Every Fri/Sat Keep cosy at Street Feast’s indoor market — take an £8 spin on the Whisky Roulette to try top shelf liquor. Relationships that begin to blossom at this stressful time may lead to a future of bliss or an uncomfortable kiss, but who cares: London is the best city for couples but also for singles. Every Mon & Tue evening Get to grips with the human form (although not your date’s) with a life drawing class. Save your money for the three-bedroom family semi you’re already visualising. This time of year is about love: either ensuring the one you care about feels special, or seeking the person who might, one day, be willing to give you their wi-fi password. Sunday nights After hours access to one of the capital’s most famous landmarks. So either find the perfect mix of a good restaurant with budget-friendly prices or choose good cocktails in a special setting. £7.50, Ferndale Road SW9, Tuesday-Sunday (4-11pm) Knock out nine holes in this Brixton pub garden tent before tucking into booze and BBQ. But going hell for leather on this most saccharine of holidays might seem too keen and scare them into the arms of someone a little less desperate. Champagne on ice and bouquets of roses are for established partners but date three is also an opportunity to hint at something to come. Sundays only (12-4pm) Get back to nature with an afternoon tea with more than 2,000 types of fish, plants and trees at the Barbican’s tropical oasis. Either way, neither motive should be laid on the table at this point so romantic hotspots are to be avoided, especially since the good ones were booked weeks ago. If you are having your first date with someone over the Valentine’s Day weekend, then you either scheduled it accidentally or are feeling pretty confident that they might be worth making an effort for. But there are ways to succeed in romance without really trying. In a weekend saturated with soppiness it can be difficult for new couples to find a compromise between the heart-shaped chocolates and a thoroughly unromantic trip to Wetherspoons.
Every Thurs-Sun Hop on this street food love bus for an Austrian feast. uk Bloody Marys and Boardgames at The Natural Philosopher. Every Sunday You’ll know the date’s going well if they suggest Monopoly. Every Sunday Kick back on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon date with all the trimmings and great tunes. £28/60 minutes, 121 Holborn, EC1 and 241 Old Street, EC1 See if your competitive spirits match up by challenging your date to an hour of ping pong. £9.50, Haverfield Road, E3 Clamber all over the climbing wall before you clamber all over each other. But it also resists overt romance, ensuring a night free from pink balloons, rose-sellers and string quartets.You can chat about which you love best while nibbling on cheese and crackers.Hosting a dinner party is cool, but it can be a little exhausting and sometimes feels too formal. Next gig is Mar 22 Comedy for the thinking couple — UCL researchers try their hand at stand-up. Free, Abney Park N16 Avoid the crowds at Highgate and head for a walk at another of London’s beautiful graveyards. £20/hour, 2a Worship Street, EC2 Win your date over with a beer and a bullseye. So you’ve met someone nice and you’re contemplating the possibility that they might be worth taking a punt on. Spending a fortune at this early stage will dent your bank balance and come across either as flashy or too intense, too soon. Every Tuesday Trust each other (and the chef) for a blind experimental tasting session. £12/hour, Ewer Street SE1 See if your pot luck runs out on the pool table or in conversation. Next lecture is Feb 23 Find out if your date has a taste for the weird and wonderful at this bizarre treasure trove. Next class is Mar 19 Get to know the food of love a little bit better with an oyster expert talking you through molluscs from around the British Isles. 1a Goldsmiths Row E2 An unexpected haven from the hipsters — and you can buy some freshly laid eggs for breakfast the next morning. Address the obvious romance of the season but resist accompanying hysteria by viewing alternative classics at the Barbican’s cinemas, or embrace the inevitable misery of love at the Prince Charles cinema’s screening of Weekend. Daily from Apr 1 Soak up the atmosphere on a peaceful journey down to Little Venice. £39.95, 4 Sotheron Place SW6 A weekend on the slopes would be a bit much for a first date but at least at this indoor simulator the apres-ski is only round the corner. New Street, EC2 Show off your palette: load some money on to your card and sample wines by the glass at the push of a button. If you have set this follow-up to take place over Valentine’s Day weekend then date one must have been at least tolerable, but now you have to show something more specific, something personal that reflects your interests without implying a level of romance inconsistent with something so new.