Contrary Life is back again with An Alternative Guide to Valentine’s Day. We’ve dug out some great quirky events taking place in the UK this year. Whether you are in a couple, going out with a group of friends, or looking for an escape from kissing couples, we have some sneaky suggestions for you to try…
Head to the VAULT Festival for an alternative night out
VAULT Festival, known for its innovative and unusual shows, has plenty to get anti-Valentine’s minds racing.
Celebrating Galentine’s Day instead? Pussy Liquor are inviting you to throw away societal expectations at their Self-Love Sanctuary, a riotous, grrl-power queer disco, designed to make you feel as good as hell. Featuring a decadent, gratuitous feast of cabaret performance, DJs and immersive experiences, this is a festival of self-love, self-confidence and self-worship in a world that inspires the opposite.
Find open hearts and racing pulses at The Royal College of Nursing
This Valentine’s Day, The Royal College of Surgeons will be teaming up with University of Roehampton’s Surgery & Emotion project in an event hosted at the Royal College of Nursing.
At this special Valentine’s Late, guests can take part in drop-in surgical suturing workshops and explore the rich feelings associated with the operating theatre, from compassion and romance, to anxiety and fear. Make your own medical romance cover, play surgical Top Trumps, join a mystery treasure hunt, and hear short talks on the often surprising history of emotions in surgical care.
Join the Pip & Nut Love Lab
The nation’s nut butter sweet-hearts, Pip & Nut, will be launching a four day Love Lab in London’s Shoreditch from 13th to 16th February. Guests be able to blend their own bespoke Love Lab nut butter with a helping hand from the Pip & Nut ‘Squirrelogist’, dedicate personalised jars to loved ones, and even create their very own love notes to post to the person they’re nuts for.
At the heart of the Love Lab are the bookable workshop stations, where you can blend your very own taste tingling aphrodisiac nut butters. Expect to find everything on offer from strawberries and chilli to goji berries and vanilla. To help spread the love, Pip & Nut will also gift Hackney Foodbank a jar of peanut butter for every Love Lab edition made.
Once your creation is complete, it’ll be decanted into signature Pip & Nut jars and the resident calligrapher will adorn it with you and your loved ones’ names. Alternatively, those looking for a little gift for their loved one, can simply pop in and visit the Personalised Peanut Butter Shop and purchase a jar of Pip & Nut’s Peanut Butter with a hand-scribed dedication.
Find your muse at Catford Mews
And at London’s newest independent entertainment venue, Catford Mews, Find your muse this Valentines will bring an alternative Valentines programme, aiming to celebrate love in every form.
The Where Did the Lonely Hearts Go Quiz will offer chance to get together with friends and test your knowledge of all things romance and heart break in pop culture. Whilst a Moulin Rouge sing-a-long screening and party will feature a relaxed screening of the film, so you can sip themed cocktails and try a can can!
For Galantine’s Day, grab your best gals and guys and watch a screening of Waiting to Exhale, starring Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lorretta Devine, and Lela Rochon. Or on Valentine’s itself, catch a special preview screening of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s follow up to her 2014 masterpiece Girlhood.
There’ll also be blazin’ fiddles and fiery vocals at The Bleedin’ Liberties Live Gig, family favourite Lady and the tramp, and to coincide with the season of love, the screening of three films which celebrate LGBTQ History month.
Check back soon as we’ll be adding more quirky suggestions!