Find it impossible to think of something unusual and original to do on Valentine’s Day and tired of sitting in rows of couples at London restaurants and working your way through a set menu on 14 February? Whether your on a date or a married couple, try one of these out of the ordinary things to do in London on Valentine’s Day
1 Have breakfast in bed
Brew Café is famous for its brunch and its latest opening in Putney makes getting out the house for it that bit easier by lining its terrace with cosy beds. The blanket-laden resting places overlook an immense pizza oven and are the seat of choice for Brew’s movie nights. On Valentine’s day why not jump back into bed with a bottle of bubbly, your own waiter and a delicious breakfast of folded Burford Brown eggs with Brindisa Chorizo and Turkish Eggs, poached and served with hung yoghurt and hot chilli butter? Brew will offer the beds for couples to hire at the price of £100 which includes a bottle of Champagne (chosen by the manager), fresh roses and use of the bed.
162-162 Lower Richmond Road, Putney, SW15 1LY; brew-cafe.com
2 Or take breakfast to bed…
If you’d rather have breakfast in your own bed be sure to visit Babbo in Mayfair for dinner on Saturday 14 February, where the head chef has lovingly created baskets of freshly baked Italian pastries for each table to take away and enjoy with a lie-in and weekend papers on Sunday morning.
39 Albemarle Street W1S 4JQ; babborestaurant.co.uk
3 Go on a night safari
On 16 February, The Natural History Museum will be running Night Safari: Love in the Natural World, an evening event at the London landmark on Exhibition Road. The night has two tours for people to choose from; The Romance Tour and The Passion Tour. On The Romance Tour attendees will learn about ingenious dating rituals of the insect world – from drugging to stabbing, underwater love with Curator of Fish James Maclaine, and the explosive sex lives and incestuous inclinations of bees. Meanwhile, The Passion Tour will be an exploration of the earliest evidence of sex on Earth, insect attraction from perfume, plus presents and love songs and mollusc mating! Doors open at 6.30pm and the event finishes at 10pm, it is for over 18s only. Tickets are £40 or £36 for members and include a complimentary drink in Hintze Hall before the safari starts.
Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD; nhm.ac.uk
4 Watch a film in Hyde Park
Nomad Cinema’s pop-up screenings in Hyde Park return for Valentine’s Day (13 and 14 February). Head to The LookOut, a hidden venue in the middle of the park, to watch classic films that include The Graduate, Harold & Maude, The Notebook and Drive. Tickets cost £25 per person and include a glass of prosecco, a hot meal and a roaring firepit to toast marshmallows on.
The LookOut, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH; supporttheroyalparks.org
5 Go to a naughty movie…
Fifty Shades of Grey the movie is conveniently being released over Valentine’s Day weekend and you can be one of the first to see the cheeky film from the comfort of the Electric Cinema’s leather arm chairs and flat beds. On 14 February, the much-anticipated movie adaptation of E.L. James’ best-selling novel is being previewed at the boutique cinema in Notting Hill, accompanied by a special Valentine’s Day menu. Start with a welcome cocktail then move on to lobster rolls, figs with parma ham and goats cheese, asparagus with a balsamic glaze, avocado skewers with mozzarella and tomato and a sweet pudding to finish. The film starts at 6.30pm.
191 Portobello Road, London W11 2ED; electriccinema.co.uk
6 Have a luxury spa experience
The Bulgari’s stunning subterranean spa is the last word in cool. Lined in sandblasted Vincenza stone and gleaming green onyz, with glittering gold accents the spa echos the Bulgari family’s silversmith past and haute jeweller present. To seriously impress the important person in your life book the private Onyx Spa Suite on Valentine’s Day. Consisting of two treatment beds, a changing area, a palatial private bathroom, steam shower and private relaxation room complete with oversized hydromassage tub, three hours in here would be the ultimate Valentine’s treat. The Private Onyx Spa Suite £900 (minimum 3 hours, 2 hour treatment included)
171 Knightsbridge, London SW7 1DW; bulgarihotels.com
7 Do yoga at The Shard
You could head up The Shard look at the sunset and sip Champagne, but that would be a bit of a cliché and we’re looking for cool Valentine’s ideas, so skip that and instead hot foot it to a yoga lesson on high. The Shard hosts yoga classes every Saturday from 8.30-9.30pm. After a romantic shavasana together, head to Borough Market for breakfast.
32 London Bridge Street, London SE1 9SG; theviewfromtheshard.com
8 Have your handwriting analysed
Ever wondered if you’re destined for each other? Well there is really only one way to know… have your handwriting analysed. This Valentine’s Day, the Corinthia Hotel is bringing in top graphologist (we didn’t know it was a job either!) Emma Bache who, with a sample of handwriting, can reveal the personality of each individual and establish whether their true love really is in the writing! While you’re at the hotel, head to one of its fine-dining restaurants, The Northall or Massimo Restaurant, for a set dinner menu or afternoon tea. Emma will be dissecting hand writing from 3pm until 11pm on Saturday 14th February 2015.
Whitehall Place, London SW1A 2BD; corinthia.com
9 Win a diamond ring
So it might be a cliché to put a diamond ring in her drink, but is it a cliché when someone else does it? Camden restaurant Gilgamesh is giving one very lucky lady (or lad) the chance to win a diamond ring worth £600. Order the strawberry martini ‘Diamonds are Forever’ cocktail on 14 February and hope to shout ‘waiter, there’s a ring in my drink!’ To accompany your sparkler, there will be a special Valentine’s Day menu aimed to ignite the passion with aphrodisiacs like oysters, scallops, truffles and chocolate.
The Stables Market, Camden Market, Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8AH; gilgameshbar.com
10 Watch The Notebook at Hush Mayfair
Hush, Mayfair, will be turning its courtyard into an outdoor cinema, showcasing a special screening of the ultimate romantic film The Notebook. Wrap up under snug Hush blankets and tuck into tasty treats as you watch the drama unfold between Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams. Hush will be serving winter cocktails and gourmet popcorn, plus classic winter dishes from its Russian-themed ’Ski Season’ menu, where you’ll find everything from piping hot beef stroganoff to truffled chicken kiev served on a bed of truffled cheese risotto. Tickets can be booked on 0207 659 1500, with a £10 cover charge per table.
No. 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, London W1S 1EY; hush.co.uk
11 Singles supper club at Hally’s, Parsons Green
The Californian-style cafe Hally’s in Parson’s Green will host an exclusive Supper Club on Valentine’s Day. Whether you’re a couple, married or single, everyone is welcome to join the party. A laid-back menu of Devonshire crab with spicy salmon tartare; pan-roasted guinea fowl with truffled celeriac puree, wild mushrooms, spinach and a Madeira sauce and a choice of Chocolate mousse with honeycomb and homemade pistachio ice cream or Passion fruit tart with coconut creme fraiche will be served. Plus finish the evening with one of Hally’s famously good coffees and a handful of homemade chocolate truffles. Hally’s Supper Club costs £40pp and includes an amuse bouche and glass of wine (or a juice from sister site Little H) on arrival, tea and coffee. 60 New King’s Road, London, SW6 4LS; hallyslondon.com