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
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...
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).
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- The Institute of Sexology
- Mapping the City
- Hogwarts in the Snow
- Real Food Market
- Astronomy Photographer of the Year
- Silent Disco at The View from The Shard
- Wildlife Photographer of the Year
- Drawn by Light: The Royal Photographic Society Collection
- The Art of the Brick
- Small Stories: At Home in a Dolls' House
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