Valentines, schmalentines. According to science, the lower your expectations, the happier you are. So this year, why not sod the corny, commercial gestures and treat your bestie or four-legged friend instead. Siobhan rounds up the best Valentines Day ideas for every kind of lover… yourself included, in the name of self-care obviously.
For the cheese-lover
London is lucky to be home to the world’s first-ever cheese conveyer belt. A genius concept in Seven Dials Market that swaps standard sushi for all things dairy to get those happy hormones firing. Grab your cheese partner in crime and take a seat at the bar, where 25 different cheeses travel around the belt before making it into your belly. From Gouda paired with cumin praline to Red Leicester accompanied by candied chilli peppers and cheesecake for dessert. Valentine’s Day fan or not, we’re always a big fan of cheese. Plus according experts, eating it scientifically makes us happier and sleep better due to the high tryptophan content – an amino acid involved in the production of melatonin and serotonin.
For the sweet tooth
Camden Market is often overlooked by Londoners, with tourists flooding the streets and queues longer than our hangry minds can cope with. But these Valentine’s specials are worth braving the crowds for. Perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth and sense of humour, Chin Chin is doing a peanut butter and chocolate heartbreaker cake with personalised love messages such as “Better Alone”, “Heartbreaker” and “Hot Mess”. Naked Dough brings you a cup of Cupid’s cookie dough with raspberry marshmallow whip and white chocolate, and Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner combines sweet with salty in a sharing platter of dirty fries, decked in chocolate sauce, mini marshmallows and whipped cream.
For Competitive types
Indulge in a spot of healthy competition at Swingers that now comes with heart-shaped pizzas, champagne and cocktails for Valentine’s Day. Expect no less than dough from pizza pioneers Pizza Pilgrims, a bottle of Perrier Jouet and a pretty-in-pink cocktail combining Ketel One vodka with raspberry purée. February 14th – February 16th 2020.
For the fitness junkie
With new classes and fitness studios popping up in the city every week, there are so many exciting ways to sweat and step out of your comfort zone, away from a fixed fitness regime that can lose its spark after a while. Why not show some self-love and give yourself the gift of home workouts with London’s most in-demand trainers, take it back old-school with JAB boxing or delve into Latin dance classes that can be anything from heart pumping to mind soothing.
For the bookworm
Assouline’s Creative Couples book is a realistic take on relationships, exploring the various stages couples go through and how differently they can operate – whether sleeping together in the same house or living in separate continents. Highlighting stories from fifteen couples working in the creative industry, it’s packed with inspiring and helpful insights on how you can motivate one another and work together as a team – the gift that might just make your own relationship better too.
For the pet-lover
The fluffiest cuddle companion and fast-track to an oxytocin rush. The one that is always excited to see you back home, the four-legged animal guaranteed to never break our hearts. Restaurant M Victoria lets you bring your pup to brunch, offering a special six-leg menu with options such as a bowl of black pudding granola (watch the dogs drool as it arrives) and fried chicken on waffles (not for four-legged friends), as well as a cook-for your fur-baby master class. And if you truly want to spoil your dog, there’s a speed doggy dating session to find your pet the perfect partner. February 15th 2020.
For the Instagrammer
Picture-perfect pastries and flawless cakes are Dominique Ansel’s forté, so it’s no surprise the bakery’s special afternoon tea tastes as good as it looks. Mini heart-shaped sandwiches, strawberry financiers with rose petals and scones accompanied by clotted cream-filled kisses, it’s all undeniably cute and Instagrammable, served in a dreamy, floral-decorated setting to match. You can either choose from the signature Valentine’s offering, spike it up with a glass of champagne, or splurge on the splendid collection that comes with a cheeky bonus: black truffle grilled cheese. Splendid indeed. January 30th – March 1st 2020.
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