London for Lovers covers the city by activity: four ideas each for park walks, nights out, shopping, museums and galleries, live events, historic London, and quirky London. It includes a directory of listed venues, a useful chapter on cool things to do near major railway stations, and scores of facts and anecdotes ripe for retelling.
Most of the advice is sound, but can be patchy. The guide to Hackney Wick, for instance, carries a few clichés about its locals — and while many of its menfolk wear moustaches and ride fixies, this observation has also been applicable to the rest of Hackney for around five years now.
But the same chapter also names Wick favourites Stour Space and the Yard Theatre as must-see venues, provides a potted history to the pre-Olympic Wick, and illustrates the lot with pretty Instagram-style pics of local murals and sculpture. London for Lovers is well worth sharing if you and your significant other are feeling adventurous.
For alternatives, Time Out’s 1000 Things To Do In London gets a refresh on 7 February. It’s less romantic, but better-researched. Or, try the Tate Modern’s shop for beautifully-designed guides. Finally, check our own listings for numerous Valentine’s ideas that don’t suck.
Read more London book reviews.