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Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be mean lavish displays of roses and chocolate. This year, there are a number of inventive events to pick from, ranging from special film screenings, to balloon send-offs, Georgian banquets and more. Find our picks below.
Inspired by its latest exhibition, the British Library is hosting a Georgian-inspired Valentine's banquet. Expect historical feasts, interactive performances and baroque music.
The ball takes place on 14 February.
Tickets are priced at £35.
Read our review of the British Library here
Cutty Sark (pictured right)
Join 2012 Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite for an evening at the Cutty Sark, where he’ll present a three-course menu with a heavy emphasis on desserts. The night will feature a passion-fruit meringue tartlet; a chocolate, caramel and salted pretzel bar with honeycomb shard, and a mysterious ‘Love Potion Number 9’ mousse, made of a rose and lychee mousse with raspberry ganache. All diners will leave with a copy of the chef’s cookbook John Whaite Bakes: Recipes for Every Day and Every Mood, too.
This menu is available for £55 on 14 February.
Read our review of the Cutty Sark here
Tower (pictured left)
If panoramic views over London aren’t enough, the Oxo Restaurant Tower and Brasserie are bringing in live music and candles to create an extra- special atmosphere. As well as a glass of Champagne on arrival, a three-course meal, half a bottle of house wine per person and coffee, the restaurant is also providing balloons that can be personalised with a message, quote or memory before letting it off from the viewing gallery over the skyline of London. Tickets are £125 for the brasserie and £170 at the restaurant. Read our review of the Oxo Tower Restaurant here
Refuel at The Soho Hotel
Screening Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet alongside a set four-course meal, The Soho Hotel provides a great opportunity for film lovers to enjoy modern European cuisine and a cosy cinema space with a glass of Champagne. The menu choices include dishes such as roast Suffolk chicken with leek and rosemary risotto and charred spring onions, and crispy duck salad with roast plums and baby spinach. Dessert options include vanilla pannacotta, grilled fig and honey, and raspberry-milkshake mousse with almond biscuits.
The film and four-course set menu is priced at £65 per person. Screenings will take place on 14 February at 8.30pm and 15 February at 9pm.
Read our review of Refuel here
Sip/Sniff at Stories
Sip/Sniff’s Odette Toilette and wine expert Clara Rubin are hosting a Valentine’s special based on the sensory experiences of blind dates. Guests will be presented with six different perfumes and wines while Odette and Clara explain the link between the nose and the palate. Pairings will vary from 'coquettish' to 'rich'.
The event takes place on 11 February, tickets are £25. Book at http://www.wegottickets.com/event/251588
Read our review of Stories here
The South London Soul Train Valentine’s Special
As well as providing a Barry White tribute band as part of its regular Soul Train night, on Valentine’s Day The Bussey Building will also offer a champagne bar and pop-up cinema playing classic romantic films all evening.
The event takes place on 14 February from 10pm. Tickets are £5.
Find out more at clfartcafe.org
Valentine’s Day on the London Eye (pictured right)
For Valentine’s Day the London Eye has put together a number of packages that combine spectacular views with has all kinds. Cupid’s Capsule, Valentine’s Chocolate Treat, Valentine’s Champagne Experience and the Valentine’s Champagne and Canapés Experience offer differing combinations of red roses, Hotel Chocolat pink Champagne truffles, Pommery Champagne and a selection of canapés, including Parmesan hearts, chocolate-dipped strawberries and pink Champagne jellies, alongside rides around the wheel.
Available from Thursday 13 February-Saturday 16 February.
Booking and more information is available at londoneye.com/Valentines