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7 Alternative Valentine’s Day plans even the cynics will enjoy


By Sarah Finnan
11th Feb 2022
7 Alternative Valentine’s Day plans even the cynics will enjoy

There are good ships and wood ships, ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships may they always be!

As Cupid gets ready to do the rounds again this Monday, some of us are already dreading the influx of PDA and “boy done good” posts that are inevitably bound to saturate our social media feeds. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love love too… I’m just slightly more cynical about it all. Which is why Valentine’s Day has never really been a thing for me. That said, February 14th doesn’t necessarily have to be about romantic love. As we all know, love exists in many forms – from familial love to platonic love to self-love – and V-Day is as good a time as any to honour the different relationships in your life. 

So, even if you don’t have a special someone to send a sappy card to, you can still celebrate the day… albeit in a slightly alternative way. Here’s our pick of some of the best things on around the country this weekend. 

Tinder night 

There’s a common misconception that Valentine’s Day is just for the lovers, but that’s not exactly true and one Galway restaurant is hoping to help singletons meet their match with their Tinder Night event. Hosted by Bangin Noodles on Saint Augustine Street, they describe it as being kind of like classic speed dating… but with a few differences. 20 guys, 20 girls, five minutes per date. Tickets cost a tenner and you can get yours here

Anti-Valentine’s delight

Some people just really don’t like Valentine’s Day, in which case The Sugar Club’s anti-Valentine’s event will most definitely be of interest. The antithesis of your typical rom-com, the cult classic movie subverts the idea that love must follow a pre-ordained script… and well it’s always fun to watch Tim Curry prance around in a lace-up corset and sing along to “Sweet Transvestite”. Taking place this Saturday at 8 pm, there are still a few spots left. Costumes optional, though encouraged. 

Galentine’s screening

Both Galway’s Pálás and its sister cinema The Lighthouse in Dublin have plenty on this weekend to celebrate the love, from Casablanca to Crimson Peak, Before Sunrise, Moonlight and the always classic Romy &  Michelle’s High School Reunion. Aiming to “make your heart ache, break and shake”, there’s something for everyone and who doesn’t love a trip to the pictures? Popcorn *and* Maltesers are a combination made to last. Even after all this time? Always. 

Drag cabaret show

A drag/burlesque/cabaret show all in one? Sounds like a good time if you ask us. Taking place at Cyprus Avenue in Cork this Sunday, it’s all with thanks to Mockie Ah, Ireland’s biggest drag haus who are putting on a festive cabaret featuring performances from 12 of the country’s leading drag and burlesque acts. Doors open at 7 pm and tickets cost €20. Expect high energy, lots of laughs and even a live blind date. 

Loving Kindness yoga workshop 

It can be easy to factor yourself out of the equation when it comes to Valentine’s Day, but showing your body some TLC is just as important as showering others in love… you can’t pour from an empty cup as the saying goes. Launching a special loving kindness workshop to help you do just that, James Cassidy of the East of Eden yoga studio will teach you how to use the practices of yin yoga, meditation and guided mantra chanting to gently peel back the layers of our energetic body and realise your blissful self. 

Gin and chocolate tasting 

It may not have achieved the same international acclaim as wine and cheese (yet), but gin and chocolate go surprisingly well together and the Stillgarden Distillery’s tasting masterclass proves that as fact. Book in and you’ll get to sample four of the distillery’s signature gins, which they’ve paired with some premium cacao products from Nibbed Cacao – an organic, small-batch, bean-to-bar cacao roaster in Wicklow.  

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea 

Dainty finger sandwiches, warm scones, rosé… we couldn’t think of a more delicious way to spend the Valentines weekend than with some Afternoon Tea at Powerscourt Hotel. Hosted in the romantic setting of the Sugar Loaf Lounge, it’s home to some incredible views of the rolling Wicklow countryside and includes an array of equally beautiful treats to feed you. Pre-booking is required and you can do so via the hotel website.