Strictly speaking, rants belong in the Speaker’s Corner section, so I will refrain from revealing the depth of my feelings about this disgusting excuse for consumerism – oops, slipped a bit there. Nevertheless, there is an alternative or two to the usual out-for-a-nice-romantic-meal option, so if you’re feeling like you want a break from all the couples chomping away in silence, how about giving one of these a go instead:
If you are Soho-bound on Valentine’s Day, head to Broadwick Street and The Player for the Popbitch Quiz. It’s completely removed from your standard quiz with the attention less on who built St Paul’s cathedral and more on topics such as: is there anyone more pointless than Peaches Geldof? There’s a £5 per head entry charge and the chance to win many, many prizes. They’re having a quiz on Valentine’s Day itself and then another on the following day if you miss it. It starts at half seven but gets busy, so be there by 7pm to sign up and get ready.
For an extra glug of anti-romance (so unromantic that it’s romantic), you’ll find the bar Garlic & Shots in the same area, on Frith Street. Garlic & Shots has a rather special mission at heart: to make you ‘feel like you’ve been garlic-marinated’. It goes about this by putting garlic in everything – up to and including the beer. You can’t eat or drink anything here without getting a garlic hit. You can order extra garlic, should you so wish, but not less. Let’s see how romantic snogging in the back of a taxi feels after all that – it’s the ultimate test of your date.
For something classier, head up to The Loft in Kensal Green for Winterwell’s ‘Head Over Heels’ event. They’re loading up with kissing booths and reclining alcoves, and the theme means go for it with the hats, masks and feathers. Tickets £25.
For more culture (albeit love-themed) and less pink sparkly stuff, the Museum of London is having its own Georgian London-themed event, the Pleasure Garden Ball. There will be poetry readings, dance classes, vintage Valentine’s stuff galore, mask-making and even some appropriately naughty x-rated stuff. Tickets are only £6 (concessions £5) so it’s a bargain, too.
Or (and I offer it grudgingly) there is a slightly more typically romantic option: Ice skating at the Lee Valley Ice Centre in Leyton. At least you’ll be doing something energetic as you hold hands and bring a rosy glow to your cheeks. Happy Valentine’s Day. I mean it.
Image by Marilyn Roxie courtesy of Flickr