As Valentine’s Day swiftly approaches, there are many unique venues across the capital that will be hosting events designed to honour the international day of love. However, regardless of the time of year, every Unique Venues of London location has something that makes it special, from beautiful baroque architecture to galleries that tell the story of the diverse city’s rich history.
Here are five exquisite London venues to which you can bring your better half on February 14th, as well as appreciate year-round:
This Valentine’s Day, Old Royal Naval College is celebrating with a special evening in the Painted Hall.
Foxtrot, Fizz and Baroque Romance is the theme for the night, which includes a free glass of prosecco on arrival and a Painted Hall trail that explores the romantic stories and symbols of Sir James Thornhill’s magnificent painted ceiling. This is also a one-off opportunity to join a beginner’s dance class led by Swing Dance UK, who will teach basic steps for the Foxtrot.
For the love bugs, solitary bees and significant otters looking to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, the Natural History Museum is hosting an evening that will explore all things related to love and relationships in the natural world. In the splendid setting of South Kensington, visit the museum after hours for an evening of romantic fascination covering animal courtship, copulation and everything in between.
Over the course of the evening, attendees can enjoy a variety of activities including a visit to the world-class Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, a beginner’s salsa class, an LGBTQ+ natural history trail, a screen printing workshop and an ‘ask the expert session’ with curator Robin Hansen. This is the perfect opportunity to visit the astounding Natural History Museum, soundtracked by the rhythms of live music and clinking cocktail glasses – it promises to be a night to remember.
For those who fancy a quick fling, Cutty Sark is hosting an ‘anti-Valentine’s day’ party, the highlight of which will be the social Scottish traditional dance, the ceilidh. The famous location is renowned for being one of the best ceilidh venues in the capital, due to the stunning, long and narrow space beneath the suspended hull.
The event will also feature one of London's best ceilidh bands, The Ceilidh Tree, who will ensure no one gets left behind. Guests can come in from the cold and dance the night away with their one true love or bring along their single friends.
Titian, The Rape of Europa, 1559-62
Oil on canvas, 178 × 205 cm
© Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
Starting in March, art aficionados can organise events around Titian: Love, Desire, Death at the National Gallery. Titian, one of the most famous painters in Europe, produced this group of paintings showing Classical myths of love, temptation and punishment in 1551. The exhibition reunites all six paintings from his series—which have been on display in Boston, Madrid and London—for the first time in over four centuries.
Titian expertly manipulates paint and colour to dazzling effect, capturing luminous flesh, sumptuous fabrics, water, reflection and atmospheric, almost enchanted, landscapes. One sees gods and goddesses in these paintings, yet their faces show very human, and very relatable, emotions: guilt, surprise, shame, desperation and regret.
The Museum of London is ideal for Londonphiles looking to host a memorable event for their guests. Located near Barbican and St Paul’s in the bustling City area, the museum tells the story of the capital from its first settlers right through to modern times. Recounting the history of Roman London, Medieval London and the Expanding City, coupled with world-class temporary exhibitions, the museum is the perfect setting, any time of year, for those who love London.
Guiding visitors through the history of the city across nine permanent spaces, the Museum of London has a range of galleries available for event hire, including the astounding London Ellipse Hall, the People’s City gallery and the London 2012 Cauldron.