IF you’re not careful, Valentine’s Day dating can be saccharine-sweet, filled with kitsch and a bit cringe-worthy for all those involved.Â
So how do you keep your edge while treating your loved one to an appropriately-romantic time?
Here’s our guide to the quirky and cool dates that will impress.
Â ZSL Whipsnade Zooâs Lookout Lodge
Treat your lover to a WILD night – by giving them a gift voucher for an adults-only night at ZSLÂ Whipsnade Zooâs Lookout Lodge. This gives couples the chance to bunk down in the extra-comfy lodges at the heart of the Zoo, surrounded by wild animals (rhinos to the left, greenery to the right) and spectacular scenery.Â The evening begins with a glass of bubbles, followed by a tour where guests are introduced to some of Whipsnadeâs animals. Food comes courtesy of a barbecue opposite the tiger enclosure; and a torch-lit walk back to the lodges.Â Then relax and enjoy the luxury of your lodge.Â The next day, after a hot breakfast, guests enjoy an early morning tour of the Zoo to watch the animals waking up before everyone else arrives.Â Adult-only nights at Lookout Lodge launch on March 27 and run until October 27. Book a specific date, or buy an open-ended voucher, giving the recipient flexibility to choose their own date.
Future Cinema, Casablanca
Future Cinema invites audiences to step inside the world of ultra-romantic movie Casablanca as the Troxy, East London is transformed into the most exclusive night-spot in town. Join Rick and Ilsa on this whirlwind of mystery, romance and espionage. Gather around Samâs piano and join in the chorus of the Marseillaise; dance to Benoit Viellefon and his Orchestra; dine at the Blue Parrot CafÃ© with food byÂ acclaimed Spanish/North African London restaurant Moro; search for secret bars and discover secret bands; and explore the vivid and wild Casablanca.
Making Love at the V&A
Head to this Lunchtime Lecture at the V&A for a pre-Val’s Day slice of romance.Â Led by Sue Prichard, Curator and Angela McShane, Royal College of Art Â you willÂ explore some of the most evocative and beautiful objects associated with love.Â Drawing on the rich and varied collections of the V&A, we will journey from admiration to happy endings, via yearnings, courtship, obsession and kisses to discover how artists across the centuries have engaged in the design and making of love. Wednesday 13 February, 1pm,Â Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre.
Perfect for a quirky night out as a couple, or to meet someone that you could potentially spend next Valentine’s Day with, head to Doodle Club for an alternative to the traditional cinema or dinner date. The general vibe of the night is that you areÂ provided some half-done doodles that you can finish off as you see fit with the pens provided. When you’re all done with a doodle, you stick it up on the “wall of shame” and let it be admired by the rest of the party-goers. For val’s Day, the doodling theme will of course be L.O.V.E with a soppy, sultry and sexy soundtrack to match. It’s held on Valentine’s Day at Drink, Shop & Do,Â 9 Caledonian Road Islington N1 9DX.
Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, is the film of choice from Edible Cinema for their special Valentine’s Day event. Taking place at the Aubin Cinema, East London, guests are served a Bombay Sapphire cocktail upon arrival. TheÂ Colonial Cocktail is a variation on the Colony Cocktail invented during the Prohibition era of the 1920s – when the film is set. Each guest is then supplied with a tray of numbered mystery boxes containing a bite-sized tasting menu tailored to specific moments in the film. A number corresponding to a parcel is displayed just before the crucial moment, signaling guests to get stuck in and enjoy the edible treat. It’s being held on Sunday 17th February at 3pm and 6.30pm.
The Art Of Dining
The Art of Dining is a treat for the eyes, as well as the tastebuds. The collective behind this quirky pop-up restaurant comprises of Moro-trained chef Ellen Parr.Â an artist and a set designer who originally met at Glasgow University. Their latest event is dubbed Eat Your Heart Out. The Victorian-themed feast will be held at the Dalston Boys Club. Arrive at 7.30, dinner is served at eight. Five courses are served as well as entertainment throughout.