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Understated Valentine’s Ideas

Wave goodbye to cheesy clichés

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Bouquets of roses, fancy dinners, champagne – some of us love a traditional Valentine’s Day. But if old-school romance isn’t your thing, it doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the day with your significant other. We’ve picked out some of the best alternative date ideas, from couples’ yoga sessions to crazy golf…

Relax at a private yoga class

Couples Yoga


Couples yoga is said to strengthen relationship bonds, deepen connections and build trust – on top of all the physical benefits. With My:Method, you can book a private yoga or pilates session for two, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. Book a class before enjoying a cosy home-cooked dinner together, made better with post-yoga happy endorphins. Namaste!

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Enjoy a cookery class at Daylesford


Sure, you could book a nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day – but why not do something a bit different and get in the kitchen together? At Daylesford’s cookery school, set on an idyllic Cotswolds farm, you and your Valentine will be guided through creating a series of romantic recipes to produce an intimate feast to share. Begin with an introduction over freshly made coffee and tea, followed by a series of demonstrations and hands-on cooking sessions. You’ll of course get the chance to try everything you make, along with a glass (or two) of wine from Daylesford’s sister estate in Provence, Chateau Leoube. 15 February, 9.30am-3pm. Tickets are £195pp, including lunch, refreshments and all course material. To book visit

Admire some orchids at Kew Gardens

Kew's Orchid Festival


Escape the dreary winter at Kew Gardens’ annual orchid festival, themed this year around the bright and colourful Indonesia. Taking place in the Princess of Wales Conservatory, visitors will be transported to a paradise evoking the sounds, sights and smells of the Southeast Asian nation, with beautiful displays of over 4000 orchids representing different aspects of Indonesian wildlife and culture. Until 8 March

Visit Kew Garden’s First Ever Indonesian Orchid Festival

Compete at crazy golf


Challenge your date to a crazy golf competition at Swingers, with venues in both the City and the West End. And while the bottle of champagne and heart-shaped pizza that comes with the package is a little on the clichéd side, we’d never say no to bubbly – and there’s no denying it makes the perfect accompaniment to your game. £86 for two. 14-16 February

Take a trip to the land of Shakespeare


Explore the birthplace of one of the most romantic pieces of literature of all time, Romeo and Juliet, on a three-day tour of Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit the beautiful thatched cottage of Shakespeare’s wife Anne Hathaway’s cottage, and pay your respects at Holy Trinity Church, his final resting place. You’ll also visit some of the UK’s prettiest towns in the Cotswolds and Oxfordshire, including Bampton, the filming location for Downtown Abbey£139pp with Rabbie’s Tours. The three-day tour departs form London Victoria once a week.

Indulge in chocolate afternoon tea

Galvin at the Atheneum

Tired of offering up the same old box of chocolates each year? Surprise your partner this Valentine’s with a chocolate-themed afternoon tea at Mayfair restaurant Galvin at the Athenaeum; a delicious afternoon spent together in one of London’s finest dining spots. £39 per person, available from 1 – 29 February.

Alternative Date Ideas in London

Delight in a pizza-making workshop for two

Bread Ahead Wembley

It’s often said that the way to one’s heart is through their stomach, and we’re sure that pizza applies. Take to a Bread Ahead bakery with a loved one for a romantic pizza-making workshop, then enjoy your doughy delights with a glass of bubbles under dimly-lit settings. Delizioso! Available in Wembley, Borough Market, and Pavilion Road branches. From £170 per couple. bread

READ MORE: Want to go all out? Check out these OTT Valentine’s Ideas / Best Date Bars