Valentine’s day without a date is supposed to be bleak and lonely, or so says popular mythology. But we know better than that.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Discover Chinese Cuisine
We’re not talking your local buffet or takeaway here – if you haven’t moved on from chips with Chinese curry you’re missing out.
Proper Chinese restaurants may be exciting, excellent value and chock full of top-quality nosh, but what they’re not is romantic. There’s something about being jammed into a small room stuffed with big round tables full of strangers which mitigates against it.
That’s why v-day is the perfect time to venture out and explore the wonders of Chinese cuisine. Our vote goes to Gold Mine in Bayswater, a veritable treasure trove of clay pot dishes and roast meats.
But be warned: you’ll have to queue up for a table, jockeying for position with Singaporeans who can’t get enough of Gold Mine’s delectable ‘London duck’, a roast bird of exceptional juiciness and flavour.
Get there early and use Loose Ends to let your friends know you’re saving a place in the queue.
And when the waiter tells you to order extra duck, listen to him. You’ll be grateful later.
Try Life Drawing
At Loose Ends we love life drawing even though we’re (still) rubbish at it. It’s engaging, meditative and surprisingly uplifting.
One of the nicest things about it is seeing real human bodies of all shapes, sizes, colours and ages. Even if your drawing skills don’t quite do the models justice, you’ll gain a new appreciation of the human form.
More importantly, it’s an activity that’s not the slightest bit ickily romantic. You’ll be behind an easel for most of the evening, and no-one will expect you to talk about your feelings or engage in witty, captivating banter.
Adrian Dutton runs informal life drawing sessions on five evenings each week, including February the 14th.
Newcomers, the artistically ungifted and dilettantes are always welcome, and there’s even the odd bit of socialising afterwards.
Go On a Gin Odyssey
Let’s be honest: Valentine’s day without a date is liberating. You can eat and drink as much as you like, without the fear that your overindulgence will compromise later…developments.
So if you haven’t yet caught up with the gin craze sweeping the capital, your date-free Valentine’s night is the right time to do it.
There are many excellent gin bars and distilleries in London, but one of the finest has to be The Oliver Conquest, on the edge of the City. With their huge inventory, you can go on a spectacular gin odyssey without moving further than the bar.
Get yourself settled in early with a glass of their unique OC Tea Blend (infused with liquorice, cardamom and Seville orange) while you let your friends know where you are via Loose Ends.
Once the cavalry has arrived, you may want to move on to negronis and other gin cocktails.
Granted, you won’t have a night of romance, but there will be love. Why? After a couple of gins, everybody says “I love you”. And means it.
Want More Ideas for Spending Valentine’s Day Without a Date?
You’ve got it. Just download the Loose Ends app and use our intelligent ‘inspiration’ feature.
Avoiding clichéd conceptions of romance has never been so easy.