February is of course the month of love, but it's not just about Valentine's. There's the arguably much more important Pancake Day this month as well as all sorts of opportunities to forget Cupid all together - like by jumping into a pool of ice or standing on top of the O2.
So without further ado here are my my top things to see, eat, drink and do in London this month...
The yummiest of steamed buns at the Yum Bun pop-up at Harvey Nichols.
Once you get into steamed buns there is no turning back, as anyone who is currently battling their bun addiction will tell you. Luckily it's easier than ever to get your gob around some of London's finest, as Yum Bun take up residency at Harvey Nicks for the whole of February. Did I mention that there's one stuffed with ice cream? Find them on the Fifth Floor Foodmarket until Sunday 1 March, from 11.30am until 8pm Monday to Saturday and from 11.30am until 6pm on Sundays. More info here.
All the salt beef you could ever wish for from Monty's Deli.
Another residency to get excited about, but this time it's salty and beefy and mustardy and luckily not a flight to New York away. Monty's Deli is setting up shop at Old Bengal Bar in Liverpool Street for the month of February and if you need world class pastrami and brilliant brunches in your life (you do, you really do) then you need look no further. Head down on weekends between 11am-4pm from the 7th of Feb to the 8th of March. More info here.
PANCAKES! PANCAKES! PANCAKES!
It's Pancake Day (or, errrrr, Shrove Tuesday) on February 17th and I am counting down the minutes already. I'll be making my pancakes at home and adorning with lemon and sugar, like a classic Brit would, but lazier types can find pancakes all over London. If you want US style pancakes then head to The Breakfast Club, although a simple recipe like this one is pretty foolproof and nothing beats the fun and thrills of having a good flip at home (ahem).
Tell someone you love them on Valentine's Day.
It can be your mum or your cat, just don't forget the 14th of February. (I say that as if it's remotely possible to forget Valentine's when every shop window is currently screaming about it). If you are going out to celebrate, take a look at some of our £25 for 3 courses offers. The set menu is pretty great this year, don't even get me started on the chocolate sharing board. THERE IS SHORTBREAD FOR DIPPING! Book a table here.
Learn how to arrange flowers beautifully.
Sticking with the Valentine's theme, you could learn how to create your very own beautiful vase displays with a workshop at the Columbia Creative pop-up shop at Boxpark. Head down on the 15th of Feb to learn everything you need to know to make the most of everyday flowers. Tickets cost £45 and include flowers, a vase and all the materials you'll need. More info and booking here.
Shake off your hangover in by plunging into a pool of ice water.
If the ice bucket challenge wasn't tough enough for you, raise money for Special Olympics GB at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on the 7th of Feb by JUMPING INTO A POOL OF ICE WATER. It's called the Polar Plunge and all funds raised go to the Special Olympics GB charity, so your madness/bravery will most definitely be for a good cause. More info on how to sign up here.
If you book a table at selected Late Night London venues and mention "£15 Prosecco" when booking then guess what? You'll get a bottle of Prosecco for £15! I might be taking advantage of this offer most days this month. *Hic*. More details on venues and booking here.
The "By any other name..." cocktail at Piccadilly Institute.
This sharing cocktail is perfect for lovers and sees Eristoff vodka and Chambord shaken with lemon juice and lychee puree, then topped with rose lemonade. Wonderful stuff. Book a table here.
The "Asterius" cocktail at Core.
Another Valentine's special (but you can drink it all month, have no fear!) comes in the form of the Asterius: Grey Goose La Poire, Orgeat syrup and lemon juice topped with Heidsieck Monopole Champagne. Sparkly and special. Book a table at Core here.
London from on top of the O2.
I can't think of many things worse than climbing the O2, but if you're crazy enough to want to then I'm told the views are fabulous. Tickets start from £26 and the 'experience' last for 90 minutes. On a clear day you'll see landmarks up to 15 miles away, so I suppose it is worth the crippling fear. Maybe. More info and booking here.
The designer catwalks at Vodafone London Fashion Weekend.
If you prefer your thrills at ground level, I highly recommend getting a seat at one of the LFWend catwalk shows. I prefer the designer ones to the trend ones, but just see which takes you fancy as more designers are announced. One thing is guaranteed though, GREAT bargains when you shop the catwalk afterwards. Vodafone London Fashion Weekend runs from the 26th of Feb to the 1st March at Somerset House and you can get more info and tickets here.
The Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown.
From 10am-6pm (and later no doubt) on Sunday the 22nd of Feb there'll be all sorts of celebrations going on in Chinatown to welcome the Chinese Year of the Sheep. Enjoy the free performances (always a spectacle!) then indulge in aaaaaaaaall the food. More info here.