Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Manchester 

However you choose to celebrate, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse for a bit of guilt-free dining.

By Emma Davidson | Last updated 9 February 2023

Share this story

Treat your date to a choir-led screening of Romeo and Juliet at Backyard Cinema. Image: Backyard Cinema

Valentine’s Day can be something of a marmite calendar date for couples. If you’ve been in a relationship for more than five years, a card usually suffices, but it can be nice to reignite that spark with an annual bit of enforced romance. 

Many places offer special menus on or around 14 February and you’ll find plenty of pink ingredients, heart shaped desserts and purported aphrodisiacs popping up. For some people, locking eyes over some sharing plates at tried and tested faves like Nonna’s in Prestwich, Petisco in Sale or The Alan in the city centre is the dream v-date. There are also a number of restaurants in the city that have extended their January offers, if you or your loved one are a cheap date – or your joint account has been decimated by bills. 

If you want something a little more exciting than dinner, there are lots of alternative date ideas at venues across Manchester this Valentine’s Day including a chocolate making workshop, a beer and dessert pairing event and a chance to create a sculpture of your partner’s bits. 

Read on for our round-up of where to celebrate Valentine’s Day 2023 in Manchester.  

Love potions are on offer at Junkyard Golf. Image: Junkyard Golf

Valentine’s cocktails at Junkyard Golf

Monday 6 February – end of the month
Junkyard Golf has dropped two new love potions to celebrate Valentine’s Day – the Junkyard Love Club and Flirty Martini. The drinks can both be purchased with an additional pair of Love Specs for an extra two quid. These are essentially valentines beer goggles, turning your vision into lots of tiny colourful little hearts. As well as this, the venue will have a DJ spinning some romantic hits on the big days and there’s an all new photo-booth to snap some loved up pics at the end of the night.

Image: Cocoa Cabana

Valentine’s chocolate making workshop at Cocoa Cabana

Wednesday 8 February
This might be hard to hear, but a box of Milk Tray just isn’t going to cut it this year. If you want to seriously impress your date through the medium of chocolate, Cocoa Cabana in Ancoats is hosting the ultimate Bruce Bogtrotter experience. Taking place from 6.30pm on 8 February, you will get a full run-down of the history of chocolate, before making your own bespoke box of nine tasty truffles to take home. 

Image: Harvey Nichols

Wine tasting at Harvey Nichols

Friday 10 February
Guests will get the chance to take part in a 90-minute romantic wine tasting session at Harvey Nichols this Valentine’s, sampling five sparkling wines and Champagnes selected by the store’s sommelier. Hosted at Harvey Nichols’ second-floor deli, light nibbles will be served alongside the vino – a sophisticated spot for a date this Valentine’s. Tickets are £25, with £20 of that redeemable on products after the tasting.

De-stress with a couple’s massage at The Lowry Hotel. Image: RE:TREAT at The Lowry

Spa deals at The Lowry Hotel

Friday 10 – Friday 17 February
Ahead of the big day, the Lowry Hotel has introduced the ultimate couples pamper package to help you relax and unwind. The Sensational Couples Treatment includes either a back, neck and shoulder massage, or a soothing leg and foot massage in a couple’s room, followed by a coffee or wellness tea in the tranquil surroundings of the spa lounge. You can also upgrade with two glasses of Floreat botanical wine (as seen on Dragon’s Den) for just £5 each. For more information or to book the package call 0161 827 4034.

Image: Tattu

A Winter Romance menu at Tattu

Friday 10 – Sunday 19 February
Wanting to seriously impress your date this year? Well, you better make sure Tattu is on your list. The Chinese fusion eatery in Spinningfields is offering a Valentine’s menu that features some new specials, including the Shanghai Rose sharing cocktail made with Peddler’s gin, rose and champagne. And if you’re not incorporating a heart-shaped dish into your Valentine’s meal, you’re doing it wrong, so make sure to also try Tattu’s Shen Garden dessert – a heart-shaped chocolate bomb with miso caramel and meringue. 

Image: Luisa Omielan

Luisa Omielan’s Valentine’s Party

Saturday 11 February
Hosted at Bowler’s Exhibition Centre, stand-up comedian Luisa Omielan brings her hilarious Valentine’s party that combines feminist belly laughs with belting hits from the likes of Sean Paul, Bonnie Tyler and Taylor Swift. Marking the first time her alternative Valentine’s shindig has travelled up North, guests can expect ‘authentic, raw, honest and timeless’ comedy that will leave you laughing your head off and sobbing buckets simultaneously.

A big hit with out pal Jay Rayner, The Alan is a must-visit this Valentine’s. Image: The Alan

£65 set Valentine’s menu at The Alan

Saturday 11 – Tuesday 14 February
Starting off your evening with a free glass of fizz, the Jay Rayner approved restaurant at The Alan has revamped its menu for a one-off Valentine’s feast. It begins with dishes such as aged beef tartare, truffle cheese gougeres and stout cured trout, before exploring seasonal flavours including grilled beetroot, Isle of Mull scallop crudo and aged Goosnargh duck. All this is topped off with a bitter 70% Valrhona chocolate tart served alongside milk sorbet and hazelnut – a must-try menu from a restaurant critics can’t stop talking about. 

Image: Embankment Kitchen

Steak and wine at Embankment Kitchen

Saturday 11 February
For one day only, Embankment Kitchen is offering diners a steak and wine deal for £65. The restaurant for luxury Manchester apartments City Suites has gone from strength to strength over the past few months, advancing its kitchen team and bringing in more creative, seasonal menus. The valentines offer is available only on Saturday 11 February and includes two steaks and one bottle of wine. 

Not a fan of Valentine’s Day? Make sure to get over to CULTPLEX for some alternative cinema. Image: CULTPLEX

Anti-Valentine’s films at CULTPLEX

Saturday 11 February
Stomping all over the soppiness associated with Valentine’s Day, CULTPLEX (the new name for Chapeltown Picturehouse) is celebrating friendship instead of slushy romance with the cult camp comedy classic Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. The beloved film is getting the screening it deserves with drag queens, cringe old high school photos and a retro prom dress code.

Image: The Cre8 Company

Sip and Paint at Dot Ten

Sunday 12 February
Back for a Valentine’s special, the Cre8 Company is taking over Dot Ten for a date night special of its Sip and Paint event, soundtracked by Children of Zeus’ very own Konny Kon and Manchester legend Katbrownsugar. You’ll be welcomed with an arrival tipple before taking to a blank canvas to create your own masterpiece. All materials will be provided on the evening, as well as a ‘LOVE bag’ full of goodies to take home. 

Image: Manchester’s Finest Group

Free Cava at La Bandera

Monday 13 – Tuesday 14 February
As a special treat for Valentine’s – or Galentine’s – this year, Spanish eatery La Bandera is offering all diners a free glass of Cava when they book a table on 13 or 14 February. One of the city’s most popular traditional Spanish restaurants, La Bandera’s menu features Mediterranean small plates, alongside huge pans of paella and centuries old family recipes. This spot just off Deansgate is ideal for a date night. 

Six course set menu at Platzki

Tuesday 14 February
A traditional Polish spread with contemporary twists. Highlights include Beef tartare, sweet potato and feta Pierogi dumplings, crispy Platzki potato pancake, duck and rice filled Golabki, oven baked salmon with wild sorrel sauce, and cherry vodka infused panna cotta. A romantic evening with a touch of Polish heritage.

Two’s company with this special cocktail offer for Finest readers. Image: Wood & Co

Two for £12 Valentine’s day cocktails at Wood & Company

Impress your date by taking them to this hidden gem of a cocktail bar which is unusually opening on a Tuesday just for the lovers. Wood & Company has created a special one-off cocktail menu for Valentines Day with four special drinks that are in hues of gold rather than the more obvious pinks and reds: Breakfast in Bed (rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, dry curacao, lemon, marmalade), Caramel Kiss (oak smoked gin, butterscotch, anise, lemon, salted caramel), Sunset Fizz (calvados, maraschino, rosemary, barrel aged bitters, Prosecco) and After Eight (aged rum, cacao, bergamot, Branca Menta, cream). As a special offer for Finest readers only, you can get two for £12 on the Valentine’s cocktails when you show the bar staff this article or our Valentine’s Instagram post.

Image: Trof

Steak for two at Trof

Tuesday 14 February
Got beef with your partner about certain rubbish valentines days of the past? Northern Quarter restaurant Trof is giving couples a big chunk of cow to enjoy together this year. The special valentines sharing platter features a 16oz sirloin steak with roast garlic brown butter, tempura battered king prawns, citrus fennel salad and hand cut chips in rosemary salt. Even better news is that with 50% off on Tuesdays, you can get this platter or any other dishes from the menu for half price.

Image: The Blind Bull

Seven-course tasting menu at The Blind Bull

Tuesday 14 February
If you feel like heading to the hills for a valentines escape, The Blind Bull in the heart of the Peak District is a 12th Century inn offering a menu so good that’s landed it on the list of Top 50 Gastropubs. For Valentine’s day, the venue is offering a special seven-course menu with an optional paired wine-flight and breakfast in bed if you staying over in the romantic renovated barn. 

Who wouldn’t want a clay pair of balls on their dining table? Image: Cork & Clay

Sculpt your partner’s privates & Valentine’s menu at Ducie Street Warehouse

Tuesday 14 February
Want to recreate that scene from Ghost? You can partake in your own saucy sculpting experience this Valentine’s Day at Ducie Street Warehouse as Cork and Clay is giving you the chance to create a portable version of your partner’s privates. You’ll be supplied with all materials required, including air dry clay, rolling pins and tools, a clay slip, and a box to take your creation home in.

The venue is also serving up a special Valentine’s menu with highlights including tempura oysters, whole grilled halloumi with pomegranate molasses and coconut yoghurt and sticky toffee choux buns with butterscotch sauce.

Image: GRUB

Bored of Dating Apps at GRUB

Tuesday 14 February
A strictly singles-only social event is taking place over at GRUB on Valentine’s Day, offering lonely hearts the chance to celebrate love in all of its forms. With a focus on community, friendship and looking after mental health in dating, Bored of Dating Apps’ events are made for swapping numbers with a new pal, alongside finding the ‘one’.

Image: Jody Findley

The Fitzgerald

Tuesday 14 February
Enjoy a bottle of Prosecco for just £15 in The Fitzgerald, as your evening is soundtracked by local musician and soul singer, Jody Findley. The vocalist is currently supplying Soul2Soul with their backing vocals, joining the pioneering band on tour across the world, and she’ll be appearing at Fitzgerald for a special evening of romance. 

Image: WOOD

Fine dining at WOOD

Tuesday 14 February
Opening its doors on a Tuesday exclusively for Valentine’s Day, WOOD is offering both its £40 lunch menu and slightly pricier evening tasting menu. Known for reinventing nostalgic classics using innovative cooking techniques, WOOD is the flagship restaurant of MasterChef winner Simon Wood. It focuses on locally sourced, British produce that celebrates UK heritage, and the open kitchen offers diners a glimpse into his own careful craftsmanship alongside that of head chef Zarka Hussain.  

Indian delights at Zouk this Valentine’s. Image: Zouk

Valentine’s cooking class at Zouk

Tuesday 14 February
If you like the keep things spicy on Valentine’s day, how about an Indian cooking class? Zouk’s cookery school offers lessons all year for those wanting to perfect their pilau or level up their lamb nihari. In this special Valentine’s class, couples will rustle up pani puri, prawn pakoras, punjabi lollipops, butter chicken, and lamb pasanda with pilau and naan on the side. The dishes you cook together will then be served banquet style for you ti relax and enjoy afterwards. The class is £140 per couple and includes all ingredients, an apron and a recipe card to take home and recreate the dishes.

Image: Habas

Free fizz and Valentine’s menu at Habas

Tuesday 14 February
For £90 per couple, Habas has a new menu for Valentine’s Day. On arrival diners will get a welcome glass of fizz before tucking into a sharing fillet steak accompanied by za’atar hasselback potatoes, tenderstem broccoli, and a red wine jus. To finish, the Habas kitchen team has created a petit fours dessert that consists of a double chocolate and raspberry sponge, passionfruit and vanilla choux buns, and pistachio and white chocolate fudge.

Image: Petisco

Seven-course Valentine’s tasting menu at Petisco

Tuesday 14 February
Located in Sale, Petisco takes inspiration from the neighbourhood bars and casual eateries of Portugal. For Valentine’s Day, the restaurant has curated a seven-course menu available to book for £55 per person. Dishes include pan fried king scallops, pork fillet with grilled cabbage, monkfish, and pastel de natas to finish. It’s an lovely introduction into Petisco’s approach to dining.  

Image: A Few Scoops

Beer and dessert pairing at Box on the Docks

Tuesday 14 February
Local indie businesses A Few Scoops and Seven Bro7hers are coming together for a one-off ice cream and beer tasting event, where you’ll learn about the brewing process and discover new favourite flavours. With Seven Bro7hers famous for incorporating flavours like peanut butter into its brews, and ice-cream parlour A Few Scoops describing itself as ‘the place where ice cream and cocktails collide’, it’s a match made in heaven. Just like you and your other half, right? 

Partners in Wine Valentine’s tasting at Juicebox

Tuesday 14 February
Five wines, lovely snacks and an aesthetically pleasing place to enjoy a tipple – Didsbury’s Juicebox Valentine’s tasting is a top pick this year. From 7-10pm, the new-to-the-scene natural wine bar will showcase drinks from wine producers who are not just business but life partners. How romantic. You’ll get to enjoy five glasses of the good stuff, alongside snacks and chat from the bar’s in-house buyer Henry. Tickets are £35 per person and are available to purchase behind the bar.

Why not recreate the famous scene from Lady and the Tramp at Nonna’s? Image: Nonna’s

Italian Valentine’s dining at Nonna’s Prestwich

Tuesday 14 – Sunday 19 February
A big plate of pasta is at the heart of many love stories and Prestwich Italian deli and dining room Nonna’s is serving just that this Valentine’s Day. For £69 per couple (we see what you did there, Nonna’s), you can enjoy a welcome signature Bellini cocktail before tucking into dishes such as Nonna’s meatballs with spaghetti, bruschetta, fresh mushroom ravioli and tiramisu cake.  

Is it even V day if you haven’t had a chocolate fondue? Image: Albert’s Schloss

Chocolate fondue, sharing steak and cocktails at Schloss

If you want a more party vibe for your V-day, Albert’s Schloss has created some ‘made for zwei’ sweet and savoury specials as well as love themed cocktails for the big day only. There’s a 16oz, 40 day dry aged rump sharing steak with béarnaise sauce, shoestring fries and salad for £40. A sharing dessert come sin the form of what else but a Belgian chocolate fondue.  The Valentine’s cocktails are a collab with Didsbury Gin and Fever Tree. They include a raspberry and elderflower Love Letter, and a very fruity blood orange, passionfruit rum, rhubarb and hibiscus Passionista. Music while you eat and drink comes from the in-house Kunst Kabaret featuring Manchester drag queen royalty Felicity Felicis, Lill, Anna Phylactic, Liqourice Black and Cece and Lill with late night tunes to get you in the mood via DJ Rudy. 

Introduce a bit of Latin love into your life at Peru Perdu. Image: Peru Perdu

Uruguayan wine and Peruvian tasting menu at Peru Perdu

For a sexy Latin American style Valentine’s date, Peruvian restaurant Peru Peru is offering a levelled up version of its menu in four course tasting menu form. Dishes include tuna or mushroom ceviche, followed by small plates like langoustines with seafood bisque, scallop, lobster and saffron aioli, “slow tuna” with purple potato, lima beans, tomatoes, olive, coriander, pickled chilli, duck egg and anchovy, larger plates like Iberico pork and clam with greens, potato, chilli and coriander or snapper with Exmoor caviar, rainbow chard, coconut, wild rice and black beans followed by desserts such as dulce de leech cheesecake. The price for the menu is £75pp plus an optional Uruguayan wine flight with young and aged expressions of Cabernet Franc plus a sweet dessert wine. Booking essential. 

Get smoochy with sushi. Image: Wholesome Junkies

Valentines themed sushi-making class at Wholesome Junkies

Wednesday 15 February

In love with a plant-based partner? A sushi making class from CB Sushi at veggie palace Wholesome Junkies might be the way to their heart. Together you will learn how to rustle up the perfect seasoned sushi rice before getting all hands on with a rolling mat and plant-based fillings and flavours. In this 2-3 hour workshop you will learn to make all kinds of rolled and hand-shaped sushi which you can nibble on as you learn or package up to take home and enjoy later. Tickets are £45 each.

A box of brownies is the way to anyone’s heart. Image: Nibble NQ

Valentine’s boxes at Nibble NQ

The wonderful team over at Nibble NQ have put together the ultimate lazy Galentine’s / Valentine’s boxes that are bound to score you big brownie points on the day. You can choose from the breakfast in bed pancake box, afternoon tea box or Galentine’s brownie gift box, and the hampers are filled with homemade treats including Biscoff and banana pancakes and salted caramel s’mores brioche toast. You can pick the hampers up at the cafe on Oldham Street, or get them delivered directly to your door.

Image: Sicilian NQ

Valentine’s gifts from Sicilian NQ

Manchester’s hidden Sicilian gem has launched date night boxes for an at home culinary treat this Valentine’s. You can choose from make your own cannoli hampers, boxes of Italian sweets or a full dinner date kit featuring Sicilian antipasto to share, a homemade Sicilian pesto or pasta sauce, Divella pasta, six Sicilian pastries and a bottle of Limoncello.