Ten things to do this Valentine's Day
Dracula and his bride will be inviting brave lovebirds to join them for a special tour of Nottingham Castle’s labyrinth of caves this Valentine’s Day.
The couple will lead the creepy tour through the underground tunnels on February 14 for a Valentine’s date with a difference. Guests can get into the spirit of the event by wearing fancy dress and tickets cost £15, which includes nibbles and a drink.
If you have your heart set on a traditional romantic stroll, there are plenty of options in the area, said Erin Huckle, a spokesperson for Experience Nottinghamshire.
She said: “These crisp winter days are perfect for a winter walk with your loved one. Take a romantic stroll along the river at Newark, and marvel at the ruined castle.
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“Take the afternoon to hold hands walking around Attenborough Nature Reserve to see what winter fowl you can spot, followed by tea and cake at the Nature Centre cafe. Or enjoy a day out in Southwell, Nottinghamshire’s pretty cathedral town. See the beautiful Minster, wander the historic streets, and finish with a delicious meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes in town.
“For something special, treat your partner to a decadent afternoon tea. Langar Hall, Colwick Hall Hotel, The Lace Market Hotel and The Larder on Goosegate all offer delicious options in a delightful setting. Or venture north to Hodsock Priory, to experience their impressive snowdrops display – 12 acres of snowdrop-covered woodland and five acres of formal gardens, open February 2 until March 3. What’s not to love?”
A romantic meal for two will be a must for many couples this February 14, so here are 10 ideas for dinner dates in Nottinghamshire to whet your appetite:
1) If music is the food of love… head to the Farndon Boathouse where there will be a live performance from Tee Dymond on February 14. The venue is also serving up a four-course candlelit dinner at £40 per person. For those who have perhaps made plans later in the evening, there will be a Valentine's Day Early Bird menu for reservations between 6pm and 7pm, where diners can enjoy three courses for £22.50. For more details, visit www.farndonboathouse.co.uk.
The Farndon Boathouse, The Riverside, Farndon, Newark, Notts, NG24 3SX. T: 01636 676578.
2) As poet Lord Byron's ancestral home, Colwick Hall could be the home of romance itself and is inviting couples to mark Valentine's Day in this special setting with a three-course dinner for two in the Georgetown Restaurant or the 1776 Grand Ballroom. The meal costs £29 per person and includes chocolates. Guests wanting to extend their stay can book a room, three-course dinner and breakfast for £120. For more details, visit www.colwickhallhotel.com or call 0115 950 0566.
Colwick Hall Hotel, Colwick Park, Racecourse Road, Nottingham, NG2 4BH. T: 0115 950 0566.
3) Who wouldn't like to be whisked away to Paris for Valentine's treat? If time or money doesn't allow it this February 14, head for the next best thing and book a table at Nottingham's Petit Paris. The restaurant is known for its authentic French cuisine including classics like coq au vin, moules marinieres and filet mignon, which are sure to make you and your other half feel you're just a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower. The Valentine's menu will be available online soon at www.petitparisrestaurant.co.uk.
Petit Paris, 2 Kings Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2AE. T: 0115 947 3767.
4) Celebrated city restaurant Perkins, which has won the coveted Midlands Restaurant of the Year from Which? twice, could prove to be a winning choice for those hoping to impress their Valentine. The team is currently putting together a special menu for the occasion, which will be available on the website www.perkins-family.co.uk.
Perkins Restaurant, Station Road, Plumtree, Nottingham, NG12 5NA. T: 0115 937 3695.
5) The way to your lover's heart could be via a meal at upmarket city eatery Hart's. The busy restaurant is preparing a Valentine's menu for couples to mark the occasion, with details to be revealed soon. Singer Campbell Bass, who selects tunes from the "Great American Songbook" to pay tribute to greats such as Cole Porter and George Gershwin, adding some soul and R&B classics, will also be performing above the restaurant at Hart's Upstairs. For more details, visit www.hartsnottingham.co.uk or call 0115 988 1900.
Hart's Nottingham, Standard Hill, Park Row, Nottingham, NG1 6GN. T: 0115 988 1900.
6) The Golden Fleece at Upper Broughton is inviting people to treat that special someone to a three-course meal at the countryside retreat. The specially-created menu includes dishes such as beef medallions with chive and horseradish mash or seabass fillets with beetroot and herb risotto and, among the desserts, passion fruit pannacotta is sure to tempt more than a few loved-up diners. The meal costs £35 per person and to book your table call 01664 822 262. Visit www.thegoldenfleecerestaurant.com/UBroughton/ubroughton_home.html to see the full menu and for more information.
The Golden Fleece, Main Road, Upper Broughton, LE14 3BG. T: 01664 822 262.
7) Couples who love their fine food as much as they love each other can head to The Markham Hotel. The Retford venue is offering a romantic Valentine’s dinner with bubbly on February 14, 15 and 16. Details of the menu have yet to be announced but to whet your appetite, guests this month are tucking into local pheasant wrapped in bacon, sirloin steak and haggis fritter and cider-braised belly pork. Guests can also make the most of their historic surroundings and book a stay at the 300-year-old hotel. Visit www.markhamhotel.co.uk for more details.
Markham Hotel & Restaurant, Old Great North Road, Markham Moor, Retford, Notts, DN22 0QU. T: 01777 838 229.
8) Reminisce about those romantic holidays you've shared over an authentic Greek feast at Emilios Restaurant. The eatery is brightening up mid-February with some Mediterranean sunshine and offering a romantic dinner for two, with either two courses or three. Couples could start with a Valentine's Day platter to share, choose from Chicken Breast Eros, Sea Bass Flame and many other classic Greek dishes and end with a sweet treat such as baklava or cheesecake. Two courses will cost £17.50, or it's £19.90 for three. Visit www.emiliosgreekrestaurant.co.uk to see the full menu.
Emilios Greek Restaurant, 8 High Street, Arnold, Nottingham, NG5 7DZ. T: 0115 926 2550.
9) If you're hoping to work up an appetite with a romantic stroll before sitting down to dinner for two, Mr Man's Restaurant should be on your list. Situated on the edge of scenic Woollaton Park, the Malaysian and Chinese eatery will be cooking up a special menu for couples on February 14. For £30 each, diners will be treated to a glass of Champagne followed by "Double Happiness" - a starter of butterfly king prawns and Vietnamese spring rolls to share - then spare ribs and satay chicken. Mains include teriyaki beef, duck curry and seafood, with the choice of a dessert to share. Bookings require a £5 deposit and can be made on 0115 928 7788. Visit www.mrmansrestaurant.co.uk for more information.
Mr Man’s Restaurant, Wollaton Park, Wollaton Road, Wollaton, Nottingham, NG8 2AD. T: 0115 928 7788.
10) Spoil your loved one with a spot of dinner at a luxury country hotel set in nine acres of grounds. Kelham House, near Newark, has put together a "decadent" five-course menu, starting with a glass of fizz and canapes, a three-course dinner followed by drinks and homemade truffles. Main courses include Valentine of lamb and rosemary chicken mousse or monkfish "cuddled" in Serrano ham, and the restaurant team have picked wines and Champagne to complement the food. The menu is £35 per person and will be available on February 14, 15 and 16 between 5.30pm and 9pm. Discounts are also available on overnight stays during the Valentine's period. Call 01636 705266 or visit www.kelhamhouse.co.uk for more details.
Kelham House, Main Street, Kelham, Newark, Nottingham, NG23 5QP. T: 01636 705 266.