Alternative Valentine’s Ideas
Tired of the usual swanky bar and restaurant routine? Determined not to settle for a cosy night in? Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend this year, meaning there’s no excuse not to put some serious effort into original romancing. Whether you fancy a day-time poetry reading or a vintage picnic come evening, we’ve rounded up the best out-of-the-box happenings for original love birds. Tickets are selling fast, so we suggest you book quick sharp…
Love in The Archives
If you believe that nothing is as poignant as a hand-written love letter, your heart will melt at the unique collection of notes at the National Maritime Museum. Penned by naval men to their long-suffering ladies, it’s an opportunity to soak up the yearning words of time-gone seafarers, all while sipping on a glass of bubbly (or two).
Feline Lonely at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Prevent a kitty from feeling alone this 14 February and find your (purrfect) feline match by getting up close and cuddly in the cat pens. Ideal for couples looking for a furry friend (there are over 3000 cats taken in by the charity every year), the event runs from 5.30-8.30pm with a free glass of fizz on arrival. The definitive Valentine’s gift that keeps on giving.
The Institute of Sexology Exhibition at the Wellcome Collection
If you believe that passion is ignited by the mind and not just the body, this limited-run exhibition offers a fascinating, if candid, insight into the world of sexuality. Featuring over 200 objects spanning art, film and photography, it explores ever-shifting attitudes and the key figures behind them, from Sigmund Freud to Alfred Kinsey. Informative and very definitely eye opening.
Lover’s Brunch with Waitrose Cookery School
A mid-morning Sunday feast and flute of champagne will be on many a couple’s romantic agenda this weekend, but rather than see it served up on a plate why not cook up a storm together? Waitrose Cookery School in Finchley Road is offering lessons à deux so you can learn how to make fresh bagels and master the most luxurious hollandaise sauce, as well as perfectly poached eggs. Once finished, enjoy a flute of champers with your fellow chef twosomes.
Squiffy Picnic at Cahoots
Located in a former WW2 air raid shelter in Soho and featuring vintage tube carriage-themed booths, Cahoots is all about destination drinking (you can even rummage in the bar’s dressing up box to ensure you fit the surrounds). Their signature Squiffy Picnic has been given a heart-shaped bent with Valentine’s gin cocktails and three hampers (containing everything from lavender shortbread to pork pies) to choose from. There’s live jazz to feed the soul, too.
Valentine’s Love Birds at Biscuiteers
Channel your inner child with purveyors of the prettiest, most moreish biccies, Biscuiteers, and learn the secret to decorating their crumbly confections during a two-hour icing lesson. Why not pipe your own treats with each other in mind, choose a suitably fun tin, and swap come the weekend. Yum.
Haybarn Heaven at The Berkeley
Bamford’s Haybarn Spa is the go-to destination for or a luxuriously organic pampering session, so why not indulge with your other half with Haybarn Heaven, a super-relaxing half day package. Not only will you receive three 25-minute treatments, including an energising Quick Fix OSKIA Facial, you will be free to enjoy the spectacular rooftop pool, renowned for its unique panoramic views of London.
Valentine’s Weekend at Keats’ House
Nestled in the heart of Hampstead is the beautiful abode in which John Keats fell head over heels for Fanny Brawne, so an itinerary dedicated to the theme of love seems only fitting. Poetic souls and literary buffs alike will be in their element exploring the historic building, listening to recitals, crafting a regency-inspired Valentine’s card, and enjoying live music at the pop-up bar.