While many of us would usually be rolling our eyes at the notion of Valentine’s Day, I think even the naysayers have been swayed this year. Single, taken, tangled up in an ‘it’s complicated’ type online courtship – whatever box you tick, February 14th can be a celebration of many different types of love.
It’s an occasion if anything and we’ll take any excuse to dress up and do something a little out of the ordinary these days. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been so starved of entertainment before? There are only so many movies one can watch in a row without going completely insane… and that limit was reached a long (long!) time ago in my case.
But, back to Valentine’s Day – more specifically, how to celebrate it this year.
Obviously in-person celebrations won’t be an option for many people, but there are still several ways you can mark the occasion with whoever you happen to be with on the day – be that friends, family, partners or even your lovely little pupper.
Here are five alternative ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day this weekend.
Online dance class
Usually, just the mention of the word ‘salsa’ would make me break out in hives (the dance that is, not the sauce – big fan of the latter). That being said, an online dance class is one very fun way to pass an evening and this one sounds like a hoot.
Hosted by Thalia Heffernan and Ryan McShane, they’ll be teaching you how to swing those hips and salsa your way around the living room. Taking place over Zoom, the class costs €7 and you don’t even have to turn your camera on if you don’t’ want to.
A few Dublin spots will have love day goodies available in store this weekend – The Rolling Donut for example – but even if they’re not Valentine’s specific, you can still stock up on all your favourite treats and have your own home picnic.
A chicken nugg bouquet probably wouldn’t go amiss either…
Many of us like to think we know what we’re talking about when it comes to wine, but if you’re anything like me, distinguishing a white from a red is just about the height of it.
Plenty of Irish businesses have pivoted to offering online wine classes but those require a little more forward-thinking as you’ll have to sign up ahead of time so you have all the right wines to hand. The good news is that you can recreate your own amateur version – pick up a few different bottles next time you’re doing the shopping, then have your pal/housemate/other half blind taste them. Are they as ‘learned’ as they claim to be?
Virtual escape room
I know, I know… murder mystery doesn’t exactly ooze romance but the tried and tested ‘Netflix and chill’ is a little overdone so why not mix it up. Based over in Chicago, Illinois, Jackbox Games is an American company that specialises in “irreverent party games”. And their online versions are testament to that.
The Murder Mystery Party pack sees you “match wits with a trivia-obsessed killer”. Players must answer trivia questions correctly in each round or you’ll find yourself on ‘The Killing Floor’ which, needless to say, is not a floor you want to be on.
Valentine’s cook along
Anything that involves food is usually a winner. All the better if you’ve prepped it yourselves – gives an added sense of satisfaction to the whole affair.
Valentine’s Day may be all about the cheese, but there’s always room for dessert and Sprig Cookery will guide you through the process with their step-by-step tutorial. Headed up by Chef Eamon Lynch, throughout the class he’ll teach you how to perfect a pomegranate bellini – served alongside a white chocolate and raspberry fudge brownie smothered in salted caramel, chocolate tuile decorations, hazelnut praline and Chantilly cream.
Tickets cost €32.88 (including booking fee) just for the class itself – picking up ingredients is on you so make sure you leave enough time to do that. Your Valentine may be sweet enough, but who could possibly say no to dessert?!
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