St Valentine’s Day is like Marmite. Even though people say they like it, they’re lying. Everyone hates it. But Valentine’s Day is completely inescapable. Before the January blues have even set in properly, everything is suddenly red and pink and surrounded by love hearts. By 1st of Feb you’re most likely sick of it but I’m afraid it’s not over yet. On Saturday 14th February the only way you can remain Vals Day neutral is by staying in, watching Netflix and turning off all notifications from your phone, iPad, emails, everything. But that’s a bit drastic. So, here’s a Valentine’s Day themed guide for where you can spend the night – whether you’re single and intend to stay that way, or already taken, there’s something for you.
Want to get dressed up, go out with the girls and not be hounded by men (and othe
r women) asking you to be their Valentine? Head to Dirty Martini Covent Garden
. Usually good as an after work drinks venue because of the happy hour, the bar is adapting for V Day. Happy hour is until 9pm and entry is free until 10pm. Even after happy hour, drinks are pretty affordable but to stay on the cheap side stick to Lavender and Rose Martinis which will be £5 all night long. Book a table and drinks in advance and you save 10%! The central location means it’s easy for everyone to get to and perfect for the Trafalgar Square Maccy D/night bus combo at the end of the night.
Ready to Mingle
Sticking to the same location, if you’re looking for Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now), just around the corner from Dirty Martini is Foundation Bar
. An underground cocktail bar with room aplenty to dance, unlike all these trendy ‘speakeasy’ type places, Foundation Bar offers cocktails, food and good times. Happy hour is until 7.30pm and gives you 50% off drinks and food platters. If you’re getting down early I recommend the Foundation Platter – pizza, popcorn, chicken wings, chips and spring rolls – sounds like heaven right? And there’s a big dance floor so you’ll burn the calories by dancing all night… I also recommend choosing all cocktails based on the freebie that comes on the side. My favourites are the one that comes with a french fancy and the one with a temporary tattoo.
If you’re in this stage, you’re most likely pretending you don’t want to do anything on Valentine’s Day as its ‘too soon’ but also really not wanting to go out with your single friends as you’re not technically single. Here’s a quick fix. Casually ask what he’s doing on Saturday. When he says nothing/not sure say there’s this fun bar where you can play table football and you’ve been meaning to go for ages, fancy it? Of course he does. Then you can head to Bar Kick in Shoreditch for cringe free V Day fun.
At this stage you think you’re the best couple in the world and you have the most fun and the best dates and you want everyone to know it. So obviously you’ll go somewhere really cool but also romantic that all your friends will be jealous of. Hello Wilton’s Music Hall
. Wilton’s is the world’s oldest surviving Great Music Hall and is gorgeous. The Mahogany Bar is open to the public and serves drinks which are a little pricey but totally worth it for the venue. Head here after dinner for the perfect photo opp #nofilter. The bar shuts at 11pm but is in a good location in East London to head to an after party.
Hearing Wedding Bells
You’re at the stage where every holiday/special occasion that comes up induces speculation about whether he is going to propose. Top tip: if he proposes on Valentine’s Day, say no. That’s not romantic. It’s cheesy and makes for a terrible story which all your friends will laugh at, even if just on the inside. So to avoid proposal hell head to somewhere a bit different from the usual ‘we’re so in love let’s spend all our money on expensive bars and restaurants and take pictures so everyone can see how in love we are’ venues. How about The Rum Kitchen
? Rediscover your fun dating days by taking yourself less seriously, drinking some rum punch and dancing the night away in the Notting Hill branch. Not a heart shaped balloon in sight.
The End is Nigh
If you’ve been planning to end it but it hasn’t been the right time, V Day is a bummer. You can’t have the most romantic day ever and then a week later drop the bombshell. So keep it low key. Floridita
in Soho is nice but not too over the top. There will be a live band on Valentine’s Day from 6pm so grab some cocktails and enjoy the last dance.
And there we have it. Whatever your relationship status (in real life not on Facebook) there is a Valentine’s venue awaiting your arrival! Have fun and stay safe.
What are you doing this Valentine’s Day? Let me know in the comments!