Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden, London

On first inspection, it seems to resemble a cafe like any other – cosy interior, bench seating, vegetarian cuisine – in an area of Covent Garden full of out-of-the-way eateries that you’d only ever find by stumbling upon them.

But the Poetry Cafe is in fact the public face of the Poetry Society, which perhaps makes them sound unfairly sombre and chin-stroking, and is a regular den for writers of all different stripes.

There are poetry readings most evenings, as well as open mic nights – the beauty of these, of course, is that you never know quite what to expect.

So maybe Valentine’s Day didn’t work out for you. Where better to air your angsty, lonely-hearted scribblings than here, among a bunch of sympathetic souls? Just make sure it all rhymes.

22 Betterton St, WC2H 9BX 
Tube: Covent Garden