We are coming up to that time again. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for some people, this year is going to be a lot different than the last.
With restaurants closed for the foreseeable future and leaving the house for anything non-essential strictly frowned upon by the powers that be, it’s time to get creative and make the best of an at-home romantic evening.
Personally, I am embracing the lockdown V-day vibes. With the weather all dull, dreary and down-right miserable at the moment, a night in seems perfect.
Choc Affair have a created a unique Chocolate Tasting Experience gift set so that you can discover the unique tastes of the cocoa bean and blends with your significant other. If lockdown has you and your loved one separated, why not send a kit to them and create a remote experience via Facetime or Zoom. You can even send your love a Negroni with sendanegroni.com to complete the experience.
For those with a creative flair, Manchester artist Justin Eagleton is hosting free art classes every Thursday at 7pm throughout lockdown.
If you love an Escape Room, you simply HAVE to try the Escape room in a Box. With this, you can create your very own escape room in the comfort of your living room! Why not surprise your other half and take on the role of host, and have this set up for them for hours of fun. It’s a great one to get the kids involved with too!
Dinner for 2
When it comes to a romantic meal for two, we have all the bases covered. For those with the culinary skills, why not check out our Valentine’s Day recipes, including three courses featuring dishes such as Chocolate Cherry Pavlova, Beetroot stained smoked salmon and a gluten free seafood spaghetti.
For those with a sweet tooth, why not try the Pink Lady® apple and rhubarb tart which uses only 6 ingredients and is light yet flavourful making it the ultimate dessert to follow a filling date night dinner. Replace the egg wash with a vegan milk to make this recipe vegan.
To wow your partner and to create restaurant quality food at home, be sure to visit Plateaway.com, they have a wide range of meal kits from some of the UK’s most popular restaurants. We highly recommend the Shake Shack Shake Burger!
If you’d prefer to sort Valentine’s Day at your local supermarket, Charlie Bigham has a range of ready meals for two which are a huge cut above the standard supermarket quality meals. The Lasagne is a firm favourite of mine, and the Sticky Toffee Pudding is to die for.
For a Mexican themed night, Black Butter have created a unique five-course meal for £70. All the food will be delivered fully prepped, with only simple instructions for re-heating and finishing off cooking. Black Butter have designed the menu to be easily revitalised at home without too much trouble!
For those who are Cheshire based, Ruby’s Biryani Box has created a choice of two special Valentine’s menus featuring either Chicken (£38) or Lamb (£49.99). With free delivery within a 7-mile radius of Wilmslow, you can check out the full menu here.
If cooking together is something you’d enjoy, Wellocks at Home have a virtual masterclass with Michelin Star chef Tim Allen (£70). This includes a stunning box of high-quality, measured ingredients straight to your door for you to create this fine-dining feast, and you’ll be able to work through Tim’s masterclass following the preparation and masterclass videos at your leisure over the experience weekend.
Are the travel restrictions getting you down this year? Why not bring the caribbean to your home with Juici Jerk a London-based Caribbean kitchen and takeaway. Juici Jerk is the first to launch UK-wide deliveries of its home cooking kits offering restaurant-quality ingredients, inspired by a modern fusion of British-West Indian cuisine. Why not try their special three-course valentine’s meal kit including pan fried garlic king prawns, butterfly jerk chicken and a sweet treat box for you both to share.
The Perfect Gift
Now that we have covered the events of the evening, and more importantly (in my eyes anyway) the food, it’s time to think about the perfect gift. After much extensive research, I have handpicked a selection of some of the best gifting options available this Valentine’s Day.
Let’s kick things off with a sweet selection from my favourite bakers, Hey Little Cupcake. They have a range of Valentine’s cakes and treats available online for you to indulge your significant other.
Second up we have a selection of gifts for her. Queenpark Sleepwear are pyjama royalty with their sets being seen on a host of celebs from the Real Housewives of Cheshire to the TOWIE starlets. Cosy, soft and sexy, I own a few sets myself and I absolutely adore them.
If you’d like to entice your partner to share a romantic bath, Nereus, a luxury london brand have created a range of eco-friendly unisex products. For a fresh, spicy aroma for an uplifting, revitalising experience I would recommend the Premium Natural Shampoo & Conditioner set.
After a relaxing bubble bath, what better way to excite the senses with the Synerva CBD massage oil (£29.95). This massage oil is made with Ylang Ylang and Rose and has been carefully crafted for skin nourishment creating the right environment for a sensual encounter. The CBD in this massage oil acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-intoxicant for the skin, bringing extra benefit to your massage. It also contains the benefits of reducing muscle pain and relaxing the mind which is essential for a sensual massage experience.
When it comes to gifts for him, I would recommend The Salford Rum Dark Spice Gift Pack. This includes a 20cl bottle of Salford Dark Spice Rum alongside a Salford Rum Black Map Print Enamel Mug. It’s all packaged in a stunning gift box, making it the ideal Valentine’s gift for any rum lover. To see more Manchester themed gifts, be sure to check out uniquelymanchester.co.uk who have a wide range of gifts available from homeware to clothing and artwork, all from local suppliers.
For a practical and eco friendly gift, the SHO reusable water bottles come in a range of funky patterns and keep hot water hot, and cold water cold! Perfect for both hot coffee and a cool cordial (although not at the same time)
Let’s not forget the all important Valentine’s Day card. I recently found a selection of unique handmade cards from HPA Designs. Each card is made using only recycled materials and each are laser engraved by hand.