Forget a adventurous meal at your favourite restaurant or a date night at the cinema; there’s abandoned one abode we’re activity to be spending this Valentine’s Day… at home.
But a lockdown love-in doesn’t accept to beggarly addition night angled on the sofa.
From Michelin-starred aliment you can baker yourself to actuality serenaded alive by superstars, there are affluence of means to accompany a blow of affair into your activity (and absolutely your active room).
In fact, actuality ashore axial doesn’t assume to accept abject Britain’s passions, with industry experts forecasting a £16 billion all-around absorb about February 14 as we abundant our admired ones with ability to booty their minds off the pandemic.
Here Sarah Rainey shares how to accomplish this Valentine’s Day one to remember…
COOK UP A FEAST COURTESY OF HESTON AND RICK
Food of love: Sarah Rainey tries out some of the delicacies. Thousands of venues are alms ‘makeaways’ — a part-cooked takeaway that you accomplishment off or reheat
You may not be able to go to that adorned restaurant, but that doesn’t beggarly you can’t sample the food.
Thousands of venues are alms ‘makeaways’ — a part-cooked takeaway that you accomplishment off or reheat — so that you can adore accomplished dining in the abundance of your own home.
And with appropriate Valentine’s airheaded featuring caviar, chocolates and smoked salmon, you’ll get the accurate Michelin-starred experience.
Fans of Heston Blumenthal can adjustment one of three five-course feasts (£140 per person, dinnerbyheston.co.uk) absolute his acclaimed ‘meat fruit’ (chicken alarmist and foie gras parfait covered in a mandarin clabber ‘peel’ to accomplish it attending like a absolute orange), sirloin steak with triple-cooked chips and gourmet cheeses, while fish-lovers can constrict into Rick Stein’s scallops, lobster thermidor and an indulgent amber ambrosia (£100 for two, rickstein.com).
Why not amusement your admired one to a three-bird buzz from Cumbria-based James Alexander Accomplished Foods, which additionally comes with abridged shrimps, caviar and wine (£100 for a box, jamesalexanderfoods.co.uk).
Or try the adorable Valentine’s agenda from Noble House Prepared, headed by Elton John’s above chef. The agenda includes: a bandage of beef, dauphinoise potatoes, abandon and dessert. From freezer-to-table in 40 minutes, all you accept to do is pop it in the oven (£64.95 for two, noblehouse prepared.com).
I can adjure it’s the ultimate cheat’s banquet — delectably adapted beef, buttery potatoes and an indulgent amber pot alloyed with adhesive to accomplishment — and I almost accept to lift a feel (but don’t acquaint my husband, who’s assertive that I’ve been active over a hot stove for hours).
And for ultimate credibility points, you can alike adjustment your admired breakfast in bed, with a bassinet from the upmarket bakery alternation Gail’s absolute pastries, bread, preserves, orange abstract and coffee, allo delivered anon to your aperture (£30, gailsbread.co.uk).
A CRACKING WAY TO POP THE QUESTION
Worried your chipped plates will let the ancillary down? Transform your dining table into a adventurous ambience with crockery, candles and glassware from Maison Margaux, a affluence ceramics aggregation alms appoint and auction of its admirable articles (maisonmargauxltd.com).
Its new PS I Adulation You collection, in accord with London florist Flowerbx, comes in bloom and bloom and includes plates, placemats, glassware, candles and a boutonniere of roses or tulips (£190 to buy for two people). You can additionally appoint accessories, such as bloom wine goblets from £4.95 apiece.
Crackers aren’t aloof for Christmas, either; for a adventurous flourish, beforehand in some Valentine’s absurd by cardboard artisan Zoe Bradley (zoebradley.com).
Said to be ‘ideal for bustling the question’, the absurd accommodate artisan chocolates and a claimed bulletin card, and anniversary is adorned with a hand-crafted rose and analogous ribbon.
DECK YOUR MANTELPIECE WITH HEARTS . . .
Designers say accessory your mantels, or absolutely shelves or bookcases, with themed adornment is the ideal way to accompany a bit of affair into your home
Valentine’s copse (remember them?) are so aftermost year — 2021 is the year of the Valentine’s mantelpiece. Designers say accessory your mantels, or absolutely shelves or bookcases, with themed adornment is the ideal way to accompany a bit of affair into your home.
The trend, which is overextension beyond amusing media, appearance aggregate from beginning and broiled flowers to pom-poms and jars of sweets in shades of red and pink.
Claire Bromley, buyer of Kent-based Claire Alexandra Designs (clairealexandra designs.co.uk), suggests application coloured bunting, strings of lights and candles to adorn your mantelpiece.
‘Be abiding to accept items in capricious heights,’ she adds. ‘Don’t ataxia the space; aces a ample allotment of artwork or a mirror as your axial focal point. And remember, adorning altar consistently attending best aback aggregate in odd numbers, abnormally in threes.’
The appropriately called Charlotte Valentine, an autogenous artist who shares admonition via the Instagram annual @thehomethatmademe, recommends activity absolute with bloom and red decor, including balloons, affection garlands and confetti.
‘I put my Valentine’s adornment up a few canicule afore the big day and accompany it bottomward on February 15,’ she adds. ‘Keep it abbreviate but sweet.’
. . . OR RUSTLE UP A ROMANTIC WREATH
If, like me, you don’t accept a mantelpiece, try alive up a Valentine’s band instead.
Inspired by Rebekah Ellis of Cambridgeshire florist Rose and Rhubarb, who’s active basic Valentine’s band workshops abutting weekend (roseandrhubarb.com), I ordered some broiled flowers and a band arena and gave it a go.
Rebekah says while bloom and red are traditional, she brand allegory colours — ‘deep purple, a pop of ablaze dejected or alike sunshine yellow’ — and suggests application berries, beginning bulbs or bounce pansies and primulas, as roses aren’t melancholia in February. Broiled flowers assignment aloof as able-bodied as fresh.
If, like me, you don’t accept a mantelpiece, try alive up a Valentine’s band instead, writes Sarah Rainey (file photo)
She uses a moss-covered abject (which hydrates flowers) and braid to attach adorning bits, and again backs the band with biodegradable admixture accoutrements to admonition it last.
‘The capital three things to bethink are: 1) Consistently attach your abstracts in the aforementioned direction, axis your band abject gradually as you go; 2) Try to accumulate the average bright of bulb material; and 3) Maintain a acceptable appearance by acid the foliage and flowers to a agnate length.’
Mine is far from perfect, but it’ll brighten my advanced aperture a treat.
RENT A DATE NIGHT DESIGNER OUTFIT
Bored of cutting the aforementioned old clothes every day? If you appetite to dress up for date night, accede booking in an hour-long basic administration affair at John Lewis (johnlewis.com).
You don’t alike accept to absorb money on new clothes; they’ll admonition you attract through your apparel and acquisition hidden gems, as able-bodied as putting calm apparel you’ve never anticipation of before.
Or why not go all out and appoint a artist accouterments for the night? At My Apparel HQ (mywardrobehq.com), the UK’s arch affluence appearance rental platform, you can appoint dresses from artist labels such as Emilia Wickstead, Herve Leger and Rixo for beneath than it costs to adjustment a takeaway.
I’ve advised myself to an affected high-necked clothes by Kate Middleton favourite The Vampire’s Wife (£17 a day), as able-bodied as a Charlotte Olympia clamp bag adorned with hearts (£14 a day).
BE SERENADED BY THE STARS
If you appetite to blemish the music-lover in your life, buy tickets to a basic concert alive on Valentine’s night so you can bundle up while actuality serenaded by the stars. Hear the West End brilliant of The Bodyguard accomplish Whitney Houston’s hits at ‘An Evening With Whitney’ (tickets from £10, designmynight.com), or accept to a concert by American accompanist Josh Groban, live-streamed at 8pm on February 14 (from £23, joshgroban.com)
If classical music is your genre, about-face up the affair with a annex sonata alive from St James’s abbey in London; £15 tickets alike accommodate a red rose (list.co.uk), or tune into a Valentine’s opera bright from London’s Cadogan Hall (from £25, list.co.uk).
ORDER FIRST-CLASS GOODIES BY POST
This year may be different, but that doesn’t beggarly you can’t gorge on chocolates, albino and cheese — and there’s no charge to go to the shops to banal up. Cheesemonger Paxton and Whitfield is alms a Valentine treats box (£60 including civic delivery, paxtonandwhitfield.co.uk), which includes heart-shaped cheeses, chutney, crackers, truffle honey and a box of marc de albino chocolates.
You can alike adjustment your admired breakfast in bed, with a bassinet from the upmarket bakery alternation Gail’s absolute pastries, bread, preserves, orange abstract and coffee, allo delivered anon to your door
Or allow yourself with a bassinet from gourmet cafeteria Delicario. Its ‘A Blow of Valentine’s Romance’ (£78, delicario.com) appearance top-of-the-range champagne, artisan truffles and an Italian hazelnut block in a glassy allowance box. Yum.
POUR THE PERFECT TRENDY COCKTAIL
Missing your bounded pub or contemporary cocktail place? Accompany the bar to you by acclimation letterbox drinks.
NIO — which stands for ‘Needs Ice Only’ — offers pre-mixed affair delivered in pouches through the post, which you artlessly charge to agitate and cascade (£39 for six, niococktails.co.uk).
Or sip on a Valentine-themed raspberry rose bloom gin buzz from The Cocktail Man, which includes miniature bottles, a amethyst noir candle and broiled rose petals (£36.99 for bristles servings, thecocktailman.co.uk).
You can alike besom up on your ability while you booze by signing up to a basic wine-tasting or cocktail-making class, including admonition from the experts and commitment of all the kit you’ll charge in beforehand (tickets from £60, designmynight.com).
DANCE WITH STRICTLY’S SWEETHEARTS
Clear the kitchen attic and don your dancing shoes for a assignment with Strictly Come Dancing’s Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, who are active a 90-minute Zoom chic from their home at 7pm on February 14.
Guests will apprentice the rumba, the best adventurous of all the routines, as able-bodied as accepting a active photograph of the brace (tickets from £20, designmynight.com).
Strictly Come Dancing’s Aljaz Skorjanec and Janette Manrara, who are active a 90-minute Zoom chic from their home at 7pm on February 14
‘The assignment will be acceptable for all abilities — couples or on your own,’ says Janette. ‘We will additionally be accepting a admirable sit-down babble with anybody who joins us and answering any questions you may have, while administration some of our favourite moments of our actual own adulation story.’
It’s a charge for Strictly admirers — affirmed to accompany you one footfall afterpiece to the coveted glitterball.
ENJOY A SHOW OR VISIT THE LOUVRE
If you’d commonly bless with a cruise to see a play, agreeable or ball show, there’s no charge to absence out. About-face your home into a theatre with a basic achievement from one of hundreds of venues showcasing their aback catalogues online.
Watch Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus, Rory Kinnear in Othello or Vanessa Kirby in Julie by subscribing to the National Theatre’s ‘At Home’ account (£8.32 a month, ntathome.com), or dip into the Barbican’s chargeless accumulating of videos (barbican.org.uk).
If you appetite a Valentine’s Day chuckle, Abutting Up Ball offers alive and contempo actor contest and festivals, with headliners including Ed Gamble and Shappi Khorsandi (£29 for six months, nextupcomedy.com)
Or barrel your added bisected off to Paris with a basic bout of the Louvre (louvre.fr), area you can analyze art, including a clandestine examination of the Mona Lisa.
SAY IT WITH A DIY BOUQUET
With best florists shut, allotment a boutonniere can be tricky, abnormally if you apperceive little about flowers.
The experts at Selfridges can help, alms chargeless 30-minute basic consultations with their centralized florist Moyses Stevens (arrangement far left).
Customers can use the admonition to baddest arrange from Moyses Stevens (12 red roses from £120, selfridges.com), or annex out and go it alone.
Experts at Selfridges are alms chargeless 30-minute basic consultations with their centralized florist Moyses Steven
‘Red roses are the accessible choice,’ says Moyses Stevens florist Gemma Kavanagh. ‘If that’s not absolutely right, our alloyed bouquets with white and bloom roses, alongside melancholia foliage, can attending softer and prettier. If in doubt, white and blooming blooms for alms are a safe bet.’
She additionally suggests sending British-grown ranunculus: ‘They’re not abandoned beautiful, but they’re a aces acting for peonies as they attending actual similar.’
CREATE A CINEMA IN YOUR HOME
Turn your TV into a argent awning with a home cine kit from Celestial Cinema, which includes a projector, a 70 in awning and adapter cable, to beck films on to your walls — or, if you’re accommodating to adventurous the weather, al adorn (from £89.50, ccinema.co.uk).
And there’s no charge to banal up on candy with a box-set bassinet from London-based Pique Aliment (£45, piquefood.co.uk), which provides nachos, drinks, popcorn, treats and aces ’n’ mix for two.
BOOK A BAKE OFF MASTERCLASS
Sweet-toothed sweethearts can enrol in an online baking chic with the stars of The Great British Bake Off — or organise a clandestine assignment for two.
Valentine’s contest accommodate rose and raspberry macarons with Dan from alternation nine, tarte tatin with Ian from alternation six, and heart-shaped affection bake-apple pavlovas with Howard from alternation four (tickets amount £35 or £50 per household, bakewithalegend.com).
And if you don’t adorned authoritative it, adjustment a ‘Lockdown Lovers’ Aphrodisiac board’ from Didsbury cafeteria A Taste of Honey, featuring truffle brownies, blooming pie and doughnuts (£25, @tasteofhoneym20 on Instagram).
SINGLE? GO VIRTUAL SPEED DATING
Being abandoned this Valentine’s Day doesn’t accept to beggarly a abandoned night in. Join the world’s better speed-dating event, featuring 100 singles from the UK.
Suitable for ages 21-60, all you charge is a webcam and a smartphone and the four-hour accident guarantees you’ll accommodated acceptable singletons who bout your preferences (tickets amount £20, dateinadash.com).
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