Can you see rainbows, unicorns, giant hearts and fountains of chocolate?...Be careful not to morph into a full blown fondue!
However, some of us perceive this festivity as pesky and above all intentionally designed to make us suffer, run in circles, spend ludicrous amounts of money, get frustrated, pick the wrong gift and feel so so so sorry for ourselves.
Why hasn’t she called me?... Why has he picked THAT restaurant? I hate that restaurant!... I was hoping this year she would forget about this stupid day!... What the hell am I gonna give it to him this year?... I hope she likes these (no doubt palm oil riddled) chocolates I bought literally 30 seconds ago…
UGH! What a nightmare. If we stop for a second and really think about it, none of that makes any sense to anyone, and yet every year we all feel duty-bound to at least acknowledge the bloody thing in case our significant other has planned something special or, worst case scenario, is expecting us to.
Even though I may sound spinstery, I must make my case: buying tons of flowers, teddy bears and chocolates cannot possibly be the human kind’s main activity on february 14th.
This year, let’s make it different. This year, let’s forget all those cheesy and wasteful traditions and give ourselves and our partners a truly special, cozy, comforting and why not, hot night.
Forget Stilettos & Ties
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Valentine’s Day is an elegant night out made to wear special outfits, but who said all that fancy shmancy is the way to go on this day?
If it’s about you&me, why in the world are we supposed to spend a fortune on new high heels and suits? Why should we freeze to death queuing up outside of a restaurant or bar? Why do we even have to go out of the house? Aren’t our homes our love nests?
Can’t our special night be spent on a sea of pillows and glorify the immense pleasure of wearing beautiful comfy loungewear, (pssst.. try a kimono for the wow factor!) setting the tone for endless exotic (& even erotic!) possibilities.
As unconventional as it sounds, transforming a sitting room doesn’t require a mammoth effort and stimulates your creativity… that being said, a nice set of candles and some pillows will do the trick. Let’s just reconsider the empowering freedom of loungewear and how romantic a night in could be.
Food & Presents
So we’re staying home, but we’ve still got to eat. Should we order pizza?
Of course not! We’ve got you covered on the food and pressies as well. We have partnered up with our friend Louise from Poppy & the Bees to bring you some delicious recipes, full of fantastic nutrients & cruelty free. An easy, homemade menu, spicy as you want it to be, colourful and wonderful for your health.
You won’t need any special equipment or fancy kitchen tools in order to prepare the best romantic meal of your life. Only a little bit of planning and a nice refreshing trip to your local farmers market.
While you’re there, instead of buying flowers, go for a plant! It’ll last longer and you will get to enjoy the enormously satisfying feeling of growing your own greenery or even harvesting your very own crop!
As we all know, right next to flowers in the classic spectrum, is chocolate. But trying to find an ethical variety free from palm oil or animal products can be quite tricky. Go the extra mile, I promise your taste buds will thank you. Check out Booja Booja, MooFree Chocolates and Divine Chocolate.
For those of you who can't really give up on the idea of going out for a special meal,surely you would want to know that you are giving your money to someone that takes sustainability seriously. The Sustainable Restaurant Association has developed a sustainability framework and a rating system that can help you find places near you.
If you are in London though, here are our personal suggestions:
Wild food cafe, a plant-based eatery and wellbeing oasis that wants to re-connect people with sustainable sources of delicious and nutritious food. There is a special event for Valentine’s Day: “An aphrodisiac, exclusive botanical connoisseur feast to tantalise your taste buds and take you and your Beloved on a journey of sensual plant-based textures”. You can get tickets here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wild-valentines-dinner-tickets-30883946716. In addition to eating amazing food, you can also get your significant other a useful gift like a sustainable cooking class, retreat or a wellbeing course) yes puh-lease!
Fed by Water where traditional italian cuisine meets vegan on a mission to make you re-discover the importance of purity in water.
Andina a Peruvian picanteria where only sustainable produce and organic food can enter the kitchen’s door, and where your mouth will experience new sensations.
Eating and loving (you choose the order!) are the two most amazing things on Earth, and consequently their combination can only lead to perfection, joy and seduction: and what an added bonus that you and your partner will be eating without harming the planet.
Best Valentine’s day ever.
Sharing Music: Sofar Sounds - Live Music in a Living Room
Some of you will still rightfully prefer to spend the night out or to leave the house after your incredible dinner, but if you’re into the couchy-comfy vibe there may be an unexpected alternative to all those noisy, crowded clubs.
What about a live concert in somebody’s living room?
Sofar Sounds (“Songs From A Room”) is a programme founded 8 years ago in London that organizes intimate gigs in over 300 cities around the world. The line up of different artists is disclosed only the day before the performance, making it always a nice surprise. But you need to be quick, places are limited and you need to apply for tickets.
The underlining here is to respect both the music and the artists: you will be encouraged to turn off your phone, listen quietly and truly enjoy fantastic music in a stranger’s living room. It cannot possibly get more intimate and magical than that! Oh no wait...you can also sign up as a host...and get the music directly in your living room!
How’s that for a different night?
Hating Valentine’s Day has become as obnoxious as the festivity itself… therefore we should at least try and spice it up by celebrating on our own terms.
Being romantic doesn’t necessarily mean being cheesy and lovey-dovey, but above all it shouldn’t be something pre-arranged by 100 hundred years of unethical consumerism that harms the planet and makes all the singles out there fall into a pit of despair and self loathing.
If you do happen to be single, channel all that love into friends, family, animals and you! We always need more practice at loving ourselves.. well some of us anyway! ;) Love and kindness is always well received… even from a stranger. You could always paint a “free-hugs” sign for some extra love at the corner of your street, or find volunteer opportunities in your neighbourhood and do something good for others: love comes in all forms, and we should celebrate each and everyone of them.
Have you been struck by inspiration? Tell us what you’re planning for Valentine’s Day and how you’re going to spend this wonderful night!