Go to Valentine’s Guide

melange DSCN2985EVENTS:

City of Sin
Catharine Arnold, author of City of Sin: London and its Vices will take you on a louche and lascivious journey through London’s colourful relationship with lust through the ages. From the raucous brothels of Roman Londinium to the Molly Houses of the 18th Century, Arnold introduces an exuberant host of characters.
The South East London Folklore Society, upstairs at the Old King’s Head, 47-49 Borough High Street, SE1 1NA, February 14, 8pm, admission: £1.50-2.50 Phone: 07728 606076, http://www.selfs.org.uk

Old Hollywood romance
The BFI is screening a selection of old favourites on V-day. Enjoy the onscreen coupling of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift in A place in the sun (6pm and 8:30pm). There’s also A matter of life and death (8:45pm), From here to eternity (6:10pm), Weekend (8:40pm), and A perfect ending (6:20pm).
All films will be screened at the BFI, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XT on February 14. Admission: £10. Phone: 020 7928 3232. http://www.bfi.org.uk/

The Love Float
Take to the Thames this Valentine’s day; London Kayaking is offering double kayak trips from Battersea to Big Ben and back again, all gear and training provided. With complimentary hot chocolates on arrival and crooning from the kayakeoke, your date should go swimmingly.
The Love Float 2013, Cremorne Riverside, Lots Rd, SW10 0QH, 14 February 2013, Admission: £75 for two, Phone: 020 7349 9591


Peckham chocolatier Isabelle Alaya has branched out, now blending her cacao beans in Brixton at her new chocolate museum. The French chocolatier, who set up shop in Peckham in 2008, is known for her subtle, fine chocolate bars infused with an array of flavours including orange, chilli, lemongrass, cardamom, coriander, grapefruit, aniseed and many more. Perfect for local lovers and those on a budget; there’s nothing over £21.
184 Bellenden Rd, SE15 4BW,
0207 469 7468

Artisan chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory specialises in hand-made chocolates using natural ingredients, made locally in their Croydon factory. Having just opened a Pop Up shop in Brixton market last December, prices start from £5.99 for a bag of three chocolates, while specialities include rum, champagne and salted caramel truffles as well as a nod to the ‘80s with popping candy.
Paul Wayne Gregory’s Indulgence Pop Up Shop
2B Market Row, SW9 8LD
07809 897 148

The only British chocolatier to grow cocoa on their own plantation, everything in this shop comes from Hotel Chocolat’s 140-acre Rabot Estate in Saint Lucia. These cocoa nibs are unrefined roasted cacao beans rolled in 70 per cent dark chocolate. Get your fix with chocolate lovebirds and lovehearts cast in 40 percent milk and tangy strawberry chocolate for £10.
Rabot Estate
2 Stoney Road, Borough Market, SE1 9AA.
020 7403 9852


Cosy French restaurant Le Chardon has a special set menu this Valentine’s day, at £33.50 per head for three courses. There will be choices of foie gras, rock oysters, duck, seabass, decadent desserts of chocolate mousse, crème brulee, French cheeses, chocolate truffles and more.
Le Chardon, 65 Lordship Lane, SE22 8EP. 020 8299 1921. http://www.lechardon.co.uk/

With its relaxed open kitchen, long shared tables, bustling atmosphere, and straight forward service this restaurant is perfect for a romantic seafood dinner. As well as owning three restaurants, one in Soho and one in Cornwall, Wright Brothers is also a shellfish wholesaler, with its own oyster farm near Falmouth, so you’re guaranteed freshness and quality.
Wright Brothers, Borough Market, 11 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD. 020 7403 9554. http://thewrightbrothers.co.uk

Upstairs is shrouded in mystery – a Brixton urban myth, if you will. Neither sign nor banner alert you to its existence high above the tiny orange corner café on the distant end of Acre Lane but when you arrive you’re in for a treat with phenomenal cocktails by the fireside bar and even finer food.
Upstairs Bar and Restaurant, 89B Acre Lane (entrance on Branksome Rd), SW2 5TN. 0207 733 8855. http://www.upstairslondon.com


Louise Taylor Flowers, 135 Dulwich Rd, SE24 0NG; 020 7737 6565; http://www.louisetaylor-flowers.co.uk
Hand tied bouquets of roses, verbena, daffodils, gerbera, lilies, vesuvia, fresia – from £35
Hyacinth pot – £30

Isle of Flowers, London Bridge Station, Vaults Railway Approach; SE1 9SP; 020 7378 7820; http://www.isleofflowers.co.uk
Dozen red roses with mixed foliage – from £45
Pink hand tied bouquet – from £30
Mixed seasonal Hand Tied Bouquet – from £30

Pesh Flowers, 31 Denmark Hill, SE5 8RS; 020 7703 9124; http://www.peshflowers.co.uk
Assorted roses – £11

Other Twitter recommendations for flowers:
Bill’s flower stall (pop-up), Corner Streatham High Rd and Becmead Avenue from Thursday to Sundays.
The Green Workshop, Unit 5, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, SW9 8PR. 020 7274 2264. http://www.greenworkshop.org.uk/
Wildflowers, Venn St Market (every Saturday 10am-4pm), Clapham Common, SW4 9DE http://www.vennstreetmarket.co.uk


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