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February 18, 2010 | by  | in Online Only | [ssba]

Will you be My Valentine? London for the Hopelessly Romantic


A red rose, a bottle of champagne and a private capsule in the London Eye. Surely this is the proposal of every girl’s dreams. Slightly less cliché than the Eiffel Tower and yet still charmingly romantic, this English gentleman had perfected the equation. To his credit, he simply could have not avoided the only diminishing factor in this whole delightful scene: an on-looking entourage of jealous and longingly gazing women. Yes, maybe it was a fatal mistake for six single girls to travel to London for Valentine’s Day. Couples seemed to crop up on every corner, and at every park bench we caught snapshots of seemingly idyllic lives of Burberry scarves and black taxis. Londoners have a classic beauty, as if somehow the city endows them with an almost aura-like quality that we mere outsiders can never hope to possess.


It seems at this point as though I should reveal some rude, ugly and commercial side to this urban paradise. If my good old BA has taught me anything, it is to be fundamentally cautious of praising something unreservedly, and critical analysis has, essay after essay, been drummed firmly into my psyche. But try as I might to find flaws with this fairytale city, I remained beautifully oblivious to them, instead being lost in all the fantasy and romance of Enid Blyton, Harry Potter and Love Actually. It is easy to see how London has become a muse for so many an artist as you scan a grey horizon punctuated by the buildings that tell a history like no other.

Chinese LanternsLondon has a strange magic. Who would have ever thought that a place blanketed in constant fog, and a river, which until just a few years ago was officially ‘dead’ could be so solidified in our imaginations. I feel like I am falling into disgustingly cliché territory here, but I am honest when I admit that London filled me with the fluttering sense of excitement and wonder that makes your heart swell. From the alluring smell of roasted nuts from street stalls, to the fireplaces of quaint British pubs, from the rows of red lanterns for Chinese New Year, to the buskers in the underground, London is the disease of the hopeless romantic, and the utter embodiment of dreams.

Having completely abandoned any sense of journalistic dignity in my wistful ramblings, it seems fitting therefore to say, without exaggeration that, as the snow began to fall in Hyde Park, where a single pink blossom tree provided a delicate sprinkle of colour against a backdrop of grey, we six single girls simultaneously fell in love with London. Paris may be the city of love, but London made the most wonderful valentine.

Pink blossom


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