BREAKING HEARTS & BANK ACCOUNTS: The places to be in London this (Anti)Valentine’s Day

Let’s face it, Winter can be really f***ing grim. And the thought of dating in Winter? Even worse. For the cynics out there like me who fail to consider Valentine’s as anything other than a massive scam, the quick realisation that this day falls on the start of the working week in 2022 filled me with complete and utter glee. However, when presented with an excuse for a night out, it would be rude not to join the festivities. Shakespeare wrote ‘if music be the food of love, play on’ after all ….

After extensively searching for somewhere to celebrate my 23rd Birthday (Feb 12th, get your prezzies ready guys), I inadvertently came across a number of wonderful concerts, shows, and gigs that are decidedly romantic, unromantic, and everything in between. With all this to go and see and do, the real love of my life may in fact be London after all.  

Top picks:

About as unromantic as it gets: If a satirical comedy-musical theatre crossover gets you going, the peculiarly named Urinetown, The Musical is a must try. Set in a not-too-distant fictional future where a 20-year drought has crippled the city’s water supplies, the show satirises legal systems, capitalism, corporate mismanagement, bureaucracy, social irresponsibility….10 Downing Street could never. (14th-19th Feb, Barbican: tickets)

Down with the patriarchy: Join comedian and podcaster Deborah Frances-White aka The Guilty Feminist for a light-hearted and empowering evening of intersectional discussion and debate, in conversation with fellow contemporary Chris Sweeney, creator of the Homo Sapiens Podcast. (14th Feb, King’s Place: tickets)

For the hopeless romantics:

Concert by candlelight: Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a programme of romantic piano music, performed in the iconic London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Starring international prize-winning pianist Dinara Klinton. (14th Feb, Trafalgar Square: tickets)

Feeling fancy? The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra invite you into an operatic world of passion and drama within the intimate surroundings of Cadogan Hall. (14th Feb, Sloane Square: tickets)

Calling all opera lovers: Jonathan Miller’s classic production of the sweetly tragic romance, ‘La bohème’, at the English National Opera will not disappoint. (14th Feb, Covent Garden: tickets)

A tale as old as time: Romeo and Juliet the ballet is being streamed in cinemas up and down the country, courtesy of the Royal Opera House. (14th Feb, various locations: tickets)

Not on a school night:

Almost two years on from the start of the pandemic, Saturday night fever is hotter than ever. Whether you’re into Valentine’s, Pal-entine’s, or Gal-entine’s, here are a list of nights out to help you and your mates catch up on lost time.

Make Kanye great again: The producers at XOYO are jumping on the Kanye hype and with an offering as cool as this, we simply aren’t complaining. A sixteen-piece orchestra comprising players of the ‘Re:imagine’ ensemble will be performing a full rendition of ‘The Life of Pablo’ from a unique, custom-made orchestral score, accompanied by a bespoke lights show. (12th Feb, Shoreditch: tickets)

Certified bangers: Celeb hotspot Embargo Republica have really nailed the assignment with their ‘Anti Valentines – Heartbreak Special event’. If you play your cards right, you might even end up as an extra on MIC. (12th Feb, Chelsea: tickets)

Slow jams: For something a bit more lowkey, head over to Ninety-One Living Room for the latest instalment of their Jazz Lates series. If you’re a student and/or under 26, you even get a cheeky 50% off! (12th Feb, Brick Lane: tickets)

Pre-drinks playlists:

We’ve got you covered!

Or if mixtapes are more your vibe, a roster of resident DJs at NTS Radio have carefully curated a selection of soul and RnB tracks which you can stream at any time / from any place here.

For wholesome musical card designs like these, visit

Words by Pia Rose Scattergood

Photo © Apocalypse Music

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