10 Original Valentine’s Day Date Ideas for Londoners

1 Up at The O2’s Champagne Climb 
Up at The O2 is inviting adventurous couples to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a romantic trip to the top of the world’s number one entertainment and music venue. The exhilarating 90-minute climb to the peak of The O2 is guaranteed to set hearts racing and can be made extra special with a champagne upgrade – choose a Champagne Climb and get a glass of Lanson champagne each to enjoy once you reach the viewing platform at the top! It’s the perfect spot to take in the beauty and romance of London’s skyline. Valentine’s climbs are available on Wednesday 14 February, Saturday 17 February and Sunday 18 February, but if you miss out, Celebration Climbs, Sunset Climbs and Twilight Climbs are available outside of these dates. From £30pp (advance bookings recommended).

2 London Shell Co’s Valentine’s Cruise
Can’t get to Venice this Valentine’s Day? An intimate cruise through Regent’s Park on London’s Regents Canal is your next best bet. After last year’s sell out run, London Shell Co is setting sail with another Valentine’s offering. Their romantic two-and-a-half-hour dining cruises run for five days, with both lunch (departing at 1pm) and dinner (departing at 7.30pm) cruises. Both will offer a seasonal five-course seafood menu to be enjoyed whilst floating along the Regent’s Canal. The menu will start with a traditional aphrodisiac of oysters, followed by the likes of devilled brown crab for sharing, Orkney scallops and wild salmon with sprouting broccoli. £45pp. Running Wednesday 14 until Sunday 18 February with jazz cruises on 17 and 18 February.
The Prince Regent, Sheldon Square, Paddington Central W2 6PY; londonshellco.com

3 (Art) Lovers Valentine’s Late at Dulwich Picture Gallery
Loved up arty types can get their portrait painted by a professional artist at Dulwich Picture Gallery’s forthcoming Valentine’s Late. Taking place on Friday 16 February, (Art) Lovers: A Valentine’s Late offers up the chance to sit for a guest artist (Ella Masters, Joseph Steele and Rachel Cheung). Also, artist Nikki Gardham will lead a printmaking workshop where you can create your own Valentine’s etching using symbols to convey a secret message; and Dulcimer Draws will lead a drop-in workshop where you can sketch a dating profile picture for an imaginary singleton, before trading with someone else and creating a suitable sketchmate for theirs. There’ll also be Valentine’s Storytelling with Giles Abbott, who will recount the beautiful and passionate love stories of The Linley sisters. 6–10pm. Tickets £12 (concs £10).
Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD; dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk

4 A Couples Flights with The London Helicopter
The London Helicopter is the only helicopter tour company to fly over the capital. It is also the UK’s first helicopter sightseeing service that gives you the freedom to book, pay and check-in online. And what could be more romantic than treating your other half to a luxury, exclusive flight over the London skyline for just the two of you? You and that special someone will fly high above the capital taking in the breathtaking panoramic views in your own private helicopter, piloted by an experienced pilot. Choose from the London Buzz package, a 12-minute flight that takes in 18 landmarks at £600 per couple; London Sights, an 18-minute flight that takes in 25 landmarks at £880 per couple; and London Max, a 30-minute flight that takes in a whopping 36 landmarks at £1,400 per couple. Tours generally depart from Battersea but you can opt to depart from Redhill aerodrome, near Gatwick.
The Pod Building, Bridges Court, Battersea SW11 3BE; thelondonhelicopter.com

5 Old Fashioned Valentines Day, The Old Queens Head
The Old Queens Head in Angel hosts a monthly night called Old Fashioned, a vintage-style open mic with atmospheric jazz, soul, rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll from pre-1965. Presented by house band and hosts, Stella and the Shakes and Danny B, in the upstairs bar, the evening encourages you to dress up, get up and sing up – grab the mic and belt out your favourite blues, hit the dance floor or just chill with a drink. The next event just so happens to fall on Valentine’s Day, laying a good old fashion, romantic evening right at your feet for date night. Regulars have named it the best live soul blues jazz night showcase in London, and the house band is brilliant! Doors open at 7.30pm, £3 on the door.
44 Essex Road, Angel N1 8LN; theoldqueenshead.com

6 The Elmore Jam and Basement Galley’s Quirky Supperclubs, East London
Supper club kings The Elmore Jam and Basement Galley have five quirky events lined up for diners looking for a more original dining experience. First up, transport nuts should love one of the two dinners and two brunches taking place on the Basement Galley’s tube train on Thursday 15 February (sittings at 6pm and 8.30pm) and Saturday 17 February (sittings at 10am and 12.30pm). It’s cosy, so the amorous can snuggle up, but equally, it’s an equally great idea for groups of friends looking for a Galentines or Palentines date. The final event, at 7pm on Saturday 17 February, is The Elmore Jam’s Fork Off Valentine’s jazz dinner at Nick’s pad in Leytonstone with a jazz trio setting the mood. Chef Alex Cooper will be rustling up dishes such as panzanella with seared mackerel, 24-hour braised lamb neck and a rich chocolate and ginger tart. Tickets from £35.
For tickets see basementgalley.com

7 Thames Dinner Cruise with Bateaux London
Bateaux London’s Symphony vessel will take to the Thames for a Valentine’s Day dinner cruise on 14 February, combining fine food with live entertainment, all set against a changing backdrop that takes in some of London’s most iconic sights. You and your date will be welcomed on board with a glass of champagne before being shown to your table in the vessel’s private Tower Suite for the evening where you’ll be served a five-course meal with a selection of wine, beers and soft drinks, as well as a single red rose and entertainment courtesy of a live band and singer. Boarding begins at 7.30pm at the Embankment Pier, Victoria Embankment. The Valentine’s Day river cruise lasts approximately three hours. Prices start at £145.

8 A Phone Free Dinner at The Savoy
This Valentine’s Day, The Savoy is asking its guests to relinquish their phones in a bid to encourage couples to enjoy each other’s company without interruption. Photography service The Collective You will set up a mini studio under the glass domed atrium of the Thames Foyer, so that you and your beloved can take home a professional portrait, shot by Canadian portrait photographer Dennis Goceras, as a memento. Sure beats a selfie! On arrival to dinner at Kaspar’s, or drinks at the American Bar or Beaufort Bar, you’ll be asked to hand in your mobiles, which will be placed in individual pouches and kept safely out of reach. Plus, you get to keep the pouch as a keepsake far more long-lasting than an Instagram post!
The Strand WC2R 0EZ; fairmont.com/savoy-london

9 Two Temple Place’s Hanky Panky Cocktail Class
Two Temple Place near Victoria Embankment Gardens is running a Hanky Panky Cocktail Class on 14 February. The class, developed to accompany its latest exhibition, Rhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz in Britain, makes for a great alternative Valentine’s Day date. During the class, AVM curiosities, which explores the relationship between art and food through a series of high-calibre events and edible interventions, will take you through a whistle-stop history of The Cocktail, from Ancient Egypt to the 1920s. The session will end with you blending your own Hanky Panky, a cocktail invented by the Ada Coleman, the first female head bartender at the Savoy’s American Bar. 6.15pm-7pm, 7.15pm-8pm and 8.15pm-9pm. Tickets £20.
Two Temple Place WC2R 3BD; twotempleplace.org

10 The London Cabaret Club’s LOVE Never Dies
This Valentine’s Day, The London Cabaret Club at The Bloomsbury Ballroom hosts LOVE Never Dies, a spectacular evening of entertainment and music, expertly crafted cocktails and an aphrodisiac-based menu. Celebrate the most romantic night of the year at an experience inspired by one of the smoothest lovers ever – 007 himself – with a James’ Bond themed show. Indulge on a decadent seven-course Valentine’s Day menu, with fresh oysters, pan-seared foie gras, roast rack of lamb, Amaretto chocolate cream cheesecake and more. You and your beloved can also opt for a chilled bottle of Dom Pérignon. You can also add personalised desserts, beautiful bouquets of flowers and hand-written love notes to your experience. Tickets for LOVE Never Dies on the 14 February start from from £105pp, You can also add romantic extras to the Best of British Pop and London Never Dies shows on 10, 11, 17 and 18 February.
Bloomsbury Square, Holborn WC1B 4DA; thelondoncabaretclub.com


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