We won’t even waste your time with boring dinner for twos, here’s our pick of where to take your cocktail lover for a tipple or two before, on and after Valentine’s Day…
To get you in the mood for love:
Throughout the month: Champagne baths at The Cadogan Hotel
Hello, what’s this? Champagne baths for you and your loved one? Surely only one for those in receipt of RBS-type bank bonuses… At The Cadogan those with money to burn (or literally wash down the plughole) can have a bath made with 120 bottles of champagne, warmed to the temperature of your choice, as well as your personal butler who will keep you topped up with a bottle of champers to drink and strawberries hand-dipped in chocolate to munch on. The bath menu is priced at (and no, we haven’t added extra noughts on the end):
Louis de Custine Brut – £4,000
Perrier Jouet Grand Brut – £6,000
Perrier Jouet ‘Blason’ Rose – £8,000
Dom Perignon Vintage – £25,000
The Cadogan, 75 Sloane Street, SW1X 9SG. T: 020 7235 7141. cadogan.com
8, 9, 10 February: Tales of love, lust and longing
Pack your best PJs and nighties for these love-tastic Bedtime Storytelling sessions in one of London’s trendiest hotels. Perfect for singletons and couples with a sense of adventure. From 7.30pm. £25 including fruity gin cocktails and nibbles (seriously, sleepwear must be worn. You’ve been warned…)
40 Winks, 109 Mile End Road, E1 4UJ. T: 020 7790 0259. 40winks.org.
10 February: Winterwell Head Over Heels Valentine Special
Kissing booths, intimate alcoves and flirty, dirty dancing get amorous types in the mood for Valentine’s Day proper. This disco night is all about fancy dress, kinky boots and great cocktails, so make sure you dress accordingly.
Loft Studios, Scrubs Lane, Kensal Green, NW10 6QW. winterwell.co.uk.
On the day (that’s 14 February in case you’ve forgotten…):
Cocktails and Canapes
Be the host/ess with the most/est after learning how to make the ultimate party cocktails and canapes with the folk at Waitrose Cookery School. You’ll master three small canapes such as duck with cashews and soy or prawns with sherry, then move to the bar for a hands-on class mixing up cocktails to go with. 5.45pm-9.45pm. £85 per person.
Waitrose Cookery School, Goldhurst Terrace, 199 Finchley Road, NW3 6NN. T: 020 7372 6108. waitrose.com
Dinner and a movie
Not your average seat in the Vue cinema but a romantic open-air date in the heated courtyard at Hush. Rug up with the provided blankets and enjoy cocktails and a 3-course a la carte meal as you watch Audrey doing her fabulous thing in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. From 7pm.
Hush, 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, W1S 1EY. Bookings on: 020 7659 1511. hush.co.uk.
The Lust List at Purple Bar, Sanderson
Perfect for cocktail lovers, the Lust List in the seductive setting of the Purple Bar comprises aphrodisiac cocktails including a home-made white chocolate and vanilla martini, muddled with fresh strawberries and shaken with Creme de cacao. There’s also a shot cocktail made with El Dorado 5 year-old, shaken with flowering Jasmine Tea, home-made honey water, a dash of Angostura and orange bitters and fresh lime juice, served over ice.
Purple Bar, Sanderson, 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG. T: 020 7300 1400. sanderson.com.
Make Love Not War!
Go retro romantic at this 1940’s-inspired evening for old-fashioned sweethearts. Enjoy a glass of Cava on arrival, two starters, two mains and a dessert to share. £79 ticket price includes burlesque entertainment.
Proud Cabaret, 1 Mark Lane, EC3R 7AH. T: 020 7283 1940. proudcabaret.com.
Scents and Seduction
Join us for an intimate evening of scent and seduction, exploring flirty, naughty and tempting scents from the stunning portfolio at leading fragrance boutique Les Senteurs. Each mood will be matched with equally enticing cocktails, getting richer, deeper and more sensual as the evening goes on. Champagne and canapes on arrival, cocktails and goody bag. 6.30pm-8.30pm. Tickets £25 each, £40 for two booking together
Les Senteurs, 2 Seymour Place, W1H 7NH. Book tickets here.
Love Will Tear Us Apart
If you are going to do the dinner thing, at least make sure it’s something a bit different. Like being handcuffed in bed with your lover. At Supperclub, couples are encouraged to feed and quench each other’s thirst as they are locked together for the duration of the evening. Those who make it through the end of the night will be awarded a prize and couples who don’t will “find out how love can tear them apart.” Their words, not ours… 7pm onwards. £59 for four-course meal and glass of champagne. Cocktails extra.
12 Acklam Road, W10 5QZ. T: 020 8964 6600. supperclub.com.
Themed Cocktail Clinics
Mini themed class expertly guiding you through the craft of mixing and shaking specially themed cocktails with the team at Shaker Bar School. Discounts available in the upstairs bar if you stay on to continue the party. 7.30pm-9pm. £70 per person.
Shaker & Company, 119 Hampstead Road, NW1 3EE. T: 0870 720 2877. shaker-uk.com.
Valentine’s Day on the EDF London Eye
Call it cheesy if you like but really, as far as romance is concerned, it’s hard to beat a twirl on the London Eye. Of course, you can do the bog-standard flight (£18.90 per ticket) but make it more of an occasion by going for the special Valentine’s packages, including, the Valentine’s Champagne Experience (priority boarding, 30 minutes on the London Eye, one glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne per person, one red rose per couple, luxury chocolates per couple, £35.04 each); Valentine’s Cupid Capsule (priority boarding, private capsule for two, bottle of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne, box of Charbonnel et Walker pink champagne truffles, one red rose, complimentary View 360 Guide per person, £325 per capsule). Alternatively, go for the Valentine’s Champagne Dinner Cruise (Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and canapé reception, three hour cruise along the Thames on the London Eye Barracuda, violinist playing an array of romantic melodies, red rose, three course meal, half bottle of wine per person, coffee and petit fours, £154 per person), and the Valentine’s Cruise (40 minute circular sightseeing cruise, glass of Pommery Brut Royal Champagne per person, live commentary based on Love in London, £20 per person). Phew! 10% online booking discount.
Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7RB. londoneye.com.
Valentine’s Eat Drink Bowl
Not overtly glamorous but heaps of fun, the Valentine’s Day offering here takes in two courses (more burger and cheesecake rather than oysters and chocolate fondant), a cocktail and a bowling match. Sharing cocktails available for £12 each.
All Star Lanes, Victoria House, Bloomsbury Place, WC1B 4DA. T: 020 7025 2676. allstarlanes.com.
On the day:
F*ck Valentine’s Day Traffic Party
Cheap drinks and bad behaviour are the order of the day here. Expect props such as the ‘fit finder’ where you can check out the talent on the night, plenty of limbo dancing, live music and DJ sessions from Cat Lovers and D Automation. At a guess, we’d say this is more suited to students (just saying…) Free entry.
Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden Town NW1 8AH. T: 020 7482 3867. proudcamden.com.
Single & Fabulous: The Anti-Valentine’s Day Event
This event has fun with a capital ‘F’ written all over it. It’s definitely one for the girls, so ladies gather a group of your fabulous single friends and head down to the private room at Hush where you’ll be entertained with four episodes of Sex and the City whilst enjoying manicures, cocktails and canapes. Tickets cost £35 and include a goody bag bursting with girly treats from Ten Pilates, London Serenity, Aesop and Diptyque. From 7pm.
Hush, 8 Lancashire Court, Brook Street, W1S 1EY. Bookings on: 020 7659 1511. hush.co.uk.
After V-day (but definitely for lovers):
18 February: Beefeater 24 Science of Love Molecular Masterclass
Take a peak inside Tony Conigliaro’s Drink Factory at this exclusive workshop exploring the unique flavour profile of Beefeater 24. After being privy to Tony’s innovative drinks creations, guests will then be able to enjoy cocktails in his award-winning bar, 69 Colebrooke Row – just down the road. Early booking advised. 3pm-5pm. Free entry.
The Drinks Factory, 35 Britannia Row, N1 8AA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
18 February: St. Valentine’s Masked Ball
Masks are a must at this lush Last Tuesday Society ball in the splendid Georgian vaults at 9 Adam Street. Expect New Orleans jazz, swing and boogie-woogie – if your moves aren’t up to scratch, turn up an hour earlier for the special Danse Practise, fun classes in waltz, swing and pole dancing. (9.15pm-10pm; £5). Tickets for ball, £25.
9 Adam Street, WC2N 6AA. theorphanagedance.co.uk.
2o February: Hendrick’s Unusual Month of Reverse Courtship
In case you were unaware, 2012 is a Leap Year which means ladies can propose without coming across as being forward (or, heaven forbid, desperate). To celebrate this topsy-turviness Hendrick’s are hosting the Ladies School of Nuptial Conquest, providing invaluable tips on how females can tempt and seduce their intended. Running alongside will be the School of Scoundrels, for men who wish to bow out gracefully. Entry is free and there will be refreshing Hendrick’s tipples on offer. Fun times guaranteed.
Further information and registration at hendricksgin.com.