Romantic date ideas for Valentine’s Day. We’ve got your date night sorted with fabulous ideas such as romantic restaurants, punting, stargazing, brunch and mini breaks.
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?
Peterborough Cathedral by Candlelight
If you or are your partner are passionate about photography, spend an evening at Peterborough Cathedral and capture the building in beautiful atmospheric evening and candle light. The grand stature of this cathedral offers a romantic setting alone.
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 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.
It’s no secret East Anglia is known for its big skies, and what better to dial up the romance than with an evening stargazing? At Dunstable Downs discover the wonders of the universe from the hill tops. North Norfolk particularly Wiveton Downs and Kelling Heath are known for spotting the Northern Lights, thanks to the low light pollution. Suffolk’s Constable Country is also a top contender for catching a carpet of stars. To learn more about the night’s sky and the best stargazing locations visit Dark Sky Discovery.
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 beautifully presented to look like a work of art. Make a reservation at 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 punting experience by Scudamores. The company are able to assist in helping you plan the perfect proposal with strawberries and Champagne too!
Culture in Colchester
Art lovers and history buffs should take a trip to Colchester on Valentine’s Day. The town is steeped in heritage and its links to the Romans and Normans are still visible today. Stop by St John’s Abbey, wander the cobbled street and warm up at a coffee shop. Visit the museum and learn more about the town’s long history. There are also beautiful walks and cosy country pubs in near by Dedham. Plan your day out in Colchester.
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. Read our review here. In Essex, Greenwoods Hotel and Spa offers a choice of relaxing spa days to suit all budgets.
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 Suffolk Secrets. There’s no shortage of romantic hotels; the Ickworth Hotel, Swan at Southwold and Bildeston Crown are all stylish options.
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!
Can’t make a date night? Enjoy the romance over a stack of pancakes or avocado on toast. Cute and cosy brunch locations are popping up across the region. From rustic country cafes, shacks with sea views and chic city brasseries, there’s plenty too choose from. Our editor’s top picks are The Bicycle Shop Cafe in Norwich, Espresso Library in Cambridge and The Provenance Kitchen in Whittlesford.
Fish and Chips on the beach
Don’t underestimate the simplicity of this date. Picture the scene; a picnic blanket, fresh, tasty fish and chips, Champagne in paper cups and a sunset. Let nature be your backdrop for this beach date. A few favourite locations are Holme Dunes; here the sunset is stunning and you can pick up your dinner from Eric’s Fish & Chips in Thornham. The Aldeburgh Fish and Chip Shop has been serving residents and tourists for over 50 years. Grab your takeaway and find a spot on the pebbles and watch the waves crash.
Visit the zoo
A great first date, the zoo is a good way to get to know each other. There’s plenty to see and talk about, so you’ll be able to avoid those awkward silences. There are surprisingly a lot of options in the East; Colchester Zoo in Essex, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire, Woburn Safari Park, Amazona Zoo in Cromer, Norfolk, Africa Alive in Suffolk and Linton Zoo near Cambridge.
Go wild with an adventurous date. Swing from the tree tops at Go Ape (located at Thetford Forest and Woburn) or try your hand at clay shooting, there are a number of locations across the East. Hire a kayak or paddleboard and brave the cold waters of the River Cam. If you don’t want to risk getting wet, opt for a cycling tour around the city instead.