Whether you’re single or in a relationship, there’s every chance you won’t be spending Valentine’s Day at home alone this year.
14 February might traditionally be for couples, but more and more places have begun catering to single folk, whether they’re looking for love or just after a distraction from the PDAs and dinners-for-two.
We’ve picked out some of the most interesting-looking Valentine’s Day events in London, for couples, groups and singles alike.
1.Sensory dining at The Arch
If there was ever a day to go big, this is it. A five-course ‘sensory dining’ experience, with dishes such as caramelised beetroot and goat’s curd terrine, or pineapple ravioli with passion fruit jelly and lime sorbet. It takes place at The Arch’s high-end ‘Hunter 486’ restaurant, and you can even tag on a stay at the central London hotel if you feel like going all-out.
2.Rivoli Ballroom pop-up cinema
We’d normally say the cinema isn’t something to incorporate into a Valentine’s date night, but this is no ordinary cinema. The Rivoli Ballroom only shows films on very special occasions, and this Valentine’s Day they’ll be showing classic rom-com Pretty Woman. At £13 a ticket it’s cheaper than some regular cinema trips, too.
3.Great Gatsby party at Village Underground, from £25
Valentine’s Day can often be all about excess, and nothing says excess more than the lavish parties thrown by F. Scott Fitzgerald’s most famous character. For one night only, Village Underground will be transformed into a 1920s hideout (that means a 20s dress code, too), complete with promises of debauchery. Oh, and booze.
4.HotBox Anti-Valentines Night
If you’re a single person at this time of year, you don’t want to be prevented from going out just because it’s Valentine’s Day. However, you might also want to do something that doesn’t remind you of your single status – something like group tables with massive platters of meat. That’s what awesome Shoreditch BBQ place HotBox is doing, with tacos, wings, smoked meats and more for parties of any size…for one night only.
5.This is not a Valentine's Pub Quiz
While suitable for couples and single folk, this quiz feels more geared to the latter. For £25 (or £125 for a table of six) you get entry into a quiz, plus a cocktail, plus novelty acts throughout the night, as well as the chance to donate to ArtsAdmin to help up-and-coming artists and creators. As for the food on offer? It’s of the ‘anti-aphrodisiac’ variety – we’re guessing that means lots of garlic.
6.Anti-Valentine's party at Bounce
Hosted by dating app Bumble, this one-night-only event combines those two natural bedfellows: love and ping-pong. Tickets are just £5, and there’s a strict ban on couples and PDAs, but a strict allowing of pizza and cocktails.
7.‘F**k Tinder’ speed dating £20
This is a singles night… sort of. Your £20 ticket gets you a host for the night – comedian Chris Henry – and an evening’s worth of mingling with top comedy talent as your entertainment.
8.View from the Shard
Looking to really push the boat out? Combine the remarkable view from the Shard – itself a pretty big deal – with a night at the four-star Ambassadors Bloomsbury Hotel. If you’ve got your dinner plans sorted but still have a spare £225 to play with, we can think of plenty of worse options. In fact, it’s tempting enough that you might want to give it a go even if you’ve got your own place in London to go back to.
9.Cheese Wheel 'Lady and the Tramp' evening
Remember when you first heard about that massive cheese wheel in London? You promised yourself you’d go there, but you could never find the right occasion. Well, this might be it: cheese maestro Graham Bradbury is putting on a four-course meal in the vein of the ‘bella notte’ scene from Lady and the Tramp – that means sharing massive strands of pasta like the titular characters, plus a lot (and we mean a lot) of cheese.
10.Venchi chocolate-based blind dates
If you’re a person with taste-buds, chances are you’re into your chocolate. If you’re a single person who wants to meet another single person over chocolate, Italian chocolatiers Venchi may be able to help you out. Venchi Valentine’s will pair up single people based on their taste in chocolate, and treat them to a chocolatey date in central London on Valentine’s Day. Have we said the word ‘chocolate’ enough yet? No? Good.
Free (by invite), https://www.venchivalentines.co.uk/