News & views | Why Valentine’s Day can be more romantic in lockdown

News & views

Why Valentine’s Day can be more romantic in lockdown

I’ve never understood why people want to go out for dinner on Valentine’s Day. Why would you fancy sitting in a restaurant with dozens of other people, paying over the odds for an often indifferent meal and a glass of overpriced champagne? The only argument in favour is that you don’t have to make it yourself.

Well this year you don’t even have the choice. To me that's one of the few bonuses of lockdown not least because you can order in restaurant quality, often Michelin-starred meals rather than getting hot and flustered in the kitchen (an equally unattractive option)

Looking through my inbox I can see that Skye Gyngell’s Spring is doing a breakfast in bed box and Richard Corrigan’s Bentley’s a champagne and oyster box (via Restokit which has a number of other options as does Dishpatch though you’ll need to get in quick as many have sold out of their allocation.

Admittedly some of the offerings are more expensive than they would be were it not Valentine's weekend but you don’t have to go for the full monty. Call in a selection of seafood or sushi. (Wright Brothers is good for the former), order some truffles (Wiltshire Truffles has a tempting selection) or commandeer a cheese selection including a heart-shaped Coeur de Neufchâtel from Paxton & Whitfield or Pong: splurge the money you’re not spending on going out on spoiling yourself and your loved one as we must all call our partners these days. I’ve been reallocating the money I would have spent on taxis on a fortnightly flower subscription box and it’s the best thing I’ve done for myself during lockdown.

With no pesky mark-ups you can also afford to open a really good bottle. My choice would be a lush white burgundy or pinot noir which you can buy for the same price as a big name champagne but if you feel V-Day is not V-Day without bubbles there are plenty on offer. Taittinger, for £28 at Waitrose currently, for one.

I appreciate this stay-at-home scenario is not so great for parents already ground down by home schooling and the industrial-scale catering involved in having teenagers at home but just having a meal THAT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE COOKED and is not pizza could make you feel pampered.

And if you’re on your own for Valentine’s Day? Honestly it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a Sunday. Pour yourself a G & T and binge-watch Bridgerton. Or treat yourself to a proper Sunday roast.

The following day is February 15th, we'll be over half way through the month and it’s getting lighter by the day …

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