boti’s alternative guide to valentine’s day

We know, Christmas has only just been and gone and already there are Easter eggs in the shops. Before then though, we’ve got Valentine’s Day. That thing we all love to dread. How can a day that shares its initials with a sexually transmitted disease ever be a good thing? Well, this year, we’ve said enough’s enough. We’re done with attempting a full-on romantic dinner-and-flowers onslaught (have you seen the stats on couples that break up over poor food in overcrowded restaurants on Valentine’s Day?*). So, we’re letting the fun come to us with a whole heap of alternative events that celebrate Valentine’s and love a wee bit differently.

Be still our beating heart

Love is (supposed to be) at the heart of Valentine’s Day, so why not, quite literally, get to the heart of the heart? Welcome to Anatomy Nights: Matters of the Heart, where anatomy experts from Brighton and Sussex Medical School show visitors how the organ really works. They’ll be dissecting an animal heart to demonstrate how blood enters the heart, how real heartstrings work and just how this incredible organ beats. Afterwards, if you’re still upright, there’s the opportunity to ask questions. First on our list: can you die of heartbreak? And if you’re feeling the medical love, you might also be interested in the med school’s medic revue cabaret show, which still has tickets left for Friday and Saturday…
Thursday 13th February, 6.30pm – 7.30pm; £5.51 (proceeds donated to local heart charities)
Komedia, 44-47 Gardner Street, Brighton BN1,uk


You’ll be the death of me
We love to jump into other people’s lives through film, especially on days like Valentine’s, so luckily for us, White Wall Cinema have come up trumps with their special Valentine’s pop-up screening. They’re putting on Bonnie & Clyde, the award-winning cinematic retelling of the iconic bank-robbing duo and their doomed love (perfect, right?!), with the magnetic Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in the title roles. You’ll get a special commemorative poster of the film included with your ticket price and White Wall will also be launching their shop at the event at the cosy Wagner Hall, so you can stock up on their carefully selected DVDs and Blu-Rays at reduced prices. Escapism and clever shopping? It’s a win-win from us.
Friday, 14th February, doors 7.45pm, film starts at 8.00pm; £8.25
Wagner Hall, Regency Road, Brighton BN1 2RU

Go on, Panda to me

After something a little cosier and more exclusive? Then how’s about taking someone you appreciate to Trashed Panda’s Valentine’s pop-up (aka the Loved Up Panda)? The guys behind the cocktail pop-up are holding a special cocktail event in the form of a tasting menu, just for the Day of Love, at their Sneaky Panda micro-bar (he’s a master of moods, this panda). They use local produce and make all their ingredients from scratch to produce barnstormingly delicious, innovative drinks. Indulgence looms large on the five-drink menu, which covers edible G & T (we love the sound of this), as well as 14th February staples, such as champagne and chocolate. And, if you’re extending dry January into February, there’s also an alcohol-free version. Plus, it’s ever so Alice in Wonderland – the 14-cover micro-bar is hidden behind a bookcase in a secret location… Just don’t forget to mention that you’re after the Valentine’s menu in the notes section when you book!
Friday, 14th February, various times from 6.00pm; £25 (non-alcoholic menu), £35 (alcoholic menu)
Secret central Brighton location

Love is a cabaret
Not particularly feeling the amour this year? A spot of cabaret is always a good shout for cheering the soul and Stella Pint’s Bad Romance is an alternative Valentine special with extra bite. Hosted by Stella Pint herself and with everything from comedy songs from the brilliant and hilarious Hannah Brackenbury (if you haven’t heard her yet, you really should) to top-notch cabaret, drag, stand-up, spoken word and song, you know you’re in for a treat.
Friday, 14th February, doors 7.00pm, show 8.00pm – 10.30pm; from £8
The Funky Fish Club, 19-23 Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TL
Stella Pint’s Bad Romance

I’d die for you

Schadenfreude fans, this is for you: a celebration of love gone wrong. Yep, that’s right, you can honour the so-called day of love (*tosses head  bitterly*) by taking a guided walking tour around the city discovering all the crimes of passion that have taken place here, even stopping for a drink at pub that’s said to be haunted by the ghost of a murdered landlady. Lay your own ghosts to rest as you realise how much worse it could have been. Maybe.
Friday 14th February, 8.30pm (meet at the Clock Tower); £6.50 (the PayPal payment counts as your ticket)
Valentine’s Brighton Haunted Murder Tour – Love Gone Wrong

*No, nor have we, but we reckon they’re bloody high.

Photo credit: Lindsay Wilson (Go on, Panda to me)