As we approach February the 14th, love is most certainly in the air. Christmas, Easter and New Year are small fry compared to Valentine's Day. For it is the one day of the year where we proclaim our true love for that special someone, right?
Ok, so not everyone holds an idealistic view of a day that was seemingly created to sell a few Hallmark cards. But even if you aren’t waiting with bated breath, there’s no denying that London acts as the perfect backdrop for romanticism.
From eclectic vibes to off the beaten path restaurants, the capital throws up more than a few gems to capture the aura of Valentine’s. We’re playing the role of Cupid and have found some loving treats, including soppy delights and singleton parties.
Not everyone feels the desire to indulge in traditional Valentine's activities - some just want to get into party mode. Both couples and singletons have a selection of options for a lively night out in London on February 14th.
What’s that? You can be in love and have an excuse to dress up for a masked ball? Well, that’s like Halloween and Valentine's rolled into one. Spread over four floors at Soho’s Century Club, expect to experience an alternative take on love day with the Dark Side of Love’s Valentine’s Day Ball.
Where: 61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 6LQ
Price: From £12
Heading to South West London now, and more specifically, Barrio Brixton, where Taco Dirty to Me (see what they did there?) takes place on Feb 14th in, you guessed it, Brixton. Although, Cupid might have some trouble pointing his arrow with all the tequila and margaritas. Still, the DJs will be in full effect from 8 pm until late playing a mix of tunes to get you in the mood - even if Cupid has had one too many.
Where: 30 Acre Ln, Brixton, London SW2 5SG
Corsica Studios hosts FunkinEven, with Cooly G aka Merissa Campbell getting the vibes going for the lovers and those looking for love. Tribe of Colin will also perform live. Doors are open from 8 pm until 2 am.
Where: 4/5 Elephant Rd, London SE17 1LB
Price: £7 advance
Perhaps the most traditional celebration of Valentine's is the romantic meal. Fortunately, London has an eatery on practically every street corner, so there are plenty of options. Here are a few places you might want to take your date.
Don’t just indulge in fine dining: immerse yourself with views of the London skyline while you do it. Located at the top of 20 Fenchurch Street, enjoy British cuisine at Fenchurch Restaurant and Darwin Brasserie while surrounded by a landscaped public garden.
Where: 20 Fenchurch St, London EC3M 8AF
Head to Iberica and enjoy some Spanish flavour to your evening. You can find a branch in Marylebone, Farringdon and Victoria. If we had to choose, the Marylebone one edges the others as our favourite. But they’re all tasty, and whichever one you decide on, there will be paella and tapas on tap for your romantic evening.
Where: 195 Great Portland St, London W1W 5PS; 89 Turnmill St, Islington, London EC1M 5QU; 5-6, Zig Zag, 68 Victoria St, Westminster, London SW1E 6SQ
If you want to completely immerse yourself in loving vibes during your dining experience, heading over to Hampstead in North West London might be your best bet. After all, it is the home to romantic poet John Keats. The Wells is a stylish gastropub with traditional British tastes. Why not stop by Keats House too. It’s just around the corner from the Wells.
Where: 30 Well Walk, NW3 1BX
We have touched on the views in London and how they afford the perfect backdrop for Valentine’s, so it might be a good idea to tell you where they are. Whether you’re looking for skyline views, lit-up monuments or green space delights, London has you covered.
View from the Shard
The Shard offers some of the best views over the capital and, to add to the atmosphere, they’re providing a saxophonist to set the mood on Valentine’s night. Throughout the evening from 6 pm, you can watch the city sparkle with a glass of bubbly and soothing sounds.
Where: 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG
Head back to Hampstead, this time to the heath, to enjoy the sun setting over London on Parliament Hill, which is known for its fantastic views. Ramp the romanticism up a notch and bring a picnic and some champagne to enjoy with the skyline in the background. Perhaps you might even bring a ring for the special occasion?
Where: Heath Lodge, Hampstead, London NW5 1QR
Who says you need to go up high to experience the visual delights of the City on the most romantic night of the year? Visit one of London’s many bridges at night and see the city lit up over the waters. Vauxhall Bridge is particularly suitable for late-night views of the capital.
Book a champagne experience on the London Eye for the ultimate visual enhancement. You get your own capsule, a box of chocolates, champers and even a waiter. Although if you’re planning to propose, maybe wait until it’s on the way down. Could be a bit awks between the three of you if your partner says no.
Where: Lambeth, London SE1 7PB
Price: From £38
Why limit the celebration to just one day? Instead, book a night at a hotel in London and savour the moment. It will be like Valentine’s forever… well, more than 24 hours at least. We might be all about finding new properties for you to live in London, but we also know a thing or two about romantic love nests.
Keep it classy in Belgravia with a night at The Halkin Hotel. Billed as a home away from home, the Halkin creates a secluded and discreet atmosphere right in the heart of London. Why not go the extra mile and book an in-room spa treatment?
Where: 5-6 Halkin St, Belgravia, London SW1X 7DJ
Create the perfect Valentine’s atmosphere with an imperious marble staircase, and mahogany fittings set inside an extravagant Edwardian building. The night will be a pricey one, but if you’ve got the cash to splash, expect a five-star service and a night fitting of Valentine's.
Where: 252 High Holborn, London WC1V 7EN
Price: From £530
Find the true love of your life
Of course, if you really, really wanted to, you could spend the special night searching for your perfect home. Now, hear us out: if you’ve found someone you want to spend your life with, you might as well have a loving home to do it in. Right?
Whether you’re waiting for cupid to strike, or want to impress bae, London is well prepared for a Valentine’s love-in. From inexpensive activities to lavish treats, the capital is full of places to eat, sights to see and moments to capture.