Photo Credit: @mikael_buck
Crazy in love or single and ready to mingle, with 14th February just around the corner, there's still time to surprise your Valentine! Forget dining with the masses on heart shaped amuse bouche. Whether you're thinking Lovers Liaisons or Mates Dates, we've put together our pick of how to show you care in East London.
Still deliberating on buying a gift? Forget heart shaped candy and cuddly toys, an actual person will do a little happy dance if you buy from a local independent. Try these gift ideas for a splash of last minute romance.
Photo Credit: @the_hackney_edit
The Hackney Edit - Handcrafted candles made in our beloved Bethnal Green
These beautiful candles are handmade from soy wax, natural essence and natural wooden wick. Soy wax contains no petroleum, paraffin or palm oil as well as no pesticides or herbicides. They contain no toxic materials and are not tested on animals. The Hackney Edit candles are also organic and vegan. We love the limited edition Valentine Edit.'
Photo Credit: @perkyblenders
Perky Blenders - A coffee lovers dream
Local roasters Perky Blenders have a whole host of gifts perfect for the ultimate coffee lover. Our fave is the Love Bundle. In their own words
"200g of our 'Morning After' Blend, with notes of passionfruit, orange and honey, it's sure to make them sweet/ter than they already are. A plastic reusable KeepCup too for them to remember this sensual day for the rest of time.
Tell us how you'd like it ground or keep those beans, whole, just like your lorra lorra love (RIP Cilla)."
Photo Credit: @violetcakeslondon
Violet Cakes, 47 Wilton Way, E8 3ED - Cakes fit for a princess
The ultimate in yummy sweet treats. Pick up a cupcake (or several!) from cake maker extraordinaire Claire Ptak's wonderful Violet Bakery... if it's good enough for Royalty....
Table for 2 or for 10? Share the love with your besties......
Photo Credit: @dabbersbingo
Dabbers - Pick 'n' Mix Bingo
Bingo as you've never seen it before. In their own words "A sweet Thursday night out with the best of three worlds, plus a free pink gin fizz cocktail upon entry for anybody celebrating with their mates. Play a trio of different shows that run throughout the week, all in one evening of entertainment. Our raucous hosts will get you going as well as banging beats, till the wee hours. An amazing selection of top prizes make it all to play for. This includes ‘Russian Roulette Bingo’, where the last players with numbers left on their card will have a shootout for the top prize. It’s basically the weekend, so get involved."
Photo Credit: @renegadelondonwine
Renegade London Wine - The Winery Bar
A super cool urban winery tucked under the railway arches of Bethnal Green. These guys hand harvest, process, age, bottle, cork, label and wax their bottles in-house in London. You can order their awesome wine online - currently with no minimum order or delivery cost (happy days!) or pop into their winery bar and sample what they've got to offer. They also serve great beer, cider and cocktails and allow you to bring in your own food or order a delivery meal. You don't need to know anything about wine, but it does help if you have a dog, they love dogs, and you may even find you get a discount for bringing one!
Or for something a little different entirely....
Photo Credit: @mamamooncandles
Otherness X Mama Moon: Valentine's Day Special at the Ace Hotel London
How do you feel about magic and matchmaking? It can't be worse then Tinder right?
Join Mama Moon and her team of cupids at the Ace Hotel this Valentine's Day for a magical matchmaking evening for the over 30's. Guests who end up pairing up at the event will also receive a reading of their astrological compatibility by Francesca Oddie, a tarot spread of the future and even a little spell to set them on their way.
"Expect an evening of love, magic and the unexpected."
And finally.........How about making someone else's day a little less lonely.
Photo Credit: @redletterdaysuk
You may have already noticed little red letter boxes popping up around London. Its a campaign by Red Letter Days UK to help combat loneliness in the capital.
Just grab a Valentine’s Day card, write a thoughtful message inside, and post it in one of red letter boxes with the envelope unsealed. They will then deliver it to somebody who needs reminding that they're not alone on 14th February!
You'll find letterboxes at We Work's in 8 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YF, Keltan House, London, E8 4RU and Waterhouse Square, London, EC1N 2SW.
And if you can't make it to a Red Letter Days letterbox, you can post letters to Red Letter Days Campaign, c/o Keyboards & Dreams, Ground Floor, 34-35 Hatton Garden, EC1N 8DX.