There’s nothing more crushing than having to interrupt a passionate kiss with the words ‘Sorry I need to get the last tube home as I have an early start at work tomorrow’. Set yourself free this Valentine’s Day in London and bask in the 48 hours of glory that is ‘Valentine’s Weekend’. If you haven’t already heard, the 14th February this 2015 falls on a Saturday for the first time in 7 years, hurrah! The downside being no homemade glitter-glued love-cards can be snuck early onto work colleague’s desks, and amorous couples will probably have booked all your favourite restaurants out. The plus side is if your date goes well there’s a lazy Sunday breakfast lie-in waiting ahead, and the lonely hearts ending on a dud can freely ride the night bus home, spending Sunday easing their pain with alcohol and stodgy food down the local pub. Why not touché the London crowds and try an alternative date this Valentines weekend? Here are 10 great ways to feel the love between you and the apple of your eye.
1. Romantic Rickshaw Ride
Love can be a bumpy ride so why not get used to this feeling early on in your relationship with a playful Rickshaw ride around London’s West End. To avoid disappointment pre-book and arrange your journey with care using Rickshaw’s in London. Offering tours starting in Leicester Square, passing Piccadilly circus, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Houses of Parliament and ending at number 10 downing street. See London’s best sites chauffeur driven.
2. Old Time Glamour at Searcys Champagne Bar
Bring back some of that old-time glamour and enjoy a bottle of champagne at Searcys Champagne Bar opposite the Eurostar platform in the grandeur of London’s King Cross St Pancras Station. People-watch Parisian day-trippers and gaze at the panoramic view of the entire terminal, whilst also making the most of the historic vaulted ceiling. Afterwards stroll into the impressive Renaissance Hotel bar for a nightcap under art deco lamps. Oh la la.
3. Take in London’s City Skyline
If you’re the adventurous type, and a tough cookie that’s doesn’t mind a cold mid-February winters night, then on with your walking shoes and up to the dizzying heights of one of London’s best view’s atop Parliament Hill. This famous location in Hampstead is a popular spot on warm summer days, or any night of the year as a reminder of why you love this city so much. Walk briskly to get the blood pumping and lips warmed up for a kiss by the lights of London’s impressive city skyline.
4. Make your Love as Smooth as Chocolate
Its no secret that women love chocolate, with some studies claiming it to be an aphrodisiac. It’s also no secret that most men will do anything to get their lady in the mood. So work together on this and make your Valentines date sugar-sweet with an Evening Ecstasy Chocolate Tour, tasting samples of the seductive melt-in-your-mouth finest from around the decadent areas of Mayfair to Chelsea. You can even make your affair royal by experiencing some of the Queens favourite cocoa.
5. Romance on the Water
‘I met my girl at Woolwich Pier, beneath a big crane standing, and oh, the love I felt for her. It passed all understanding. Took her sailing on the river, flow, sweet river, flow. London town was mine to give her’ Lyrics from Dick Guaghan’s famous ‘Sweet Thames Flow Softly’, which you could serenade your lover with this Valentines, or choose to make your own original melody instead with dinner and drinks on a romantic Thames cruise. Make sweet music alongside the glittering lights of London city by water at night.
6. Desire on the 40th Floor
Scared of heights? Great! Plan the perfect Valentine’s evening by snuggling up to your partner for safety in one of London’s tallest cocktail bars, The Duck and Waffle at Liverpool Street’s Heron building. This prime location features a breath-taking 360 panoramic view of this ever-evolving city, so close is the Gherkin you can nearly touch it. Before taking the spectacular lift to the 40th floor, stop and gaze at the foyers 70,000 litre tropical fish tank which holds 1,200 of the magnificent colourful species.
7. Whisper Sweet Nothings
Declare your hearts most whimsical desires by visiting the Poetry Library at London’s Royal Festival Hall, containing over 200,000 pieces to whisper into your lover’s ear, Aawww. The idea makes you cringe? Then get your romance in a more sinister way at the Anti-Slam Anti-Valentines Day event in Hackney, featuring London’s very best poets lowering the art by riotously reciting some of the most abysmal love poems ever written. Even dark hearts need love.
8. Star-Gazing with Bubbles
Instead of ruining your date and your reputation with such pick-up lines as ‘If stars would fall every time I thought of you, the midnight sky would soon be empty’, have some dignity and arrange a glass of champagne and star gazing via the 18–tonne Victorian telescope at the Royal Observatories Valentines Day Planetarium show. Rocket your love to universal heights. No jokes about the size of your telescope please, lets keep this classy.
9. Street Food with Style
Are you the non-committal type that likes to cruise around and consume at will? Then Borough Market is your stomping ground with a street-food style eating and drinking program. Share plates with your date such as freshly shucked oysters, Argentinian empanadas, cheeses and cured meats, dumplings and German sausage. Eat at will, and enjoy wandering around the old-London-town feel of the market with the tipple of your choice.
10. Get into Bed… in Public
Prefer to spend your date with less talking and more visual stimulation? Then book your ticket now at one of London’s oldest and most romantic pictures houses, the Electric Cinema on Portobello. Enjoy an evening of, er-hum, love making, with the Valentines Day screening film adaptation of best-selling erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey. Choose between lush leather armchairs with cashmere blankets, or a front row velvet lined bed. Waiters are on hand to serve cocktails throughout the film.
** Extend your romantic gesture even further with the sweet smell of love and order carefully crafted bespoke flower arrangements from one of London’s finest florists, Bloomsbury Flowers www.bloomsburyflowers.co.uk/
Written by Justina Terese, Food Writer and Recipe Developer www.foodforaking.com