For all those not quite feeling the love this Valentine’s Day, The Resident picks out the best ways to celebrate being single in London
Lead image: Shotgun Carousel
1 Anti-Valentine’s Party at Bounce, Farringdon
Bounce’s Anti-Valentine’s Party is definitely a thing – returning in 2019 for the seventh year on the trot. A celebration of the joy of being single, Bounce’s anti-val bash grants you unlimited ping pong and Wonderball (a new new immersive activity that uses projection mapping to turn ping pong into a giant computer game), heart-shaped piñatas, group games and tournaments, Love Police breaking up any ‘Romance Rebels’, cocktails, pepperoni pizza and a playlist featuring empowering numbers from the likes of TCL. Tickets £6. 6pm-late.
121 Holborn, Farringdon EC1N 2TD; bouncepingpong.com
2 Eat Your Heart Out at The Vaults, Waterloo
Shotgun Carousel, one of of London’s leading immersive events creators, presents Eat Your Heart Out, an Anti-Valentine’s riot party! Expect live music from punk-witch girl band Dream Nails (‘the best DIY all-girl punk queertet since Bikini Kill’, according to i-D magazine) and DJ sets from Anna Prior of Metronomy. Dripping with sass, Shotgun Carousel’s underground, multi-coloured, bio-glittered immersive performance parties is an aptly chaotic way to celebrate living life on your own terms. And the dress code? Kitsch, extra and ideally 80s. Advance tickets £15, on the door £20. From 10.30pm.
Leake Street, Waterloo SE1 7AD; vaultfestival.com
3 Lady Chastity’s Reserve Escape Room, various locations
Bring your friends on an adventure to of hilarious clue solving as you escape the world you know and enter rooms of ludicrously twisted mysteries solve Lady Chastity’s sordid secrets in time to win her fabled bottle of aphrodisiac wine. This escape room is not for the faint of heart, offering an immersive adventure which will have you delving into secret rooms hidden in the depths of England’s finest drinking establishments. If you want to get your pulse racing in a different way this Valentine’s day, this is the event for you. Taking place at The Four Thieves in Battersea, The People’s Park Tavern in Victoria Park and The Hope in Farringdon. Slots are available in Battersea on Valentine’s Day. From £24pp.
4 Whistle Punks Axe Throwing, Vauxhall
Axe throwing with Whistle Punks is the perfect Valentine’s Day antidote. Broken hearts especially need apply, after all, what could be more cathartic than flinging an axe at a target? Sure, it sounds ludicrously dangerous, but these guys have filled out their health and safety forms. Experienced throwing coaches will soon have you throwing like a pro, and once you’ve got the hang of it you and your group will be entered into a Game of Thrones-esque tournament until the king or queen of axes is crowned. Tickets from £22pp.
Arch 25, Handel Business Centre, 73 Bondway, Vauxhall SW8 1SQ; whistlepunks.com
5 London Dungeon LATES, South Bank
The London Dungeon launches its first LATES session of 2019 on Valentine’s Day, mashing up theatre, special effects and intriguing storytelling with plenty of edge-of-your-seat surprises. Before descending into the bowels of the Dungeon, steel your nerves with a cocktail in the Victorian Gin Bar. Then, after delving into the dressing-up box, it’s time to leave the modern, working world behind and embark on a thrill-filled journey through 1,000 years of London’s murky past, guided by London’s infamous rogues and villains. Entry between 7pm and 9pm. Tickets £29 including two cocktails.
County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; thedungeons.com
6 Galentine’s Day at Tonight Josephine, Waterloo
Tonight Josephine in Waterloo is hosting its very own Galentine’s Day, dedicated to celebrating friends, on 14 February. The neon haven has teamed up with Benefit cosmetics to offer an exclusive package with guaranteed entry to the bar, a mini makeover by a professional Benefit make-up artist, a £20 Benefit voucher and two free cocktails to help toast an evening to sass and girl power. The event kicks off at 5pm with a free group Benefit masterclass, showcasing the latest tips and tricks, followed by a personalised make-over for package ticket holders. Tickets are £40pp. Book here.
111 Waterloo Road, Lambeth SE1 8UL; tonightjosephine.co.uk
7 Anti-Valentine’s Bottomless Supper at London Shuffle Club
London Shuffle Club is hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Bottomless Supper on Valentine’s Day with bottomless Prosecco or draught beers, bottomless wood-fired pizzas and s’mores, plus a 30-minute (minimum) shuffleboard session, all for £32.50pp. Lovers who prefer mucking about to romantic dinners are also welcome! Shuffleboard is easy-to-pick-up but difficult-to-master. It’s all about using your cue stick (tang) to slide your weighted pucks (biscuits) down a long, narrow lane into a scoring triangle. Overshoot and you’ll end up in the ‘kitchen’ which immediately knocks 10 points off your score. Once your shuffleboarding is over at 9pm, there’s music, several bars and a winter terrace to keep you entertained.
4 Ebor Street, Shoreditch E1 6AW; londonshuffle.com
8 Love Yourself with Fentimans & Duck & Dry, various locations
Fentimans is turning tradition on its head and suggesting that we love ourselves, rather than chase romance, this Valentine’s Day. As part of their Love Yourself campaign, Fentimans Rose Lemonade is partnering with Duck & Dry blow dry salon and Bloom & Wild letterbox flower company to serve a Love Yourself drinks menus at Duck & Dry’s four salons across the capital (Oxford Circus, Chelsea, Soho and Spitalfields). Sip Rose Lemonade drinks and enjoy a bespoke pink Crosstown Doughnut while getting your tresses tended. Make a beeline for the Oxford Circus branch of Duck & Dry from 12pm-2pm, where TV’s most recognisable bartender, Merlin Griffiths, will be whipping up Rose Lemonade cocktails.
1 Carnaby Street, Sweaty Betty W1F 9QF; duckanddry.com
9 Love Stinks: Anti-Valentine’s Party at Maggie’s, Chelsea
Maggie’s Club, the 80s-themed boutique members club in Chelsea, is hosting its Anti-Valentine’s bash, Love Stinks, for a second year. Highlights of the night include a singles’ kissing booth, ex-shaming photo opportunities, and a playlist of 80s bangers (minus the love songs). All singles will get a complimentary Love Potion X cocktail and ice cream, while couples will have to pay double. Entry to non-members is £15 on the door. 10.30pm-2am.
329 Fulham Road, Chelsea SW10 9QL; maggies-club.com
10 Drunk (and/or) in Love at The Piano Works, Farringdon & West End
The music you want to hear mixed with cocktails, food and dancing until the early hours – that’s Valentine’s at The Piano Works, London’s only non-stop audience requested live music venues. Located in Farringdon and the West End (formerly Studio 88), both venues are offering a night to remember where you can dedicate a song to your loved one or best gal pals. Your favourite tunes will be performed by a six-piece live band all night long. Enjoy the champagne and cocktail hour from 5pm-7pm, when a glass of Perrier-Jouët is just £5.80 and selected cocktails are £5.50. You can also enjoy a three-course meal with a glass of pink fizz for just £45pp.