What to do this Valentines DayBy Lisa Williams
Let’s be honest, finding somewhere nice to celebrate Valentine’s Day without having to spend an absolute fortune can be just as challenging as handing in a 2,000 word midterm essay. Luckily, DesignMyNight have created a round-up on the 10 best budget-friendly things to do this Valentine’s, both for singles and loved-up couples. From mystical raves in east London to a gin-fuelled dining experience in Birmingham, this Valentine’s is going to be one to remember.
Ever heard of All Star Lanes? It’s a trendy bowling joint in Manchester with a luxe edge. Head here on the 14th and impress your Valentine by bowling a few strikes before you both tuck into an impressive American style menu. With sides starting from £3 and mains from £6, you’ll have no trouble enjoying Valentine’s on a budget this year. If you fancy dabbling in a few cocktails on the night, try the Love Potion No.9 cocktail; it’s perfect for sharing and will set you back £18.
Head to The Jekyll and Hyde in Birmingham on the 14th and tuck into a unique meal in their secret Gin Parlour. Hidden up a set of stairs, the Parlour is cool and quirky, and completely primed for gin-guzzlers and cocktail enthusiasts. Best of all though, you lucky lovers can enjoy a three-course meal and a gin martini for just £30. The delicious menu in question will be served across four dates (with the complimentary gin martini on offer when you dine on Valentine’s night).
Singletons; it’s your February duty to head down to Bounce in Farringdon to help them celebrate their fifth Anti-Valentine’s party. As always, Bounce will make sure guests abide by their strict Anti-Valentine’s rules, no loved-up loonies allowed. But, if some of you single souls are open to meeting someone compatible, dating app Bumble will be on hand to provide cocktails for amorous pairings. For £5 you’ll get unlimited UV ping pong, the disposal of UV artists to decorate your face, group games organised by Bounce’s games gurus, and last but not least, cracking sets from ‘DJ Pete’.
If you’re after some quality time with your other half minus that V-Day fuss, make shapes for Get Baked: The Joint. It’s located in a converted church and is decorated with urban artwork, a bucketload of neon signage and vintage furniture. Apart from its stunning interiors, this place also offers delicious burgers, hearty sharing dishes and fanciful cocktail sharers. With sides starting at £1.95, this is as affordable as it gets.
Enjoy a loved-up evening at Cubatas - Glasgow
They say that food is the way to the heart - if what they say is true, what better way to woo your Valentine than with some seriously good grub at Cubatas in Glasgow? It's said to be one of the best tapas restaurants in the UK and sharing plates start at £2.50. Ditch your beer on the night and order a jug of Sangria for an authentic Spanish dining experience.
If you want to escape smug couples on the weekend leading up to Valentine’s, there’s a UV & Me party at Wimbledon that promises face painting, wicked tunes, a delectable range of cocktails and a fun-time atmosphere. Dress yourself in your finest neon gladrags and head here to party until the early hours. Advance tickets are £5 and include free face painting on the night.
If snuggling into a beanbag with a glass of bubbly sounds like Valentine’s Day heaven, you need to purchase a ticket to the Block Party Cinema right away. Set up in a romantic den in the heart of Brick Lane, you can curl into your partner while watching a special screening of Poetic Justice. Inspired by the influential Maya Angelou poetry in the film, you can marvel at artists perform a live spoken word exhibition before the movie starts with DJs spinning the best in smooth R&B and soul before and after the flick. Tickets start at £12, making the event a no-brainer.
Pencil in a date for drinks at The Liquor Store - Manchester
Get cosy this Valentine’s and head to The Liquor Store; one of Manchester’s much-loved late night bars. With cosy corners aplenty, it’s a sure fired bet to get up close and personal with your date on the 14th. Despite bringing some Los Angeles chic to Deansgate with its neon signage, this spot mainly pays homage to its location with a wall dedicated to Manchester music greats and an impressive selection of music-inspired cocktails. Pick from heady concoctions like 'The Stone Rose' and 'Papa Don’t Preach', and brace yourself for an intimate night with your someone special.
Woo your bae at the Mesmerist - Brighton
If you're looking for a quirky joint to impress your loved one this Valentine’s, look no further than The Mesmerist. Inspired by 1930s gin palaces (and the steampunk movement), you can expect an eclectic mix of vintage decor, bottled trinkets and indulgent prohibition vibes. Arrive hungry and feast on the venue’s delicious menu of American bites before taking advantage of their exquisite cocktail selection, which start at a reasonable £6.50.
Single? Present Valentine’s Day the middle finger this year and head to No 32: a stylish restaurant, cocktail bar and dancing destination in the heart of Brighton Lanes. Grab a group of your mates, forget about your classes on the 15th and prepare yourself for a night of unadulterated fun. You’ll be glad to hear that No 32 puts up a strong show on the cocktail front, and their happy hour means you can enjoy two of their mixes for a very reasonable £10.
For more info on London’s best bars and cocktails, visit DesignMyNight and follow them on Twitter and Instagram; @DesignMyNight.