Whether you’re coupled-up or out with your girls for #Galentines, nothing kills a vibe quite like spending Valentines Day staring into a sub-par set menu alongside half of London. It might be last minute, but fear not – there are still plenty of things to do in the city if you’re looking to celebrate with something a little out-of-the-box. Here are our favourite alternative date ideas for a cute, not cringe, Valentines.
Greenwich Peninsula Golf Range
You don’t need to be a pro to book a bay at Greenwich Peninsula Golf Range – but with sparkling views of Canary Wharf and drinks delivered while you play, this is one seriously dreamy date idea for couples who can appreciate a good golf innuendo. If you don’t fancy braving the elements, try Swingers – underground indoor golf in the City, with market food stalls from Pizza Pilgrims, DF Mexico and Patty and Bun.
East London Wine School
Forget pouring over the wine list in a posh restaurant, trying in vain to convince your date know something about wine. Instead, head to East London Wine School, located in a private room in the Chamberlain hotel and run by ace sommelier Sam – whose easy-going attitude and passion for wine make these courses both informative yet accessible, and seriously good fun. This February 14th, choose from a 4-week wine tour of the new world, or try an evening tasting wines from Australia and New Zealand. If you can’t make the 14th, they also do gift vouchers, because nothing says I love you like wine in our book.
Banya No. 1
Whether it’s just for two or the whole girl gang, this traditional Russian spa club offers something a little different to your traditional spa day. An authentic Russian Banya, water is thrown onto hot stones providing a revitalising balance of heat and humidity, followed by a thermal massage where you’re whipped with birch and oak branches. There are cold pools to cool off in, as well as massages, honey and salt body scrubs and luxuriating foam baths. Leather booths in the post-treatment area serve Russian specialities (go for the dumplings), coupled with a few shots of Russian Vodka. Booking essential, gift vouchers also available.
Gin House Burlesque
If you’re looking for something to spice things up this Valentines, look no further. Following a year of sold-out roaring gin-house parties, London’s premium vintage showgirls welcome you back to East London’s best-kept speakeasy, The King’s Head Members Club. On 15th February, Miss Betsy Rose, Jolie Papillon and Missy Fatale will transport you back to the golden age of Jazz, with an oh-so seductive evening of burlesque, vaudeville, circus and snake-charming.
Wellington Masterclass, Holborn Dining Rooms
When the way to your other half’s heart really is through their stomach, look no further than THE PIE ROOM at Holborn Dining Room. Spearheaded by Executive Head Chef and pastry expert, Calum Franklin, in this Aladdin’s cave of pastry treats you can also learn to make your own Beef Wellington, with a 2 and a half hour masterclass. All that cooking is thirsty work, so we’d recommend a drink at the ridiculously magical Glenlivet Glade – an immersive winter terrace, where you can enjoy Glenlivet cocktails under twinkling fairy lights.
Natural History Museum, Lates
If you want to avoid the cringe-fest that is Valentine’s day, why not postpone till next week? The 22nd of February is Lates at The Natural History Museum, where you can see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Life in the Dark exhibitions. Plus, it’s over 18’s only, and there’s a bar, food and a band to enjoy while you geek-out together.
The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art and Natural History
There’s out of the box, and then there’s this. It might not be for everyone, but this curious corner of Hackney is weirdness at its most wonderful. With top hat-wearing taxidermy, shrunken heads and endless oddities and erotica – it’ll give you something to talk about. While it might not be for the faint-hearted, the adjoining Last Tuesday Society bar upstairs offers cocktails, that are worth the visit either way.
Part BYOB, part immersive theatre, Moonshine Saloon transports guests from Chelsea to the real Wild West, with the promise of making a fortune in illicit moonshine smuggling. There may be lots of hats and you’ll have to debut your best American accent (sorry y’all) but with house bartenders turning your moonshine into creative cocktails quicker than a fast draw, you’d be hard-pressed not to get in the spirit of things.