Where To Celebrate Valentine’s Day, Even If Your Date Is Your Dog
6 spots to celebrate the most romantic day of the year, no matter what your relationship status.
These past couple of years have seen us divide into two types of people. On the one side you’ve got the loved up couples who decided to get engaged and post about it on Instagram. On the other, there's those of us who mute all those stories and google pictures of dogs instead. Whichever side you’re on, this guide is for you. So whether V Day reads more D Day to you, if you’ve been waiting for the 14th to see whether your S.O. picked up on those hints that you really, really want a Dyson Airwrap, or even if you'd rather spend it with your dog, you’ll find the spot to celebrate on this list.
Check out the rest of our dating guides here.
WHERE TO GO WHEN...
... You're So Nauseatingly In Love
Campania & Jones
So, you’re in love. Congratulations. Stop giving all your single friends that pity nod, delete all those Valentines Day-bashing tweets from 2017, and head to Campania and Jones to crank up the romance. This Bethnal Green spot might be the closest you’ll get to flying your S.O. out to the south of Italy this February, and it’s also somewhere you can share hand-made pasta Lady and The Tramp style and pretend you don’t mind halving the last gnudi.
p.s. if you’re celebrating on the 14th, you should know that Campania is closed on Mondays. Head to Noble Rot in Bloomsbury for amazing food and incredible wine instead.
... Your Dog Is The Only Person You Want To Hang Out With
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
Flour & Grape
The pasta at Flour And Grape will give you a lot of feelings. And unlike all the humans that led to you being single this Valentines, they’re the good-type feelings. Think Lassie-reunion-scene level, or ‘oh dear God, I forgot the poop bags... no wait, wait, bloody yes, there’s one in my pocket’ level of feelings. This spot on Bermondsey Street serves excellent handmade pasta, has a gin bar downstairs, and, because dreams do come true, is also dog friendly. You, your bestie, and the pork shoulder tortellini = best valentine's day ever.
... You Agreed To Be A Stranger's Valentine In A Moment Of Panic
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photo credit: Lateef Okunnu
In a moment of despair, you matched with a total stranger and agreed to be each other's Valentine because it “would be funny”. Either a recipe for the most awkward date in history or the start of a rom-com worthy romance. Head to Happiness Forgets. After all, you’re about to meet someone who’ll either make you very happy, or who you’ll immediately want to forget. This intimate basement bar in Shoreditch is all about low-lighting and high-quality drinks. It’s a small spot, so make sure you reserve a table for two. Good luck, we're rooting for you.
... You Hate Seeing Other People Happily In Love
Maybe you’ve gone through a breakup recently. Maybe you wish your flatmate's partner would move out or start paying rent. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ve had enough of watching couples pop each other's spots on the Northern line. Whatever the reason, you hate Valentines Day, we get it. Where should you go to avoid all the loved up stuff? Meatliquor. This loud and proud American spot on Margaret Street is serving dirty cheeseburgers, a whole lot of fried food, and buffalo chicken fingers so tangy they’ll make your eyes roll back. Plus, the music is loud enough that you literally won’t be able to hear the table next to you. Happy times.
... You’re Low-Key Bored Of Each Other
photo credit: Karolina Wiercigroch
You’re not sure whether your partner is going through a mid-life crisis or they booked the life-sized Monopoly experience because it’s their polite way of telling you they want to start couples therapy. Keeping the romance alive can be tricky, which is where Frenchie comes in. Honestly, we could be on our fourth divorce this decade and this Covent Garden spot would still make us feel like getting a little bit handsy. It’s got all the hallmarks of a great date restaurant. There’s a marble bar perfect for sipping cocktails, and a modern brasserie menu. Although we warn you, there’s also a bacon and maple syrup scone you’ll 100% fancy more than your partner.
... You're In Love With Yourself
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
Valentine's Day is all about spending time with the person you love most. Which means it’s only right you head to Bao. Alone. This is one of those restaurants where, more often than not, you don’t actually want to share what you’re eating, but because of stuff like social contracts, vows, or rubbish like that, you feel obliged to. There’s no such danger on your own and there’s bar seating opposite the kitchen—perfect for one person, a sensational curry cheese bao, and a must-order bowl of aged beef with butter rice.
p.s. Bao Borough is closed on Mondays. Head to their Soho branch for some top bao if your plan is to dine out on Valentine's Day itself.