Valentine’s Day is almost here, and whether you want to impress bae or celebrate how glorious your single life is; we’ve got you covered. To avoid cliché events and gestures, we called on our friends at DesignMyNight for the low-down. From a Beyoncé-themed single ladies night to a screening of Romeo + Juliet on London’s biggest screen; there’s no way you’re staying in on the 14th.
Not buying into the sham that is Valentine’s Day? Grab your single ladies and go to the The Yoncé Experience at XOYO. It’s a night dedicated to the musical workings of Beyoncé, with a couple of Destiny’s Child hits thrown in for good measure. Channel your inner Sasha Fierce with princess crowns and Beyoncé masks, and embrace the dazzling diva you are.
Whether the thought of Valentine’s Day makes you wanna laugh or cry, seeing some live stand-up is always a good shout. Head down to East London’s Loves Company on the 14th to see performances from top comedians of the Comedy Cirque... and for a cocktail menu worthy of making your taste buds fall head over heels. Tickets are an absolute steal too at £5, making it a cheap and cheerful way to spend the most loved-up day of the year.
Pretend you’re off to the Capulet masked ball this Valentine’s and watch Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet at The Grand. Not only are they showing the iconic film on London’s biggest screen... they’re also dishing out prizes for the best dressed Capulets and Montagues. There will also be a Romeo blind date booth and, wait for it - a Young Hearts Run Free dance off. Expect a stellar snack selection of popcorn, hot dogs, nachos and plenty of themed cocktails to keep you going throughout the extravaganza.
If you reckon Moulin Rouge is one of the best musicals ever made, Hester’s Hideout is the only place you need to be this Valentine’s. Warm your vocals before visiting here on Friday 16th and belt out all the hits as Pianist Master Meredith leads the night’s sing-alongs. Hester’s Hideout is a burlesque bar. You can expect a dazzling set of cabaret performances, slinky chain-covered booths and beautifully crafted cocktails.
Don’t you dare cry into a tub of Ben and Jerry’s this Valentine’s; you’re to embrace your singledom at The Bleeding Heart Ball. Waterloo’s atmospheric Vaults will be taken over by immersive characters, kooky circus performers, live gypsy folk music and brass bands for a night like no other. Expect a wonderfully weird array of oddities too, like confession booths, love roulette and nude life drawing models.
Need a place where no schmaltzy couples are allowed this Valentine’s? Head to Bounce’s annual anti-Valentine’s Day party, in conjunction with dating app Bumble. You can show off your skills with unlimited ping pong and wonderball, eat pizza slices to your heart's desire and enjoy a cocktail (or three) if you don’t have any looming deadlines. There’ll be heart-shaped piñatas to take your Valentine’s Day anger out on, group tournaments and UV face paint artists.
Wanna impress bae this Valentine’s? The Pen & Pencil in Manchester are hosting a gin and jazz evening and it’s sure to impress your other half. Soul singer Yemi Bolatiwa will be wowing the crowd with her beautiful vocals. There will be a selection of Valentine’s-themed cocktails to get familiar with (as well as wallet-friendly £3 G&Ts). You can also get a snap of you and your lover printed onto a personalised bottle of Vedett beer, if you want a cute-as-hell keepsake of your romantic night.
If loving gin is something you and your partner have in common, the Gin Parlour at The Jekyll and Hyde is the perfect place for you. This romantic evening will include a masterclass on mother’s ruin, before you taste your way through the venue’s ever-so-special collection of gins. You can also indulge in a cheese and charcuterie option from Birmingham’s local delicatessen, for a special price of £25.
As tempting as a takeaway and movie at home is, why not push the boat out this year with a romantic meal at 200 SVS? Located on the 6th floor, you can gawp at stunning views of Glasgow before feasting on a delectable four-course menu. Expect a Valentine’s fizz on arrival followed by canapés.
Single this Valentine’s? Grab your squad for a mammoth karaoke session at Lucky Voice. You’ll get your own private room where you can belt out your favourite ballads at an ear-shattering volume, with no judgement whatsoever. There’ll be two packages to choose from on the big day: the ‘Stupid Cupid’ that’ll get you two pizzas, a bottle of fizz and shots. Or go for the aptly named ‘Mates Before Dates’ deal that includes four pizzas, two bottles of fizz and lots of shots.
For more info on what’s on for Valentine’s Day in London and across the UK, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Instagram and Twitter; @DesignMyNight.
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