Opening Times & Directions

Monday to

8AM – 8PM

9AM – 7PM

The Sidings,
Waterloo Station,
London SE1 7BH

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Valentine’s on the South Bank

30 January 2024

It’s supposed to be one of the most romantic days of the year. Still, so many people feel pressure to get their Valentine’s Day perfect and that’s just taking away a lot of the enjoyment for us here at The Sidings, so because we are kind people, here is a list of romantic ideas for things to do in the South Bank this Valentine’s Day.

Important note – we’ve intentionally steered clear of restaurant recommendations, as the area has literally hundreds of great options and they all do special menus for the night, so if you want to eat locally we’ll leave you with that.

Day Date

If you are fortunate enough to have the day off, then why not make the most of the amazing art galleries and exhibitions on the South Bank. The variety on offer means you’ll find an option that fits your style, from contemporary art at The Hayward Gallery through to the great Tate Modern, but not forgetting one of the best independent galleries for artists, Skylark Galleries, based in Gabriel’s Wharf.

And if that wasn’t enough, at The Sidings we have a very exciting option for you, with the trailblazing artist Mason Newman doing his first solo exhibition in February. Thanks to his recent collaboration with Ed Hardy (becoming the first ever artist to appear on his clothing), his reputation is growing fast, so it’s going to be one of the must-see exhibitions this spring.

Time to Catch a Show?

If you are a theatre lover (or your partner is!), then we are lucky to have a lot of great options in South Bank, including the iconic set of The Old Vic, the National Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe. If you are not able to find something to your tastes across one of those historical options, we’d wager that maybe the theatre is the wrong option for you (don’t worry, we have loads of other options for you on this list!)

As just one example of what you might enjoy, The Old Vic has the world premiere of ‘Just for One Day’, the Live Aid musical.

Movie Night

If the theatre isn’t your cup of tea but you still like getting lost in an imaginary world, then might we suggest a trip to the cinema to be an excellent choice. Going to the movies is a classic romantic date, so for Valentine’s Day why not supercharge that idea and head to the British Film Institute.

It’s a great setting for a movie and with 4 screens open, you’ll find both modern and classic films to choose from – we’ve heard rumour they are showing Casablanca. Maybe pop into the bar for a drink beforehand and even grab a bite to eat on your way out.

The Most Romantic Ride in London

Have you considered the London Eye for Valentine’s Day? I bet you think we’ve gone mad, but let us explain! Cupid’s Pod is a unique experience where you have a private pod on the world’s most popular observational wheel.

You’ll get a bottle of Champagne and luxury chocolates to go with your private pod journey. Your host will ensure you have everything you need and for 30 minutes it will just be the two of you making the most of the amazing views.

Valentine’s Cruise

I know we technically said we wouldn’t talk about places to eat, but hopefully, you’ll allow us this one, as it’s all part of a wider experience – a cruise on the River Thames. Treat you and a partner to an evening cruise which just happens to come with an amazing three-course meal and wine. 

After getting a glass of Champagne when you step on board, you’ll be treated to a live jazz band during the cruise and of course, there will be views of some of the most famous buildings in the world.

Grab a Drink

I know we said no talk of expensive restaurants but we didn’t promise we wouldn’t direct you to a couple of great places for a romantic drink before (or after) you’ve had a lovely evening.

The independent Italian wine bar and restaurant known as Forza Wine has a concept at the National Theatre and with some of the best views over the Thames, it’s a slightly different place to grab a drink and comes with incredible natural wines.

Alternatively, if you fancy a romantic atmosphere fuelled with creative cocktails, then head to the Lost Property Office at The Sidings. I know lost property at a train station doesn’t sound like the cosiest night you’ll have, but it’s actually a 1920s style speakeasy cocktail hideaway, hidden inside BrewDog Waterloo (the world’s largest), featuring some of London’s finest mixologists.

You have to find and go through a secret entrance to reach the bar…. The cocktails have been designed by award-winning mixologist Rich Woods and we recommend the signature cocktail experience, Martini Roulette. 

Just Go For a Stroll

We’ve given you a lot of lovely things to do but why not tie them together with a romantic stroll? Queen’s Walk is one of the best places to walk in the whole of London and we don’t say that lightly.

However busy it might seem, and Valentine’s night will certainly be busy, it never feels like that walking along the river in South Bank. You’ll hear the sound of buskers serenading you, the backdrop of lights flickering on the river Thames and views of some iconic buildings. 

Don’t Forget a Gift

We couldn’t end without a quick reminder that you’ll need to bring a gift on your Valentine’s date night, so if you are going through The Sidings on the way, we’d recommend a couple of places to get the ultimate gift for your partner.

If you want to treat them to some luxury cosmetics, we’d love to point you toward Kiehl’s. All their products are nature-inspired and award-winning, they cannot help but impress!

Finally, let’s go back to basics – who doesn’t want chocolates for Valentine’s Day? Neuhaus quite literally invented the praline – I’m not sure we can think of a better recommendation for where to buy your sweet treats.

Whatever you decide to do, enjoy yourself and if you’ve got some other great local recommendations, please let us know in the comments.

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