Valentine’s Day events in Hackney and Islington
PUBLISHED: 11:40 05 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:45 05 February 2019
Valentine’s Day is on the approach – do you have plans locked in? It’s no problem if not, because we’ve rounded up a bunch of romantic things to do across Hackney and Islington.
If you’re going all out
Critically-acclaimed chef Adam Handling has readied a custom-made tasting menu for Valentine’s Day at his restaurant: The Frog Hoxton. Pop down to feast on oysters; mussel & pumpkin curry; and pork with black pudding, cabbage & apple. There are three desserts to ponder and post-dinner cocktails to be had in the Iron Stag bar downstairs if you fancy lingering in to the night.
The Frog Hoxton, 45-47 Hoxton Square, N1 6PD. Set menu is £65pp.
If you want something a bit different
Okay fine, something a lot different. Stampex is the UK’s biggest stamp-collecting exhibition (bear with me) and its spring event will showcase an incredibly rare selection of Valentine cards; some dating back to the 1700s. This range – curated over 50 years by Judith Holder, a leading stamp collector – will include a number of Victorian cards. It’s free to get in and there are goodie bags for kids, aside from the chance to witness some fascinating collectors’ items.
Stampex is at The Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH between February 13 and 16.
If you want something to DO
If Valentine’s Day was an Olympic event, Drink Shop & Do would most likely take gold. The celebration at this Cally Road house of fun start on Tuesday 5th with Inappropriate Card Making, then there are comedy nights, jewellery-making evenings and a House of Toast: Fifty Shades of Grey special. DSD rounds things off with a Glitterati Love Party on February 15 where there will be glitter, cocktails, dancing and, we quote, “more bling than J-Lo and Mariah put together.”
Drink, Shop & Do, 9 Caledonian Road, N1 9DX.
If you’re in to gin
Tonight Josephine and Beefeater have linked up to put on a week of Valentine’s fun at this new(ish) basement bar on Hoxton Square. Starting February 9 with a cocktail-making workshop and Valentine’s card-making, there’s also to be a photography workshop with Addie Chinn in the lead up to February 14. Once you’ve finished making your cards, pop them in the venue’s pink postbox and let Josephine herself do the rest.
Tonight Josephine, 39a Hoxton Square, N1 6NN. Tickets for each event are £10, including two Beefeater Pink cocktails.
If you’re actually quite Anti-Valentine’s
For the avoidance of doubt, romantic gestures and gushy PDA’s are firmly off the table at Bounce. “This is not a love festival,” they are saying, “there will be no tender touching or furtive glances.” Instead, you can give some heart-shaped piñatas a good thrashing, play unlimited ping-pong, gorge on pizza and enjoy a few cocktails at the bar.
Bounce, 121 Holborn, EC1N 2TD. Tickets are £6.
If you’re dining out – on a budget
Flowers, cards, dinner and drinks – the cost of this most romantic of holidays adds up. Luckily, you can wine and dine your loved one without spending big at Gotto’s in Hackney Wick, where they’ll offer a three-course set menu for only £22.50 pp. Sample dishes on the night include lamb meatballs with pecorino cheese; paccheri all carbonara; linguine with clams, garlic and chilli; and hot chocolate fondente, caramel sauce & vanilla ice cream.
Gotto Trattoria, Canalside, Here East, 27 East Bay Lane, E15 2GW. Set menu is £22.50 per head.