Valentine's Day: The Best Places To Get Your Leg Over In London

Single? Horny? Here's my guide to finding a like-minded soul in the capital...
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Single? Horny? Here's my guide to finding a like-minded soul in the capital...

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There’s a number of ways to approach being single on Valentine’s Day.  One is to deny its relevance, moan about it being a marketing racket for Clinton’s and spout a patronising diatribe at anyone who is enough of a lemming to acknowledge it. In my experience, the people that do this are also the sort of people who claim not to have cried since they were 11, but secretly bawl themselves silly to the last episode of Friends.

Another (healthier) way is to shrug your shoulders and assume that something will come round the corner sooner rather than later, and instead be thankful for the other ways in which your life fulfils you.

The third is to see it as a gilded opportunity to meet members of the opposite sex; ones that, due to it being the day it is, might just be feeling more needy and vulnerable than normal (which, if we're being honest, describes most of us).  So for those firmly in the latter camp, these are the places you want to find yourself circa 11-1 Thursday night/Friday morning.

1- Arts Club- 50 Frith Street, Soho

On any Thursday night- let alone a Thursday night that also coincides with Valentine’s Day- this place has been proven in tests (conducted by yours truly) to contain the capital’s highest volume of drunk people that work in the media.  The music is all sorts, but it’s not going to be anything you haven’t heard before, and the booths lining the room are perfect grafting territory for those that don’t like to do their dirty work on the dancefloor.

2- The Dolphin- 165 Mare Street, Hackney

I’ve written about The Dolphin before, and it really can’t be emphasised just how easy it is to talk and meet people in here.  Basically every single person that is out past 11pm and lives between Mile End and Old Street will be in, and they’ll be here to talk to strangers who may or may not be lying about how many people read their blog.

3-Troy 22- 22 Hanway Street, Near Tottenham Court Road

A club the size of your front room; it gets so busy in here that it’s hard to dance without falling into someone, which is of course a good thing.   The music varies between motown, rock n’roll and crowdpleasers; it’s entirely possible that you’ll end up skanking on the seats that surround the diminutive dancefloor.  I once met a girl in here who told me she wanted to give me a foot massage;  she did, and 20 minutes later we were fucking in a car-park.  It’s that sort of place. (In a nice way.)

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4- Slagbox @ The Shacklewell Arms, 71 Shacklewell Arms, Dalston

Slagbox have been running nights for a year or so. The concept is that everyone is given a numbered badge when they enter.  If you see someone you like the look of, pop a little message to them in the big tumbler set up by the organisers-including your own digits of course- and over the course of three ‘rounds’ they’ll read out said memorandum to the crowd.  If the object of your affection thinks you’re alright they can then come and say hello.  Everyone acts like they don’t care if they don’t get their number read out, but they definitely do. Rich hipster pickings.

5. The Tram And Social- 46-48 Mitcham Street, Tooting

If this piece was concerning any normal Friday or a Saturday night, you’d be reading about The Swan, a famous dive in Stockwell that has a crowd slutty enough to make up for the puke-strewn state of the  venue itself.  It’s the sort of place that has a Foo Fighters tribute band and still sells pints for 3 quid, which perhaps explains why it’s physically impossible to walk out of there without some South London scrote tossed over your shoulder.

Unfortunately it’s not open on Thursdays, so the Tram and Social gets the nod instead. Which. in many ways, is a good thing because this is the nicest place on the list by quite some distance.  It’s cavernous, literally a shed the size of the Pyramid Stage.  It’s one of the best bars this side of the river, and for those that don’t really want the grime of the Dolphin or the jazz-hands of the Arts Club, it’s the place to be as sheer law of numbers dictate that if you buy enough tequilas for different people, one will thank you with a cab-ride home.

6. The smoking area of any Sam Smith’s pub

If you can’t score here, you're better off at home with that Friends box-set.

This is from Jimi's blog,  Confessions Of A Shallow Man. Follow him on Twitter here