It makes the world go round…
Yes it’s that time of year again – hearts, flowers, chocolates… aka Valentine’s Day. While big gestures are encouraged, sometimes it’s just a bit too hard to find the energy to dream up an original celebration. For those wanting to mark the day of love with something a bit different from their usual favourite Indian restaurant down the road, here’s a guide to just some of the special events on in London this Valentine’s Day. I would strongly advise booking most of these in advance as they are unlikely to have availability on the night. However, if you’re single or not a fan of Valentine’s, I’ve also compiled a list of some Anti-Valentine’s events at the bottom of the post. Most events listed are on 14 February, unless otherwise specified.
- Late London : Bohemian City (13 February)
Late night opening at the Museum Of London in honour of Sherlock Holmes (exhibition currently on a museum until April), featuring Trans-Siberian marching band performances, Desire Lines installation, learn about Absinthe Chalkboard Philosophy workshop, a bar and life drawing. 7-10pm. Tickets: £12 (event only), £18 (event plus exhibition). Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest tube: Barbican or St Paul’s. For more information and booking, visit the Museum Of London website.
- Valentine’s Week @ Vinopolis (14 and 15 February)
Celebrate Valentine’s with your loved one and wine at Vinopolis. The Valentine’s Day package for two includes Framboise Fizz sparking wine cocktail each, 2 x Essential Wine Tasting tickets, cheese and charcuterie sharing plate and a bottle of Prosecco. Tickets: £70 for two people. Vinopolis, 1 Bank End, SE1 9BU. Nearest tube/overland: London Bridge. For information and booking, visit the Vinopolis website.
- Film & Fizz at One Aldwych – Pretty Woman (13 and 14 February)
Enjoy a three-course dinner in Axis, a glass of Champagne Lallier and watch Pretty Woman in the hotel’s private screening room. £49.50 per person. One Aldwych Hotel, WC2B 4BZ. Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Temple. For more information, visit the One Aldwych website.
- Valentine’s Day at The Deck (14 February)
A pop-up restaurant comes to the exclusive rooftop venue above the National Theatre for one night only, which is not normally open to the public. Enjoy a four-course meal and welcome drink on arrival while looking at the sights of the Thames. Tickets: £75pp. The Deck, National Theatre, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit The Deck website.
- Nomad Cinema comes to Hyde Park (13 and 14 February)
Pop-up cinema company The Nomad Cinema screens films over Valentine’s weekend in Hyde Park. Movies include Harold And Maude, The Graduate, The Notebook and Drive. Tickets £25 (includes glass of fizz and hot meal courtesy of Madame Gautier). There will also be outdoor fire pits to toast marshmallows on. The Lookout, Hyde Park, W2 2UH. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch. For more information and tickets, visit the Nomad cinema website.
- Candlelight Club’s St Valentine’s Day Ball (14 February)
Prohibition-themed club night The Candlelight Club featuring cabaret host Champagne Charlie, burlesque by Vicky Butterfly, dance routines from the Gatsby Girls, live jazz from Benoit and his Orchestra and fortune tellers. Tickets: £30pp. In a secret location to be revealed 24 hours beforehand. For more information and tickets, visit the Candlelight Club website. For Metro Girl’s review of the Candelight Light Club, click here.
- London’s Highest Cinema Screening @ View From The Shard (10 February)
Head up The Shard for stunning views of London and a movie treat
Watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet 100s feet up on the 69th floor of The Shard. £40 ticket includes entry to View From The Shard, the film screening and a glass of champagne on arrival. 8.15pm until late. The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest tube/train: London Bridge. For more information, visit the View From The Shard website. For Metro Girl’s review of a late night event at The Shard, click here.
- Mrs Peel’s From Venus With Love (14 February)
Pop-up sixties cabaret discotheque Mrs Peel’s hosts a penthouse party for Valentine’s Day. Featuring compere Count Indigo, live music from Rory More Duo, DJs Narinder and Thomas Dynamic, Go Go dancers, face-painting and live art happenings. Tickets: £15 in advance, £20 on the door. 8pm–2am. The Eight Club, 1 Dysart Street, EC2A 2BX. Nearest station: Old Street, Liverpool Street, Moorgate and Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Mrs Peels Club website.
- A Cinderella’s Valentine @ Medieval Banquet (nightly)
Celebrate Valentine Medieval style, featuring food, drink, champagne and entertainment from aerialists, jugglers, contortionists and singers. Tickets £65pp. Ivory House, St Katherine Docks, E1W 1BP. Nearest tube: Tower Hill. For more information and booking, visit the Medieval Banquet website.
- Seduction With Sugar @ Basement Sate (14 February)
Special Valentine’s degustation menu at Soho’s new cocktails and dessert bar. For £38 for two people, you will get 3 mini desserts and 3 mini cocktails to share. Open 5pm-1.30am. Basement Sate, 8 Broadwick Street, Soho, W1F 8HN. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Basement Sate website.
- The Dark Side Of Love – Valentine’s Masked Ball (13 February)
A masked ball featuring over 200 performers on nine stages. Including Poseidon’s Picture Palace for hot tub movies, the Lovers’ Vaults dungeon, a menagerie in Butterfly’s Pagoda, onion chopping and wallowing at the Onion Cellar and an all-star line up on the Cabaret Stage. 10pm-4am. Tickets: £20 early bird. Coronet Theatre, 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For more information and tickets, visit A Curious Invitation website.
- Valentine’s Weekend – London Eye (13-15 February)
Choose from different packages to celebrate Valentine’s while enjoying one of the best views in London. Starting from the Valentine’s Champagne Experience (£32.40pp) for a ride on the Eye, a glass of champagne and Hotel Chocolat luxury chocolates or Valentine’s Cupid Capsule (£375) if you want a whole capsule for just the two of you, including champagne and chocolates. London Eye, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and tickets, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.
- Valentine’s Day Tipsy Tea (14 February)
Mayfair bar Mr Fogg’s are hosting their own twist on the afternoon tea for Valentine’s Day. Guests can choose between choose between pink Ruinart Rosé champagne cocktails, or selection of Tanqueray TEN alcoholic gin teas (served in tea pots), accompanied by heart-shaped sandwiches, cakes, pastries and petit-fours. 3-6pm. Normal afternoon tea: £35pp, bottomless gin cocktail tea:£60 or bottomless champagne cocktail tea: £70. Mr Fogg’s, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest tube: Green Park. For more information, visit the Mr Foggs website.
- Night Safari: Love in the Natural World (16 February)
Valentines-themed evening at the Natural History Museum, featuring the option of the ‘Romance’ or ‘Passion’ tour. Listen to the museum’s scientists and get a closer look of some of the behind-the-scenes specimens. Tickets include a complimentary drink in the Hintze Hall. 7-10pm. Tickets: Non-members £40, Members £36. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Natural History Museum.
- You And Me Cocktail (throughout February)
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic cocktail for those with a sweet tooth. Jelly Belly have teamed up with Grace Bar to create a limited-edition romantic cocktail including citron vodka, apple juice, grenadine, passion fruit syrup, lime and mint, which replicate the taste of pomegranate Jelly Bellies. On sale throughout February. Grace Bar, 42-44 Great Windmill Street, Soho, W1D 7NB. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Grace Bar website.
- Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival (10-15 February)
Five day festival at Ealing Studios featuring musical performances, film screenings, tours of the studios, talks and exhibitions. This year’s theme is Polish heritage. Ticket prices vary. Events take place at various venues, including Ealing Studios, University Of West London, Ealing Town Hall and Ealing Abbey. Nearest tube: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For more information, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.
- Dinner cruise on the Thames
– ThamesDinnerCruise.co.uk are offering various Valentine’s Day packages, with the Symphony and Harmony Valentine’s Dinner Cruise costing £140pp. Includes four course meal, welcome glass of champagne, live music, selected wine and beer served during the cruise and a single red rose.
– Bateaux London includes food, drink and entertainment, with their Valentine’s Day and Night packages ranging from £125-£150pp.
– City Cruises are offering a Valentine’s evening cruise with three-course meal, champagne, wine and live band, ranging from £115-£125pp. Alternatively thrill-seekers may enjoy a daytime Thamesjet ride from £35-£49pp.
- Ice Skating
Break the ice on a rink (and hopefully no bones!)
For an extra bit of romance, head to one of the two open air ice rinks still open. Or visit one of the permanent all year rinks.
– Ice Rink Canary Wharf – Open until 28 February. 9.45am/10.45am ending at 11pm most nights. Adults £14.50, Children £9. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
– Broadgate Ice – Open until 26 February. Open 10am-10pm. Adults £12.50, Children £8.50. Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.
– Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest train: Alexandra Palace.
– Lea Valley Ice Centre, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, E10 7QL. Nearest train: Clapton.
– Queens Ice And Bowl, 17 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 4QP. Nearest tube: Queensway or Bayswater.
– Streatham Ice And Leisure Centre, 390 Streatham High Road, Streatham, SW16 6HX. Nearest train: Streatham.
Or for singles…
- Red Single Valentine (14 February)
Party planner extraordinaires The Mansion are hosting a special Valentine’s Day party for singles. Featuring DJs, house music, live performances, art and more. Dress code: Red. 9pm-3am. Tickets: £20-25. At a secret Holborn venue to be revealed 48 hours before. For tickets and more information, visit The Mansion website.
- Love & Lightning Valentines Ball (13 and 14 February)
Valentine’s Ball for both singles and couples as part of the Vault Festival. Featuring Love Nor Money and The Penny Black Remedy on Friday 13th and Chainska Brassika and The Dirty Valentine on Saturday 14th. 10pm-3am. Tickets – Early bird: £16.50, Standard £21.50. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest tube: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Vault Festival website. To find out what else is on during the Vault Festival, click here.
- Anti-Valentine’s Party @ Prince Charles Cinema (14 February)
For singles or couples who aren’t a fan of the schmaltzy stuff, head to the Prince Charles Cinema for a screening of 1981 horror film My Bloody Valentine. 9pm. Tickets: £11/£13.50. Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, Chinatown, WC2H 7BY. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information and booking, visit the Prince Charles Cinema website.
- Valentines Traffic Light Party Cruise (14 February)
Thames Dinner Cruises are hosting a four-hour cruise with traffic light party theme. Tickets include glass of fizz on arrival, playing card badge (find your match and get a free drink), DJ entertainment and VIP guest list at Opal nightclub on Embankment. Guests are invited to wear green if you’re single or red if you’re nearly wed. 7-11pm. Tickets £35 per person. For more information and booking, visit the Thames Dinner Cruises website.
- Anti-Valentine’s Party – Bounce (14 February)
Ping pong bar and restaurant Bounce are hosting an anti-Valentine’s party, featuring DJs, games and tournaments. 9pm until late. Tickets: £5. Bounce, 121 Holborn, EC1N 2TD. Nearest tube: Chanchery Lane. For more information and booking, visit the Bounce website. For Metro Girl’s review of Bounce, click here.
- Carnival Extravaganza Masked Ball – Guanabara (14 February)
As part of their week long Carnival celebration, Brazilian bar and restaurant Guanabara are hosting a masked ball on Valentine’s Day. Headlined by the Notting Hill Carnival parade 2014 winners Paraiso School of Samba, alongside DJ D-Vyzor, Basil on Percussion, Guanabara Samba Crew, Capoeira Brazil, and DJ Limao. Open 5pm-2.30am. Early bird pre-7pm tickets £10, post 7pm £12. Guanabara, Parker Street, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PW. Nearest tube: Holborn or Covent Garden. For more information and daily listings, visit the Guanabara website.
For a guide to what else is on in London this month, click here.
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