Love is in the air now that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and whether you’re a bit of a cynic or a full-on romance junkie, there are plenty of amazing ways to have fun on and around 14 February.
Take a look at my top 10 venues for getting into the Valentine’s spirit and get ready to earn some serious brownie points from your significant other.
1. Warner Brothers Studio Tours
Bear with me here, as I haven’t let Potter fever go to my head! Warner Brother Studio Tours , in Hertfordshire, is putting on something special for lovers of all things romantic and Hogwarts related, in the form of a dinner in the Great Hall. A Love Potion cocktail, three-course meal and after-hours tour of the studios are all included, making this the perfect treat for romantic Ravenclaws and everybody else, too.
2. London Royal Observatory
What could be more romantic than an evening of stargazing, with your true love? The London Royal Observatory is offering a unique evening complete with a romance-themed planetarium show, a chance to gaze at the moon through the huge telescope and meet and greets with astronomers. If you’re planning to propose, this could be the perfect opportunity!
3. Disneyland Paris
If a trip to the City of Love seems a little cheesy, give it a fun twist by heading to Disneyland rather than the Eiffel Tower. Nothing says ‘I love you, but not in a sickly way’ like heading to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride, but the romance factor does increase when the Valentine’s parade begins.
4. May Fair Kitchen
If your sweetheart has a sweet tooth, the Charbonnel et Walker chocolate afternoon tea will blow them away. Hosted in the May Fair Hotel in London, you can enjoy an indulgent tasting session that includes chocolate scones, rich cakes, doughnuts and, as you’d expect, plenty of Charbonnel et Walker truffles. It’s a chocoholic’s dream.
5. Hampstead Heath Dog Walk
Some of us consider our four-legged friends to be our one true loves, which is why the Hampstead Heath Valentine’s dog walk is such a wonderful idea. You and your canine companion can enjoy some socialising, fresh air and a good leg stretch, before trying to win the most loved-up human and hound contest. It might be time to invest in matching jumpers…if you haven’t already!
6. New York’s Rockefeller Center
If splashing the cash is an option, how about ticking off a serious bucket-list item by heading to the ice-skating rink outside the Rockefeller Center in New York? Once you’re done showing off your prowess, you can take in a few other tourist attractions including the Empire State Building, complete with its signature heart lighting scheme. You might even be able to snap up some bargain flights, thanks to the icy February temperatures in New York.
7. Kew Gardens
Why buy a measly bouquet of flowers when you can spend a few blissful hours wandering around London’s most famous botanical haven before heading to the Kew Gardens Hotel? With a special a la carte menu to enjoy and 20 unique bedrooms to book, you can personalise a seemingly simple night away to your heart’s desire.
8. Rivoli Ballroom Pop-Up Cinema
The gorgeous surroundings of London’s Rivoli Ballroom will have never seemed quite so romantic as when you sit down to watch Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. Red velvet seats, dimmed lighting and the most famous love story ever told will certainly get the romance flowing. And you can grab an early dinner beforehand, too, as the show doesn’t start until 8pm.
9. The Eden Project
Down in beautiful Cornwall, a magical Valentine’s treat awaits in the form of a dinner for two in the Rainforest Biome, complete with locally made sparkling wine, performance art and, once you enter the Spice section of the Biome, a string quartet. You’ll even be chauffeured to your car at the end of the evening. Your booking will give you free entry to Eden on both the day of your meal and the following one, so you can make a weekend trip of it!
10. Gretna Green
I’ve saved the most whimsical idea last, but if you are already engaged, how about an elopement to Scotland’s famous wedding capital, Gretna Green? You’ll need to check availability, obviously, but is there really anything more adorable than promising to love someone forever on the most romantic day of the year?
There you have it! Plenty of ideas for personalising Valentine’s Day and making it that bit more romantic and fun, in your own way. From magic to eco awareness and everything in between, there’s a perfect venue for you and your passions, so jump in and enjoy the kitsch. Oh, and don’t forget to buy your other half a card…!
Disclosure: This is a paid post.