Left Valentine’s till the last minute? We bring you some top romantic ideas worth staying local for.
1. PLAY YOUR CARDS RIGHT
Top of the list is Earlybird Cards on Stoke Newington Church Street. Fabulous, off the wall cards, feature slogans like: ‘I love you, you big knobhead’ and ‘I love that when I’m with you I don’t have to pretend to be a nice person’ as well as some more conventionally romantic ones. They also offer a great line in novelty gifts and scented candles! (Thanks to Earlybird for the pic, card design by Sooshichacha)
(Pic via @bournesfishmongers)
2. NOTHING SAYS "I LOVE YOU" LIKE A HOME-COOKED MEAL.
Head to Jaines & Son fishmongers in Stoke Newington or Bourne’s in Highbury and pick up the catch of the day. Fish is a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which boost serotonin in the brain and enhance mood. Salmon as well as oysters have a reputation as an aphrodisiac.
3. BOOK IN FOR A NIGHT OF WINE TASTING WITH A DIFFERENCE.
Sipologist Social offers a mix of pointers, titbits and quirky experiments to help you find wine that pleases your unique taste buds. Their regular events focus on the individuality of flavour and how your perceptions and palate can change as other influences and a healthy dose of curiosity come into play. This lovely, fun local business is based in Islington. They promise to give you skills to pick a glass of something delicious off the menu, wherever you are, and ensure you get the best quality for your money. Find out more here: www.sipologistsocial.com
(The Pantry Underwear on Camden Passage N1)
4. INDEPENDENT UNDERWEAR.
Hooray for the over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder! Forget M&S, The Pantry Underwear in Camden Passage has beautiful and special undies for women of all shapes and sizes. Whether you’re looking for something indulgent with lace or something simple, these guys know their stuff.
(Pic via @salut.restaurant)
5. BOOK A FABULOUS LOCAL RESTAURANT
Among the venues ideal for a romantic night of fine dining are Salut! on Essex Road (rated one of Time Out’s top 50 London restaurants). The food is exquisite and the restaurant super welcoming. We also love Galley in Upper Street (beautiful seafood and meat). Wolf Italian on Stoke Newington High Street or, if you’re looking for something a little hotter, Farang Thai in Highbury Barn.
(Pic via @lakikane)
6. TREAT YOUR LOVED ONE TO A NIGHT OF AWESOME COCKTAILS
We love Islington’s Little Bat Bar – it has the air of a botanical garden slash art gallery and was crowned Best Bar and Best New Venue in Islington.
We’re also big fans of Laki Kane, dubbed one of the Best Bars in London. Here the cocktails are exotic and served in ornate glasses using artisanal rums and hand-made sugar cane syrups.
7. HEAD TO AN INDEPENDENT CINEMA
We especially love Dalston’s The Rio and The Arthouse Crouch End. This Valentine’s the Rio is showing Border (a Canne’s prize winner, described as ‘equal parts thriller, adult fairy-tale, romantic drama and social commentary). It tells the story of a border guard who can smell human emotions to catch smugglers.
The Arthouse is showing The Green Book. The movie is inspired by a true friendship between a bouncer from an American-Italian neighbourhood and a world-class black pianist on a concert tour to the Deep South. transcended race and class in the 1960s
The Arthouse also has various guest comedians performing live in their Valentine’s Wangabout - they include author and comedian Shappi Khorsandi and comedian, novelist and sports pundit Mark Watson.
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