Welcome to February! The second month means we’re half-way through winter and slightly less freezing days are on their way. Hooray! It also means a giant dollop of love-themed happenings will be dropped on London in the shape of parties, romantic supper clubs and smooch-filled film nights. There are plenty of anti-Valentine’s events planned too, plus the Orchid Festival at Kew to look forward to, a gin festival to work your way through and Pancake Day if you’re looking for a flipping good time. Have the best month ever with the list below!
THINGS TO DO
Feb 2: magCulture Meets Hear from London-based zine One of My Kind (OOMK) about their recent research trip to Malaysia and their exploration into the exciting self-publishing scene there.
Feb 2-4: North London Brew Fest This craft beer festival returns for three days, with an impressive array of cask ales and keg beers. Friday sees an ale and cheese pairing event hosted by Des de Moor and Saturday features a meet the brewer session.
Feb 3: Shuffle Chinese New Year Shuffle Festival will be screening two films that sum up the year we've just had, and prepare us for the one ahead in celebration of Chinese New Year.
Feb 3-Feb 4: The Great Gatsby Party Transport yourself to a glittering party from the past with help from The Nudge, The Guild of Misrule and The Immersive Ensemble tonight.
Feb 3-Mar 22: Robotics, AI and Society Will robots take over? That’s the big question posed during The British Academy’s series exploring how robotics and artificial intelligence could revolutionise society.
Feb 4- Mar 5: Orchid Festival Kew Gardens' celebration of the orchid returns for its twenty-second year, this time with an Indian theme.
Feb 5: Super Bowl Party If you don't associate delicious fried food and great hunks of meat with sport then this all-American football-watching (and eating) finale blow-out isn't for you.
Feb 8-11: Unnatural Acts LGBT+ Festival Marking 50 years since the Sexual Offences Act 1967, Unnatural Acts, is an eclectic programme of theatre, discussion, short films, comedy and song, all about repression, activism and questioning how far we’ve really come.
Feb 10: Late at the Library Get a bit deeper with the new exhibition at the British Library, 'Maps and the 20th Century: Drawing the Line' with a cocktail in hand.
Feb 11: Chinese New Year at the V&A Museum of Childhood Music and dance performances will fill the Museum of Childhood in celebration of Chinese New Year and the year of the rooster.
Feb 12: Affordable Vintage Fair The UK's largest travelling marketplace for retro clothes, homewares and accessories returns to York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Feb 12: DIY Art Market This one-day market showcasing a host of London's emerging artists and independent publishers certainly brightens the wintry weekends.
Feb 17-19: Gin Festival This boozy affair returns to London for three days dedicated to championing the juniper berry drink.
Feb 25: Don't Move, Improve! New London Architecture is offering free advice to all those whose homes are on the verge of getting an upgrade, with talks on finding the right architect, interior design and how to plan an extension.
Feb 28: Parliamentary Pancake Race Watch MPs, Lords and members of the press flipping crepes for charity.
Valentine's Day events
Feb 11: Keats House Guests can discover where Keats fell in love with Fanny Brawne, make Valentine's cards, listen to poetry and love letters, and sip on love potions from the pop-up bar.
Feb 11-12: Grope Mountain Bompas & Parr are the brains behind this saucy new climbing wall, popping up just before Valentine's Day and providing sporty couples with a racy new workout.
Feb 11-19: London Shell Co. Champagne Cruises Choose between lunch or dinner, then hop aboard The Prince Regent canal boat where a seasonal menu featuring Carlingford Rock oysters, devilled brown crab and wild salmon await.
Feb 13: The Valentine Erotic Readings An evening of saucy readings and sassy tales from five readers including Reba Maybury, Sarah Baker and Molly Parkin.
Feb 14: Feline Lonely Meet your pawfect match at Battersea this Valentine’s Day. Visit the Cattery, enjoy a complimentary glass of bubbly and potentially meet the cat-ch you’ve always dreamed of.
Feb 14: Two Hearts: Dissection and Desire Delve into the world of dissection this Valentine's with a close up look at matters of the heart.
Feb 14: Anti Valentine's Day Pool and Ping Pong Party All-night pool and ping pong, games and activities with prizes to win and a big ol' wall to draw/write/smear your anti-Valentine's messages on.
Feb 14: F**k Valentines Supper Club Whatever your relationship status, Social Pantry is here to take the pressure off Valentine's night. Their four-course supper club menu includes cauliflower soup with truffle oil, pan seared fillet of bream and rosewater and vanilla meringue.
Feb 14-28: Breakfast for Two at the Sky Garden Enjoy the views while digging into avocado, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, plus a strawberry and mint salad with whipped cream and cinnamon churros with chocolate sauce.
Feb 14-15: Night at the Grand Lovers can celebrate Valentine's Day in serious style thanks to this Wes Anderson-themed food and film evening in east London.
Feb 15: Dirty Dancing at the Shard 'Dirty Dancing' will be screened above the capital in the UK's highest cinema and guests will receive a complimentary glass of Taittinger champagne and sweet treats from Artisan du Chocolat.
Find all the other Valentine's events happening in London
FOOD AND DRINK
Feb 3: Farang A six-month pop-up in Highbury from Thai street food vendor Farang, promising a menu of curries and small plates from chef Seb Holmes, formerly at Begging Bowl and Smoking Goat.
Feb 3: L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele A Naples Pizzeria (of 'Eat Pray Love' fame) said to serve the best pizza in the world opens a branch in Stoke Newington.
Feb 7: Hai Cenato An Italian restaurant from chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton, set in the NOVA complex in Victoria.
Feb 13: The Other Naughty Piglet A second branch of The Naughty Piglets, a wine bar with a small-plates menu.
Feb 16: Yard Sale Walthamstow The third branch of Yard Sale Pizza, winner of Time Out’s 'Most Loved Restaurant' in the 2016 Love London Awards.
Hawksmoor Borough A new branch of Hawksmoor steakhouse and cocktail bar, set to open in Borough.
Pique Nique A new restaurant from the team behind French restaurant Casse Croûte, serving breakfast, lunch and rotisserie chicken.
The Cheese Bar A new permanent location in Camden Stables for The Cheese Truck.
Feb 2: ‘Groundhog Day’ on Groundhog Day Assuming that Punxsutawney Phil isn’t prevented from making climate predictions by the incoming US administration, this Thursday we’ll know whether or not there’s going to be six more weeks of winter.
Feb 5: ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ + Paul Greengrass Q&A The director of ‘United 93’ and ‘Captain Philips’ introduces the best of the Bourne series.
Feb 5: Universal Monsters: ‘Frankenstein’ A stark, stylish take on Mary Shelley’s tale. Boris Karloff gives one of the great performances of all time as the monster whose mutation from candour to chill savagery is mirrored only through his limpid eyes.
Feb 6: Unorthodocs: ‘The War Show’ ‘The War Show’ follows a Syrian DJ and her close group of friends through the years following the Arab Spring, as optimism and rebellion turned to brutal oppression and all-out war.
The Lego Batman Movie If Ben Affleck didn’t do it for you as the caped crusader, try the Lego version. ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ is a spin-off of ‘The Lego Movie’, set in the same universe, with Will Arnett voicing.
Moonlight One of the most talked-about movies of awards season, this sensitive and moving coming-of-age drama follows Chiron as he grows up black and gay in Miami.
MUSIC AND NIGHTLIFE
Feb 1: Aurelio Martinez One of the brightest stars of the Garifuna musical tradition, Aurelio returns to London as part of the Blaze series.
Feb 2: Cabbage The Mancunian quintet performs self-penned post-punk material.
Feb 10-11: Bloc Party They’re back! After another long, long hiatus and a line-up change, Kele Okereke’s emotional post-punks have finally reconvened.
Feb 11: Skream Dubstep don-turned disco-ace Skream is something of a master at laying down killer party-starting DJ sets, so hearing him do his thing here should be a treat.
Feb 11: Kitsuné French Kiss Party French label Kitsuné is pulling out amorous house sounds for its fourth Valentines party that also offers live performances.
Feb 13: Tegan and Sara These Canadian singing/songwriting twins got their initial exposure by signing to Neil Young's Vapour Records label. They play tonight from their seventh album 'Heartthrob', released in January.
Feb 14: A Night Of Marvin Gaye (Valentine's Special) A Night of Marvin Gaye returns to The Jazz Café for a Lover's special on Valentine's Day.
Feb 14: Down With Dating 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.
Feb 14: Love & Buggery: Valentines Spesh Flickering candles, power ballads sung by drag queen Miss Craig and, erm, free entry combine for The Glory's unabashedly remantic Valentines entertainment.
Feb 17: Chali 2na Inventive, deep-voiced rhymes from the Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli MC, whose solo profile has been boosted by the recent J5 reunion tours.
Feb 24: The 2 Bears Two furry friends – Hot Chip's Joe Goddard and fellow Greco-Roman Soundsystem member Raf 'Daddy' Rundell – work downtempo dub, vocal house and squelchy, pared-down electro.
Feb 27: Art Of Dark Having progressed from a Hoxton basement in a very short space of time, via Village Underground and Fabric, the Art of Dark crew step up to the huge eastside delights of the new LPG tonight.
Feb 27: Foxygen Fond of fur coats and steeped in the rock ’n’ roll mythology of their native Los Angeles, young retro duo Foxygen bring their louche psychedelic stylings to London.
Feb 28: Time Out presents UK Country at The Jazz Cafe In association with w21Music we’ve got seven superb acts lined up for your aural pleasure, bringing the sounds of Nashville to London.
Feb 9-12: Beware of Pity Complicate return with an adaptation of this epic novel set at the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Until Feb 11: Letters To Windsor House Sh!t Theatre offer a painfully funny look at the housing crisis.
Feb 11-Apr 1: The Wild Party 'The Other Palace' hosts a debauched musical that's soaked in 1920s excess.
Feb 15-Apr 17: Twelfth Night Tamsin Greig stars as Malvolia in the NT's tweaked take on Shakespeare's classic comedy.
Feb 17-Apr 1: A Midsummer Night's Dream Shakespeare's fairy comedy is exhumed again – but it'll probably be awesome at the Young Vic.
Feb 17-Apr 8: Hamlet It's Andrew Scott's turn to 'give' his Hamlet, in collaboration with director Robert Icke.
Until Apr 29: The Glass Menagerie Long awaited London transfer for 'Harry Potter' director John Tiffany's gorgeous Tennessee Williams' revival.
Until Mar 18: The Pitchfork Disney Philip Ridley's disturbing 1991 play gets an immersive revival from Jamie Lloyd.
Until Apr 16: The White Devil Annie Ryan directs Webster's bloody tragedy.
Until Apr 22: The Girls Gary Barlow adapts the feelgood comedy 'Calendar Girls'.
Feb 8-Jun 4: Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith Visit the gallery’s exhibition of work by Vanessa Bell and you’ll also find a smaller show called ‘Legacy: Photographs by Vanessa Bell and Patti Smith’. Smith’s photos document her residency at Charleston, Bell’s house in Sussex, in 2003.
Feb 9-May 29: David Hockney This big Tate retrospective – scheduled ahead of Hockney's 80th birthday – will go all the way back to his student work of the early '60s, and trace what's frankly a stupendous journey of ceaseless innovation.
Feb 11-Apr 17: Revolution: Russian Art 1917-1932 This show will throw a magnifying glass over a remarkable creative period in Russian history: after the Bolshevik revolution forever changed society, and before Stalin's brutal period of censorship began.
Feb 15-Apr 23: Richard Mosse: Incoming Photographer and Deutsche Börse Photography Prize winner Mosse will be created a multi-channel film installation that uses thermal imaging technology typically used by US military.
Feb 15-Jun 11: Wolfgang Tillmans Tillmans asks fundamental questions about how we perceive and deal with the world – and recently, with the pro-Remain posters he created ahead of the EU referendum, the political urgency in his work has come to the fore.
Feb 16-May 14: Eduardo Paolozzi A retrospective of the late giant of British pop, who across five decades produced an extraordinary body of work that proclaimed his love for the modern world, including sculptures, screenprints, collages and textiles.