“What are you doing for Valentine’s Day?” is a question that can strike fear into the heart of single people everywhere (unless you’re too cool for the whole V Day thing – respect). For anyone who is worried about spending the day minus a bae, we’ve got you covered with our pick of things to do with your mates or on your tod. Get stuck in below.
Bluebird Café, White City
What: This year, Bluebird Café White City is celebrating friendships by offering a free carafe of wine to anyone who turns up with a mate. So this year, forget trawling through Tinder and bumbling along on, er, Bumble and call up one of your besties instead. When at Bluebird, you can tuck into dishes such as spiced tuna poke bowl with quinoa, edamame, avocado and crispy shallots – just remember to quote ‘bring a mate’ when booking.
Where: 101 Wood Lane, W12 7FR
How much: Free
What: Ok, so this Mayfair Italian is actually quite romantic and there will probably be couples aplenty there on Valentine’s night. Don’t worry about that though, as Bocconcino is serving up hand rolled pasta, spun in a giant hot Grana Padano cheese wheel…yes, you read that correctly. Grab a friend and get stuck in caveman-style, while all the couples around you try and eat politely and without spilling sauce down their tops. Take that, romance!
Where: 19 Berkeley Street, W1J 8ED
How much: £22 (£12 supplement for truffle shavings)
What: Forget belting I Will Always Love You, as it will be Murder on the Dancefloor this Valentine’s at Barts. The Chelsea speakeasy is hosting a murder mystery evening, with the plot following a gruesome murder as the, um, climax of a love story gone wrong. Guests will have four possible suspects to choose from and will have to employ their best sleuthing skills to solve the crime. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as once the perp is locked away, guests can get back to enjoying Barts’ cocktail menu, which includes the appropriately named Bloody Goodbyes.
Where: Chelsea Cloisters, SW3 3DW
How much: £30 (includes a welcome drink)
What: If you’re anti-Valentine’s Day to the extreme, then you should spend your evening at the gloriously camp Maggie’s, which is hosting its annual ‘Love Stinks: Anti-Valentine’s Party’. The night will see free cocktails on entry for singletons, as well as free ice cream, 80s music and a kissing booth. The best part is that any couples attending the night will have to pay double for their entry…sorry, not sorry.
Where: 329 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL
How much: £15 entry per person
What: Single and ready to mingle? Head down to Pergola Olympia for a night of revelry at its Singles Circus. Guests will be provided with a lock or key on arrival, and they'll have to find their perfect match. As well as that fun game, you'll also be able to enjoy DJ's playing all night, alongside circus acts, glitter stations and food and cocktail specials from resident eateries Patty & Bun, Claw and Passo.
Where: Level Five Rooftop, Olympia Car Park, Olympia Way W14 8UX
How much: Tickets, £5 per person
Quo Vadis, Soho
What: Worried about going to a restaurant on Valentine’s and being surrounded by amorous couples slobbering all over each other? Worry not, as there’s always Quo Vadis, which is hosting a cliché-free supper club where the food is served family-style (the perfect opportunity to get chatting to fellow singletons.) The menu will be revealed on the night, but as Quo Vadis has partnered with chefs Andrew Clarke and Jackson Boxer from the much-lauded St Leonard’s, you can probably expect wood-fired dishes and excellent seafood.
Where: 26-29 Dean Street, W1D 3LL
How much: £55 per person
Worried that every restaurant will be booked out in advance by loved-up couples? Take your mates to our pick of London’s best no-bookings restaurants (and this lot take down your number, so you don’t have to wait in the cold – result.)