Valentine’s Day gets a bad rep around some parts. While some relish the romance, others take offence at the inevitability of it all. Flowers, a card, dinner… sure, romance isn’t dead, but imagination? It doesn’t have to be this way, and indeed it wasn’t always the case. While Valentine’s Day is a Christian holiday (remembering a saint martyred for performing weddings despite a state-wide ban – romantic, no?) it also has roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. Celebrated on 15th February, the holiday was marked with the sacrificial killing of a goat and a dog, followed by a naked run through the city. A little indecent for our tastes, but perhaps preferable to yet another candlelit dinner. Thankfully, there are plenty of other date night options which fall somewhere in between, three of which you’ll find below.
You are: Fairly creative, but not a pottery pro – the point is that you’ll learn something together. You’ll also go home with a reminder of the big night (although, admittedly, this could be a good or bad thing).
Your date is: Patient and not afraid to get messy. Learning pottery isn’t quite as romantic as Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore would have you believe; it can be tough work especially if you’re throwing on a wheel, but oh so satisfying when you get it right. This is probably the kind of date for a long-term partner, someone who can handle you losing your temper when pot number three crumbles. Alternatively, you could take them to a life drawing class – although admittedly, this presents its own set of complications.
You’ll wear: A workman jacket. Inspired by the bleu de travail, or the French worker jacket, it’s a favourite of artists across the world and will give you an air of creativity. Just be sure to don an apron when working with clay.
You are: Not totally convinced by Valentine’s Day but happy to play along for a good night out, especially if it involves getting physical. By which we mean going climbing, of course.
Your date is: Hopefully of a similar mind-set. Going climbing is a great way to break the ice with a Tinder match (or as we used to call them, blind dates), and it’s rather difficult to maintain an awkward silence when you’re grappling with a climbing wall. If all else fails, there’s always the instructor to chat to. You need to be confident that the other person will enjoy the challenge, and remember that climbing rarely makes for a great surprise – you don’t want your date arriving in a dress and high heels, after all.
You’ll wear: Layers. Something comfortable, like a raglan-sleeve t-shirt, with a smart utility blazer to throw on for drinks after you reach the summit.
You are: A man of fine taste, or a pretty good pretender. Keen to try new things, but also fond of tradition. Enjoying a drink is also quite crucial here.
Your date is: Someone you’re eager to impress (why else would you be here) – whether that’s a new partner or a long-term love. Basing your evening around food and drink is always a safe bet if your date isn’t quite as adventurous as you, but equally we're sure they'll appreciate the chance to try something new. You’re bound to end up slightly merry, so make sure that you can both handle your drink, especially when on a school night.
You’ll wear: Like a fine Scotch, you’ll want something simple but elegant. A velvet Nehru jacket, complete with crisp white grandad shirt and silk pocket square will do just the trick.