Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentine's Day 2014 etc...

I’m not one for traditional Valentine’s Days. We always purposefully celebrate it the day before or after, to avoid all the other couples, and the restrictive set menus. Last year my boyfriend and I went to Romantic Misadventures, a storytelling night, after lunch at Opera Tavern. And a couple of years before that we went and looked at a War Memorial.

So, for my tips on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day, don’t expect anything mushy.

Of course, there is plenty going on that weekend, and I’m sure there are loads of romantic things happening. But here are a few alternatives.

Torture Garden are doing their annual big Valentine’s shindig as well as a more intimate Loveboat party on the 13th. Tickets will, as ever, be selling like hot cakes – you can go for the kink, for the performances or just to marvel at everyone’s outfits but remember to have an impressive one of your own or you won’t get in! See their website for details:

I shall be attending Anything but Grey with my Meetup, an event provoked by the film release of 50 Shades, which aims to shine a more realistic light on the world of BDSM. There are burlesque acts, electro-swing and vintage remix music and a room of pain (for your pleasure) plus a few other little surprises thrown in. You get a glass of bubbly on arrival and it is being held in the ever so gorgeous Bloomsbury Ballroom. Dress to impress (think Eyes Wide Shut, or feel free to go a little wilder) or no entry! More information here.

If you like your electro-swing but without the kink then head to White Mink instead. Their parties are legendary and rightly so. They’re one of my favourite nights in London and I rarely miss an event. Live bands and top notch DJs keep the party going from the moment you step in until 3 am when it sadly finishes. You’ll be breathless with joy by the end of it. 20s style dress is encouraged but not compulsory.

On Valentine’s Day itself last year I went to the Artful Badger’s Art of Hearts event at The Vaults which was fantastic. There was a chance to send love letters, an ‘aerobics class’ and a secret room I didn’t even discover of some bondage demonstrations! Plus some wicked music. This year they're holding the Love & Lighting ball over two nights and I'm sure it will involve much the same if not more. More information here

And I quite like the sound of Bounce’s Anti-Valentine’s event. Down with dating! Go and have fun with a bunch of ping pong balls. Expect UV ping pong, all forms of affection banned, non-smoochy music and other games. As well as a lot of single people (it is co-hosted by Tinder).

For something completely not very V-Day related, So Fresh So Clean is on at Queen of Hoxton. They play all your favourite 90s and old school RnB, which is perfect to get your bump and grind on to – so if you don’t have a date for V-day already you could end up with one here!

And apart from THAT weekend, my calendar is completely booked up until the end of March because there are some very awesome things happening in the next two months. The Vaults festival is happening in Waterloo with so many shows I had decision paralysis about what to see – there’s Red Bastard, the Artful Badger stuff, Baby Lame... but my Meetup is going to Pitch Black the night of sensory surprises - music, poetry and performances, in the dark!

On Feb 20th we’re running away with the fairground to the Bussey Building which is holding, for one night only ‘Once Upon A Fairground’. Expect fairground games with a mix of circus entertainment – like stiltwalkers and fire breathers, set across all three floors of the Bussey Building. Tickets and more information here.

The following weekend I’m dipping my toe into erotica once again with Madame La Freak’s Smut Cinema. I went to one of its early outings ages ago, and now they’re not only showing their visual women-friendly smut but they’re holding a clubnight afterwards! The soundtrack to their films was spot on when I went so I expect the same for the afterparty. More information and tickets here.

What else? Well, we’ve got the very weird sounding Psychoward on Feb 27th at the Resistance Gallery – expect lots of latex and medical-themed performances – tickets are on the door only. Imaginarium are back in March with a Punk theme, which has got to be one of the best they’ve done. I always have a wicked time at their nights – it’s a great, friendly crowd. A similarly great crowd (and there is  a lot of overlap) can be found at Planet Angel at the end of March. They provide a clubnight with a difference – lego, games like giant jenga and connect four, and space hoppers! Tickets and information here.

And that doesn’t even cover everything I’m doing with the Meetup over the next two months. Did I mention Disco Dodgeball…?

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I work as an editor in educational publishing by day, and then spend most of my spare time discovering interesting things to do in London, and taking people there with my own Meetup.