Valentine’s Day isn’t just for straight people. Here’s our guide to the best LGBTQ+ Valentine’s Day ideas in London.
If you’re here, you probably care enough about Valentine’s Day, so we’ll spare you the nonsense about it being purely commercial.
In fact, for the queer community, there are plenty of things going on that seem genuinely about a celebration of love.
We’ve put together a guide of a few of our favourites, and thrown in a couple of other suggestions too.
There’s plenty to choose from, whether you fancy seeing live music, dining out, walking in a beautiful public garden, or even if you’re still looking for a date.
Best LGBTQ+ Valentine’s Day Ideas in London
Hit a Special Event at Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden has gotten a lot of praise over the years for its run of events during LGBTQ+ month. This year nothing is different.
At A Touch of Lavender you can get stuck into a bit of queer botany. They’ve set up a special trail through their gardens that will take you past flowers and plants that can be reexamined through the queer lens.
They’ve also got a series of events around the subjects of plants and queerness that bring into play all sorts of fun and creative activities.
Watch a Candlelit Concert
Nothing is quite as romantic as candlelight, and music is the food of love. Pretty lucky then that the people behind the best of London’s candlelit concerts are throwing a special Valentine’s Day event at Glaziers Hall.
The night will feature performances of some classic romantic pieces to get you in the mood. Of course, the stage will be covered with hundreds of candles, something that may look either very haunting or very beautiful in the grand rooms of Glaziers Hall. You decide.
Take an LGBTQ+ Tour of the Tate Britain
Now, we don’t need to mention that some of the art on their walls is some of the finest in the world.
Though the tours are open to the public at the weekend (meaning you can see them on the 11th and 18th of Feb), you can also take private tours any time you like, and choose a theme of your choice, queerness in art included.
Head to a Burlesque Show
Nothing makes for a wild day out like a bottomless brunch curated by a crowd of burlesque queens. As usual, London is strong on its queer options and there’s plenty to choose from.
Phoenix Arts Club has a couple of events centred around lover’s day. They don’t actually fall on the 14th – but who cares, the weekend is a better time to celebrate anyway.
In the morning there’s the Anti-Valentines brunch with bottomless prosecco and a four-course meal. Then come evening they style in for Cupid’s Cabaret, a five-course dinner and a show deal with welcome drinks on arrival.
Learn About Queer History
What is it they say about knowledge being the sexiest thing of all? We can’t remember, but if you want to impress a date with some culture, a trip to the Queer Museum could be on the cards.
They have exhibitions that will take you through the history of homosexuality and the struggle for queer rights in the West.
The exhibitions are informative and empowering and are definitely worth checking out if you’re part of the community. On a side note, they also have some great LGBTQ+ events, though sadly nothing on Valentine’s Day.
Find Yourself a Date
It’s pretty hard to celebrate Valentine’s Day if you don’t have a date, and not all of us are lucky enough to have found that special someone already.
Panic not – at this queer speed dating night in Soho, that person might be waiting right for you.
The night takes place at Village, one of the most popular gay bars in London, so you can expect a good crowd.
Participants will be registered online so you can reach out to people easily the next day if you like them but had a few too many drinks to make the suave approach afterward.
Attend a Gay Symphony Orchestra Concert
The Gay Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest amateur orchestras in the UK. Better yet, they have a strong focus on nurturing a safe and inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ musicians.
Started by a group of friends in the mid-nineties, they quickly ballooned and now hold semi-regular concerts around the city.
Their special Winter Concert will fall on Sunday the 19th of Feb, just a few days after Valentine’s Day. Timed as a gift after a nice dinner somewhere, a ticket to see these folks play could be really exciting.
Grab Tickets to a Queer Play
My Son’s a Queer (But what can you do?) is the autobiographical tale of Rob Madge recreating a Disney parade he first attempted in his youth. This hit play comes hot off the heels of sold-out runs at multiple theatres and at the Edinburgh Fringe,
The talented Madge is a writer and lead performer in this funny play that’s camp as Christmas and full of laugh-out-loud moments. Tickets for Valentine’s Day were still available at the time of writing this, but we can’t promise they’ll still be there if you don’t act fast.
Practical Tips for Exploring the Best LGBTQ+ Valentine’s Day Ideas in London
- Make sure to book ahead to anything that’s ticketed. V Day events sell out well in advance.
- If you want to find out more about what’s going on for LGBTQ+ History Month you can find a useful schedule here.