We’ve survived January – hooray! Which, for all the star-crossed lovers out there, means Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. You’ve probably been spending, quite frankly, a bit too much time in each other’s company recently. Every. Waking. Hour. But hey-ho you’re in it together and that’s definitely worth celebrating! Lockdown might have put a dampener on the fancy restaurant plans but fear not, we’ve mapped out the perfect Valentine’s day…
Sunday 14th February
A lovely, lazy morning is in order. If you’d really planned ahead that sourdough starter would be back up and running, but alas…Instead, cook up a feast! We’re talking fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon, flaky golden croissants. Fill your boots. For extra brownie points – bring them a cuppa in bed. Works wonders, every time.
The perfect pancake recipe
135g plain flour | 1 tsp baking powder | ½ tsp salt | 2 tbsp caster sugar
130ml milk | 1 large egg, beaten | 2 tbsp melted butter
Whisk all your ingredients together until there are no lumps. Heat your pan and add a knob of butter. Dollop out a big spoonful of batter and wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then flip. When both sides are golden brown – voilà, you have the perfect pancake!
They see me strollin’
Roll out the door and go for a meandering stroll. It’ll be chilly out there so don’t forget to layer up in one of our toasty knits. Whether clomping through muddy fields or wandering along the Thames, nothing ruins a walk quite like chattering teeth and bloodless toes.
Clink, Clink, Clink
Before you know it, early evening has set in and with it the fresh, zesty notes of a gin & tonic. But we’re not talking a Sainsbury’s situation. Why not treat yourselves to a Craft Gin hamper. Four different types of gin, three different tonic waters and a load of garnishes – things are about to get merry.
If beer is your tipple of choice Cotswold Brew’s mini kegs are fantastic. Fitted with its own tap handle, close your eyes and you could be back at your local (minus the sticky floor). You’ll have to dress for the occasion of course, so reach for an oxford shirt and chinos.
Food, Glorious Food!
Right, let’s talk food. If you’re feeling crafty channel your inner Ottolenghi. Or save yourself a bit of hassle and order a meal kit. Whip up mouth meltingly good pizzas from Dough Re-Me or go full steam with FishWorks oyster and wine experience. For a truly indulgent meal, you can’t beat Rick Stein’s menu box - fresh Cornish seafood straight to your door. We’ve got our eye on the lobster.
Pudding is an absolute must and who better to turn to than chef wonder woman Alexandra Dudley. Blood oranges, whipped chocolate ganache, cream and sesame brittle sound like a delicious combination? Well, she kindly shared a recipe. You’ll need:
70g butter | 120g golden caster sugar | 4tbsp honey | 200g sesame seeds
200g dark chocolate | 150ml boiling water | 250ml double cream
A splash or amaretto or Cointreau | 2 blood oranges
And for the post-dinner entertainment?
Uno! Backgammon! Golden oldies. If you don’t want the evening to get competitive, snuggle down to a Netflix romcom. About Time, The Notebook and Hitch are on our list.
Flowers. Don’t forget flowers! Make sure to order ahead of time and, if possible, keep it local. If you’re in the SW area, Blume Studio source the freshest possible flowers from New Covent Garden Market every morning. Their beautiful bouquets are guaranteed to put a smile on your partner’s face.
When it comes to cards, Annie Dornan Smith and Katie Leamon will do the hard work for you. Just try and avoid writing ‘Roses are red…’ this year perhaps?
Sending Love From Afar
And for those of you who can’t be together this Valentine’s Day, treat them to a B&B delivery! From smile-worthy boxers to brilliant Bretons, head on over and find them something they’ll truly love.