If donning a suit and a corsage and being all suave and cheesy isn't your thing - don't worry - most of us aren't.
So save yourself any embarrassment this year and take your loved ones to one of these more 'unusual' events this Valentine's Day...
The Valentines Vibe at Hidden
Saturday 12th February
Ghosts of Garage x Warped presents 'The Valentines Vibe' at Hidden on Saturday 12th, with DEM2, DR DUBPLATE, DAFFY, JESS ROSE and loads more - plus a very special guests that's still to be announced. This should be a biggie, so either take your crush or head on down and find one.
'The Most Depressing Valentine's of your Life' at YES
Saturday 12th February
I'm pretty sure there can be much more depressing Valentine's Days than this one. I mean - you could get dumped by your girlfriend because she's been sleeping with your dad. Or she's getting rid of you because she's now a lesbian and has been sleeping with your mum. Anyway, this isn't Coronation Street, this is a party in the basement of YES which promises 5 hours of power ballads from the likes of Whitney, Toto, Bonnie Tyler and Meat Loaf. Just sing loudly and proudly and you'll have a good time.
Unusual Valentines Events
Flecky Bennett's The 'Valentine Saturday' Manchester Ghost Walk
Not everyone enjoys all of this lovey-dovey stuff, and would much rather do something a little bit more sinister instead. Well, step up ghost hunter and gothic legend Flecky Bennett, who's providing a key service for all of you pink, fluffy haters this year with his Valentine Ghost Walk. A two hour special (with pub-based interval) taking you on a walk through the historic areas of the city, regaling you with tales of woe and devilish hauntings. Sounds bloody brilliant.
Valentine's Beer & Pud Club at GRUB
Monday 14th February
GRUB have teamed up with some of their amazing street food traders to bring you a night of desserts, beers and some lovely Valentines tunes. 4 bespoke desserts have been created by Bake-O-Rama
, Drizzle City Bakes
and That Vegan Bakery
, which have been paired with 4 delicious locally-sourced craft beers from the GRUB bar.
Burlesque, Brunch & Bubbles! at PLY
Sunday 13th February
A pizza brunch with burlesque - how much more romantic could you get this Valentines Day? Well, not very much if you ask me. Burlesque star Charli Angel is bringing her raunchy repertoire of performers to the Northern Quarter for an afternoon of food, fizz and burlesque - plus a DJ throughout, games, catwalk competitions and more. It's enough to "pop your cork" apparently.
The Valentines Quiz at Alvarium
Tuesday 8th February
If you’re feeling particularly sad and lonely this Valentine's Day, and can’t think of anything worse than witnessing outrageous levels of PDA or receiving a big bouquet of love-drenched roses, then it’s time to get all your mates together for a quiz at Alvarium on Tuesday 8th February. There'll be Valentines themed rounds, prizes, cocktails and shooters - better than some stuffy meal out somewhere if you ask us.
Kerb Galentines Night
This Valentine’s Day, Kerb are teaming up with their friends at SuppHER for a special Galentines wine tasting event. Kim (one half of the SuppHER team) has selected four delicious wines all by women winemakers to be paired with small bites made by Anna (the other half of the wonderful suppHER). The dishes on offer at the event will be; Oysters with Bergamot, Buckwheat Blinis with Artichoke Cream, Northern Cure Wine Sticks and Marzipan and Rhubarb Tarts.
Make a Ring with Maisie Silver Valentines Ring Workshops
Wednesday 9th February
Artist, Maisie Smith is hosting a workshop in Thorniley Studios on Wednesday 9th February for the perfect beginners course in traditional silversmithing and jewellery making techniques. You will explore some basic techniques including sawing, soldering and shaping/forming to create a simple sterling silver ring. The silver we will be using is 100% recycled and all materials are provided. By the end of the afternoon you will have your very own silver ring to take home, handmade by you to give to your one true love (which should be YOURSELF).
Oh You Pretty Things Valentine's Speed Dating
Sunday 13th February
Oh You Pretty Things will be hosting a fun speed dating event this Valentines weekend at Selfridges, offering a night full of drinks, music and entertainment for you to enjoy. Tickets are £30, which will include a glass of prosecco on arrival, drinks tokens, nibbles, shots, a DJ and games to celebrate the month of lurrrrve, and an opportunity to meet fellow singles.
The Family-focused 'Day Date' at One Central
Shower the whole family with love this Valentine’s Day, including the kids and even your four legged besties! One Central will be hosting a 'family focused, day date’ with outdoor, heated tipis serving up relaxed food and drinks. Join local traders for live music from 2pm, face paints for the kids and the chance to purchase a celebratory doggy beer or ‘Pawsecco’ for your beloved pooch! No need to book as the venue is operating a walk ins only policy over the weekend.
'Perfectly Frank' Sinatra Tribute at Escape to Freight Island
Sunday 13th February
Bringing the swing of Sinatra alive, Perfectly Frank by David Knopov, as seen on BBC's The One and Only, is a tribute to the legendary Frank Sinatra and is without a doubt one of the most successful Frank Sinatra tributes around. The perfect soundtrack to your Valentine's Day celebrations. First sitting at 6:30pm, second sitting at 7pm and entertainment begins at 7:30pm. All tickets include a welcome cocktail on arrival, carafe of house wine, and a 2 course dinner by Baratxuri.
The Village Screen - Valentines Showings
The Village Screen is back at Victoria Baths on the 10th and 11th of February for a Valentines pop up cinema, with local street-food vendors; Seitan’s Kebab, Mama Sues and Hanoi 75 trading! The first film will be the Tina Fey classic comedy, Mean Girls, showing on February 10th, with Quentin Tarantino’s True Romance the night after, on February 11th.
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Book True Romance
Valentines Food & Drink Specials
A Curry on Valentine's Day at Zouk
This Valentine's Day Zouk have created a sensational 5-course set menu priced at just £35 per person. You'll be treated to an 'Aphrodisiac' Starter of Oyster Pakoras, before tucking into their Lovers Sharing Platter, and some 'Smoking Hot' Mains. Finally - no romantic dinner is complete without dessert - of which they've created a traditional Gulab Jamun topped with pistachios and syrup & a light and dreamy Chocolate Mousse.
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Nell’s Valentines Specials
Nell’s is bringing back some lost loves this February, as well as offering 25% OFF pizza Monday to Friday when you use the app. The Cacio e Pepe is the first to make a comeback, featuring Shredded Mozzarella, Fior di latte and Pecorino, then the Sausage & Peppers, which is topped with Shredded Mozzarella, Fior di latte, Roasted Peppers, House Sausage, Pecorino and Chives. There’s also the VEGAN Sausage & Peppers, consisting of Vegan Cheese, Roasted Peppers, Beyond Sausage and Chives. The vegan special we've missed most, welcome home. These pizza’s are only available throughout February, though, so be quick!
Special Valentines Kebabs at BAB
BAB is offering love heart shaped kebabs stuffed with delish combos exclusive for Valentine’s Day to smear all over your face in front of your crush. They’re not the easiest to eat, are they?! The Lamb Chop Bab (£16), is full of braised leek, rosemary demi-glace, and lamb brisket bonbons and the Stuffed Squid (£15) option consists of Greek style chimichurri, roasted cherry tomato, spinach and feta ravioli. Finally, the Briam Greek Style Roasted Vegetable (£12) option with aubergine, courgette, tomato, garlic, potato, feta cheese and crispy leek will also be available.
The Butcher's Quarter Valentine's Day Box
The artisan butcher, deli & tasting rooms have created a couple of at-home boxes, both of which come with 3-courses and 2 bottles of wine. There's a Sirloin box priced at £100 and a Chateaubriand box available at £110. Curated by the experts at the renowned foodie destination, the boxes have been designed for fuss-free cooking, ideal for even the most culinary-challenged to impress their date.
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Pop in to collect your order form.
Valentines 'Board in a Box' by Abeja Tapas Bar
The legendary 'Board in a Box' from Abeja are back - but with a Valentine's Day twist - perfect for treating your other half to a bit of Spanish loving this year. The box contains plenty of Spanish charcuterie and cheeses, plus handmade chocolates, olives, crackers and best of all - a bottle of wine to wash it all down with. There's loads of options available - make your own here:
Board in a Box
In true Valentine's Day spirit, Ciaooo are creating heart shape pizzas just for 14th! They'll also be offering a special garlic bread, which will be consist of red dough with black garlic, as well as a raspberry martini special cocktail that will be available for the full Valentine's week. The lights are also being turned out in the restaurant on the evening of Valentine's Day to create the perfect candlelit ambience for you and your other half.
Exclusive Black Cow Vodka Serve at Wandering Palate
Wandering Palate is collaborating with the world’s smoothest vodka, Black Cow this Valentine’s. On the 13th of February, the restaurant will be serving up an exclusive Black Cow serve, 'The Night Before' to share with you and your lover. The Night Before is a delicious twist on the traditional oyster shot, which includes fresh chopped Kiwi, splash of Black Cow’s English Strawberries, a fresh oyster and to top it all off, a sprinkle of glitter for that extra romantic sparkle! If you fancy something subtle for your Sunday evening but still want to add a romantic touch ahead of the charming occasion, head on down to the Wandering Palate where you will be able to grab yourself this sumptuous serve from either a set of two or six!
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The 'Dates & Mates' Set Menu at Shoryu Ramen
This Valentine’s Day, you can treat your special someone to the ‘Dates and Mates’ set menu at Shoryu Ramen. Whether it’s a hopeless ramen-tic or a mate date, no couple will be able to resist. For just £25, indulge on three courses of Japanese delights, with some stand-out dishes including the Hakata Tetsunabe Gyoza, Chicken Karaage Bun, Shoryu Ganso Tonkotsu, Piri Piri Tonkotsu, Matcha Cheesecake and a Matcha Tiramisu. Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a special tipple to toast the evening, and you can choose from a glass of fizz or a Shoryu special cocktail. So delicious even Cupid couldn’t say no!