10 Alternative Date Ideas for a Quirky Valentine’s Day in London

Eager to eschew the typical Valentine’s dinner and drinks and try something a little different? Then check out DesignMyNight’s pick of the best options to get your heart rate up, from a murder mystery experience to a staycation that ends in a gingerbread cabin

1 Gatsby With Love at The London Cabaret Club, Bloomsbury 
Prepare to be whisked away to the Roaring Twenties with The London Cabaret Club’s glamorous Gatsby-themed spectacular. Immerse yourself in the era with a dramatic retelling of the classic tale by F. Scott Fitzgerald, performed alongside the epic soundtrack from the most recent film adaptation, accompanied by a lavish fine dining experience. There’s no better place to bring the decade to life than the grand Bloomsbury Ballroom – all you need to do is get glammed-up and make sure you’re looking the part.
The Bloomsbury Ballroom, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square WC1B 4DA; designmynight.com 

2 The Gingerbread Cabin at York & Albany, Camden 
Staycation with a twist? Look no further than York & Albany, which is offering a romantic getaway which not only involves spoiling you with Champagne and chocolates AND a breakfast spread delivered to your deluxe room, but ends with a trip to their whimsical gingerbread house. Hidden away in their bushy courtyard sits an intimate fairytale-inspired cabin, kitted out with sweet-themed decor and a fireplace to make your visit extra cosy. Top off your stay with winter cocktails and tasty canapés before heading back to reality.
127-129 Parkway, Camden NW1 7PS; designmynight.com 

3 Thames Rockets, Waterloo 
Ride off into the sunset with your partner in crime as Thames Rockets invites daring couples to embark on a heart-racing trip around London. Thrill-seeking pairs will be able to jet across the city on a high-octane speedboat ride, with plenty of romantic sights to see along the way. One ticket includes a seat for you and your beloved so there’s no bailing out; strap in and get ready to fly through Valentine’s Day in serious style.
Boarding Gate 1, London Eye Pier, South Bank SE1 7BP; designmynight.com 

4 Espresso Martini Society, King’s Cross  
This top London pop-up bar is making a comeback in the name of romance, and a love… for Espresso Martinis. Boasting a menu dedicated solely to the coffee-based cocktail, with 90 minutes to drink your way through bottomless love-inspired sips like the Strawberry Dream and the minty After Eight, we’re pretty sure it won’t take much convincing to get your loved one down to KO Coffee this Valentine’s Day.
KO Coffee, 258, Pentonville Road N1 9JY; designmynight.com 

5 Hello Darling, Waterloo  
For couples that love a sing song in the kitchen, boy have we got the Valentine’s Day event for you. Prepare to belt out power ballads and show tunes with a glass of prosecco in hand; with a West End legend as the host and Waterloo’s vintage townhouse-cum-bar as the location, this is set to be one helluva house party. Rita Zeta-Jones will be taking over Hello Darling for a night of non-stop music-fuelled fun. And for when your voice needs a break? Explore the rest of this ultra quirky spot and find yourself stumbling across anything from a butterfly-filled library to a bathtub full of booze.
131 Waterloo Road SE1 8UL; designmynight.com 

6 Murder on the Barts Floor at Barts, Sloane Square   
Netflix have released a string of crime documentaries and if you’re the type of couple who loves nothing more than staying in to binge watch each nail-biting episode, Murder on the Bart’s Floor is the Valentine’s event for you. Set in one of London’s best speakeasies, the evening will see you ripping past police tape to interrogate a room of suspects. Will you separate the truth from the lies? Will you get to the bottom of the awful crime? When you point the finger at whodunnit, you’ll be rewarded with a complimentary cocktail before the night kicks off in speakeasy fashion.
Chelsea Cloisters, Sloane Avenue SW3 3DW; designmynight.com

7 Hot Gin Roof at Ham Yard Hotel, Piccadilly Circus 
Ham Yard Hotel is one of Soho’s quirkiest hotels, boasting everything from a literary-themed afternoon tea to an original 1950’s bowling alley. Access to their foliage-adorned rooftop is usually reserved for guests but they’ve teamed up with Sipsmith this February for an unmissable gin-fuelled pop-up which means you can get exclusive access to their pretty terrace. Some Like It Hot is the perfect way to start your Valentine’s evening, with two cocktails included in your ticket and a chance to dodge the hustle and bustle of Soho.
Ham Yard Hotel, 1 Ham Yard W1D 7DT; designmynight.com 

8 Screening of Romeo & Juliet at Rivoli Ballroom, Brockley  
Rivoli Ballroom is the last standing 1950s ballroom in London and because of its original decor, it’s a popular location for various movies (think Tom Hardy’s Legend and The Avengers Age of Ultron). Being one of the city’s most unique pop-up cinemas, it’s a smashing spot to curl up this Valentine’s if you want to do something a little different. Screening Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo & Juliet, you’ll have a fully stocked bar of British ales, ciders and craft beer to keep you hydrated and a cinema-ready menu of popcorn and hot dogs.
Rivoli Ballroom, 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park SE4 2BY; designmynight.com 

9 Midnight Apothecary, Rotherhithe 
Midnight Apothecary is one of London’s best kept secrets. Located atop Brunel Museum, it was voted one of the best sustainable bars in the world and as luck would have it – you can visit the rooftop space this Valentine’s. Packages work their way up to £40 with a top tier ticket including two cocktails (garnished with ingredients from the garden), a heart-warming meat or vegetarian chilli, love heart-shaped chocolate brownies and the chance to toast your own marshmallows over a roaring fire.
Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, Roterhithe SE16 4LF; designmynight.com 

10 The Rooftop St James, Charing Cross 
The Rooftop St James has teamed up with Veuve Clicquot for an exclusive winter menu, and it’s a sure way to win over your date this Valentine’s. For £65pp, you can enjoy a glass of Veuve Clicquot Rosé on arrival, followed by an amuse bouche and a choice of delicious starters, mains and desserts, like Parmesan-crusted wild mushroom pie and dainty Alpine beef sliders. The views are breathtaking too, with Trafalgar Square in plain sight from the romantic tables for two. The venue will be hosting a series of exclusive performances throughout the week of ‘lurve’ as part of its High Notes series. Three-piece band Wandering Soul will be taking centre stage on 12 & 14 February, while solo singer and guitarist Rob Lamont will be performing on 15 February.
The Trafalgar St. James, 2 Spring Gardens SW1A 2TS; designmynight.com


For more top spots to spend Valentine’s Day in London and across the UK, see DesignMyNight.com or follow @DesignMyNight on Instagram and Facebook