At Hero & Leander we know very well that roses and chocolates aren’t everybody’s cup of tea when it comes to romance. Valentine’s Day in itself can be a rather corny day and whilst in an ideal world we would present grand gestures of romance daily to our partners (whatever they may be), in reality that is not easy. Romance doesn’t have to be defined by teddy bears and flowers so skip the clichéd ideas this Valentine’s and surprise your partner in crime with an altogether more alternative date. Here at Hero & Leander we have put together a list of our favourite Alternative Valentine’s Day ideas around the UK.

Barts Masterclass

Barts Masterclass

Barts Valentine’s Day Cocktail Masterclass

Transport yourself to the 1920s prohibition era and step in Barts, the speakeasy cocktail bar run by Chicago gangsters who have set up in London. For couples with wild imaginations why not book a lesson in the fine art of cocktail making from one of Uncle Bart’s shady associates, otherwise known as the world class bar team.

Sunday 14th February 2016, 4:30pm-6:00pm, £40 per person

For bookings email shh@barts-london.com or ring 020 7581 3355

Sloane Avenue, London, SW3 3DW

Bread Workshop

Bread Workshop

Valentine’s Bread Workshop

There are few aromas more delicious than freshly baked bread so why not bring your beloved to Kenton Hall Estate in Suffolk and learn to bake in their Valentine’s Day bread workshop. The one day event will teach you the craft of artisan bread making using quality, locally sourced ingredients. Recipes on the course include savoury & sweet cinnamon love knots, Danish ‘twist’ bread, heart decorated boules, heart clusters and at the end of the day you’ll be able to take home at least four homemade loaves of bread.

Sunday 14th February 2016, £100 per couple- booking is essential

For bookings call Kenton Hall Estate on 01728 862 062 or more information can be found at  www.thesuffolkcoast.co.uk

Photo: fb.com/larryjdotphotography

Photo: fb.com/larryjdotphotography

 

Cahoots Valentine’s Day Squiffy Picnic

Venture down into the underground with your tip-top lady friend or spiffing good chap and discover the secret of Cahoots this Valentine’s Day. Cahoots present a loved up version of their original Squiffy Picnic- a uniquely British picnic complete with live swinging entertainment. Start by selecting your tipple and then each table is presented with a hamper full to the brim with picnic treats.

Sunday 14th February 2016, 3:00pm-6:00pm

For bookings visit www.cahoots-london.com

CircusMASH

CircusMASH

CircusMASH

Runaway and join the circus this Valentine’s day- ok well not really, but why not join CircusMASH for a 4 hour workshop exploring all things circus. Together you will explore a range of skills focused on making pairs experience each other in a new way! You will be juggling together, walking each other across the tight wire, balancing on the rolling globe, soaring through the air on our aerial silks plus much more!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 2:00pm-6:00pm, £25 per couple

For booking visit circusmash.co.uk/valentines-day-at-circusmash

All Saints Centre, 2 Vicarage Road, Kings Heath, Birmingham, B14 7RA

After dark in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

After dark in the Princess of Wales Conservatory

Valentine’s Late At Kew Gardens

Set amongst thousands of tropical orchids, the glasshouse at Kew Gardens will transform for one night only into a seductive medley of cocktails, music and Brazilian themed romance. Weave your way through a series of delicately suspended orchids and find yourself surrounded by glowing hanging droplets draped in flowers. With the night set to the perfect Valentine’s soundtrack, why not build your dream cocktail, colour your way along a trail of illustrations and get fully into the Valentine’s spirit with a Latin American dance class. For those quieter moments, nestle yourselves between the flowers and sit back to admire the alluring beauty of nature, illuminated to create a truly spellbinding night.

Tickets must be pre-booked. Each ticket includes a glass of something fizzy or a cocktail.

More information at www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/valentines-late-kew-gardens

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB

Temptation- Sarah Pope

Temptation- Sarah Pope

Love HZ Pop Up At Lights Of Soho

Love is in the air at London’s leading light art gallery, as Lights of Soho present their new, love-induced show entitled LOVE HZ (hertz). Celebrating the seedy and passionate nature of Soho, the gallery will be hosting a 3 week long pop-up which will feature an explosion of neon hearts, tunnels of love and vintage porn posters with the “neon” treatment. Expect lush pillows, crushed velvet and beds for guests and lovers to relax in private. Members and guests will have the opportunity to reserve these boudoir inspired tunnels.

“Deep down, Soho is all about falling in love,” states curator Hamish Jenkinson. “Now – you can do so in our tunnels of love! It’s exciting to channel Soho’s passion and cheekiness this Valentine’s Day and we can’t wait to welcome all the lovers in.”

Thursday 28th January – Sunday 14th February 2016, 11:00am-6:00pm

For more information visit www.LightsofSoho.com

35 Brewer Street, London, W1F 0RX

Love Club

Love Club

Love Club Suppers

Love Club Suppers are holding the ‘Butchered Hearts & Disco Balls’ Valentine’s event this year and here at Hero & Leander we think this is not to be missed. Couples will enjoy a menu based on four aphrodisiac ingredients served over 3 courses accompanied by a delicious cocktail. The exciting event is held in a beautiful warehouse space near Regents Canal and Old Street, London- tall ceilings, glass roof, exposed brickwork dressed with love and disco fever.

Saturday 13th February 2016, 7:30pm, £45 per person

For more information and bookings visit loveclubsuppers.com/events/

Love Club Supper HQ, London, N1

Nira Caledonia

Nira Caledonia

Rev Up The Romance At Nira Caledonia

Nira Caledonia’s exclusive ‘Rev up the romance’ package brings lovers a fun-filled weekend in and around Edinburgh. Package highlights sees couples embark on a ‘Drive for your Dinner’ excursion in a Supercar of their choice – including Ferraris, Lamborghinis and McLaren 570S; making stops at local artisan suppliers and producers to handpick fresh ingredients for their romantic dinner. Guests will then bring their selection back to Blackwood’s Bar and Grill, where Head Chef David Scott will prepare a delectable meal with wine parings. And if that’s not enough to satisfy romantic expectations, guests will enjoy a chilled bottle of Louis Roderer Cristal Rose, fine beluga caviar, handmade Scottish artisan chocolates and macarons and a gift box of “grown up” fun in their room.

Available from 12th February 2016 onwards

For more information and bookings visit niracaledonia.com/en/special-offers-in-edinburgh/the-valentines-weekend-done-a-little-less-ordinary

10 Gloucester Pl, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh, Scotland

Wam Bam Cabaret 13 February 2016 © Ben Carpenter Photography

Wam Bam Cabaret 13 February 2016 © Ben Carpenter Photography

Wam Bam Cabaret At The Royal Albert Hall

For a Valentine’s date with a difference, revel in the extravagance of the Wam Bam Club, one of London’s most-loved cabaret supper club sensations with a show and dining experience like no other. Enjoy a decadent three course meal as you are entertained by a parade of burlesque, circus and music acts; a nonstop parade of sensual revelry and tongue-in-cheek sass making this a night that you and your loved one will never forget.

Saturday 13th February 2016, Seatings from 6.45pm for 3 course meal and cabaret show at 9pm, Tickets: £87.70 each (show, 3 course meal and tea/coffee) and £118.30 for VIP (includes priority seating, a three-course meal, a glass of Moet and Chandon Champagne on arrival and half a bottle of wine)

For more information and booking visit www.royalalberthall.com or call the box office on 020 7589 8212

Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

Cirque du Soleil- Amaluna

Cirque du Soleil- Amaluna

 

Cirque du Soleil Valentine’s Dinner Package – Amaluna

Treat your loved one to something extra special with a romantic dinner before Cirque du Soleil’s new breath-taking show, Amaluna. Couples can enjoy the Valentine’s menu in the opulent setting of the Royal Albert Hall’s Coda fine dining restaurant before being shown to a premium Stalls seat for the start of the show. The Valentines package includes a 3 course dinner with a glass of champagne on arrival, premium stall seats, a programme and an (optional) rose for your date.

Sunday 14th February 2016, £235 per person including booking fee and VAT

For more information and booking visit www.royalalberthall.com or call the box office on 020 7589 8212

Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP

© National Maritime Museum- The Royal Observatory Greenwich

© National Maritime Museum- The Royal Observatory Greenwich

A Valentine’s Evening With The Stars At The Royal Observatory Greenwich

Enjoy a starry-eyed evening at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, including a planetarium show about the romantic sights the night sky has to offer, a chance to do some stargazing through the 18-tonne Victorian telescope, and a glass of bubbly whilst standing on the historic Greenwich Meridian. Note: In the event of adverse weather conditions observing may not be possible. A presentation by one of our astronomers will replace the observing session.

Sunday 14th February 2016 | 5.25pm-7.25pm, 5.30pm-7.30pm, 6.45pm-8.45pm, 6.50pm-8.50pm, £28 per person

For more information and booking visit www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory

Royal Observatory, Meridian Line and Historic Royal Observatory, Great Equatorial Telescope gallery, Meridian Courtyard, Planetarium & Astronomy Centre, Peter Harrison Planetarium

City Cruises by Tower Bridge

City Cruises by Tower Bridge

Thames Jet Love Rush

Couples can set their hearts racing this Valentine’s Day with the City Cruises ThamesJet LoveRush, offering pure action-movie romance while racing along the Thames. Not for the faint-hearted, passengers will step aboard the boat at Westminster Pier for 50 minutes of amazing aquabatics and heart-pounding acceleration while speeding past London’s most famous landmarks. After catching their breath, couples will head to the Hispaniola, City Cruises’ floating restaurant, for a glass of champagne followed by a romantic three course dinner with fantastic riverside views.

Price from £169 per couple to include a 50 minute ThamesJet ride, three course dinner and champagne for two.

For more information and booking visit www.thamesjet.com/valentines.aspx

Westminster Pier, Victoria, Embankment, London, SW1A 2JH

The Richmond - Pearl Necklace cocktail (credit Alex Sainburys)

The Richmond – Pearl Necklace cocktail (credit Alex Sainburys)

Valentine’s At The Richmond

The Richmond in Hackney will be offering a 3 course meal plus cocktail on arrival. This may sound like an ordinary 3 course meal but The Richmond have included their own cheeky and trendy twists to the evening. They will be over the top with cool decorations, serve heart shaped dessert, seduce you with their slow jams playlist and entice you with a ‘Pearl Necklace’ on arrival- no really, it’s a cocktail!

Sunday 14th February 2016, £35 per person

For more information and bookings visit www.therichmondhackney.com/

316 Queensbridge Road, London, E8 3NH

Sycamore Gap - visitnorthumberland.com and A Wallace

Sycamore Gap – visitnorthumberland.com and A Wallace

Dark Sky Discovery Night

Visit Battlesteads Observatory and enjoy an introduction to galaxies and cosmology under the twinkling stars of Northumberland on the edge of the largest area of protected dark skies in Europe – the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park. Gaze in wonder at the Milky Way & the universe beyond, see some of the fantastic things it contains like nebulae and star clusters. Extend your stargazing experience with an overnight stay at award-winning Battlesteads Hotel from £140.00 per room.  Thanks to their restaurant with a menu full of produce from their kitchen garden, you can ‘gaze with good grub’.

Saturday 13th February 2016, 8:00pm to 10:30pm, £20.00 per person

For more information visit www.battlesteads.com

Battlesteads Observatory, Wark on Tyne NE48 3LS

Mr Fogg's Tavern

Mr Fogg’s Tavern

Valentine’s Gin Safari At Mr Fogg’s Tavern

Fanny McGee invites lovers and friends upstairs to Aunt Gertude’s Gin Parlour at Mr Fogg’s Tavern for a very special Valentine’s Gin Safari. Suitors can surprise their sweethearts by reserving a space for the intriguing and unique Gin Tasting Experience or with an exclusive gift voucher to Mr Fogg’s Tavern to enjoy the marvels from the Dickensian Era. The eclectic Gin Parlour is filled wall-to-wall with the most impressive array of gins, showcasing a supreme collection of 132 varietals collected from Phileas Fogg’s travels around the world. A member of Mr Fogg’s world-class barmen will provide one and a half hours of tiptop tuition, whisking couples away on a Gin Safari to learn more about the origins to some of the rarest gins on earth, as well as an array of botanicals and tonics. Guests, will of course, sample six of the finest gins and enjoy two superb gin and tonics, made with their favourite varieties.

Sunday, 14th February 2016, 3.01pm – 5.01pm | Booking Essentials, £40 per person

mr-foggs.com/

58 St. Martins Lane, London, WC2N 4EA