From flowers to books to dining in the dark, here are five unusual North London date ideas to impress your significant other this Valentine’s Day
1 Columbia Road Flower Market
Say it with flowers: have fun haggling with the barrow boys and nab a Valentine’s bouquet in this floral oasis. You can find everything from hand-picked posies to extravagant designs nestled amongst art galleries, pubs and delis, just a short walk from Brick Lane’s infamous Sunday market.
Columbia Road, Bethnal Green E2 7RG; columbiaroad.info
2 The Book Club
Leonard Street’s Book Club gives you a date with a difference: the usual dining and drinking, but with a literary twist. The hotly anticipated ‘Chemistry of Love’ event is sure to get pulses racing, but if you are shunning romance this year, the wittily branded ‘Palentine’s Day’ will offer an alternative to the traditional couple’s club.
100-106 Leonard Street, Old Street EC2A 4RH; 020 7684 8618; wearetbc.com
3 Zen Mondo
For a twist on a traditional restaurant date, aphrodisiac sushi is a sure-fire winner. Zen Mondo is the only restaurant in Angel boasting a Japanese owner and chef, and even has a special pre-theatre menu. Treat yourselves to salmon sashimi, flying fish roe, matcha cheesecake and a cup of sake in its intimate and truly ‘zen’ atmosphere. Itadakimasu!
326 Upper Street, Angel N1 2XQ; 020 7502 2078; zenmondo.co.uk
4 Dans Le Noir?
Looking to heighten your senses? The flavours, aromas and textures of the surprise Valentine’s menu at Dans Le Noir? in Clerkenwell are served in pitch-black darkness, so you can get lost in the moment. The menu is designed by Olivier Romain and carefully paired wines enhance an encounter that is already unique.
30-31 Clerkenwell Green EC1R ODU; 020 7253 1100; london.danslenoir.com
5 Regent’s Canal / New River
Take in the picturesque barges of Regent’s Canal or change it up with a stroll along the historical New River. Flowing between Canonbury Road and St Paul’s Road towards Hackney, today it is possible to walk almost the whole length of the riverside footpath. If feeling lazy, why not take a boat?
WORDS Madeleine Howell