Great Food Club’s guide to pleasing your lover

Valentine’s Day is looming. Whether you spend it at home relaxing with cheese on toast and a cuppa, or drinking fine wines over a seven-course tasting menu, the important thing is this: enjoy yourself. If you have a lover – celebrate your relationship. If you’re single – celebrate too. Don’t settle for second best: there’s more to ‘V’ Day than supermarket chocolates. Here is a selection of brilliant ideas on how to celebrate February 14th (and beyond) in style. All the people and things in this feature are recommended by GFC…


EXPERIENCES

Be charmed by The George of Stamford
The Garden Room at the historic George Hotel of Stamford is known for its extensive menu, currently featuring ‘A Butcher’s Block’ – delicious British meat at its glorious best. Team great food with a fabulous setting, excellent wines, and a warm and welcoming ambience, and you’ve got a wonderful Valentine’s Day! The George is offering all GFC members the opportunity to complete the evening with a night in one of its sumptuous rooms, with full English breakfast, newspaper and morning tea brought to your bedroom, from £120 per room, inclusive of VAT. Total relaxation and no need to drive! Book on 01780 750750.

Cosy up at The Geese & Fountain
You can’t beat a cosy rural inn and The Geese & Fountain in Croxton Kerrial, Leicestershire, is just that. It’s serving a Valentine’s dinner menu from Wednesday Feb 14 to Saturday 17 (ideal if you can’t get a babysitter on the big night). The menu is £28.50 per person (10% off for GFC members on the Thursday). The pub, which has rooms, is also offering special dinner, bed and breakfast offers on all four nights, to include home-made chocolates and organic sparkling wine or Champagne. More details here.

Spend a Dapper evening in Northampton
The excellent Dapper Sandwich Company in Northampton is hosting a three-course meal with acoustic singer this Valentine’s night. To find out more or book, call 01604 621881 or click here.

Treble-date at home with Stanley Street Eats
Why not have a double, treble or quadruple date at home this year? Forget about cooking yourself and let Northamptonshire’s Stanley Street Eats do it for you. Stanley & Paula – who have just won a well-deserved Eat Out Eat Well award – are superb caterers, brilliant at creating food from all over the globe. Give them a call to work out how they can cater for your party. More here.

Wow your soulmate at Hart’s
For a classic approach to Valentine’s night, head to Hart’s in Nottingham on February 14. The food and service is always sublime at Hart’s, plus charismatic jazz singer Campbell Bass will be on hand to make your evening even more special. More here. NB: Pic for illustrative purposes.

Get intimate at Kavanagh’s in Oakham
Kavanagh’s Tea Room is set in a charming, ancient building down a little passageway near Oakham church. It becomes a magical and intimate candlelit bistro on Friday and Saturday evenings, and will be taking on its night-time persona this Valentine’s night. Book on 01572 868570 or 07427 936763.

Share lobster at The Fish And The Chip
Imagine your eyes meeting over a whole lobster, jerk fish and chips, or a triple-layer fish finger sandwich. The Fish And The Chip in Leicester is bright, fun and serves great cocktails. It has a superb vegan menu, too. Perfect for a relaxed Valentine’s treat. Check out their website here.

Say “I love you” with a Birmingham balti
A classic balti on Valentine’s Day? Sounds like a great idea to us. So, where to go? Al Frash in the heart of Birmingham’s Balti Triangle. Al Frash serves one of the tastiest curries in town, and chef Azam and his team cook food that is authentic and fresh, with lovely clean flavours.

Discover the romance of sausage-making!
There’s no one quite like Nottingham’s Johnny Pusztai. His sausages are legendary, his butchery skills extraordinary. He’s also offering something unique for Valentine’s Day – gift vouchers for either “A Day with the Butcher” or “Sausage Night”. Sounds romantic to us! Call either 07740 378 987 or 0115 960 5901, or email johnny@johnnypusztai.com.


MAIL ORDER PRESSIES

Mail your true love a Gin Martini
Thanks to Burleighs Gin, now you can mail your lover a Lychee and Rose Martini and have it delivered to your door! Place the Martini pouch in your freezer until chilled and serve. Voila, the perfect Martini. Order (and watch a video) here.

Enjoy sexy sobriety with Teetotal G’n’T
Celebrate Valentine’s Day in style with Teetotal G’n’T – it has all the flavour of gin and tonic but zero alcohol. It’s perfect if you’re pregnant or not drinking – a thoughtful way of showing your love and enjoying a thoroughly inclusive celebration. Order here.

Share great chocolate in bed
Seed and Bean produces bold, unusually flavoured, high quality chocolate that is also organic, Fairtrade and ethically produced. Perfect, then, for a Valentine’s gift. And you can get 20% off using the code Valentine18 here.

Use a pie as Cupid’s arrow
Nothing says “I love you” like a perfectly crafted pie from Bray’s Cottage. Now you can send one to your dearest by post. Get 10% off with the code GFCVal here.

Savour the best with Under Fine Wraps
Every product in every hamper from Rutland-based Under Fine Wraps has been tasted and approved. It has to be excellent – usually award-winning. If a product is not up to scratch, or if a better alternative comes along, it does not make it in. No surprises then that Under Fine Wraps Valentine’s hampers make excellent gifts. Order here.

 

Quaff a little vodka & strawberry
A wee dram of Sloeberry Sprits of Melton Mowbray’s Strawberry Vodka is just the thing to enjoy in front of the fire on Valentine’s night. Get 15% off until Feb 17th by entering the code Valentine15 here.

Discover great places together
Use the Great Food Club Handbook to explore and discover great food with your other half! It has 132-pages and features over 500 hidden gems across the UK. You can have it delivered – with a gift message – for just £5.95. Order here.

Celebrate with Mum’s Back
This is the perfect gift for anyone enjoying her first Valentine’s Day as a mum. There are various options, including The Boozy One – Rioja, Prosecco, cheese, chutney, biscuits and paté designed to celebrate the end mum’s abstinence in style! Order here.


Every business featured in this post is part of GFC’s recommended network. They are recommended on merit – you cannot pay to be recommended by GFC. However, this is a promoted feature and therefore contains advertisements.

Matt Wright
The author:

Matt lives in Leicestershire with his wife, two kids and dog. He is passionate about British pubs, slow food and home brewing. He founded Great Food Club (originally as Great Food Magazine) in 2010 after being inspired by local producers near his home town of Melton Mowbray - Britain's 'Rural Capital of Food'.