Valentines – all loved up
You’ll be hard pushed to miss the fact that it is Valentine’s Day on Thursday. Everywhere you look there are red hearts and special Valentines promotions – my inbox has been inundated with various offers.
If you were planning to go out for a meal, I would urge you to book your table. Restaurants will usually have a special menu for Valentine’s Day – often more expensive than normal to help compensate for the fact they will only have tables for two booked, so can’t serve as many covers as normal.
The newly refurbished and renamed Bingham Riverhouse is offering a nine-course Valentine’s sharing menu at £145 a couple. The place has a more relaxed feel now, with an atmosphere more akin to that of a private member’s club. If their dinner is above your budget, you could always take your loved one there for a cocktail in the bar and check out the refurbished interior.
Twickenham’s M Bar & Grill is offering a five-course tasting menu with a glass of ’bubbles’ for £45 a head. One of my favourite local restaurants is La Buvette in Richmond, which offers a great value three-course meal for £20 as well as a full a la carte. You could share a romantic cheese fondue (outside in the courtyard; cushions and blankets provided!) We were very sad to read that it will be closing in August when the lease expires, but hopefully, Bruce and his team will be relocating to somewhere else locally.
Maybe you are planning to go for a romantic drink – many local pubs have a good fire to sit beside while enjoying your drink. However, looking out of the window at the appalling weather today as I write this, the idea of a cosy evening at home appeals to me! And of course, most of our supermarkets are offering a special Valentine’s meal deal (£20 seems to be the going rate this year in Sainsbury, Tesco Waitrose, and Marks & Spencer, but Asda is only £15) it usually includes a bottle of fizz and sometimes chocolates too.
Here’s a rather nice Valentine’s cocktail recipe
50 ml Pinkster Gin
10 ml Elderflower Cordial
Fill shaker with ice, throw in several raspberries and then add five parts Pinkster to one part cordial.
Shake and pour into an ice-cold glass.
Garnish with a raspberry and a sprig of mint.
And keeping it to the simplest of ideas here’s one from Bonne Maman that will be a fun one for the whole family at breakfast or tea time next Thursday. Or, if this weather continues, you might like to serve a heart-shaped dollop of strawberry or raspberry conserve on top of a bowl of piping hot porridge!