After being together for 11 years and married for 6 we don’t really need to celebrate Valentine’s Day however that does not stop me insisting we have to make a token gesture on the day. Previous years we’ve dined on oysters at River Cottage (ok I lie, Hubs downed oysters while I downed the Camel Valley Brut) and gone Michelin starred at Northcote but we haven’t really gone out of the way to celebrate it. It just so happens Valentine’s Day falls in half term which makes mini breaks easier for me.
The most memorable Valentines has to be a few years ago. We were students at the time and went to Wales for a family party and stay overnight. We checked in to a faded, chinzy B&B where the owner gave us that kind of look of disgust because we weren’t married. After smartening up for dinner we headed down to the dining room that looked like it hadn’t been decorated since the 1970s. I was half expecting to be served up Duck a l’orange and Arctic Roll.
As we sat down to peruse the menu a spotty waiter asked if we had booked a table. We hadn’t. Unbeknown to us when we booked the room we had to also book a table in the restaurant. We were quickly shuffled out and told there were no tables left. Looking at the miserable diners I think we had a lucky escape.
After being turned away from all the other pubs and restaurants in the village we had us only one option: The BP garage opposite the B&B. Garages are hardly renowned for their large selection of fine fayre. After much deliberation we settled on Dairylea Dippers (starter), cold Ginsters pasty (Main), Lunchable (cheeseboard) and Cadbury Flake Twin Pot (dessert) along with a screw-top bottle of wine that we served in the retro glass cups from the tea tray. Who said we don’t have a bit of class? It was hardly refined, but certainly memorable.
This year we’ve pushed the boat out. Maximum budget is £1 and this doesn’t have to include a card. If you do buy a card it has to be the worst one you can find. Surprisingly it’s easier to find a naff card than a classy and affordable one. I’ve got Hubs a selection of sweets from Asda, you know the 3 for a £1 type.
So come on, confession time. How are you celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? What’s your most memorable Valentine’s experience? Can you beat the gourmet Dairylea Dunkers & Ginsters.