Valentine’s Day 2016: Guide to what’s on in London
It’s that time of year again! When anyone attached is expected to pull out all the stops to demonstrate their love. While, evidently the whole event can be quite commercialised, it can be a subtle reminder to spend a bit more quality time with your loved one. Fortunately, London’s attractions, bars and restaurants have got plenty of romantic events on to suit your budget. I highly recommend booking any of the events in advance as they are highly likely to sell-out in advance. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London over the Valentine’s Day weekend for both couples and singles.
For a guide to non-Valentine’s events in London in February, click here.
- Film & Fizz at One Aldwych (12, 13 and 14 February)
Enjoy a three-course dinner at Indigo, a glass of Champagne Lallier and watch Carol or Dr Zhivago in the hotel’s private screening room. Fri 12 & Sat 13 screenings @ 6.30pm and 9pm, Sun 14 @ 2pm. Tickets: Dinner, drinks & film: £55pp, Film & champagne only (9pm screening) £25pp. One Aldwych Hotel, WC2B 4BZ. Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Temple. For more information, visit the One Aldwych website.
- Valentine’s Weekend @ The London Eye (12 – 14 February)
Celebrate Valentine’s while enjoying one of the best views in London. Packages include the Valentine’s Champagne Experience (£37.50pp) for a glass of champagne and Hotel Chocolat luxury chocolates or I Only Have Eyes For You Cocktails (£45pp) with two romantic themed cocktails per person and savoury nibbles. If you really want to splash out, the Valentine’s Cupid Capsule (£380) is a whole capsule for just the two of you, including champagne, chocolates and roses. London Eye, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road, Southbank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: 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.
- Lost Hearts – Valentine’s Masked Ball (12 February)
A masked ball featuring four stages, three immersive realms and a huge cast of performers. Including The Turbans, Miguel Dare, London Digital Circus. Dress code: Surrealist, fairy tale, futurist, lace, Mardi Gras, Venice Carnival, tribal and animals. Masks optional. 9pm-4am. Tickets: £12 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 Late @ Kew Gardens (13 February)
Enjoy a Brazilian-themed evening at Kew Gardens’ Princess Of Wales Conservatory. Check out the Orchid Festival, before build-your-own cocktail, take a Latin dance class and listen to live music. 6-9.30pm. Tickets: £25 (£20 members). Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- Dirty Dancing Party @ Archer Street (13 February)
Soho bar Archer Street are hosting a Valentine Dirty Dancing party with cocktails and staff recreating songs and performance from the film and stage show. 2pm-1am. Archer Street, 3-4 Archer Street, Soho, W1D 7AP. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Archer Street website.
- Valentine’s Day – The Masked Ball (13 February)
The Bootleg Club are hosting a special Valentine’s edition of their secret parties. Guests are encouraged to wear eye masks until midnight, before taking them off to reveal their true identities. Dress code: Gentlemen – Black tie, white shirt and velvet smoking jacket, Ladies – black silks, lace and velvet. 8pm-1am. Tickets from £25. Stationer’s Hall, Ave Maria Lane, City of London, EC4M 7DD. Nearest station: St Pauls. For more information, visit the Bootleg Club’s Facebook page.
- Valentine’s Day Weekend @ View From The Shard (13 – 14 February)
The Shard is open until midnight so couples can watch the lights of London twinkling later that usual. The Champagne Experience with bubbly and gourmet popcorn is also on offer. 10am-12am. Tickets: £25.95 The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest station: 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.
- Macarons & Mews Tour (13 – 14 February)
The ‘Macarons & Mews’ tour explores the hidden corners of Belgravia and Knightsbridge while sampling some of the best macarons the area has to offer. The walk includes 5 tastings and there is time for additional purchases. Tours depart at 2pm from Hyde Park Corner station. £20pp. For more information, visit London Unravelled, or to book, visit Eventbrite.
- Valentine’s Day @ The Deck (14 February)
A pop-up restaurant comes to the exclusive rooftop venue above the National Theatre for one day only, which is not normally open to the public. Enjoy a four-course brunch cooked by executive sous chef at the National Theatre, Jason Wild, with bottomless Prosecco or Bloody Marys. Settings at 11am or 2pm. Tickets: £55pp. The Deck, National Theatre, Upper Ground, SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the National Theatre website.
- Valentine’s Gin Safari @ Mr Fogg’s Tavern (14 February)
Gin aficionados should get down to Mr Fogg’s Tavern, a Victorian-themed bar for a boozy afternoon. Featuring 90 minutes of expert tuition on gin, botanicals and tonics, tastings of six different gins and two superb gin and tonics to drink. From 3.01pm-5.01pm. Tickets: £40pp. Mr Fogg’s Tavern, 58 St Martins Lane, Covent Garden, WC2N 4EA. Nearest station: Covent Garden. For more information, visit Mr Fogg’s Tavern’s website.
- Kinema & Kocktails @ Cellar Door (14 February)
Head to one of the capital’s most unique bars – a converted Victorian men’s public toilet – for a romantic evening underground. Watch a screening of Breakfast At Tiffany’s in London’s most intimate cinema (just 25 seats available). The film will be preceded by a comedy short with live piano accompaniment. 5pm. Tickets start from £15. Cellar Door, Zero Aldwych, WC2E 7DN. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Temple. For booking, visit the Cellar Door website. For Metro Girl’s review of Cellar Door, click here.
- Shaggers: Valentine’s Special (14 February)
For those with a naughty sense of humour, head for some stand-up comedy on the subject of sex. 7pm. Tickets: £15. Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For booking, visit the Leicester Square Theatre website.
- Valentine’s Day Opera Gala (14 February)
Classical music fans will enjoy this two-hour extravaganza of Mozart, Puccini, Gershwin and more, featuring performances from soprano Ilona Domnich, tenor Mario Sofroniou, baritone Simon Wallfisch and pianist Simon Callaghan. 6.30-8.30pm. Tickets: £10, Under 25s free. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn, WC1R 4RL. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Conway Hall website.
- Valentine’s Day @ Keat’s House (14 February)
Explore the stunning house where poet John Keats fell in love with Fanny Brawne, who inspired his most romantic verses. Listen to live music and readings, make a Regency Valentine’s Card or visit the pop-up bar. 6-8pm. Tickets: £15 (includes complimentary glass of champagne). 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, NW3 2RR. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath or Hampstead. For more information, visit the City of London website.
- Valentine’s Day screenings @ Prince Charles Cinema (14 February)
Watch a screening of Breakfast At Tiffany’s, Sing-a-long Moulin Rouge! or Weekend. Tickets: £8.50-£16. 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.
- Twilight Tour @ Tower Of London (14 February)
Enjoy an after-hours, exclusive tour of the Tower Of London, featuring the Traitors’ Gate, the Bloody Tower and the Scaffold Site. 7-8.30pm. Tickets £27.50. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.
- A Valentine’s Evening With The Stars (14 February)
Late night opening at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, including a planetarium show, opportunity to look through the Victorian telescope and a glass of bubbly in the Meridian courtyard. Two hour slots at 5.25pm, 5.30pm, 6.45pm and 6.50pm. Tickets: £28. Royal Observatory Greenwich, Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ. Nearest station: Maze Hill, Greenwich or Cutty Sark (DLR). For more information and booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.
- The JazzBox (14 February)
An evening of fabulous music and a three-course meal in the stunning surrounding of an Edwardian music hall. 7-11pm. Tickets range from £43.39 to £317.69 for single, couple and group bookings. Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush Market. For booking, visit Eventbrite.
- Valentine’s Day Tipsy Tea (14 February)
An afternoon tea with a difference. Upon arrival, receive a rose and chocolate before being serenaded by the pianist. Guests can choose between pink Veuve Clicquot champagne, cocktails or Hendricks gin teas served with sandwiches, pastries or petit fours. Sittings at 12.44pm and 3.01pm. Normal afternoon tea: £38pp, Bottomless gin cocktail tea: £58, Bottomless champagne cocktail tea: £68. Mr Foggs Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station: Green Park. For more information, visit Mr Foggs website.
- Movie Classics @ Barbican (14 February)
The London Concert Orchestra will be performing some of the most romantic film scores of all time, including Out Of Africa, Titanic, Love Story, Dr Zhivago and more. 2.30pm. Tickets: £16.50-£42.50. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest station: Barbican or Moorgate. For booking, visit the Barbican website.
- All Day Loving @ The Little Yellow Door (14 February)
Enjoy brunch, afternoon tea or dinner at London’s favourite pop-up, which has now been extended due to popular demand. Choose from two course bottomless mimosa or Bloody Mary brunch (from 1pm, £30pp), Afternoon tea with a bottomless pot of alcohol-infused tea with scones and strawberries (from 4pm, £30pp) or dinner with a delicious menu served with a glass of bubbly or Valentine’s cocktail (from 6pm, £35pp). The Little Yellow Door, 68 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill, W11 3HT. Nearest station: Notting Hill Gate. For Metro Girl’s review of The Little Yellow Door, click here.
- Thames dinner cruises
– ThamesDinnerCruise.co.uk are offering various packages, with the Symphony Valentine’s Dinner Cruise (four-course meal, drinks and entertainment) costing £165pp and the Pride Of London Valentine’s Cruise (three-course meal, wine and DJ) costing £120pp. Both on Valentine’s Day. Alternatively, there is the Valentine’s Boat Party with music, drinks and dancing for £25pp on 13 February. Depart from Embankment Pier.
– Bateaux London includes food, drink and entertainment, with their Valentine’s Day and Night packages ranging from £145-£175pp. Depart from Embankment Pier.
– City Cruises are offering a Valentine’s evening cruise with three-course meal, champagne, wine and live band, ranging from £119-£129pp. Alternatively thrill-seekers may enjoy a Thamesjet ride from £169 per couple with dinner afterwards at restaurant ship Hispaniola. Departs from Westminster Pier.
– Valentine’s Disco Cruise (13 February)
Four hour cruise on The Suerita, featuring buffet, DJs playing club classics, pop, disco and old school music and a fully-licensed bar. Over 18s only. 7.45-11.45pm. Tickets: £27pp. Departs from Westminster Pier. For booking, visit Skiddle.com.
- Ice Skating
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, some of which are hosting special Valentine’s events.
– Valentine’s On Ice @ Queens Ice & Bowl (14 February)
Take to the ice whether you’re single or in a couple. Featuring ice skating, bowling, arcade, photobooth, licensed bar and DJs Guy D’Angelo & Tony Madden spinning old school classics and current hits. 6.30-11pm. Tickets: £20 (includes skate hire). Queens Ice & Bowl, 17 Queensway, Bayswater, W2 4QP. Nearest station: Queensway or Bayswater. For more information, visit the Queens Ice & Bowl website.
– Broadgate Ice (Now until 25 February 2016)
Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London. This year’s rink will be accompanied by a pop-up Alpine Bar, where you can warm up and enjoy a Choc-tail and cheese or chocolate fondue. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13, Children £9. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.
– Ice Rink Canary Wharf (Now until 27 February 2016)
Skate in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops. Non-skaters can watch the action from a heated viewing terrace. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £14.95, Children £9.95. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
Or Valentine’s events for everyone (single or attached)…
- After-School Club For Grown-Ups & Silent Disco @ Natural History Museum (12 February)
Revert back to your childhood for an evening of fun and frolics at this after-hours chance to explore the museum. Featuring a torch-lit trail, make-your-own-T-shirt, treasure hunt and a Silent Disco. After-School Club from 7-10pm, Silent Disco from 10pm-1am. Tickets: After-School Club £28, After-School & Silent Disco Combined £45. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Natural History Museum website.
- Valentine’s Lock and Key @ Kensington Roof Gardens (12 February)
A singles’ party at one of the most stunning venues in London kicks of Valentine’s weekend. Over 400 singles are expected to take part in the ‘lock and key’ ice-breaker game, before drinking, dancing and flirting until the early hours. Event from 7-10pm, with the club open until 3am. Tickets: £22 (includes lock and key, free cocktail on arrival and entry to nightclub). Kensington Roof Gardens, 99 Kensington High Street (entrance on Derry Street), Kensington, W8 5SA. Nearest tube: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit Date In A Dash website.
- Friday Late : Illuminate @ London Transport Museum (12 February)
Late night opening at the London Transport Museum, featuring a chance to visit the Nightshift exhibition. Activites include shadow life drawing classes, artist-led light printing workshop, bars and DJs. 6.45-10pm. Tickets: £12. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Charing Cross. For booking, visit the London Transport Museum.
- Love Potion Valentine’s Ball (12 and 13 February)
The Artful Badger are hosting another amorous adventure in The Vaults below Waterloo station for both singles and couples. As part of The Vault Festival, there will be music, performances, live music, games, costumes, kissograms, dancers and more across the tunnels. Fancy dress code: ‘Amorous Animals, Frisky Ferrets, Sinful Snake, Heart on your Sleeve, Murmuring Heart, Leda & the Swan, Seductive Squirrel, Puckering Parrot, Desperate Dodo, Pair of Parrots or anything you can dream of!’ From 10pm-3am. Tickets start from £16.75 (early bird) or £21.75 (advance). The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For more information, visit The Vault Festival website.
- Anti-Valentine’s Fiesta @ Barrio bars (13 February)
All three branches of Barrio bars will be turning their back on the slush and inviting those footloose and fancy-free to party the night away with plenty of Mezcal and tequila, delicious Mexican food and DJs until the early hours. Free entry at Barrio Central and North, £5 entry at Barrio East. Barrio Central, 6 Poland Street, Soho, W1F 8PS. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. Barrio North, 45 Essex Road, Islington, N1 2SF. Nearest station: Angel or Essex Road. Barrio East, 141-143 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6JE. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Barrio website.
- Valentine’s Special – Vintage Fashion Far (14 February)
If vintage is your thing, perhaps a different kind of Valentine’s activity to share with your loved one or friend. Featuring over 50 stalls selling unique vintage pieces, homemade cakes in the tearoom, live music and a pop-up nail bar. 11am-5pm. Entry: £4. Old Finsbury Town Hall, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4RP. Nearest station: Angel or Farringdon. For more information, visit the Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair website.