Valentine’s Day parties in London

Impress your date, or even find a mate, with your mind-blowing moves this February 14

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Find love on the dancefloor this February

The Candlelight Club: 1920s Valentine’s Day Ball

  • Critics choice

The dazzling, 1920s-styled clandestine pop-up party fuelled by jazz, dancing and cocktails returns for a Valentine's extravaganza. It's a lavish, luxurious affair (sponsored by Moët & Chandon champagne, natch), taking place in a secret Art Deco space behind a public library – 'a masterstroke in prohibition-era venue diversion and camouflage', as the organisers put it. The location is kept secret and only revealed to ticket-holders the day before the event.Benoit Viellefon and His Orchestra (who played at Wills and Kate's wedding, natch) will provide swing jazz and ragtime rhythms for lovers to dance to, amid a palm tree-lined ballroom lit by hundreds of candles – great for romance – just don't burn your tux/dress, as fire extinguishers aren't sexy unless they're used in a slow-mo montage. There'll also be burlesque performance from Vicky Butterfly, dance from the Gatsby Girls and Auntie Maureen DJing vintage tunes. For those that want to make a meal of it, there's a three-course dinner option available, cooked by a team of Michelin-starred chefs. A whole lot of sultry and sexy party vibes happening right here.

The Dark Side of Love: Valentine's Masked Ball

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Anyone wanting to get soppy with their beloved on Valentine's Day: best avoid this party. It celebrates the darker side of love and the freakier elements of Valentine's Day. As the organisers put it: 'the origins of this holiday of cupids and confectionary are, in fact, shrouded by a dark, macabre history of sacrifice and flagellation.' So if you want a twisted February 14, head to this masked ball and revel in the debauchery. There'll also be DJs soundtracking the freaky fun. Just to clarify: it's not an orgy, okay?

  1. The Coronet New Kent Road, Elephant And Castle, SE1 6TJ
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sat Feb 14
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Valentine’s Saturday Sessions at Ministry of Sound

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No-one does love and romance quite like the French, so put yourself in the capable hands of Gallic DJ duo Cassius on Valentine's Day. There'll be some smooth operation behind the decks, but don't expect things to get musically mushy – these guys are known for packing their sets with beautifully banging house and electro thumpers. But also listen out for their tender club hit 'I Love You So', which should provoke a few starry-eyed gazes on the dancefloor. Further essential sounds will be spun by Belgian disco-house dude Aeroplane, who headlines the 103.

  1. Ministry of Sound 103 Gaunt St, SE1 6DP
  2. Until Sun May 31
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Down With Dating

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Hate dating? Want to avoid any hint of it this Valentine's Day? This one's for you. Disgruntled singletons will be provided with a fake name on arrival and can then get to know other miserable singles during 'Speed Hating', by slagging off all the things they dislike – Jeremy Kyle, top-knots, cereal cafes, righteous reporters slagging off cereal cafes... Whatever gets your goat. You can also play 'Blind Hate' (find a potential partner through questions like 'If I turned into a zombie which household implement would you use to finish me off?') and various other fun games that royally flip Valentine's Day the bird. The event takes place over two nights, featuring a 'Gay Down With Dating' on the second evening.

  1. The Phoenix Cavendish Square, W1G 0PP
  2. Wed Feb 11 - Thu Feb 12
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Singles Lock And Key Party Adventure

This Valentine's party offers a rather bizarre approach to finding love. All men at the party are given a key which fits a single padlock. All women are given a padlock. Attendees then have to hunt down their keyed-up/padlocked partner, until they find each other and key-in-lock-action (ahem) can ensue, and hopefully a bit of actual chemistry too.We're just going to say it: you could definitely interpret this event as being pretty creepy and not the most open-minded of Valentine's parties. But hey, if it sounds like something for you, then fair enough. It's sometimes when you're least locking for love that it suddenly appears and makes lots of crap innuendos about waggling keys in locks. And they say romance is dead. There's a club night after the lock and key event, for which you'll need a separate ticket, priced at £30.

  1. Libertine Club Winsley Street, W1W 8HF
  2. Fri Feb 13
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Free Valentine's Special

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  • Free

Beats badboys The Doctor's Order host a free Valentine's party. The crew promise that they'll be 'spinning love songs of all genres', with Mr Thing, Spin Doctor, Chris P Cuts, Mo Fingaz and Russ Ryan working through hip hop, R&B, soul, reggae, disco and more. Who thought love could sound so damn funky?

  1. Basement 76 Gloucester Place, W1U 6HJ
  2. Fri Feb 13
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Anything But Grey!

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Burlesque and fetish combine at this seriously kinky Valentine's party which also takes a gentle swipe at '50 Shades of Grey'. Taking place in the beautiful Bloomsbury Ballroom, there'll be burlesque pefrormance, a 'Very Alternative Fashion Show' (use your filthy imagination), a magic show and an electro-swing band – but don't let that last part put you off. There's also a 'real room of pain (and pleasure)', which you can probably take an educated guess about. It's already proving popular with those going to see '50 Shades...' on its release date – the same day this party takes place – but don't worry about rocking up late if you're going to see the film: you can wander into the party late if you bring your the ticket stub. Here's a word from the organisers about the dress code: 'evening dress, glamorous and fabulous attire, corset, ballerina, amazing latex costumes, smart black leather', but remember, no grey!

  1. Bloomsbury Ballroom 37-63 Southampton Row, WC1B 4DA
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sat Feb 14
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Hackney Bingo Club: Valentine’s Edition

Forget taking the love of your life to a fancy, overpriced restaurant for Valentine's Day: this is 2015, it's all about having as much fun as possible, right? So take them to a raucous game of bingo instead and watch their face light up. If that fails to grab them, keep shouting 'HOUSE' whether you've covered the squares on your bingo card or not. That should impress them. If not, the relationship's doomed anyway, so kick back and enjoy this fun night out, hosted by Anne Sophie Cochevelou and Simon Dodi. HOUSE!

  1. Number 90 Wallis Road, E9 5LN
  2. Wed Feb 11
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Torture Garden Valentine's Ball

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The massive fetish event returns for Valentine's weekend with another gargantuan affair. It'll be hugely popular with exhibitionists, goths, industrial punks, burlesque beauties and fetishists of all kind. There'll be various areas full of titillating fun, including dancefloors, aerial performances, cabaret, erotic installations, pole dancing, body art, medical equipment and, of course, their infamous couples' playrooms. Dress in your finest latex, fantasy, drag, burlesque, medical, uniform, etc, and prepare to explore. DC: No street clothes.

  1. The Coronet New Kent Road, Elephant And Castle, SE1 6TJ
  2. Sat Feb 14
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Shot Through The Heart – Valentine's Extravaganza

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This tongue-in-cheek Valentine's party at a Dalston boozer features a variety of games and larks to help February 14th go down a little more easily, as it were. 'Cupid's Free Postal Service' allows you to send notes to someone in the pub who's caught your beady eye, along with arrows and boozy shots to break down those awkward social barriers. 'Cupid Ain't Got Nothin' On Me' is a 'bow and arrow game', which basically means it's something to do with archery and offers the chance to win yet more shots. 'Tweet My Love Beat' allows punters to tweet in their favourite sexy songs and dedicate it to another table in the pub. All very silly and all very fun.

  1. The Three Compasses 99 Dalston Lane, E8 1NH
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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Don’t: Valentine’s with Tim Exile

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A dozen red roses, carefully selected French wine and soft, sweet mood music: these are just three of the things you definitely won't find at the Valentine's edition of full-throttle club night Don't. Ace techno mangler Time Exile (who's racked up releases on Warp Records and Planet Mu) plays a special, one-off improvised live show that will likely cause a few brains to melt and ears to explode. Also on this bill of top techno-heads and acid house experimentalists are Tobias Schmidt, Jerome Hill, Noyeahno and Uberdog. Forget the soppiness this Valentine's Day and get raving!

  1. Bar 512 Kingsland Road, E8 4AE
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sat Feb 14
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Shorebitch X Valentine's Day

Party monsters from the ever-up-fer-it Shorebitch crew spin upfront house bangers, R&B jams, hip hop, garage, grime and possibly even a few Valentine's-ish tracks.

  1. Electric Brixton Town Hall Parade, Brixton Hill, SW2 1RJ
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sat Feb 14
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Anti-Valentine's Day Party

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No couples, no PDAs, no pet names, no sharing dessert and defiantly no winking. This year ping-pong and cocktail bar Bounce is taking no chances at its anti-Valentine's clampdown. Tournaments will include Single and Proud (round the table madness), Cupid’s Day Off (mismatched guests will be chosen for doubles action) and UV ping pong in the venue's Keith Haring-inspired room. There will be strictly no awkward slow dances and very little light in the venue, meaning you won't be able to gaze lovingly into anyone's eyes – but no canoodling in the dark, y'hear? Alternatively, order an extra garlicky pizza to keep romance at bay.

  1. Bounce 121 Holborn, EC1N 2TD
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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The Nest Valentine’s Party with Greg Wilson

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Looking for a deliciously funky soundtrack to accompany your smooching/search for smooching this Valentine's Day? There's surely no-one better placed to provide it than electro-funk champion Greg Wilson, a DJ whose career stretches from the early '80s through a residency at Manchester's Haçienda and a crateload of red hot disco re-edits. Guaranteed to get you in the mood for love – after a spot of dancing first, of course.

  1. The Nest Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 7XJ
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sat Feb 14
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The Artful Badger Presents Love and Lightning

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Artful Badger, the bird-loving feral collective born and raised at the Secret Garden Party, get loved-up for Valentine's Day once again, returning to The Vaults venue beneath Waterloo Station. As ever, it's a fantastically freaky affair. Held over two nights, we're promised rooms of love and lust (oo-er), dancefloor-filling music spun by DJs, art installations, live bands, dating games, a market, performance, dancers and one hell of a party atmosphere. As you'd expect from the Badgers, outrageous fancy dress is very much encouraged, again themed around amorous animals. A lusty llama, perhaps? Sleazy seagull? Horny halibut? We could go on, but instead we'll just leave you to enjoy the most eccentric Valentine's Day celebration in London.

  1. The Vaults 10 Leake St, SE1 7NN
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sun Feb 15
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Single's Only Valentine's Party

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Once again this year, singletons looking for love, romance or even something in-between – can join this party hosted by 'dating and relationship experts' PassionSmiths. A cocktail is provided on arrival and there will be (optional) dating games, including the kinky-sounding 'Lock and Key' and 'Power Dating'. Or you can impress your potential soulmate by showing off your moves on the dancefloor.

  1. Library 1 Lanesborough Place, Hyde Park Corner, SW1X 7TA
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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Basement Funk Valentine's Special

What's the Valentine's connection with this party? Well, there'll be plenty of smooth sounds flowing – smooth drum 'n' bass, that is. If you like your D&B and jungle with a generous dash of funk and soul, this one's for you. Bryan Gee, Con Natural and other guests take on DJ duties.

  1. Plan B Brixton Road, Brixton, SW9 7AY
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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Kinky Malinki Valentine’s Party

The annual Valentine's bash is always a big date for slick party people Kinky Malinki. As well as the usual sultry house music, Ibiza sounds, jackin' beats and Balearic house vibes, there's the option to book a package including a romantic dinner, drinks and the all-important party in the basement of Shoreditch club McQueen afterwards. Or you can skip dinner and just join the glammed-up crowd for the party.

  1. McQueen Tabernacle Street, EC2A 4AA
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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Pure Old Skool Valentine’s Party

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What could be more romantic this Valentine's Day than... Banging old-school dance music?! If classic house, rave, jungle and D&B get you in the mood for love, step right up to this popular party and dance the night away to The Wideboys, Matt 'Jam' Lamont, Rat Pack Nicky Blackmarket and many more scene veterans and lovers of a big, bassy hook. All those euphoric anthems will surely get you loved-up this Valentine's Day.

  1. The Forum 9-17 Highgate Rd, NW5 1JY
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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Red Single Valentine

This Valentine's Day party makes a clear call out to: 'the crème de la crème of London’s singles who are ready to mingle'. If that sounds like you, step right up to this debonair night hosted by The Mansion London, taking place at what the organisers are calling 'a secret and sexy underground location'. Apparently, there will likely be 'lots of dark corners to hide in', though we can't imagine what would go on in such corners at a Valentine's event targeted at single people. There will also be plenty of entertainment, including a belly dancer, face painter and two house DJs spinning commercial house and electro, accompanied by a live sax player and – oh my – a resident bongo player. If the sound of constant live bongos over house music all sounds a bit much, you can always find a dark corner to hide in. But don't hide for too long or you'll miss the art exhibition from the Argentum Gallery. The dress code is, of course, all things red and there's a prize for the best costume.

  1. A secret London location
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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Supernova Valentine’s: La Vie En Rose

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Huge, Italo-flavoured party Supernova swoops in for a Valentine's special at Egg, the north London club that never sleeps. Providing your sultry Valentine's soundtrack (and no doubt throwing more than a few bangers into the mix as well) are a host of house and tech-house royalty, including Lee Curtiss, Recloose, Mountain People, Greg Brockmann and many more. Might you lock eyes on the dancefloor with your future soulmate? There's only one way to find out, and even if you don't you're guaranteed a brilliant party along the way.

  1. Egg London 200 York Way, N7 9AX
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sun Feb 15
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