Mid-February can be a nauseating time. If you're on the hunt for romantic things to do in London that don't state the obvious, then read on for our selection of nine original things to do this Valentine's Day. No fluffy teddies or love hearts in sight.
RECOMMENDED: read our full guide to Valentine's Day in London for more original ideas
Non-naff romantic things to do in London
DON'T buy cheap perfume
DO indulge your senses at London Transport Museum
Who knew a transport museum could be so sensual? For one night only guests will be able to experience the smell of our lovely city (no, that doesn’t mean piss-soaked bus seats) as the museum hosts ‘Scent and Spirit of London’. This one-off night will explore history through vintage perfumes and drinks, from the Belle Epoche up to the 1970s. Not to be sniffed at.
Fri Feb 12, £5. £17-£20. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
DON'T go for a cocktail
DO go on a gin odyssey
The upstairs salon of Mr Fogg’s Tavern houses London’s largest gin collection, and it’s here that you can sample and learn about six of the most interesting, concluding with two G&Ts made with your favourite Gs. The Gin Safari is for 10–12 people, so round up your most emotionally supportive pals and get sipping.
£40. 58 St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4EA
DON'T moon over one boy
DO go completely boy crazy
Why have one boy when you can have many? Head down to the Fashion Space Gallery and explore fashion’s fascination with the teenage boy. Mad About the Boy is an exhibition that features beautiful photography, installations and pieces from collections by the likes of Meadham Kirchoff, JW Anderson and Nasir Mazhar. Dreamy.
Until Apr 2. Free. 20 John Prince’s Street, W1G 0BJ
DON'T buy blooms from the petrol station
DO enrol in a flower arranging classFor one day only Petersham Nurseries will have too many man too many many man as they host a boys-only flower workshop. Boring roses are banned as attendees whip up hand-tied bouquets using only British seasonal flowers.
Sat Feb 13, Petersham Nurseries, Richmond, Surrey TW10 7AB
DON'T aimlessly wander a museum
DO discover the world of Ray and Charles Eames
Catch the final weekend of 'The World of Charles and Ray Eames' at the Barbican, which in addition to being about famously great design also tells the sweet love story of Charles and Ray with lots of handwritten notes between them, including a marriage proposal. #couplegoals
Until Sun Feb 14. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
DON'T feed the ducks
DO pat the cats
The park in February is going to be chilly, and more than likely a little drizzly. Head to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home instead for Valentine’s event Feline Lonely?, where visitors are invited to meet the home’s residents. Warning: you’ll be plied with champagne, so take it easy to avoid the risk of going all gooey and staggering home with a train of moggy companions in tow.
Fri Feb 12, £5. 4 Battersea Park Road, SW8 4AA
DON'T share a plate of spaghetti
DO share a plate of heart
Sharing spaghetti is old-hat and more to the point, incredibly messy. What are you, a cartoon dog? Instead, head down to Jidori (we gave it a five-star review last month) on Kingsland High Street and share some chicken heart skewers.
189 Kingsland High Street, E8 2PB
DON'T slow dance
DO go to the So Solid Valentine's Ball
Slow dancing has to be one of mankind’s most awkward activities, so save your blushes and instead boogie the night away with your party partner, as original garage posse So Solid Crew take over the Electric for the So Solid Valentine's Ball.
Sat Feb 13, from £5. Electric Brixton, Town Hall Parade, SW2 1RJ
DON'T drink champagne
DO put sake on ice
Selfridges’ swanky food hall is currently under Japanese occupation, and is all the better for it. Grab a bottle of their finest sake, serve chilled and feel smug that you managed to avoid one of the many February 14th clichés.
Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB