No matter what the weather says, spring is almost here. As the days get longer, nature awakes from its sleepy slumber, as do our hearts. Yes, dating season is officially back on and luckily we have just the selection of dates to put spring back in your step.
We guarantee that this small selection of date ideas will get you (and your lucky date) in the mood for lurve…
Magical Lantern Festival
When: Now until Sunday March 6
Where? Chiswick House and Gardens, Burlington Lane, W4 2RP
What? This giant hand-sculpted lantern display of fantastical creations commemorating Chinese New Year includes a 60 metre-long dragon stretched out across the lake. Expect larger-than-life flamingos, zebras, monkeys and elephants roaming the Animal Kingdom whilst the Enchanted Forest sprouts glowing toadstools and sparking lotus flowers, all interconnected with a magical aerial display of shimmering walkways.
Oxford vs. Cambridge Boat Race
When? Sunday March 27
Where? River Thames, Putney to Mortlake stretch
What? This epic battle between the biggest brains in Britain on water is the perfect opportunity to take a riverside seat with your date and sit back, whilst never running out of conversation. 2016 will be the first year the women’s teams race the same day and same place, so double the enjoyment! Predictably the many lovely riverside pubs will be packed, so get in early for a pint. Alternatively, be patient and bar crawl your way down the river. It’s especially pretty at this time of year and if you make it down the meanders to Richmond then The White Swan on Old Palace Lane is particularly charming.
When? From now until Sunday March 6
Where? Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB
What? A spot of horticulture: Kew Gardens’ celebration of the orchid is returning for a second year, this time with a colourful carnival theme as a nod towards Brazil’s tradition of February feriados. The Princes of Wales Conservatory (AKA Very Big Glasshouse) is taken over by myriads of Brazilian orchid species and hybrids, showcasing the wonder and science of these astonishing plants.
When? Saturday March 19 between 8:30-9:30pm
What? A romantic chance to see the stars in a world increasingly polluted with light. If you want it extra dark, verging on pitch black, look online at darkskydiscovery.org.uk for certified dark spots, pack a blanket and a thermos flask then cuddle beneath the big dipper, unspoiled by the yellow glare of the city. Many crowd sourced candle-holding events will be springing up on the night, be sure to find out what’s happening in your local community by looking online.
When? Every Saturday from March 5, midday to midnight
Where? Euro Car Parks, 162-167 Shoreditch High St, E1 6HU
What? This trendy pop-up event in Shoreditch has a firm following and is ideal for foodies. Street stalls peddle all manners of cuisines, from Japanese to Peruvian and live music makes for a chilled ambience, helped along by smooth sipping of craft ales and zesty cocktails. Check out the veggie corner for innovative vegan deserts that won’t leave you too stuffed for post-date shenanigans.
Where are you dating this spring? Tell us @lovestruck
Main photo: Pavel LosevskyTweet