Saint Valentine is coming to the Scottish capital, and the city is preparing to welcome the day of the lovers. So, whether it’s taking date night to different heights or taking part in an exciting event, we’ve gathered up the best and quirkier ways to celebrate this Valentine’s Day in Edinburgh.
1. Get competitive at an arcade games bar
The first thought that came to mind after visiting NQ64 was that this is an amazing date spot for those who love gaming. You can play Mario Kart, Guitar Hero or Virtua Tennis and sip on light-up cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere. What is more, the venue is covered in neon décor and plays some proper throwback tunes, so expect Grandmaster Flash to make an appearance. There is no need to book, just show up and have a blast by setting that childhood wonder free accompanied by some friendly competitiveness.
2. Say hello to the newest member of the family at Edinburgh Zoo
Edinburgh Zoo shared the very first images of the nyala calf named Yara, who was born to parents Arnold and Arya on January 3. The zoo stated that Yara is growing in confidence daily at the safety of staying by her mother’s side. The birth also brought the small lowland nyala number at Edinburgh Zoo to four in total. This makes for a perfect opportunity for a date outing to the zoo to meet the adorable calf, as well as explore all the animals and enjoy scenic views over the city. You can book you tickets here.
3. Try out the newly-opened Duck & Waffle
The critically-acclaimed Duck & Waffle is famous for its imaginative take on British cuisine, with playful touches from various European cuisines. The venue is open 24/7, so is not only a breakfast and brunch place, but also a spot for late-night munchies we just sometimes need. Duck & Waffle is most known for its signature dish, which, unsurprisingly, contains a buttermilk waffle topped with a crispy duck leg confit and a fried duck egg drizzled mustard maple syrup. The gastro diner is open from February 1 at St James Quarter, and you can reserve your table now.
4. Marvel at the soft sounds of the piano at this Valentine’s Candlelight concert
Start your Valentine’s evening in the most romantic way by attending a classical concert at St Giles Cathedral bathed in candlelight. As heart-warming soft melodies performed by a pianist fill the space, music lovers will be able to appreciate the most amorous classical songs ever written in a stunning setting. During Valentine’s Moonlight Sonata by Candlelight concert, expect to be amazed by the skilled performances of masterpieces such as Beethoven’s Sonata Op.27 No. 2 “Moonlight”, R. Schumann/F. Liszt’s Widmung and Claude Debussy’s Clair De Lune. You can book your tickets here.
5. Attend a Cupid’s Day Off party with tunes from 90s rom coms
Those who want to show themselves a little self-love this year will be able to dance the night away at the Cupid’s Day Off party in Eve, the trendy all-day dining venue. Taking place on Thursday, February 16, guests will be able to relive some of the most iconic moments inspired by the very best 80s and 90s rom coms, with throwback tunes and nostalgic cocktails that will get into the feels. If you’re looking to find love this Valentine’s Day, you can also dress to impress with an exclusive fashion pop-up giving everyone the chance to channel their inner style diva. The celebrations kick off at 8:30pm, tickets are free and include a complimentary drink on arrival: book them here.
6. Make it a Valentine’s Taco Tuesday
We love tacos and we love love. So why not mix these two together and visit the Mexican-inspire bar, The Basement (it’s also actually in a basement). On top of delicious flavoured margaritas, the bar serves excellent Mexican food: you can opt for the Halloumi tacos with marinated halloumi, Mexican slaw, corn tortillas, pomegranate, jalapeño jam and toasted pumpkin seeds. Additionally, they also serve cactus quesadillas and sizzling fajitas that are almost to die for.
7. Watch Macbeth (an undoing) like you never have before
There’s nothing like date night going to the theatre. Shakespeare fans can enjoy Macbeth in this spin-off production focusing more on Lady Macbeth. The perspective of the female characters are brought to centre stage, by undoing the story we know and looking deeper into why Lady Macbeth went into madness and despair. Spectators can find out if we saw the whole story at the Royal Lyceum Theatre between February 4 and 25. You can book the tickets here.
8. Go to an anti-Valentine’s Day stand-up comedy show
Edinburgh has an abundance of comedy performances that won’t break the bank. This Valentine’s Day, whther you’re flying solo or in a couple, you can attend the Anti-Valentine’s Day show at The Stand Comedy Club. The show is set to make fun of the commerciality of the holiday, and the club is inviting guests to ‘come laugh in a dark basement with us instead’. Sounds like a class night to us!
9. Give the epic burger challenge at the Boozy Cow a go
If you want to put your hunger to the test, take part in Boozy Cow’s Make Your Mark Burger Challenge where you’ll battle it out against the ultimate beef burger with THREE beef patties, topped with crispy bacon, Emmental cheese, two Halloumi strips, two deep fried onions, lettuce, tomato and a Maker’s Mark & Bourbon glaze all covered with melting cheese sauce. Burger lovers will also have to finish the Maker’s Mark Shake which can be swapped for a non-alcoholic alternative if needed. Those lucky enough to complete the challenge will receive a Maker’s Mark t-shirt as a trophy and their photo added to the Make Your Mark wall of fame. You should probably skip breakfast and lunch that day, but it should make for some hilarious memories.
10. Express your love with a romantic dinner surrounded by cherry blossoms
Tattu Edinburgh is one of the city’s romantic restaurants, decked in cherry blossom trees throughout. However, the interior design is not the only outstanding aspect of the restaurant: the innovative, seasonal Chinese-inspired menu is the true essence of what sets the trendy spot apart. The concept of connection is well understood in Tattu, so guests are encouraged to share their food. Both small and large platters are created to be shared, where food lovers can try a bit of everything while having a well-deserved break with their loved one. And in January and February, Tattu has introduced their Winter Romance series inspired by the five love languages. Guests can expect love-inspired cocktails for when they visit, and this Valentine’s Day they’re celebrating Words Of Affirmation and Physical Touch.
11. Turn up the passion at Rico’s Italian restaurant
From the moment you enter Rico’s you can tell you are about to experience true Italian temperament through food. This Valentines Day, Rico’s will be reminding you and your partner of all that is good about refined and passionate Italian cuisine. Dishes are also prepared with the finest, locally-sourced Scottish ingredients, including fresh pasta made onsite daily. Owned by an Italian family, Rico’s is a great spot for authentic cooking through heritage passed onto by older generations.