The Anti-Valentine's Day Guide To London



Valentine's Day means couples on steroids. We understand. You can’t bear anymore chat from your loved-up friends about where they’re being whisked away to by their one and only. Boasting about day trips, candle-lit dinners, and massive stuffed animals (where does one even find those?)...we can’t handle it either.

But, don’t panic! Instead, round up your best pals and get excited about a night out in London town, free from roses, chocolate (okay maybe a little chocolate), and unnecessary PDA.

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Looking for love? Try Down With Dating
Anyone up for speed hating? It’s much like its counterpart, speed dating, but instead, you meet your match by bonding over the things you loathe. People who stand to the left of the escalator? That really irritating Go Compare advert? Tourists on Oxford Street? The world is your tirade-filled oyster.
Where: The Phoenix, 37 Cavendish Square, W1G 0PP
When: Wednesday, 13 February 7 to 10 p.m.
Price: Free

Don’t want to leave anyone out? There’s always the Traffic Light Party
So, if your couple-y friends aren’t actually making you sick, just bring ‘em along to Be At One’s Traffic Light Party. The premise is simple. Wear green if you’re single, red if you’re taken, and amber if “it’s complicated.” If the idea of wearing all green doesn’t appeal, don’t fret! You’ll be given chic wristbands in the colour of your choice. The bonus? All-night happy hour.
Where: Be At One Soho, 20 Great Windmill Street, W1D 7LA (and all locations across London)
When: Thursday, February 14, 5 p.m. to late
Price: Free

Still want to get dressed up? Get your gladrags out for the Eyes Wide Shut Masquerade Ball
Looking for a Valentine’s Day filled with drama, intrigue, and a little bit of luxury? Get your masks on for Proud Camden’s Valentine’s Day masquerade ball. The popular stables-turned-club is the perfect place to get dressed up and potentially swept off you feet by someone swoon-worthy, (Our ideal would be the Dread Pirate Roberts a.k.a Westley from The Princess Bride.) Stay late for the cabaret and burlesque show, and by all means, do as the masked do and get up to no good!
Where: Proud Camden, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AH; 020 7482 3867
When: Saturday, February 16, 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Price: £10 (before 10pm); £15 (after 11 p.m.)

Playing it cool? Enjoy some Hip Hop Karaoke
Love beer and Biggie? Check out the Social’s Hip Hop karaoke night. This hidden gem behind Oxford Street has a song list as long as your arm with current faves and hip hop classics, so get ready to grab the mic and belt our your version of "Drop It Like It’s Hot." Note: All performers win a beer for their efforts!
Where: The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, W1W 7JD 020 7636 4992
When: Thursday, 14 January 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Price: £3 with RSVP; £5 at the door

Just want a cocktail? (Don’t we all?) Head over to Ruby’s
Want to keep it low-key with cocktails on V-day? Look to Dalston’s not-so-best-kept secret, Ruby’s. A gorgeous clandestine basement bar sprinkled with just the right amount of hip (look out for the antique milk bottles, car boot tables, and lamps we swear came out of Mary Poppins’ handbag!). It’s relaxed and laid-back vibe is perfect for a chilled evening out with friends. Pro tip: There’s no sign for Ruby’s so be on the lookout for an old cinema sign (The slogans change every week!). Our fave so far has been “Nothing to see here.”
Where: Ruby’s, 76 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7XB

Photos: Courtesy of Ruby's Dalston; The Social; Proud Camden