It’s the month of romance and if you’re planning to spoil someone special this Valentine’s Day, we’ve got your date night sorted with fabulous ideas for both him and her.
Restaurant with a view
Make your dining experience extra special and book one of the most romantic tables for two in Cambridge at SIX. Part of the Varsity Hotel, you’ll whizz up six floors to the panoramic restaurant which has far reaching views over the city. Start with a cocktail at the bar, before sitting down to a tasty three course meal. Why not make a night of it and book a room at the hotel?www.thevarsityhotel.co.uk/six-panoramic-brasserie
A grand performance
Swoon at Shakespeare’s poetic language in the beautiful surroundings of Peterborough Cathedral as the Gearbox Theatre Company bring one of Shakespeare’s best loved comedies, ‘Twelfth Night’, to life. Tickets are priced £11-£25. If you really want to impress book the ‘Valentine Day Special’ which includes a luxury afternoon tea for two, interval drinks plus the option to renew your vows at Evensong before the show and meet the cast during the interval. The special is priced £85 for two. www.peterborough-cathedral.org.uk
Cocktails in the city
If you want to be among the love birds and find a cosy corner in a cool bar then head to Norwich and hop your way around the city, sipping on fine cocktails. Visit Mr Postles Apothecary on Upper King Street for a 1820s vibe, Hawthorn on St Benedicts Street for an intimate evening and Frank’s Bar on Bedford Street, which is a favourite haunt for locals, known for its atmosphere and live music!
Set sail in Suffolk
Take in Suffolk’s stunning scenery and wildlife from the water aboard the Lady Florence, a river cruise restaurant. Serving brunch (there’s a Champagne option) and a la carte lunch year round, the cruise departs from Orford and sails the Rivers Alde and Ore. There’s a cosy coal fire to keep you warm while you dine. www.lady-florence.co.uk/lady-florence
Fine dining in Woburn
Go all out this Valentine’s Day with an indulgent meal for two at Paris House in Woburn; a Michelin star recommended restaurant set in an 18th century house surrounded by 22 acres of deer park. The drive to the restaurant is enchanting as you meander your way up the path, passing herds of deer to the grand black and white building. Six, eight and 10 course menus are available. Each dish is so beautifully presented it looks like a work of art. For chocolate lovers, book the Chocolate and Petits Fours Masterclass taking place on 17 and 21 February, priced £169 per person, which includes two hours of cooking, canapes, fizz and a five course lunch at the chefs table. www.parishouse.co.uk
Pop the question on a punt
What could be more romantic than a cosy punt for two? Wrap up warm and snuggle under the blanket with a hot water bottle and take in the glorious architecture of Cambridge. Give your loved one a moment to remember with a private punting experience by Scudamores from 13-17 February, priced £100. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic proposal! www.scudamores.com/valentines-punting
Culture in Colchester
Art lovers should take a trip to Colchester Castle on Valentine’s Day for an after-hours exclusive from 5-7pm. Meet with the curators as they explore the magic of Valentine’s and celebrate the history of love. A glass of bubbles is also included! Booking is essential, priced £7.50. cimuseums.org.uk/event/__trashed-5/
A short break in Suffolk
If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Suffolk. By day enjoy peaceful walks in the countryside or indulge in a couples massage at one of the many spas. As night falls, wrap up warm and watch the sunset on the horizon at Southwold with a glass of Champagne before sitting down for dinner and tucking into local produce. For a cosy cottage with a log fire try holiday property companies Suffolk Hideaways or Secret Suffolk. There’s no shortage of romantic hotels; the Ickworth Hotel, Swan at Southwold and Bildeston Crown are all stylish options.
If you and your partner have had a busy day at work, make time on Valentine’s evening to relax with a twilight spa experience. Relax by the pool or in the Jacuzzi, enjoy a steam and sauna and feel the stress of the day melt away. Aqua Sana Spa at Elveden Forest offers a twilight escape for two including a treatment from £69 per person. In Essex, Greenwoods Hotel and Spa offers a twilight afternoon from 2pm until 9pm, featuring full use of the facilities and afternoon tea served until 6pm, priced £99 for two. Read our review here.
Want to make valentine’s Day extra sweet? Surprise your loved one by picking up some handmade tasty treats at one of the region’s bakeries. The Pudding Stop in St Albans is a sweet tooth’s paradise with its sticky sponges, crumbles, ice cream and sundaes – you can also order online! A favourite among Suffolk residents is Two Magpies Bakery in Southwold and Aldeburgh and Pump Street Bakery in Orford, which has ones of the most instagrammed walls in the county! There’s no denying that Fitzbillies in Cambridge serve up the best sticky Chelsea buns around, while independent artisan baker Bread Source in Norwich and Aylsham is fast becoming Norfolk’s go to for mouth-wateringly good pastries – try one of their bread making workshops!