Belle Epoque Masquerade Ball, Shoreditch

Since romance and heartache go hand in hand, how better to celebrate Valentine’s Day than in the smouldering surrounds of nasty villains and swooning courtesans? Live bands, DJs, aerial artists and showgirls will entertain lovers and haters, and dizzying cocktails will ensure  moods are suitably elevated. The dress code is non-negotiable. Women, think masks, feathers and risqué corsets, and gentlemen should go for a look that’s devilish and dashing.

Sat, Feb 11. 8pm-2am
Village Underground, EC2A 3PQ
Tube: Shoreditch High Street

Twosday at Guanabara, Holborn

This Brazilian late-night venue is laying on an early evening lesson in sultry dance moves, before couples settle in for a three-course meal, followed by an onslaught of live entertainment, including capoeira, a live percussion performance, and, of course, dance. This is one of the most flamboyant ways to celebrate love.

Tues, Feb 14. 5.30pm-2am
Parker Street, WC2B 5PW
Tube: Holborn

It’s A Wonderful Vintage Love Boat Ball, Vauxhall

All aboard the love boat for a water-based Valentine’s dress-up party amid Twenties decor. Dust off those minks, ball gowns, cocktail dresses and smoking jackets, and enjoy an evening of swing DJs, a live jazz band, love tarot reading, roving magicians, and even a red-carpet gangplank! The Battersea Barge comes replete with two polished dancefloors and a stage for 300. Get your swagger on.

Fri, Feb 17. 8pm-2am
The Battersea Barge, SW8 5BP
Tube: Vauxhall

Die Freche Muse Valentine’s Special, Shadwell

Jump, jive and wail in a glorious 15th- century tavern as cabaret acts, jazz and swing DJs, and singers entertain. At this chic soiree, the dress code is strictly Twenties to Forties.

Sat, Feb 11. 9pm-3am
George Tavern, E1 0LA
Tube: Shadwell

The Tassel Club, Hoxton

There will be a Valentine’s take on this weekly cabaret show, with complimentary canapés, lots of giveaways, and a ‘homemade’ cocktail bar – which means better measures for everyone at this burlesque venue.

Sat, Feb 11. 7pm-1.30am
Hoxton Hall, N1 6SH
Tube: Hoxton

Toture Garden Love Boat, Embankment

Come clad in your kookiest, kinkiest latex and fantasy gear: this will be a typically Torture Garden grope-tastic affair, with four areas on the boat to frolic in.

Fri, Feb 10. 10pm-4am
HMS President, EC4Y OHJ
Tube: Temple

The Orphanage Masked Ball, Strand

The Last Tuesday Society lays on a riotous affair, with a dance class, madcap bands and DJs, and the usual chocolate fountain. The only condition of entry is that you look fab.

Sat, Feb 18. 10pm-3am
Adam Street Club, WC2N 6AA
Tube: Charing Cross

Club De Fromage: The Power of Love, Islington

Would you like a big chunk of cheese with your love affair this Valentine’s Day? Look no further than London’s weekly, self-proclaimed biggest pop and fancy dress night. There’ll be sickly sweet goings on for partygoers, whose guilty pleasures will be indulged  with power ballads and singalong faves. There’ll also be balloon drops, confetti cannons, a crowning of Mr and Mrs Club De Fromage, and air guitar performances.

Sat, Feb 11. 10.30pm-2am
Islington Academy, N1 OPS
Tube: Angel

Heroes Valentine’s Day dinner and dance, King’s Cross

This monthly club night at Egg is throwing an intimate dining experience into its regular Saturday night proceedings to give it a romantic slant.  Book early for a three-course pre-dance meal, with a champagne cocktail and a bottle of wine. Then, groove the night away on multiple dancefloors. DJs Oscar Mulero and Alexander Fog, from Spain and Italy respectively, are guest DJs, set to get the place kicking with tech-house, house and techno tunes.

Sat, Feb 11. 10pm-late
Egg, N7 9AP
Tube: King’s Cross


Click next page for more things to do in London on Valentine’s Day…

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Winterwell Head-over-heels Party, Kensal Green

Boutique festival organiser Winterwell has lined up a lover’s paradise, with heart-covered walls, a kissing booth, plush recliners, intimate alcoves, and a giant slide that ends on a bed of roses. Love is a rollercoaster, after all. All of this will be to live music and DJ sets. Guests must come with their head and heels in fancy dress.

Fri, Feb 10. 9pm-4.30am
The Loft, NW10 6QW
Tube: Kensal Green

Singles Wine Tasting, Clapham

An old proverb states ‘in wine there is truth’ and with that, this Clapham pub is helping singletons meet their match through vino tasting. Sample from a selection of fizzes, whites, reds and sweet stickies, rank your favourite from each category and if your top choices are the same as one of your fellow oenophiles, you’ll win a blind date at the establishment the next day – Valentine’s.

Mon, Feb 13. 7pm
The Avalon Pub and Dining Room, SW12 9EB
Tube: Clapham South

Be At One Traffic Light Party, Various

Single, taken, or not even sure? Make a public display of your relationship status at a traffic light party at any one of Be At One’s London bars, including Battersea, Soho, Hammersmith and Putney. There’s no need to come head-to-toe in red, amber or green – red for taken, amber for unsure (or just tricky) and green for single – as the bars provide punters with a suitably coloured wrist band. This means you can still wear a knockout outfit that’ll stop traffic. Cocktails will be sold at two for £9.50 all night to loosen inhibitions partywide.

Tues, Feb 14. 5pm-late
Be At One bars across London

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Gospel Music Brunch, Millbank

If you’re not too hung up about celebrating on the actual day, do your lovers thing early on Sunday, amid a breathtaking panorama of London. Altitude, the 360° viewing gallery at the top of Millbank Tower, is hosting a gospel music brunch, a unique experience whereby you have a hearty feed as you listen to the uplifting strains of the London Community Gospel Choir. It will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end – both the singing and the views.

Sundays. 11am-3pm
Altitude London, SW1P 4QP
Tube: Vauxhall

Boy in a dress, Oval

Watch the performance autobiography of La JohnJoseph – a renounced  Catholic and third-gendered ex-fashion model – for
a special, unique night out. Valentine’s Day opening-night tickets include a meal and a glass of bubbly.

Tue, Feb 14. 8pm-late
Oval House Theatre, SE11 5SW
Tube: Oval

Grind A Go Go, Bethnal Green

Grab your sweetheart and do the Watusi on a mirrored revolving stage at this wild, loved-up go-go party, featuring an all-male dance troupe, the Action Men; a little striptease; and sleazy Sixties film clips.

Sat, Feb 11. 9pm-2am
Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, E2 6NB
Tube: Bethnal Green

Wam Bam Club, Piccadilly Circus

Enjoy a seductive cabaret spectacular, watch a Cadbury’s Milk Tray-themed aerial show and have a sumptuous meal, all under one roof. And then, dance into the wee hours.

Sat, Feb 11. 8pm-late
Cafe de Paris, W1D 6BL
Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Portrait workshop, Hamstead Heath

Special moments should be captured, so practice your digital camera techniques. You’ll get a glass of vintage cava, plus canapés to make a Valentine’s occasion of it.

Sun, Feb 19. 11am-2.30pm
Hamstead Heath, NW3
Tube: Hamstead Heath

Valentine’s Classic Movies, Hackney

If your idea of a romantic date is watching Hollywood stars get it on on the big screen, then this might be your cup of tea. Experience Cinema is spreading the love with a heart-pounding four days of classic flicks in the beautiful Round Chapel. It kicks off with Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo And Juliet on Feb 14, followed by Four Weddings And A Funeral, Casablanca, and Dirty Dancing on consecutive days thereafter. 

Feb 14-17. 8pm
The Round Chapel, E5 0PU
Tube: Hackney Central I  Rail: Hackney Downs