For all those not quite feeling the love this Valentine’s Day, The Resident picks out the best ways to celebrate being single in London, from Galentine’s pampering to London Dungeon LATES and brunching with your pooch
Lead image: AYB Studio
1 Palentine’s Day Fitness Party at FLEX Chelsea
Beautiful boutique fitness studio FLEX Chelsea is inviting those seeking something a little mire exciting than a candlelit dinner for two to naturally boost those endorphins with a Hip Hop Yoga, flirty FLEXit or super Spin class, before enjoying cocktails in the beautiful Chelsea studio. Non-alcoholic cocktails from Everleaf will be happily supporting the alcoholic tipples, and the studio will be transformed by Freddie’s Flowers for the evening. Plus, there’s a goodie bag for everyone. Singles, couples, and those who haven’t quite decided are all welcome to join the fun. Single ticket £30, wing(wo)man tickets (two tickets) £55. All classes start at 6.45pm, event ends at 9pm.
293 Fulham Road SW10 9PZ; flexchelsea.com
2 Freaking The F Out at The Horse & Stables, Westminster
Freaking the F Out is a podcast where hosts Kelsey Bennett and Maddy Scott – two perpetual over-thinkers – examine the inner workings of their anxious minds. Join them on Valentine’s Day, the cheesiest day of the year, to ruminate on this tricky date. What is it and why is such a big fuss made about it? Is there more pressure when you’re with someone or when you’re not? Does it make you analyse your relationship, rant about the commercialisation of love, wonder why you’re terminally single, or plot ways to celebrate it ironically? And why does anyone care? Whether you’re single or loved up, you’re 100% welcome! This event is part of VAULT Festival, which has plenty of brilliant things on over Valentine’s. Tickets £11 (click here to book)
The Gift Horse @ The Horse & Stables, 122-124 Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7RW; vaultfestival.com
3 Galentine’s Day Panel Talk & Sex and the City Cocktails at The Ivy Soho Brasserie
The Ivy Soho Brasserie will be hosting a ‘Galentine’s Day’ themed panel talk in the private dining room on Thursday 13 February. Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or looking to celebrate the importance of friendship, the restaurant has the perfect evening for guests to enjoy with friends. From 6.30pm-8.30pm, you can listen to a panel talk hosted by Chloe Delevingne of Lady Garden, popular podcaster and blogger Oenone Forbat, and Vice President of International Marketing at Bumble, Louise Troen, who will touch on topics such as the importance of friendship, empowerment and women’s health. Tickets £35 (click here to book). The Ivy Soho Brasserie is also launching a limited-edition Sex and the City inspired cocktail menu, named the Carrie, the Miranda, the Charlotte, the Samantha and the Mr Big (available from 13-27 February), and will be playing power ballads on the evening of 13 February, too.
26-28 Broadwick Street W1F 8JB; theivysohobrasserie.com
Galentine’s by Winterland is an evening of glitz and glamour created for gal pals to take the edge off this Valentine’s Day. Think express manicures, blow-dries and even an in-house glitter artist. On arrival, ladies will be treated to a glass of pink fizz to enjoy to the tune of legendary female power ballads. Full menus featuring authentic street food and a mix of dangerously tasty cocktails and drinks are also available, as well as photo booths with props on site to capture the moment, and goodies from Candy Kittens, Isle of Paradise and more. Tickets from £7. (click here to buy)
5 Love Stinks: Anti-Valentine’s Party at Maggie’s, Chelsea
Maggie’s Club, the 80s-themed boutique members club in Chelsea, is hosting its Anti-Valentine’s bash, Love Stinks, for the third consecutive year. Highlights of the night include a singles’ kissing booth, ex-shaming photo opportunities, and a playlist of 80s bangers (minus the love songs). Free entry and a Love Potion X (created by Maggie’s expert mixologists) if you arrive before 12am, otherwise entry is £15. Oh… and couples pay double.
329 Fulham Road, Chelsea SW10 9QL; maggies-club.com
6 London Dungeon LATES, South Bank
The London Dungeon launches its first LATES session of 2020 on Valentine’s Day, mashing up theatre, special effects and intriguing storytelling with plenty of edge-of-your-seat surprises. Before descending into the bowels of the Dungeon, steel your nerves with a drink in the Victorian pub. Then, after delving into the dressing-up box, it’s time to leave the modern, working world behind and embark on a thrill-filled journey through 1,000 years of London’s murky past, guided by London’s infamous rogues and villains. Entry between 7pm and 9pm. Tickets £29 including two drinks.
County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; thedungeons.com
7 Apparently it’s Valentine’s Day?! at The Prince, West Brompton
This Valentine’s Day, The Prince is rejecting soppy music, romantic dinners and heart-shaped sharing desserts. Friday night will continue as usual at The Prince with a few cheeky extras, including a roaming saxophonist, drinks offers, a pop-up Espresso Martini bar from Over Under and a DJ playing everyone’s favourite tunes. The Double Your Bar Tab offer is still running throughout February, and the usual food traders for a delicious bite to eat – Wildcard, Nonna Tonda, Homeslice and Patty&Bun.
14 Lillie Road, West Brompton SW6 1TT; theprincelondon.com
8 Palentine’s Day at Catford Mews
13 & 14 February
Catford Mews is catering for pals, gals and romantics this Valentine’s. On 13 February, there’s a Galantine’s Day Special screening of Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lorretta Devine and Lela Rochon (8.45pm, tickets £5), followed by special preview screenings of Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Céline Sciamma’s follow up to her 2014 masterpiece Girlhood and one of the most hotly anticipated films of 2020 – on 14 February (6.45pm, £8.99). Also on the 14th is the most joyous celebration of Palentine’s Day – The Bleedin’ Liberties Live Gig, featuring blazin’ fiddles, fiery vocals, tempestuous guitar and accordion with attitude, performing everything from 17th century bangers to Cher and Springstein (8pm, free entry).
32 Winslade Way, Catford Centre SE6 4JU; catford-mews.co.uk
9 And They Call it Puppy Love at M Victoria
Prefer your pooch to potential problem partners? Then head to M Victoria, which is hosting a Dine with your Dog ‘Six Legs Brunch’ menu. Those with four legs can enjoy Black Pudding Granola and Bone Marrow Risotto, while us bipeds can enjoy Buttermilk Fried Chicken Waffles with a hens egg and peanut butter ice-cream, and chicken livers on toast with capers, onion and aged beef fat. The chef will also offer up a fun and informative ‘Cook for your fur-baby’ masterclass, with interactive examples of simple dishes to create at home. The best part of the event is a Speed Doggy Dating session, where canines can look for their love match, be it pooch to pooch or human to four-legged fluff ball. And of course, doggy-love thrones are available for those who have found their true love. 11am. Tickets £35 (including a £5 charity donation to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home).
Zig Zag Building, 74 Victoria Street SW1E 6SQ; mrestaurants.co.uk
10 Brunch + Blow Galentine’s Special at Near & Far, Camden
Near & Far Camden and Barber & Blow invite you to the latest craze – Brunch + Blow – where you and your best gals can enjoy a bottomless brunch and blow-dry experience. This Valentine’s weekend, the crew will be spreading the love with bottomless margaritas, Aperol Spritz and Bloody Marys, as well as the Blush of Passion cocktail and chocolate-covered strawberries, alongside a Mexican brunch menu. Turn up with clean hair and choose one of the styles from the look book. You’ll have two hours to enjoy a delicious brunch and get a 15-minute blow dry or style. Two hour slots start from 12pm, 1pm and 2pm. Tickets from £45 (click here to book).
48 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AJ; nearandfarlondon.com
11 Palentine’s & Valentine’s at AYB Studio, Elephant & Castle
15 & 16 February
At Your Beat Studio is hosting a very special Palentine’s double whammy, where you can take a friend for free, this Valentine’s weekend. If you want to #BeExtra with your main man/woman, try the Valentine’s Day Magic Mike Workshop. Taught by Magic Mike choreography expert Lucie, have your bae (or BFF) watch you steam up the room with a saucy urban routine to Ciara – Body Party. For those of you who want to spend Valentines feeling like a star in your own music video with your bestie, try AYB’s special Galentine’s Day workshop and go #fullout with a Hollaback Girl x My Neck, MyBack mash up. On Sunday 16 February there are back-to-back workshops starting with Crazy in Love (Fifty Shades edition), and for those of you enjoying your freedom and plenty of sass, there’s a Pussy Cat Dolls I Don’t Need a Man X When I Grow Up mash up. Secure your space online and just take along a friend with you for free.
The Castle Centre, 2 St Gabriel Walk SE1 6FG; atyourbeat.com
12 Lark & Berry Piercing Parlour Pop-Up at ME London, the Strand
To celebrate London Fashion Week and Valentine’s Day, ME London is collaborating with sustainable fine jewellery brand Lark & Berry to host a pop-up piercing parlour in the hotel’s Marconi Lounge. The pop-up will launch on Thursday 13 February with an exclusive Galentine’s Day 2-for-1 special where, for one day only, guests who book in with a friend will receive matching half price piercings. The pop-up will run through Tuesday 18 February, with daily hours from 12pm-8pm. Plus, you can get a free piercing for every jewel purchased during the pop-up, including sustainably sourced cultured diamonds, all conflict-free.
336-337 Strand WC2R 1HA; melondonhotel.com
13 Mums That Rave Galentines Day Vogue Ball at The Curtain, Shoreditch
Mums That Rave is hosting its first event of the year with a Queen of Hearts-themed Galentines Day party. Inspired by the hit TV series Pose, the Mums That Rave invite you to slay the dancefloor with your best walks and Vogue moves in the glittering surroundings of the LG Nightclub at The Curtain Club. Mums That Rave is a community for women to network, express themselves, feel empowered and party hard with no kids or distractions – just feel good vibes. Focusing on inclusion and womanhood, it has fast-grown into movement where friends are made, business ideas germinate and joy abounds. The Galentines Day Vogue Ball will feature a panel discussion, dancing and special treats and surprises. Expect tunes from the old school and new cool, with anything from So Solid Crew to Chaka Khan, Destiny’s Child to Lizzo and more, all spun by DJ Nikki Beatnik. 7pm-2am. Tickets £20 (click here to book).
45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3PT; mumsthatrave.com
14 Lady Chastity’s Reserve Escape Room, Battersea & Farringdon
Bring your friends on an adventure to of hilarious clue solving as you escape the world you know and enter rooms of ludicrously twisted mysteries solve Lady Chastity’s sordid secrets in time to win her fabled bottle of aphrodisiac wine. This escape room is not for the faint of heart, offering an immersive adventure which will have you delving into secret rooms hidden in the depths of England’s finest drinking establishments. If you want to get your pulse racing in a different way this Valentine’s Day, this is the event for you. Taking place at The Four Thieves in Battersea and The Hope in Farringdon. Slots are available on Valentine’s Day and Saturday 15th but are booking out fast. From £24pp.
15 Whistle Punks Axe Throwing, Vauxhall
Axe throwing with Whistle Punks is the perfect Valentine’s Day antidote. Broken hearts especially need apply – after all, what could be more cathartic than flinging an axe at a target? Sure, it sounds ludicrously dangerous, but these guys have filled out their health and safety forms. Experienced throwing coaches will soon have you throwing like a pro, and once you’ve got the hang of it, you and your group will be entered into a Game of Thrones-esque tournament until the king or queen of axes is crowned. You can either get the gang together and book an exclusive lane with your own instructor (from £22pp) or book a social lane ticket where you will play together with other groups (£29pp).
Arch 25, Handel Business Centre, 73 Bondway, Vauxhall SW8 1SQ; whistlepunks.com