Alternative Valentine’s Day in London

Drink, dance, expand your mind and don’t give a hoot

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Live Soul Sisters classics, Blues Kitchen, Camden

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For all the single sisters out there, Camden’s Blues Kitchen is hosting a night of Live Soul Sister Classics. Expect to hear Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Roberta Flack and more. At midnight there will be a live set from MFC Chicken, a saxophone rock ‘n’ roll band whose music deals with emotional topics such as fast food and broken hearts.

111-113 Camden High St, London, NW1 7JN; 020 7387 5277; theblueskitchen.com; 14 February, 7pm – 3am; Free entry till 9:30pm, £5 after

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Love Potions & Tarot Card Reading for Valentine's Day, Bam-Bou, Fitzrovia

With the help of celebrated mystic Susie Johns, Bam-Bou has created a series of cocktails imbued with magical powers for both lovers and singletons. Hit the bar to have your tarot cards read by Johns herself, then down concoctions which promise to heal a broken heart, teach the art of seduction or prompt a proposal.

Bam-Bou, 1 Percy St, London, W1T 1DB; 020 7323 9130; bam-bou.co.uk; Tuesdays 4, 11 and 18 February; 6.30pm to 8.30pm; £25 for a 15-minute tarot card reading session, including a cocktail

100 Questions on Love with Susan Quilliam, The Imaginarium, Selfridges, Oxford St

Organised by the School of Life, relationship psychologist Susan Quilliam will lead a 'speed conversation' on love. Participants will be given a series of conversation questions, then Quilliam will lead an interactive workshop that delves into the nature of love. Expect thought-provoking fun and, maybe, enlightenment.

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The Imaginarium, Selfridges, 400 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1AB; theschooloflife.com/shop/imaginarium-100questionsonlove; 15 February, 1pm – 2,30pm; £25

All Dogs Matter Valentine’s Walk, Hampstead Heath

Photo credit: Ian Morrison/www.dogstarphoto.co.uk

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Celebrate the unwavering love and loyalty you get from your dog with a Valentine’s walk around Hampstead Heath in aid of dog rescue charity, All Dogs Matter. Hounds and owners will meet at Hampstead’s Garden Gate pub for a yappy stroll around the park. There will also be doggy treats, a raffle and the chance to buy gifts for your dog, all in aid of the charity.

Meet at the Garden Gate, 14 South End Rd, London, NW3 2QE; 0208 341 3196; alldogsmatter.co.uk; 16th February, registrations for walk 10.30am, 11am start; £5 entry per dog

Master-Mistress: Passion, Desire and Ambiguities in Shakespeare's Sonnets, Sutton House, Hackney

The first exhibition of Sutton House’s LGBT History Month 2014, taking place in the Tudor rooms, poses questions about desire, sexuality and gender through readings of four of Shakespeare's sonnets. The sonnets will be presented through the disembodied voices of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, alongside artwork by Judith Brocklehurst.

Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High Street, London, E9 6JQ; 020 8986 2264; nationaltrust.org.uk/sutton-house; 14 February, 10.30am – 5pm, 15 & 16 February, 12pm – 5pm; Adult tickets £3.50; Booking not needed

Venuses, VD & Victorian Strongmen: An alternative Valentine's, Barts Pathology Museum

The ever-innovative Barts Pathology Museum is hosting a series of fascinating, utterly non-traditional talks over the Valentine’s period. Lectures range from the nature and treatment of ‘hysteria’ in the 19th Century to a whirlwind history of aphrodisiacs. All talks take place in the beautiful Grade II listed Pathology Museum with its three mezzanine levels of gorgeously grotesque anatomical specimens.

Barts Pathology Museum, 3rd Floor, Robin Brook Centre, W Smithfield, London, EC1A 7BE
020 7882 5555; potts-pots.blogspot.co.uk; The ‘alternative-Valentines’ season runs until 26 February (see website for times and dates of individual lectures); tickets £7
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Valentine's scent and wine pairing, Stories, Broadway Market

Single girls bracing themselves for a Valentine’s date recruited online can prepare themselves at the ‘Sip, Sniff’ event in Stories bar. It’s a tasting evening combining wine and perfume to help find the perfect match between tipple and fragrance. This month’s event will be based on experiences of blind dates, so expect aromas and tastes with some outrageous stories to tell.

Stories, 30- 31 Broadway Market, London, E8 4QJ; 020 7254 6898; storiesonbroadway.com; Tuesday 11th February, 7pm - 10pm; £27.50

Beyonce dance workshop, Seen on Screen, Canary Wharf, The City, Clapham

Seen on Screen run dance workshops that teach routines inspired by the stars and taught by professionals who regularly dance with celebrities themselves. There’s no obligation to be highly skilled yourself, just join in if you like dancing and, for the Valentine’s special, if you like Beyonce. The workshop will leave you too elated (and knackered) to worry about red roses.

Venues in Canary Wharf, The City and Clapham (see website for times and addresses); seenonscreenfitness.com/; £18

Anti-Valentine’s Day Party, Bounce

This Anti-Valentine’s Day party is back for its second year at ping pong bar, Bounce. Expect a complete Valentine’s clampdown with singleton games and tournaments, a Valentine’s wall of shame and strict rules regarding non-soppy behaviour. On top of that, the usual cocktails, food, dancing and ping pong will be on offer.

Bounce, 121 Holborn, London, EC1N 2TD; 020 3657 6525; bouncepingpong.com; 14 February, 6pm – 1am; tickets £5

Bacchanalian Romp on Valentine's Day, The National Gallery

Put your own affairs of the heart aside and indulge instead in a guided tour of the National Gallery’s sauciest paintings. With themes of love, sex and marriage, you will be talked through old masterpieces by Botticelli, Rubens, Correggio, Velazquez and others. Couples and singles alike are welcome and there will be optional food and drinks in nearby private members club, Blacks.

The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN; 0207 602 3716; arthistoryuk.com; 14th February, 6.45pm – 8pm; tickets £27

Title Image Credit: Ian Morrison/www.dogstarphoto.co.uk

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