Being completely honest, Valentine’s Day, and the fanfare around it, can be a tad overwhelming, especially when you’re single or in a long-distance relationship. Well, thank Cupid for Galentine’s Day!
What is Galentine’s Day, you may ask? Well, for those who’d prefer to mark the lovey-dovey occasion with friends, and celebrate platonic love in all its glory, Galentine’s officially falls on February 13. However, London has some great activities to honour Galentine’s Day, aka Palentine’s Day, all week long.
1–2. Partake in a dedicated Galentine’s cooking and cocktails session
🧁 London patisserie Oh La La! Macarons are offering a special workshop to celebrate Galentine’s. On February 14, the Farringdon spot will host an evening masterclass with Singsby Gin, teaching attendees how to achieve the perfect French-style macaron. After watching the live baking demonstation, you and your gals can get creative, and get your hands on unlimited macarons to construct and decorate. The in-house bartender will keep the good vibes going with free-flowing rhubarb and lychee martinis.
🧁 Head over to the White Horse pub in Wembley Park on February 13 for cake decorating and cocktails. The two-hour session will be led by an experienced pastry chef, and the bartenders have specifically a create a themed cocktail to match the cake. Raspberry and rose cocktails, anyone? Yes, please.
Fever’s Candlelight concerts aren’t just for romance with a partner: they make a great mate date, or even solo trip, too. Choose a concert that pays tribute to your favourite artist or genre, and settle down for a 60- or 75-minute live performance of spellbinding music, performed by candlelight. The renditions are often given a classical twist by a string quartet; however, some specific genres welcome different styles of bands too.
Every Candlelight concert takes place in a historical or quirky venue, so the hundreds of candles illuminate some pretty cool architecture. Fleetwood Mac fans should snap up tickets to St Mary’s Church on February 10 to enjoy hits like Dreams and Go Your Own Way by candlelight, while BTS lovers will want to grab the gals and mark February 18 in their diaries.
Bottomless brunch is the ultimate activity for a catch up with the girls, be it Galentine’s, a birthday, or just because – and London has an abundance of options. Drag brunches, saucy brunches, and those themed around pop icons (calling the Beyhive and Britney Army) are all ready to feed your appetite for food, booze and a whole lot of good times.
5. Elevate your mood, and yourselves, at a disco bouldering session
If you’re not familiar with bouldering, let us bring you up to speed. It is effectively rock climbing, but at Substation Brixton, there’s an upbeat twist. One Friday a month, they transform the area for vibe and climb sessions, with a DJ spinning the tunes; and to celebrate Galentine’s day, the London climbing centre will be blasting disco music, and serving disco-themed cocktails post climb on Tuesday, February 14.
6–7. Share a cute cocktail or two with your bestie
🍹 We’ve mentioned cocktails a few times in this list, but there are just so many to shout about! Head to the Avora cocktail experience with your best pal (or your whole crew), don matching custom jumpsuits and embark on a little adventure to a new planet. The Hoxton-based, immersive cocktail experience encourages you to follow a storyline where, along the way, you’ll encounter and engage with ‘Avorians’, explore lush greenery, and forage for your cocktail ingredients. The set is pretty impressive too – we checked it out ourselves last year.
🍹 Head to Apothecary East in Shoreditch to try their bespoke, available-for-two-days-only sharing cocktail. Grab lunch or dinner at the Asian eatery on February 13 or 14, and you’ll be able to order the Umeshu Blush. The cocktail, made from plum wine, vermouth, campari, champagne and more, is served in a beautiful bottle for two. Pair with the restaurant‘s delicious small plates (the miso glazed aubergine is a MUST). Larger groups of friends can book in one of Apothecary East’s private dining rooms.
8. Get competitive with your gals at a gaming bar
Platform gaming bar in Shoreditch is a great spot to bring the whole crew together. Whack on a game of Mario Party, or go head to head on Mario Kart, for 90 minutes of nostalgic fun. If the Italian plumber and his shenanigans are not your style, then brush up on your best dance moves for the Just Dance dance mat. Platform serve up a selection of pizzas and themed cocktails too, so the evening is guaranteed to be a hoot.
9. Cosy up with your cohort in a winter igloo
Although usually synonymous with festive dining in London, Instagrammable igloo drinks and dining are available at Vinegar Yard for a few dates in Galentine’s week (February 15–19). Under the shadow of The Shard, the spot channels chic aprés ski vibes and it is a great location to get the gang together. Relish in private dining with a group of six to eight people, order delightful cocktails and street food from Vinegar Yard’s resident traders.
10. Take a little group trip out of the city
Got some annual leave available, or celebrating Galentine’s Day on one of the weekends around it? Venture out of the capital! Whether it’s pretty villages within easy reach of London, going on a jolly to the seaside (bring your coats!), or perhaps a weekend even further afield, getting away from all the lovey-doveyness in the city and having a laugh with your pals may be just what Cupid and co ordered.