So, back to the matter in hand. Valentine's Day. A day of love, romance, lots of cards, presents, dinner, fine wine and the like. If you've let matters slide, here's a positive plethora of ideas for you to plan a memorable evening. Me, I'll be tucked up on the couch with The Hubs, the fluffy dog known as Sandie and a bottle of fizz. After dispatching pressies and cards to The Mammies, of course...
Image courtesy of Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa
The Sweetest Thing
Cate McCarthy from The Cookie Jar in Co. Tipperary makes some of the most delicious baked treats I've ever tasted. Her Raspberry Streusel is a thing of wonder and she creates individually selected gift hampers and boxes full of cookies and cake - perfect for the love of your life
Melt My Heart
At Cafe Novo in Dublin's Westbury Hotel, romantics can melt their lover’s heart by ordering the ‘Melt My Heart’ menu, which features a baked heart shaped Neufchâtel cheese, served with a fig balsamic compote and toasted sourdough bread. Couples can also choose a glass of wine from a choice of white or red wines they’re sure to love - Muscadet de Sevre (Loire Valley) or Les Crouzs Vielles (Rousillon). The "Melt My Heart" menu is priced at €22 for two people and is available from today until Sunday, the 16th of February. Bookings can be made by calling +353 1 6463353.
Follain, makers of great quality jams and sauces have sent over a great recipe for Apricot Breakfast Muffins which you can create to treat your beloved to breakfast in bed. Very easy and extremely impressive. I think I'd faint away if The Hubs made these for me!
Sweets for your Sweet
My favourite West Cork hotel, Inchydoney Island Lodge and Spa have a lovely idea : a package including a candlelit picnic overlooking Inchydoney beach. You can then unwind together with a soothing Elemis back massage in the Couples Suite at the Island Spa followed by Sweet Treats Afternoon Tea in the Lounge. The package includes a two night stay for two in in a deluxe ocean view room where you can watch the Atlantic Ocean hug the coasts edge while the gentle sound of the waves perfectly adds to the romantic ambiance.
The ‘Sweets for My Sweet’ package starts from €275 per person sharing midweek and €295 per person sharing at the weekend.
A Valentine's Shake to Share
In Dublin 2, the Damson Diner blender is on overdrive churning out its signature "Hard Shakes" with a romantic twist. The milkshake base of vanilla ice cream and fresh milk is ramped up with homemade blueberry jam, Chambord raspberry liqueur and Vodka, and served up with two straws, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Just €5 and it's all yours. Bargain.