’. One of the permanent exhibitions, Medicine Man, explores the life of its founder, Sir Henry Wellcome, and considers the stories medicine can tell – a great opportunity to tell some stories of your own! There’s also a roster of thought-provoking temporary exhibitions, so you and your date should have plenty to talk about. Entry to the Wellcome Collection is free, leaving you to splash the cash and woo your date in the museum’s café, which serves up big plates of salad, hot specials or generous wedges of cake, if you’re feeling less than virtuous.
Hunterian Museum, Glasgow
The Hunterian was founded in 1807, making it Scotland’s oldest public museum. It may be small, but a vast variety of exhibitions are on display, within the University of Glasgow’s Hogwarts-esque towers. There’s lots to see but for medics and their dates, the most interesting is surely the medicine and anatomy collection, which holds a variety of materials used by William Hunter during the course of his career as well as instruments used by Joseph Lister. Date going well? Skip the uni canteen: you’re in the heart of Glasgow’s west end with a plethora of nice bars and restaurants to choose from.
Surgeon’s Hall Museum, Edinburgh
In the centre of historic Edinburgh, is the Surgeon’s Hall Museum. Open Monday to Friday, between 12 and 4, it makes the perfect location for those midweek lunchtime dates with your prospective medical other half. Permanent exhibitions include the Pathology Museum, dedicated to the study of disease, and features a number of gory curiosities to marvel over, including a gangrenous foot, and swollen bone tumours. The museum also houses a Dental Collection, something which might pique the interest of dentists and dental nurses, featuring instruments from days gone by, although sometimes it’s hard to decide if they’re devices of health or torture!
Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds
Head to Thackray Medical Museum in Leeds for a fun date to break the ice. Transported to the Leeds of 1842, you’ll experience how the Victorians lived – and how they died. The Pain, Pus and Blood exhibit is an enlightening glimpse into the horrors of medicine without qualified surgeons, and will make you glad to be experiencing it with someone who’s (hopefully!) a little more experienced. The Having a Baby section is perhaps one to avoid if it’s an early date, lest someone thinks you’re dropping hints about your future relationship… Luckily, for your admission fee, you get free entry to the museum all year long, so there’ll be plenty of other opportunities – perhaps the Thackery could even become “your place”!
Glenside Hospital Museum, Bristol
Glenside Hospital Museum in Bristol is a low-key display, housed in a chapel, exploring the history of psychiatric hospitals in Bristol. Particularly interesting is the gallery of drawings by Denis Reed, a patient at Glenside in the 1950s and 60s. His records show what life was like for patients, and offers something a little different from the usual displays of medical instruments and potted histories of medicine. It’s sure to be a sobering experience, but as the museum is only open on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10:00 – 12:30, it makes the perfect talking point for a long, contemplative brunch afterwards.
Florence Nightingale Museum, London
On London’s South Bank, close to the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament (why not make a day of it?), the Florence Nightingale Museum is dedicated to the life and works of the Lady with the Lamp. Interactive and stuffed with artefacts, from her dresses to lamps used in the Crimean war, the collection documents the considerable influence Nightingale had on modern nursing. Until October 2014, the museum is hosting a special exhibition in honour of the centenary of the First World War: The Art of Nursing in the First World War, focused on a collection of paintings demonstrating the dangerous role nurses undertook in France and Belgium during those years.
Have you been to any interesting medical museums lately? What sort of conversation did it spark with your date?