Romantic Vs Quirky: Things To Do In London This Valentine's Day

By Partner Last edited 32 months ago
Romantic Vs Quirky: Things To Do In London This Valentine's Day

If you're Feline Lonely, Battersea's purr-fect moggies can help.

Whether you're a hopeless romantic or an alternative type, attached at the hip to your other half or single and ready to mingle, we've got you covered this Valentine's Day.

The romantic option: hit a masquerade ball in the Garden of Eden

OK, maybe it's not technically the Biblical paradise, but Kensington's Roof Gardens decked out for a ball comes pretty darn close. Don your best black tie and masquerade masks, pick up your free cocktail, and get ready to be wowed by acrobats, stilt walkers, contortionists, glow performances and snake handlers. Then hit the dance floor to a smooth saxophone soundtrack. Pure romance.

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The quirky alternative: head to Battersea if you're feline lonely

Find a purr-fect furry friend at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home to spend some quality time with this Valentine's. Who knows, you might even find a Felix to take home with you.

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Spend Valentine's at this gorgeous Garden of Eden on a Kensington rooftop.

The romantic option: join Shakespeare's star-cross'd lovers in fair Waterloo

See the greatest love story of them all unfold at Vaults Festival Valentine's special. Brand-new theatre company Serious Mischief is putting on Romeo and Juliet under the arches at Waterloo — expect an interesting take on a timeless classic.

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The quirky alternative: attend a wedding reception with a difference

This immersive theatrical dining experience at the elegant Edwardian Kingsway Hotel promises to be quite unlike any wedding reception you've previously attended. Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, expect fun, frolics and more than a few surprises.

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Attend a Wedding Reception with a twist.

The romantic option: take a night cruise along the Thames

You know what never fails to make us feel all fluttery? The views of lit-up London from the twinkly Thames. Hop on board Xclusive Touch's triple-decker vessel for a ride along the river and enjoy a fully stocked bar, heated outdoor areas, free roses for the ladies, a photo area and slow jams spun by resident DJ Suave. Sounds suave indeed.

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The quirky alternative: hop aboard a haunted Routemaster

See the spooky side of the city on a haunted ghost tour of London, from the demon barber of Fleet Street to the Cross Bones Graveyard of Southwark. Sure, taking in tales of torture and execution isn't exactly romantic, but if you're looking for a Valentine's antidote, this is most definitely it.

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Tuck into a top-notch afternoon tea.

The romantic option: make it time for tea at Mews of Mayfair

Head to the plush Mews of Mayfair, tucked away behind New Bond Street, and treat yourself to afternoon tea. These are no ordinary sandwiches — instead think roast corn-fed chicken and tarragon mayonnaise on onion bread, hummus and roasted piquillo pepper wraps, prawn and lemon mayonnaise bagels and roast Aberdeen Angus sirloin with horseradish crème fraiche on tomato bread. And of course, don't forget the cream and jam scones, homemade fancies and cakes, and loose leaf tea or cafetière coffee.

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The quirky alternative: have a hip hop brunch with bottomless booze

Swap English Breakfast tea for the Long Island iced variety at this hip hop brunch in a secret central London location. Valentine's is a special occasion so why wait until the evening for lemon, chilli and spring onion chicken wings, aged steak burger in a brioche bun with Dirty Bones burger sauce and decadent sugared doughnuts with chocolate dipping sauce. Add in bottomless cocktails and karaoke and you've got yourself one hell of a Valentine's Day.

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Try your hand at painting.

The romantic option: put the art into heart with pop-up painting

Head to a pop-up painting session at the swanky Trafalgar Hotel. Grab a paintbrush with one hand and a glass of prosecco with the other, then get inspired by Botticelli and his iconic Birth of Venus. Whether you prove to be a Renaissance man or woman, or less of a pro, you're bound to have tonnes of fun.

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The quirky alternative: skate the night away at Canary Wharf

Christmas may be over but it's definitely still cold and dark enough to indulge in some seasonal skating. Whether you're gliding arm in arm with your beloved or falling over and into their arms, there are few more romantic spots than along the twinkly skate path beneath the soaring skyscrapers of Canary Wharf.

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Skate the night away.

The romantic option: let chocolate be your Valentine

Don't just pick up a box of chocolates from the shops on your way home — put chocolate centre stage, as it should be at a chocoholic workshop at the Proud Archivist in Haggerston. Spend the evening sampling exotic chocolates and whipping up chocolatey treats, indulging in strawberry fondue, prosecco and chocolate martinis and tasting truffles. You'll go home with a bag of handmade truffles (and a massive sugar high!).

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The quirky alternative: show your love for London's pubs

If chocolate's not quite strong enough, set off on a pub walking tour of London with gallons of history and glugs of ale. Learn about London's booze-addled past while sipping on a pint or two.

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No Valentine's Day would be complete without chocolate. Photo by Bianca Moreas from the Londonist Flickr pool.

The romantic option: boogie at the Bootleg Club's masked ball

Historic Stationers Hall will be transformed into a glamorous ballroom for the very first Bootleg Club of 2016. Dress up in your finery to match the glitz of the livery hall's beautiful décor, then dance the night away to the Blue Harlem Swing Band and guests. Food comes courtesy of the expert BBQers at Smokestak — oh, and don't forget your mask.

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The quirky alternative: dine in style at Faulty Towers

Head to Torquay via Charing Cross and join the Faulty Towers team for dinner with a touch of Basil. Manuel and Sybil will serve up your starters with a solid side of slapstick at this fantastic food and farce experience. Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, this is something a little different to the clichéd dirty weekend.

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The Faulty Towers dining experience.

The romantic option: cakewalk to Trinity Buoy Wharf

Spend an evening in the Docklands with Britain's two favourite things: tea and cake. At least six portions of cake in fact: almond praline choux and Lapsang caramel, rose and raspberry marshmallow, matcha mousse with chocolate ganache, hazelnut cheesecake brownie, strawberries and cream cake and oolong panna cotta. If cake is your true love, this is the place for you.

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The quirky alternative: try erotic cake decorating

Yes, you read that correctly. Because what makes cake so much more delicious are naughty decorations the likes of which we blush even to speak of. And in case artistry isn't motivation enough, prizes will be awarded for 'realism' and 'invention' at the Book Club's unique take on The Great British Bake Off.

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Last Updated 03 February 2016