5 things to do in February

With a collective sigh of relief (and no doubt the gleeful squeak-sqeak-plunk of corks being plucked from bottles) we’re pleased to report that January has had it. Gone. Done and dusted. Welcome, then, to February. Yes, it’s still rather dark, cold and gloomy, but nevertheless we’re fans: We like its pleasingly precise four-week time span, the metaphorical gurgling of rivers opening up for the season – even the way one has, whatever one’s age, silently to mouth ‘Feb-ru–ary’ just to get the spelling right. Watch the 6 Nations At home or swaddled in the warm fug of a favourite pub – or even perched out in the cold and the rain to see the action live, the tension and intensity of ancient rivalries makes this one of the world’s finest sporting tournaments. See St Valentine’s Day set fair Far be it from us to try to predict the shifting sands, hidden reefs, on-shore winds and mysterious tides one must navigate to get this right. However, it seems unlikely that dinner cooked by three-Michelin-starred Anne-Sophie Pic at La Dame de Pic can be a bad heading to follow. Failing that, the superb wine list at the ever-reliable Andrew Edmunds should see one home and dry. Let the Orchid Festival warm your spirits Whether this relentless cold affects one’s mood or whether – as we frequently suspect – the climate is in fact a result of one’s mood, a few hours somewhere more exotic such as the Orchid Festival at Kew will hold the blues as bay. Pop by the Picasso Portraits Whatever one knows or thinks about the artist, when works on loan from around the world by a painter of Picasso’s stature are hanging on the wall nearby at the National Portrait Gallery, we believe it’s well worth a look. The exhibition closes on the 5th of February, so it’s very much a last-chance-to-see scenario. Look back over 70 years of Ferrari road cars Not everyone would classify the London Classic Car Show as ‘culture’. However, there is surely a beauty inherent in a Ferrari 250 California, Dino or 250 GTO that elevates it above mere engineering. You can find them all – amongst many others – at ExCeL from the 23rd to the 26th of February.