Garage Flowers? NO! A takeaway? NO! Cupid may only have to draw his bow, but you may have to give it just slightly more attention. A bit of thought now and everything will be coming up roses. 'I love you' stamped on the morning toast, sandwiches, cake and a hotel tea, a spa afternoon, chocolate tasting, or maybe just take time for two with an Indytute gift experience.
Check out : Melissa’s new book 'Eat Happy: 30 minute feel good food'
I won't hold my breath for a sunny Valentines so my dream romantic date would be a crispy, windswept Heathcliff-esque walk in Epping Forest with my man and my staffy Nelly who we kiss more than each other! Fun fact - Epping Forest is London's largest open space and you can get completely lost in it. I'd take a flask of homemade Mexican hot chocolate and find a glorious old pub with an open fire to stop in at.
There is nothing more romantic than a hand-written love letter - write one to your beloved and pop it in the post so it arrives on Valentine's day. While you're at it, why not also write a love letter to YOURSELF - we are all about hijacking Valentine's Day and making it all about self love! On Valentine's Day itself head to the Love Lock fence in Shoreditch. First get crafty with a bottle of nail varnish, glitter and the padlock - so yours stands out from the crowd! Arrange to meet at Shoreditch High St station, have it ready as a surprise, and then add your padlock to the fence together. Of course, the lock of love could symbolise self love too.
photo credit: Atlasobscura.com
This might be the moment, to forgo any idea of a sharing plate (yes I know it's Valentine's) and visit some of the most romantic dining rooms in London. Think The Ritz, The Cafe Royal, The Gilbert Scott at the St Pancras Hotel (with a pianist to boot), Rules, The Criterion - these rooms give you an opportunity to look gorgeous and relish things from days gone by - a white tablecloth (what happened to them?), glasses that sparkle, and lighting that takes off at least ten years. Going grown-up is terribly romantic…..
Image: St. Pancras hotel
My wife has recently turned vegan, so we have a vegan cookery class together booked in with Genius Social. Then we are off to Madisons for a glass of champagne (or three) as this is where we did most of our wedding pre-game planning! Then dinner at the Electric Diner, followed by a film next door at the Electric Cinema, finishing off with a Gin Odyssey at Mr Fogg’s Gin Parlour.
Image: Mr Fogg's Gin Parlour
Romance for me is walking around Fortnum and Mason, looking at beautiful biscuit tins and buying individual chocolates. I normally do this by myself but it still feels pretty romantic in there… oh and I know a really good story about someone who went shopping there and ended up marrying the man selling the chocolates. A COCOA ROMANCE! Check out Marawa's latest Indytute blog post.
Take a look at our top Valentine's Gift ideas
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