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Five Alternative Activities for Valentine’s Day

12 February 2019 | Natasha Sutton-Williams

Does Valentine’s Day have to mean hastily bought cards, cheap chocolates and a random bottle of bubbly? No! Get quirky and make this heartfelt holiday one to remember! Whether you’re spending time with your other half, your family and friends, or just exploring solo, these alternative Valentine’s Day activities will stimulate your head and your heart.

1. Highgate Cemetery
The origins of St Valentine’s Day are a little more macabre than you might expect. Roman Emperor Claudius II executed two men (both named Valentine) on 14 February during the 3rd century A.D. The Catholic Church honoured their martyrdom with St Valentine’s Day. So what better way to celebrate than a visit to the contemplative Highgate Cemetery?
 
In the East Cemetery you can discover the grave of political philosopher Karl Marx. Marx’s monument has been in the news as it has recently been vandalised. You can also seek out the grave of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and add a pen to the pen-pot on his grave.
 
Take a guided tour of the West Cemetery, which includes the cemetery’s most impressive architectural features, including the Egyptian Avenue, Circle of Lebanon, Terrace Catacombs and the mausoleum of Julius Beer.
 
2. Oriole Bar
This sparkling gem of a cocktail bar is well hidden beneath Smithfield Market, the UK’s largest wholesale meat market. But don’t let the pork whiff put you off! This subterranean cocktail bar is decked out in splendorous explorer-style décor, with live jazz music every night and a cocktail menu consisting of the most elaborate and uniquely presented cocktails in all of London.
 
whistle punks urban axe throwing valentine's day

4. Urban Axe Throwing
At Whistle Punks you can sling axes alongside your loved ones, and learn to hit bull-eyes with the guidance from their experienced coaches. Once you get the feel for it, instructors will referee a tournament where a King or Queen of axe throwing is crowned. 
 
Safety is put first: each throwing lane is enclosed, you have an axe wielding expert to hand at all times, no booze sold on site, and they won’t let you throw if you’re hammered!

 3. Anti-Valentine’s Comedy Night
Pluck Productions are teaming up with Silver Standard Comedy to take on the theme of ‘Anti-Valentine's Day’. The show will feature stand up comedians like the primate-obsessed Tessa Coates and the loo roll-loving (she made a show about it) Kat Bond. It will feature unconventional love stories and deeply unromantic power-ballads from actor David Atkinson, and award-winning soprano Alison Arnopp.
 
22 February, £6 online, £8 on door
 
5. Kennington Confidential Movie: “An Escape from Valentine’s Day”
The Cinema Museum will be showing a secret, guaranteed classic movie that is not a rom-com! The dress code is 80’s shoulder pads, perms, denim shirts, blazers and leg warmers. It has one of most famous films scenes ever seen. There are drinks and nibbles before the film, and a few fun surprises to get involved with.
 
14 February, £15
 
 
 
 
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