Valentine's Day events in London

Valentine's Day isn't all about dinner and a movie – plan something a little bit different for February 14



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Overbooked cinemas and overpriced restaurants are so 2014. This Valentine's Day (Saturday February 14 2015) think outside the box and head to one of the capital's many alternative VD events. There's a lot going on in London on the year's most loved-up day...


  • Free

A pathology museum seems just the place for an anti-Valentine's show, and artist Robin Lee will be really making the most of the creepiness of venue with this multimedia exhibition of photographs of augmented hearts which are accompanied by imagined monologues form their scarred owners (written by author Russ Litten and recorded by actors).

  1. Barts Pathology Museum Third Floor, Robin Brook Centre, West Smithfield, EC1A 7BE
  2. Wed Feb 4 - Thu Feb 26
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Valentine's Calligraphy Workshop

What better way to say those three little words than with a gift made by your own fair hands? Stationery brand and design studio, Betty Etiquette host this love themed workshop where you'll be able to create a valentine's card and print for your one true love. Try your hand at some contemporary calligraphy techniques using a dip ink pen and simple letter formation, before designing your piece inspired by star-crossed lovers and romantic text.

  1. Liberty Regent Street, W1B 5AH
  2. Sat Feb 7
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Valentine's Flower Shop

Columbia Creative brings beautiful blooms to Boxpark, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Opt for a ready-made bouquet, a custom combination, or the unique pick and mix flower bottles – pick up a set of four bottled floral arrangements in a wooden carry case for £20. On Sunday 15th February, the pop-up will host a wreath-making workshop from 11am to 12pm.

  1. Boxpark Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6GY
  2. Wed Feb 11 - Sun Feb 15
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Down With Dating

  • Critics choice

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.

  1. The Phoenix Cavendish Square, W1G 0PP
  2. Wed Feb 11 - Thu Feb 12
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Love/Hate Valentine's Late

It may a traditionally romantic day of the year, but the Museum of Brands will be opening late to celebrate the tragedy and comedy of Valentine's Day with this event for over-18s. Guests will receive a free drink on arrival and their evening will be packed with live entertainment, a Time Tunnel challenge, themed cocktails and even dancing.

  1. Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising 2 Colville Mews, Lonsdale Rd, W11 2AR
  2. Fri Feb 13
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Valentine's Cook and Cruise

If you're more hungry than you are romantic this cookery class and three-course menu on board a kitchen barge is sure to float your Valentine's boat. Chef and food writer Manju Malhi will teach guests to make a Garam Masala spice blend from scratch before they tuck into a three-course feast of onion pakoras, Shahi Murgh and Indian sweets. Couples will receive a glass of bubbly each to sip while they cruise, and a cash bar will stay open all night.

The Sexy Valentines Show

Expect sweet, romantic and, most importantly, sexy happenings at The Invisible Dot's Valentine week shows, featuring comics – including Luke McQueen, Mike Wozniak, Adam Hess, Lolly Adefope and Lazy Suan – at their most flirtatious.

  1. The Invisible Dot Ltd Northdown St, N1 9BG
  2. Fri Feb 13 - Sat Feb 14
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Luisa Omielan's Single Ladies Valentine's Ball

Feelgood comic Luisa Omielan gets into the anti-Valentine's spirit, hosting this gig for all the single ladies (well, singletons in general, really – but it's always good to get a Beyoncé reference in there, right?) The sassy stand-up is performing her latest, smash-hit comedy hour 'Am I Right Ladies?' – a feisty, confident stand-up show with heart – followed by a DJ set from Olly Stock. Come for the comedy, stay for the party.

  1. Islington Assembly Hall Upper St, Islington, N1 2UD
  2. Sat Feb 14
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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.

Valentine's Day Cooking for Two Course

If you and your other half love nothing more than a three-course feast but you're dreading the aphrodisiac-laced set menus of Valentine's Day, this seafood cookery course might seem like a gift from Cupid himself. Following prosecco and pastries to get warmed up, couples will learn to prepare either Rockefeller Oysters or seafood terrine, seabass with bisque sauce and dauphinois potatoes and Knickerbocker Glory, before taking the whole lot home with them for dinner.

  1. Billingsgate Seafood School Billingsgate Market, Trafalgar Way, E14 5ST
  2. Sat Feb 14
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The Valentine Stomp

Swing Patrol and the London Gay Big Band get a beautiful old music hall swingin' for St Valentine's night. Get down early for a taster swing dance lesson at 7.15pm.

  1. Wilton's Music Hall 1-4 Graces Alley, off Ensign St, E1 8JB
  2. Sat Feb 14
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Sleeping with Sherlock

Apologies if the title got you all hot under the deerstalker – this event does not signal Cumberbatch's turn as a gigolo. But you may well dream of Holmes (if you choose to get any shut-eye, that is) at this adults-only sleepover in the Museum of London. Guests will tuck into a three-course meal before exploring the museum and its current exhibition, 'Sherlock Holmes', after-hours. There'll also be talks, storytelling, forensics workshops, ghost story recitals and a movie marathon running into the wee small hours.

  1. Museum of London 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
  2. Sat Feb 14 - Sat Mar 28
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The Institute of Sexology

  • Free

The Wellcome Collection's newly expanded gallery space will open with a wink and a blush with The Institute of Sexology, an exhibition that brings together the great pioneers of the study of sex. More than 200 pieces of art, erotica, photography and ethnography will help visitors get a new perspective on perversions, lust and normality, with live events, discussions and performances to accompany the X-rated exhibits.

  1. Wellcome Collection Euston Rd, NW1 2BE
  2. Until Sun Sep 20
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