Valentine’s Day is soon approaching…
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and if you’re a last-minute planner like me then I’m sure it hasn’t even crossed your mind yet. I think the majority of us will end leaving everything to the last minute and head to the local supermarket on Valentine’s Day to buy our gifts… but have no fear, Cupid (me) is right here.
Let’s face it, we all know the way to someone’s heart is food. That is why I am taking my new role as Cupid very seriously I have put together the perfect Valentine’s Day guide to offer you some tips that I’m sure will earn you some brownie points:
Sweet tooth? As much as we try to fight it, deep down we all have a sweet tooth and love nothing more than indulging in delights that we know aren’t good for us. So, this year avoid the manic hustle and bustle in the supermarkets and check-out Butterscotch Bakery. The London based bakery offers a range of Valentine’s Day themed cupcakes and brownies that can be personalised and delivered straight to your door. If you’re feeling adventurous try the ‘Love Potion Cupcakes’ that are said to ‘hypnotise your loved one’. These signature cupcakes feature heart pipettes filled with alcohol and are available in a variety of flavours, including my favourite chocolate truffle.
Breakfast: Breakfast in bed is seen as a romantic gesture to do for your loved one, but you just end covered in crumbs and no one wants that! Start Valentine’s Day in the right way and head down to Dishoom for breakfast that’s served until 11.45am, that way you can still have a lay-in and no washing up. Valentine’s Day originated in medieval Gujarat, so Dishoom is the perfect destination for your Valentine’s Day Irani style breakfast. Why not try the Sausage Naan Roll – award winning Shropshire pork sausages warmly spiced with cracked black pepper – now that’s something different from your everyday cereal and toast! Don’t forget to order one of Dishoom’s breakfast cocktails. I would recommend the Bloody Mary made with the firey Mary-mix of tomato juice and vodka.
Lunch: The Alchemist. Fancy trying out the molecular mixology and alchemy of cocktails? How about trying food from a menu that includes everything from Thai, Indian, Cajun to Japanese and American classics? Then book a table at The Alchemist for this year’s Valentine’s Day. You can choose to be romantic and share some of the delicious sharing plates, my personal favourites the mac ‘n’ cheese bites and sweet chilli prawn lollipops. Don’t forget to order a dessert – I would recommend the cinnamon waffle served with vanilla ice cream, absolutely delicious! As it’s a special day don’t forget to take a look at the selection of cocktails that the Alchemist has to offer. The Alchemist has a number of venues including restaurants in: Birmingham, Liverpool, Oxford and in London.
Dinner: Why not celebrate the most romantic night of the year at Hoppers, family-style Sri Lankan restaurant based in London. Enjoy Hoppers ‘pink’ themed Valentine’s Day menu, which is reasonable priced at £35 each. Booking in advance is recommended… no one likes to que! Kick start the evening with a Kassipu Sling – Hoppers specially designed Valentine’s cocktail that’s only available for only one night. For mains there’s the pink Hopper, Dosa with Beetroot chutney, lamb kothu roti and bonemarrow varuval. For dessert, share the heart-shaped ‘Love Cake’ with rose milk.
First Valentines? Stuck for ideas of what to do to celebrate your first Valentine’s Day…Why not make it fun and light hearted? Head down to The Prince – 1 street, 2 bars, music, 4 restaurants and an enclosed woodland pergola garden. You can enjoy a meal from one of the four restaurants: Patty & Bun, MAM, Begging Bowl Canteen and Rabbit – so you can tuck into a bit of everything. Tucked away from sight behind the grand facade of the pub is a hidden heated garden where you can enjoy a cocktail at the bar which is wrapped around a gnarled old willow tree or you can hunt out the hidden tables and private cabins. Awww.
Valentine’s Day date on a budget? Who doesn’t love a good bargain, no matter what day of the year it is? You can enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner for just £15 per couple at Gregg’s – what a great deal! The menu offers a range of starters, mains and desserts that include: steak and blue cheese en croûte; katsu tortilla wrap; seasonal love heart garnished mini doughnuts; smooth Belgian dark chocolate brownie and caramel shortbread. Out of the 1,800 Greggs stores in the U.K only five of its stores are offering this Valentine’s Day dining experience including: 312 Clapham Road, London; 15a City Tower, Manchester; 172 Argyle Street, Glasgow; 73-75 Grainger Street, Newcastle and 34 Queen street, Cardiff.