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Adding vibrancy to Valentines: make your singles evening sparkle

Emily Sewell talks us through some fun and artsy 'Palentines' ideas.

By Emily Sewell, Third Year, English Literature

Being maybe the most stigmatised event of the year, yet not even labelled a holiday, Valentine’s Day has swiftly become an annual social pressure for singles. But fear not, for in the wise words of Taylor Swift, “pressure that could’ve crushed us made us into diamonds”. This Valentines, whether you’re venturing out, snuggling in, or planning a ‘Palentine’s’ dinner, I hope to provide you with some diamond ideas to make singles evening sparkle a little more than it might have.

You may already know that Valentine’s day has been a celebration of love for over 1,500 years. What you may not know, is that the 14th of February sees the UK spending an estimated grand total of £880 million, and on average, London’s lovers are set back by a whopping £86.02 each Valentine’s day. This is why I strongly encourage your guilt-free ‘Girl Math’ to kick in this Valentines – as ultimately, singles still save! My ideas of how to do so are as follows:

1)Venturing out

Make a mate’s day magic! Whether a friend’s heartbroken, lonely, or just plain bored, why not make or bake a card or cake to deliver to their doorstep? It costs next to nothing, means everything, and getting crafty and creative is a great way to spend the day. If you’re not feeling artsy or you are pressured for time, Clifton’s ANNA Cake Couture’s ‘Too Good To Go’ box) might fix a friend’s day for less than a fiver!

What about a post-work ‘Palentine’ picnic? Scenic sunsets are sure to stimulate serotonin, and you’ll be happy to hear that Bristol is home to some dreamy destinations. Take Brandon Hill - quite a climb but the view is well worth the wait. The Clifton Observatory’s balcony overlooks Bristol’s famous Suspension Bridge and is equally as breath-taking. If you stroll across said bridge you might find yourself in Ashton Court Estate, where deer parks and rolling hills block out Bristol’s urban buzz. Lastly, I reluctantly share Bristol’s best-kept secret: the Goats in the gully of the Avon Gorge. Before reaching the lip of the Downs a kissing-gate lies to your left, through which the rocks on your right provide the perfect place for a Valentines viewpoint.

2) Staying in:

Struggling with what to watch? Whether watching with or without your lobster, the light-hearted laughter of ‘Friends’ lifts the lowest of lows. Meticulously matching humour with heat, the following Valentines episodes guarantee giggles:

Season 1, Episode 14 – ‘The One With The Candy Hearts’

Season 6, Episode 18 – ‘The One With Unagi’

Season 8, Episode 15 – ‘The One With The Birthing Video’

Braving the booze? Screening Garry Marshall’s Valentine’s Day (2010) serves as a dangerous drinking game. Sip your cocktail or mocktail whenever the word ‘Valentine’ is uttered throughout the feel-good flick. Miss an instance? Down your drink!

 3) A 'Palentine's' dinner:

Curtesy of TikTok, this ex-deprecating activity requires everyone to wear what they dare and bring a cocktail catered to their ghosts of ex's past. Inspiration: ‘berry bitter’, ‘toxic waste’, ‘the tiny cocktail’, ‘still sour’, ‘the L-bomber’ …the list goes on! If you’re sick of sweet treats post-pancake day, pink-potluck dinner might be your munch of choice. Each person at the party provides a pink course – be it crimson cocktails, beetroot bakes or strawberry surprises, the thematic food will be sure to brighten your banquet.

Come Wednesday, some may dare to date or prefer a personal pamper evening, but whether or not the above activities tickle your fancy, don’t forget: Valentine’s day is exactly that – another day that is only as sparkly as you make it!

Featured Images Emily Sewell

How have you decided to spend Valentines Day?