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Valentine’s Day on the cheap. In London. Che...

Valentine’s Day on the cheap. In London. Cheap. London.

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Living in London is not cheap, and Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays we don’t really have a choice in recognising – but Valentine’s Day in London? The mere thought alone is enough to send me into overdraft. But, there’s hope for us. If you live in London and you’re lost for thrifty things to do this Valentine’s Day, or simply don’t want to fall into the expensive ‘dinner and movie’ trap this year – I have you covered. I have compiled a list of my favourite budget friendly and totally datable spots around town that anyone would be pretty happy to be taken to on a date this coming Valentine’s Day.

If there’s one thing London has an array of, it’s markets. If you read my blog at all [HINT, you can find images from Erica’s picnic below wot I pinched – Laura], you’ll know I am rather fond of Borough Market for a pavement picnic, and Camden’s stable market for it’s hidden gems like the secret tea rooms, but what of some of the other – more unique markets on offer? There’s Alfie’s Antique Market in north London – the capital’s biggest indoor market, and renowned for it’s quirky antiques, vintage treasures and – upstairs, the Handmade By You studios for craft workshops and handmade gems. On Valentine’s weekend you can book in for the stage one bookbinding workshop that I attended myself last year. Tell me you’ve never been on a get-crafty date before?

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I’ve touched on my penchant for picnic-ing. A picnic on the big day; it’s cliché, sure, but cute as hell. Go somewhere idyllic and quiet, perhaps not the middle of Primrose Hill on a Saturday. What about Richmond Park or Kew Gardens? The park is free to enter, and you’ll find yourself wandering among the wild deer and water fowl and taking in some amazing views of the city. And maybe – if you’re lucky, be serenaded by the geezer practising his bagpiping skills in the open air. If you’re on a budget, this is perfect (except the zone 6 travel… weekends are off-peak though!); pack up some of your Tesco’s Finest, some charity shop sourced tea cups and saucers and a big old blanket and hit up some of London’s finest parks or gardens. we’re sure as hell not short of them!

Saving your date for the evening? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered here too. Ever heard of the ‘lates’ phenomenon that’s taken the city by storm? Basically, a handful of the treasure houses around the city reopen their doors after home time, put on some booze and nibbles, turn down the lights and let you wander their halls in an ‘adults only’ environment. The Museum of London has a special Valentine’s event booked for the 14th – if this is more your thing, then hurry up and get booking now!

This list is not fully compiled, but if you’re stuck for budget ideas that won’t leave your date feeling like those petrol-garage flowers you bought them last year, then trust me when I say these date ideas are all winners… you might even get a valentine’s kiss after…

Boyfriends of London take note!

By Erica, of www.imbeingerica.com