Some years, you both want to stay at home, make dinner, put on your sweatpants and binge Netflix. Lovely. Ideal date night. Other years, though, you want to head out and do something a little bit different. Figuring out what to do can prove daunting. There are so many options. You’ve got countless restaurants at Gunwharf Quays, miles of beach to picnic on, and loads of Valentine’s events. Luckily, I can help with that third one. Below, I’ve curated some Valentine’s events highlights in Portsmouth and Southsea. Whatever you end up doing, have a wonderful Valentine’s Day! (Alternatively, if you’re enduring heartbreak, click here.)
The Sixth Annual St. Valentine’s Day Massacre
📍 The Wedgewood Rooms, Albert Road
⏳ 7:00pm, 17th February
Since 2013, local bands have put their hearts on their sleeves, taken to the Edge of the Wedge stage, and mutilated classic love songs in support of Youth Music. Each band gets 15 minutes to play whatever they want. Expect triumphant but ill-considered covers, including power ballads, slow jams, and hip-hop and punk classics, jaw-dropping and side-splitting alike. The night makes for a fun, hilarious, alternative Valentine’s season plan. And it’s all for a good cause.
Valentine’s events at the Spinnaker Tower
📍 Spinnaker Tower, in Gunwharf Quays
⏳ Various dates and times
The crew at Spinnaker Tower are running a number of events for the Valentine’s season, including high tea in their Café in the Clouds between 12th and 18th February (see the menu). UK comedy circuit regular Stephen Bailey is joined by fellow funnymen Andrew White and Scott Bennett for a Valentine’s Comedy Special on the 14th, followed by more comedy from Tom Stade on the 15th + Jamali Maddix on the 16th. Alternatively, indulge your loved one with sharing platters and Prosecco 100 metres in the air as night falls, at the tower’s ‘Share The Love’ night.
Valentine’s afternoon tea, with Prosecco
📍 Cream Tea Rooms, Albert Road
⏳ 14th February, 10:00am to 8:00pm
Enjoy a romantic afternoon tea at The Cream Tea Rooms in Albert Road, served with a pot of tea or coffee, a selection of finger sandwiches, scones, ham, clotted cream, chocolate-covered strawberries, miniature cakes, and a free glass of Prosecco each. Oh, and your table will be decorated with rose petals and lit by candles. Call 02392 832 848 to book.
Solent Forts Valentine’s Breaks
📍 The middle of the Solent
⏳ 14th February to 15th February
Special occasions call for unforgettable experiences, and where’s more extraordinary than a hotel in the sea? Whisk your special someone away for a romantic overnight stay on a Solent fortress. Enjoy delicious food, laze in hot tubs, and discover intimate hideaways, between February 9th and February 17th. Choose between Spitbank Fort or No Man’s Fort, both offering the perfect Valentine’s package. Click the link below or call 02392 809 767.
PMN Wedding Fayre: February 2018
📍 Portsmouth Guildhall, City Centre
⏳ 11th February, 11:00am — 5:00pm
70 of the best local and regional wedding suppliers will be showcasing their services and offerings at one of the biggest PMN Wedding Fayres of all time, housed by the stunning Portsmouth Guildhall. There’ll be a display of wedding vehicles in Guildhall Square, and the Portsmouth Guildhall building itself will be shown off as a stylish wedding venue. Wedding co-ordinators will be on hand to answer your questions and show you around. The event also encompasses catwalk fashion shows, unveiling (excuse the pun) a range of bridal gowns and grooms’ attire.
See Lord Nelson’s betrothal ring up close
📍 NMRN, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
⏳ 14th February, 1:30pm to 2:30pm
The passionate love affair between Lord Nelson and Emma Hamilton will be celebrated this Valentine’s Day with a unique opportunity to view the gold fede ‘betrothal’ ring, one of a pair exchanged between Nelson and Emma just before Nelson left for The Battle of Trafalgar. This is a rare chance to view the ring close-up, outside its display case.
Royal Shakespeare Company: Twelfth Night
📍 No. 6 Cinema, in the dockyard
⏳ 7:00pm, 14th February
Portsmouth’s independent filmhouse No. 6 Cinema are broadcasting a live Royal Shakespeare Company performance of Twelfth Night, one of the bard’s most renowned tales of romance. Directed by Christopher Luscombe and starring Adrian Edmondson and Kara Tointon, this play tells the story of twins who are separated in a shipwreck and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land. What ensures is a messy — oft-hilarious — entanglement of love.
‘Someone Like You’ —
📍 New Theatre Royal Portsmouth
⏳ 14th February, 7:30pm
Maybe you’re not at the high-tea-indulging, wedding-fayre-attending, concert-and-cinema-going end of the romance spectrum right now. Maybe you’re getting over a breakup, and Valentine’s Day is currently your sworn enemy. Adele tribute act Katie Markham will sort you out, and she’s on the road to the New Theatre Royal on the 14th. Markham, who was hand-picked by Adele on Graham Norton’s ‘BBC ADELE’ special, wows with her outstanding voice and gets the ‘recovery tears’ and “there are plenty more fish in the sea” affirmations flowing.
LGBTQ+ film screening: Tom of Finland
📍 Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth
⏳ 14th February, 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Portsmouth Film Festival celebrate LGBTQ+ love this Valentine’s Day with a screening of Tom of Finland, telling the story of Touko Laaksonen, a decorated WWII officer who returns home to Finland and finds peace-time Helsinki rampant with homophobic persecution. Touko finds solace in erotic drawings of muscular men, sparking a gay revolution.