Beyond Cards and Flowers – 2016’s Best Valentine Ideas

Four glasses of wine (2 red, 2 white) by a warm fire.

Beautify yourself this Valentines with Aer Blowdry:

Blow Dry and Beauty treatments to get you Valentine ready

Aer Blowdry Bar is adding make-up and nails to its blowdry and brows menu to celebrate St Valentine’s Day this year.

Make up artists Hannah Davies and Ety Hercsik, both trained by Charlotte Tilbury, will be on hand to get you Valentine ready. The Valentine’s event will also be the first time that Essie nail services will be available at the salon, with classic file and polish, manicures and gel manicures all added to the menu.

The first 15 people to book the Valentine’s special will receive a Lomax Gift Card for a complimentary Lomax Blast or Lomax Cycle Blast Class. Everyone who attends will also take home a goody bag full of beautifying products.

Aer Blow Dry Bar is at 172 Old Brompton Rd, London SW5 0BA, United Kingdom, the nearest tube is Gloucester Road.

yolandaFor the live music loving couple:

MOBO Award Winning Yolanda Brown does a special ‘Valentines gig’

Double MOBO award-winning saxophonist YolanDa Brown, will be kicking off her national Reggae Love Songs Tour with special Valentine’s Day gig in London on Sunday 14th February 2016, not to be missed!

Yolanda will be performing at Nells Jazz and Blues, 3 North End Crescent, London W14 8TG, United Kingdom, the nearest tube is West Kensington.

For something a bit different:

Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Oxfordshire

 Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin starred restaurant and hotel offers a luxury menu unlike any other. Expect the likes of seared langoustine, Jerusalem artichoke and Perigord truffles as your hors d’oeuvres, followed with a braised fillet of turbot, scallop, cucumber and wasabi. All this delicious food is perfectly complimented with a selection of beers, including a Curious Brew, which is brewed with Champagne yeast.

The beer list is varied yet unfussy with a unique style for each course from countries including Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, USA, France and good ol’ Blighty.

Le Manoir Aux Quat’SaisonsChurch Rd, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7PD.

For a romantic get away:

The Abbey Hotel Bath makes for the perfect Valentine’s break


Set in the heart of historic Bath, the Abbey Hotel makes for the perfect escape for a peaceful and romantic weekend à deux. Moments from Bath Abbey, Thermae Spa and the Roman Baths, the Abbey Hotel offers a charming weekend away quite like no other.

Rooms offer sweeping views of the city, individually designed with own eye-catching fabrics and hand-crafted furniture, allowing couples to enjoy a deeply comfortable stay with all that Bath has to offer right on the doorstep. The Abbey Hotel’s concierge will be on hand to guide couples to the most romantic spots in Bath and help make special arrangements for grand declarations of love.

After a romantic day in Bath, pre-dinner cocktails can be enjoyed at the ArtBar followed by a candlelit dinner at the atmospheric Allium restaurant. Run by Executive Chef, Chris Staines, the food blends flavours of the East with local produce and is most definitely worth a journey to Bath.

To book: The Abbey Hotel, North Parade, Bath BA1 1LF, 01225 805613

Love is in the air for the high flying couple:

Sky high dining at the Aqua Shard

aqua shardAqua Shard is keeping things simple, serving their everyday menu, with a romantic twist.  A special cocktail and sharing dessert will be available for the whole weekend, Friday 12th – Sunday 14th February.

‘La Vie En Rose’ is a magical mix of rose infused Tanqueray Ten, rose tea and Balthazar rose vermouth, topped with Ruinart rosé served over dry ice. The sharing dessert is a Heart shaped hazelnut and nougat parfait with milk chocolate, cranberries, rose water jelly, mascarpone cream, and freeze dried raspberries. We will also be welcoming back one of our favourite groups – The Spinettes – who will be performing during dinner on Sunday 14th February.

Open 10am to Midnight

The Shard, 32 London Bridge St, London SE1 9SG, nearest tube London Bridge

Continue your loved up evening with a romantic view at View from The Shard.

Could there be a more romantic way to experience London on Valentine’s Day than sipping on champagne whilst watching the city sparkle below?

This Valentine’s Day weekend, The View from The Shard be open until midnight on Saturday, 13 February and Sunday, 14 February, so you can enjoy the spectacular views of London with your loved one for longer. Enjoy the view with a complimentary mini selection of Love Hearts on arrival.
Sunset time slots (5pm and 5.30pm) are expected to sell out quickly due to popular demand, so book early to avoid disappointment.

Aqua Shard, 31 St Thomas St, London SE1 9RY, nearest tube London Bridge

Other Valentines Highlights in London: 

Get together with the girls just before Valentine’s Day and head down to Hush Mayfair as Channing Tatum hits the screens with an exclusive showing of movie Magic Mike this Saturday (13th February). Projected in Hush Mayfair’s famous courtyard, the exclusive dining destination will show the hit movie as part of its film programme ‘Classics in the Courtyard’, which takes place every Saturday. Wrap up warm with bespoke Hush blankets and enjoy complimentary gourmet popcorn alongside a selection of delicious winter warmers as Tatum puts on an electrifying display just before Valentine’s Day. Tickets are £10 per table, available for 6 of your nearest and dearest. 
Mayfair favourite Quaglino’s have constructed a perfect cocktail menu to sweeten your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, including the ‘Pearls in the Red Sea’ infused with sweeteners from Maraschino liqueur, homemade rose and elderflower, the ’50 Shades of Blue’ served with a handcrafted ice ball and garnished with pineapple and kumquat, or the enchanting ‘His & Her’ option coupling two cocktails within a sharing glass. All are available all weekend.

Christopher’s Covent Garden who will be serving limited edition Valentines cocktails in their Grade II-listed, art-deco martini bar, including Spiced Strawberry Kiss (Wild Turkey 101, Strawberry Liqueur, Spiced Chocolate Bitters, and Champagne) and Cupid’s Perfect Martini (Crystal Head Vodka, Licor 43, Raspberry Puree, Pineapple Juice, Parfait Amour). For brunch on Sunday 14th, they’ll be serving specials such as Valentine’s Huevos (with Black Truffle & Kale, Fried Egg, Soft Flour Tortilla, Black Bean Salsa), yum.

Percy & Founders are offering a complimentary glass of champagne to all dinner bookings on Sunday 14th. They’ve also created a special Valentine’s sharing pudding menu, with the selection including a warm chocolate fondant, funnel cake, and a chocolate milkshake

Discount Suit Company have designed a Love Potion for 2: a heady mix of Quiquiriqui Mezcal, Bold Cherry Aperitif and Kamm and Sons Ginseng Spirit

Lanes of London have partnered with Chambord Royale to create a Valentine’s set dinner menu and Afternoon Tea, paired with limited edition Valentine’s cocktails including a Chambord Kir Royale and a Flirtini.

Alice Kelleher

Alice Kelleher

Former Journalist, Alice now spends her days working at a PR agency in Soho. She loves all things London-centric, and can often be found running from pillar to post searching out the hottest new places to eat, drink, and generally be merry.
A beauty fanatic, Alice will share her wisdom on all the latest lotion and potions. Oh and she’s getting married soon, so she’s going to be writing about all the red hot bridal trends in and around London.

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