If you’re looking to try something different this Valentine’s Day, this roundup is for you.
When you think of Valentine’s Day, there are a few really obvious things that come to mind.
From red roses and fluffy teddy bears to chocolates and candlelight dinners, some view the big day as a walking cliche – but it doesn’t have to be.
Gone are the days of merely visiting lavish (and at times cheesy restaurants) or booking a night in a hotel. People are now getting more creative than ever and are taking their Valentine’s Day plans to the next level, with fresh ideas on what to do, where to stay and where to dine.
If you’re looking to celebrate the day with an unconventional flair, we’ve shared some recommendations that are sure to get you excited and counting down the days.
Drop the lights down low and enjoy a date night at the movies at Everyman Cinema.
Everyman Cinema’s Valentine’s Day package is allowing guests to watch any new film, including Jennifer Lopez’ new release, Marry Me, at one of its plush cinemas while also enjoying an evening of complimentary romantic extras, including a welcome cocktail and indulgent sweet treats.
DIY Art Market at Truman's Social Club
DIY Art Market returns to Truman’s Social Club Saturday 12 February for a special valentine’s edition, offering visitors the chance to engage with a diverse range of artists, designers, independent publishers, and purchase a broad selection of artwork at affordable prices.
Valentine's Day life drawing at Balans Soho
Valentine's Day cake decorating at Anthropologie
Guiding you through everything from piping to decorating, you’ll experiment with different coloured buttercreams, personalised writing, edible sprinkles and shapes such as flowers and shells.
BucketRace Valentine's Day couples scavenger hunt
If you and your significant other are particularly competitive, this scavenger hunt might be just for you.
Taking place 12 February, you and your partner will get the chance to compete against other couples in a scavenger hunt across London, as you complete tasks in the capital and have a chance of winning a three-course meal at the Paternoster Chop House.
From finding a taxi serving coffee in Shoreditch to locating the giant Dragon in Camden, this hunt is sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
The Fat Big Quiz of Love
Show off your general knowledge skills at The Fat Big Quiz of Love.
Inspired by The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, the quiz takes players through 10 rounds of gameplay with lots of interactive graphics, videos, special guests and more.
AARTLDN: Valentines Sip N' Paint
Valentine's Gastrotour at Borough market
If you and your partner are major foodies then you’ll love this gastrotour at the iconic Borough market.
Discover the delights of London’s oldest and most celebrated food market, while tasting a huge range of British and international produce and learning all the fascinating facts about the market’s history.
From exceptional charcuterie to fresh oysters and scallops accompanied by boozy beverages, this tour is the ultimate Borough Market experience.
Rivoli Ballroom Valentine’s Day pop-up cinema
This legendary location will be transformed into a pop-up cinema for cinephiles everywhere this Valentine’s Day. The ballroom will be showing classic films over four dates in the run-up to 14 February, including Breakfast At Tiffany’s, A Star Is Born, Pretty Woman and Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo And Juliet.
Valentine's at the Natural History Museum
Covent Garden Comedy Club
Up at the O2 climb
Take in the beautiful views of London while climbing the roof of the O2 arena. Suspended above the iconic tent canvas, you and your partner will make the 365m journey to the summit, 52m above ground level.
Harrods Tea Room
Head to Harrods tea room and enjoy an afternoon tea filled with luxury. From delicate finger sandwiches to perfect patisserie, this is a lovely way to spend a relaxing yet chic afternoon with your valentine.
Italian and pasta masterclass at Ann Smart School
Turn into a cooking connoisseur with this Italian and pasta masterclass. At this cookery class, you’ll learn everything about making fresh pasta, and cooking spinach, ricotta and pine nut cannelloni and gnocchi with sage butter and Parmigiano, lemon and garlic. What a delicious way to spend Valentine’s Day.
Stein's at Home – The Valentine's Day Menu
If you’d rather spend your Valentine’s Day at home, order yourself a luxury restaurant meal kit, like this one from Rick Stein. You’ll be able to indulge in monkfish, prawns, lobster and chocolate – the ultimate quartet for a three-course meal with your very favourite person.
Diogenes the Dog
A beautiful boutique wine bar, shop and café in Elephant and Castle, Diogenes the Dog focuses on showcasing undiscovered wines of the world with unparalleled service and hospitality at its core. Guests can sample the bar’s ever-changing wine list alongside a changing charcuterie and cheese menu, perfect for sharing and perfectly matched to the wines on offer.
Fancy a Valentine’s date night with a difference this year? Head to Electric Gamebox and enjoy an evening playing hyper-immersive games within a private gamebox.
Offering guests the perfect opportunity to do something fun together this Valentine’s, Electric Gamebox is an immersive experience like no other focusing on the idea of shared play to solve puzzles and complete tasks as a team. Players can choose from a selection of 10 unique games which come alive through projection mapping, motion tracking and surround sound, instantly transporting you to another dimension.
Ridgeway axe throwing
Ready. Set. Throw.
With axe throwing, you can learn together then join a team for a bit of competitive fun, whether that’s in the great outdoors or in a city venue. This axe throwing activity in Oxford allows participants to throw axes into recycled wooden logs, three metres away, in its indoor barn axe range. With an hour of practice time under your belt, you’ll be ready to compete head-to-head to see who’ll be crowned the true Viking king.
Pottery taster session
Blonde vs Orange: An Orchestral Rendition of Frank Ocean
For Frank Ocean fans, this orchestral rendition of his two classic albums at XOYO is a must-attend.
Enjoy a 16-piece orchestra, including a full string section with brass, percussion and vocalists’ session for an intimate, unforgettable experience.
A Valentine's natural wine tasting with The Modest Merchant
Get you and your partner into the mood with an exclusive tasting session led by Jack Overbury of The Modest Merchant, a small, London-based importer specialising in low intervention and sustainable wines.
On the night, Overbury will open six wines from his portfolio of natural wines for you to taste and will guide you through provenance, tasting notes and anecdotes.
Images: Getty; Rick Stein; Daniel Ogulewicz; Electric Gamebox