The event's history is in its infancy: Galentine's Day was born in 2010, from a sitcom joke (Parks and Recreation fans, anywhere?), and now it's kind of a thing.
Title Image: Pat & Karen by Anita Corbin, part of the Visible Girls Revisited exhibition
As Amy Poehler’s Parks and Rec character Leslie Knope explains, on the 13th of February "my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.”
And why not celebrate? Your Valentine might be fleeting, but here's to your girl who almost dislocated her shoulder trying to get you out of that Zara dress when you got stuck in the changing room, brought round the pizza when you needed it most, and woke up at 3am to face time you from a different timezone.
So book the evening (heck, maybe the whole day) off and get together. Take the 13th of February to catch up with old friends, cross-pollinate colleagues, school friends and whatsapp groups and just have a really, really nice day...
Kick it breakfast style
By going to get breakfast.
Pancakes at the Assembly House
There are so many places to get breakfast here, no matter what you fancy you'll find something up your street. For home made, laid back and cosy, try Louis' Deli on Upper St Giles, or House on St Benedicts. For some exceptional pancakes and curveball classics like Mackerel & Harissa Fennel muffin, try the eclectic Frank's Bar. For the kind of place you can get a cocktail with suave iterations of pastries, try Cote Brasserie or the sumptuous Assembly House (whose pancakes are pictured above). And why not extend Galentine's into the weekend and make a day of it? On Saturdays and Sundays William and Florence on Unthank Road do a bottomless brunch (which includes tea, coffee, cocktails, prosecco, pastries and brunch) for £25. Wahey.
Anita Corbin, Visible Girls Revisited - Norwich Arts Centre
In the early 80's, Anita Corbin photographed pairs of young women defying the mainstream: mods, punks, skinheads, rastas, young lesbians, rockers - a generation of women traditionally overlooked in photography were represented in her series. Now, some 30 years later, some of those women have come forward after seeing the photographs online, and have been photographed again. In Visible Girls Revisited, see these 'then' and 'now' portraits beside one another, as the exhibition travels the country and more women come forward to reclaim their 'visible girl' status. Be part of it, too: On Sunday the 25th and Monday the 26th of February, Anita Corbin and Debbie Willimot will be taking to the streets of Norwich, to photograph and interview pairs of female friends that represent Norwich's culture today.
The exhibition runs from the 7th of February to the 15th of March, at Norwich Arts Centre
On the 13th itself, Cinema City will be showing 'A fantastic woman': Sebastián Lelio's 'deeply intelligent, sexy and tender' film charting the journey of a transwoman dealing with grief, transphobia and cold, humiliating bureaucracy following the death of her lover. You can see the trailer here; it looks like a really gripping watch.
The Playhouse also have two gal-centric events upcoming: Firstly, Germaine Greer will be speaking on the 27th of January at 7.30pm, in her talk 'Women for life on Earth' - an insight into feminist action on behalf of the planet and environmental issues. On the 21st of February, the critically acclaimed 'Manwatching' will be taking to the stage, and an unprepared man (seriously - this guy will never have seen the script before) will be reading aloud from writings by an anonymous woman. This sounds hilarious - find out more here.
Or go out out...
Rubus by Hawthorn
Galentine's day might be a Tuesday, but who cares; it comes but once a year. It's a perfect excuse to have cocktails on a school night. Hawthorn have recently expanded their suave (and immensely popular) upstairs cocktail bar, to incorporate the downstairs level of their leafy corner of St Benedict's Street. Upstairs you'll still find a table-service cocktail bar, serving in-house creations as well as more classic offerings (tables can be reserved if you feel like getting organised); downstairs is relaxed and contemporary, and you'll find draft beer, classic cocktails and wines by the glass.
While you're on St Benedict's, you'll be spoilt for choice about where to go for dinner. Haggle serves beautiful middle-eastern food - and more cocktails - perfect for sharing with a large group of people. There's also delicious small plates and tapas at The Bicycle Shop Cafe (cosy and candlelit, living-room style), contemporary bistro Farmyard, or the clean, modern fine dining experience that is Benedicts (head chef and owner Richard Bainbridge won the Great British Menu in 2015, plus they've JUST been awarded a 3AA Rosette!).
And if Valentine's Day looks kind of uneventful this year...
Our wonderful, romantic friends at Saporita will be throwing open the doors of their beautiful Italian cafe on Wednesday night (14th of February), for a special celebration of being single, delicious food and Aperol. You might lock eyes with someone special over some melted cheese and delicious olives, or you might just choose to just turn off tinder and eat irresponsible amounts of garlic; either way it sounds like the right kind of party, continental style.
COMING TO VISIT?
Greater Anglia has Advance fares from £10 one way between London Liverpool Street and Norwich. Trains run every 30 minutes. Greater Anglia also serves Colchester, Ipswich and Diss on the Norwich line. Direct trains also run from Cambridge.
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