The Best Date Night Ideas For A Totally Non-Cringe Valentine's Day

Josie Ayre

Candlelit dinner for two with a violin quartet playing in the background? Vom.

 Not sure you or your other half can hack another Valentine's trying to pretend you're really romantic and wouldn't prefer to spend the night sat in bed throwing Malteasers into each other's mouths?  Or you're recently single and you need to stay as far away from loved up couples as humanly possible? 

We've got the activities that will keep you occupied this Valentine's Day and won't involve you having to limply clap after witnessing a vom-inducing proposal...

For an alternative cocktail
...

Joyeux Bordel bar




Joyeux Bordel launched in Shoreditch last year, boasting a menu of alternative cocktails with artisan beer and a shot of spirit. The bar has teamed up with local London breweries to pair particular whiskies and spirits with traditional brews, and the cosy yet stylish old-school decor looks like the perfect climate for trying out all those new flavours.


For the pair who aren't afraid to work their Weiner...

The Running Horse's sausage masterclasses



If you're not afraid to whack your bangers out, head to the oldest pub in Mayfair, The Running Horse, where chefs can teach you and your partner the proper way to stuff a sausage.  Romance is well and alive, people.  With Champagne on arrival (to calm those nerves), Valentine's cocktails and a lunch, this is the perfect activity for those couples who aren't afraid to beat their meat.

For the single…


Palentine’s Day Party at The Book Club


If Valentine’s Day is about showing your loved ones how much they really mean to you, why not do it with friendship bracelets for your bestie? Cancel the Tinder date and book your BFFL in for a day of ‘pals only’ activities. The Book Club will be kicking off the day of love with a friendship bracelet workshop with the Crafternoon Cabaret Club, followed by a screening of the classic 90s film, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. You can sip on cocktails and dig into bags of popcorn and sweets while being safe in the knowledge that your night won’t end with a sloppy and all-together unsatisfying kiss from a near stranger.

For the pair with crabs...

House of Crab's Crab Masterclasses



Want to guarantee a cracking date?  House of Crab's crab masterclasses running throughout Valentine's weekend will do that for you.  You and your partner can learn how to cook and prepare crab with the supervision of the restaurant's top class chefs and then eat your crustacean creations later.  Just be sure to share, you don't want to be labelled shellfish on the night. 

For the boozed up pair…

The Modern Pantry Boozy Brunch



If you met your partner when you were slightly sozzled and definitely thought their name was ‘Perry’ not ‘Gary’ then why not celebrate Valentine’s Day inebriated? The Finsbury Square and Clerkenwell branches of the Modern Pantry are doing a special bottomless prosecco lunch where you can down all the sparkling wine you want for 2 hours so you can get as drunk as you like with Perry…no sorry, Gary!

For the child at heart pair...


Is there anything more fun than a trampoline?  We think not.  Why celebrate Valentine's Day with a romantic meal for two where you'll eventually end up awkwardly chatting about your families and one of you may or may not cry, when you could just bounce around gayly on a trampoline and not have a care in the world?  And since trampolining is technically exercise, this date kills two birds with one stone.  The couples who trampoline together, stay together, we say.  Not only that but Jump Nation in Manchester will be aiding in the quest for love for those singles who don't mind a bounce, with a dedicated hour session of jumping for the unmatched from 8-9pm. 

For the third wheeler…

Zetter Townhouse Marylebone



The effortlessly chic Zetter Townhouse Marylebone will be running an anti-Valentine’s Day deal where every table of three gets a free gooseberry kir cocktail (see what they did there). So invite your recently dumped friend onto your romantic date, or just simply get your two best friends together for a right knees up courtesy of the Zetter.

For the blood thirsty…

Bloody Valentine Cabin at The York & Albany

For scorned girlfriends (and boyfriends) everywhere, York & Albany have come to the rescue. The ultimate anti-Valentine’s experience, the Bloody Valentine Cabin will have themed snacks, cocktails and cult horror films at the ready.

For the city dwelling seafarers…

London Shell Co.



Love seafood? Love wine? Love canals? Obviously, who doesn’t? The London Shell Co. introduces London’s first canal boat supper club held on a barge. Float down the river from Camden to Little Venice this Valentine’s Day while gulping oysters and drinking English sparkling wines.

For the can’t cook, won’t cook romantic…

Book your own personal chef


Don’t know the difference between an aubergine and an artichoke? Or simply can’t stand sitting in a restaurant with a million other couples declaring their love to each other? Celebrate the night in the comfort of your own home without having to try disguise the fact that the ‘gourmet meal’ you’ve just served up is actually a 2 for 1 deal from M&S by hiring your own personal chef from La Belle Assiette. Once you choose from their database of set menus online, the chef will arrive, fresh meat and veg in hand and prepare the meal and they can even cater to group dining. Perfect.

The musically inclined pair…

A Night at the Movies



The Piano Works bar is hosting a Night at the Movies night where two live pianists and a live band will play songs from everyone’s favourite Rom Coms as requested by the audience. Cocktails will include the Cinderfuckingrella, The Swayze and The Rizzo and you’ll be able to dine on ice cream, popcorn and take non-cringe couples photos in the photobooth filled with movie props.

For the jazzed up couple…

YolanDa Brown's Reggae Love Songs Tour




If you’re more into the sax than the sex, the double MOBO award-winning YolanDa Brown will be kicking off her Reggae Love Songs Tour with a Valentine’s Day gig in London at Nell’s Jazz and Blues Club.

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