Valentine's Day 2024 In London: Events For Dates, Mates And Flying Solo

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Valentine's Day 2024 In London: Events For Dates, Mates And Flying Solo
A pair of hands holding up paper hearts against the sky, with the Houses of Parliament in the background
Plenty to do in London around Valentine's Day, whether you're in a relationship, single... or it's complicated. Image: iStock/RyanKing999

Looking for something different to do in London this Valentine's Day? Here's our pick of love-themed events in London on and around 14 February 2024 — and best of all, you don't need a partner to get involved. Take a date, a mate, or simply go by yourself.

CANDLELIGHT CLUB VALENTINE'S BALL: Legendary 1920s-themed speakeasy pop-up The Candlelight Club hosts a Valentine's Ball, with live jazz, cabaret and cocktails in a secret candlelit location. Book yourself in for a three-course meal, or just reserve a drinks table. 1920s attire is encouraged, with a sketch artist on hand to capture you and your friends/date in your finery. 10 February

POP UP PAINTING: Holborn's London Art Bar hosts Valentine's themed versions of its regular Pop Up Painting sessions. Head there on 10 or 14 February to create your own version of Gustav Klimt's The Kiss. All art supplies and a glass of prosecco (or alcohol-free alternative) are included, and a professional artist is on hand to offer tips and advice. Alternatively, there are Galentine's events on 11 and 15 February, where George Barbier's Lake Como Winter is the painting of choice.

ROMEO & JULIET: In what is fast becoming a Valentine's staple in London, Backyard Cinema's incarnation of Romeo & Juliet is back at Union Chapel in Islington. Watch Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film version of Shakespeare's play inside the beautiful building, lit by candles, and accompanied by live choir performances of the soundtrack. The show sells out every time it comes to London, so be quick if you want tickets. 10-18 February

LAST TUESDAY SOCIETY: In its own inimitable way, the Last Tuesday Society marks Valentine's with a programme of events themed around love. Professional storyteller Giles Abbott shares tales from Britain, Scandinavia, Egypt and Morocco on the theme of undying love (11 Feb), while psychic medium Patti Negri hosts a Valentine's love seance (11 Feb). Alternatively, head to the Absinthe Parlour for a tasting of three botanical absinthes from the Devil's Botany range, each paired with a selection of aphrodisiac foods (12 Feb).

FAMILY CHOCOLATE WORKSHOP: Kids can get in on the Valentine's fun at Chelsea Physic Garden, which runs family-friendly Valentine's chocolate workshops. Learn about how cocoa is grown and chocolate is made, before creating your own choccy goodies to take home. 12 and 14 February. The same venue offers a Valentine's card workshop on 13 February.

This is a sponsored inclusion on behalf of the Natural History Museum.

Explore love in the animal kingdom after-hours at the Natural History Museum

A harpist, a well-stocked bar, a chance to gaze into the eyes of your beloved alien-like sea creatures preserved in spirit — the Natural History Museum's Valentine's Day celebrations have something to please romantics and cynics alike! Rally a group of mates, whisk away your date, or just bring yourself to South Kensington for an after-hours event exploring love in the animal kingdom.

Here, you’ll discover the weird and wonderful ways in which different species go about finding a mate. You'll also get a glimpse into rarely-seen animal behaviours at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, (admission is included in your ticket). If you're feeling especially adventurous, you can additionally book a behind-the-scenes tour of the Natural History Museum's famous Spirit Collection, home to millions of preserved specimens, some of which were collected by Charles Darwin himself!

On top of all that, there are beginner dance classes led by Pineapple Studios and Valentine's collage making with Glitter Goose — handy if you're keen to improve your own wooing skills. You can even take advantage of a poet-for-hire, or just relax with a glass of wine and enjoy live harp music and performances by London-based LGBT+ choir Pink Singers. Finally, at the end of the night, you'll get a free souvenir to take home with you in the form of a digital photo, courtesy of Magic Memories.

Valentine's at the Museum runs 6.45pm-10.30pm on Wednesday 14 February. Tickets cost £35, or £52 if you’d like to tour the Spirit Collection. Get yours here.

ROMEO & JULIET: Barbican Cinema hosts an NT Encore screening of the National Theatre's 2021 production of Romeo & Juliet, starring Jessie Buckley and Josh O'Connor as the star-crossed lovers. The performance, recorded at the National Theatre, also has Tamsin Greig, Fisayo Akinade, Adrian Lester, Lucian Msamati and Deborah Findlay among its cast. 13 February

SEX AND THE INTERNET: Ahead of Valentine's Day, Gresham College offers a free lecture about how the internet has changed our approach to dating and sex. IT expert professor Victoria Baines discusses concerns that internet-mediated sex — including porn and online dating — is having a negative impact on humans, and looks at what the future could hold. FREE, 13 February

LOVE HURTS: February's show by the London Moth StorySLAM has a Love Hurts theme, with anyone welcome to get up on stage and tell a five-minute story linked to the theme. As always, organisers of the storytelling open mic night state that all stories told must be true. Not a storyteller yourself? That's fine — just kick back and watch others spin a yarn. 14 February

BITTER - VALENTINE'S SPECIAL: Comedian Luisa Omielan performs a Valentine's special of her current touring show Bitter, at the Clapham Grand. The evening begins with a prosecco reception, followed by the performance — then dancing! 14 February

Image: Jamie Street via Unsplash

MY TWISTED VALENTINE: Catch a screening of short films with themes of sensuality, desire, obsession, and revenge. Made in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the USA, the films depict romantic interactions through the lens of all things tender... and all things toxic. 14 February

MARGINALISED LOVES: Author Luke Turner and historian Dr Sian Edwards spend Valentine's evening delving into the history of marginalised loves, specifically members of the LGBTQ+ community in the 20th century. Takes place at Conway Hall in Holborn. 14 February

PRETTY DECENT BEER: Up in Walthamstow, the Pretty Decent Beer Co hosts a Valentine's Day Bingo sesh, promising an incredibly (un)romantic evening of games, plus pizzas slung by It's Not Big Dough, and 20 beer taps pouring. 14 February

DATING COMEDY: Have your questions about dating answered in a relationships-themed comedy show at Backyard Comedy Club in Bethnal Green. Email your questions in ahead of the night, and the best ones will be picked and answered by special stand-up comedy guests live on stage. Age 18+. 14 and 15 February

Valentine's date ideas in London

If you are doing the big date thing this Valentine's Day, here's a handy starter kit to romance in London:

Last Updated 15 February 2024

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