Lockdown Love: Valentine's Day Date Inspo
Just like everything else, Valentine’s Day is looking a little different this year.
Still wanting to keep the love alive across the county, HER asked local lady-in-the-know, @GirlaboutHampshire (aka Sarah Frost) how we can keep sparks flying AND support local businesses whilst we’re stuck at home this Valentines Day.
Here’s Sarah’s guide to making it special…
Food, glorious food
Food is one thing we’re still able to enjoy in lockdown so here are some ideas for the foodies among you.
Try a virtual cooking class to learn a new skill. Hampshire mother-daughter duo Nicky and Amaarah run Herbs & Spice Cookery – Indian cookery classes for various abilities and cater for both meat eaters and vegetarians alike. You can see the line up of classes and grab your tickets here.
Alternatively, many local pubs have turned to ‘finish at home’ menus, where 90% of the cooking is completed for you. Chesil Rectory in Winchester and Purefoy Arms in Preston Candover are two excellent choices.
Pulpo Negro is a much-loved Tapas restaurant in Alresford offering a Valentine’s menu.
But if even these seem like too much cooking effort, then grazing boards are a popular alternative, filled with meats, cheeses, fruit and nuts. Try Pink Olive Grazing for a female-run Hampshire business.
Home Spa Experience
Couples spa breaks would normally be a popular choice for a getaway. But days spent lazing by the poolside with a glass of fizz seem a distant memory. So why not try and recreate the spa experience at home?
Set the atmosphere by dimming the lights, putting on a calming playlist and lighting some candles. Face masks add a bit of fun too.
Your local beauty businesses may be offering home kits for treatments like facials. The Boutique Skin Clinic in Winchester has a home facial kit on sale for Valentines, and Lara’s Beauty Workshop near Basingstoke regularly sells home treatment packs.
You could find a massage tutorial on YouTube and perfect that technique, or take a bath together. Pop open a bottle of bubbly and relax!
A night at the movies
You may feel like you’ve completed Netflix; in which case it’s time to mix up your movie nights. Try ordering one of your favourite classics on a Blu-ray, or maybe one from your first cinema date.
Change up your location too; you can purchase a projector quite cheaply now so you could watch your film anywhere in the house/garden. Put up some fairy lights for the atmosphere, or make a den with sofa cushions.
As for snacks, go all out with dirty hot dogs, nachos with all of the dips and make your own fresh popcorn. And revel in the fact that you won’t need to remortgage to afford it!
Finally, leave your phones in another room for an authentic cinema experience.
Wine & Cocktails
If your usual date nights would involve a night on the cocktails, or a cosy wine bar then try a virtual substitute. There are plenty of wine-tasting and cocktail-making options on the market.
For Hampshire, you could opt for Toscanaccio in Winchester who run various Italian wine and food events online.
If whisky and spirits are more your thing, there’s The Little Whisky Shop who do tasting sessions on whisky, gin and rum.
If you have a cupboard of random bottles leftover from parties (remember those!) there are websites such as cocktail builder where you type in what you have and it’ll return a list of cocktails you could make. Take turns to make each other a drink and you could find a new favourite.
You may well be suffering from Zoom fatigue, or unable to face another quiz. Playing a board game together could be a great break away from screens, and gets those competitive feelings flowing. Try Pictionary, or dig out those classic 2-players like Battleships or Scrabble.
A Vegas themed night is another idea, you could use it as an opportunity to get dressed up for a home casino. Play poker, or blackjack and place bets – you could bet household chores! Make it more of a theme with a huge American feast and cocktails.
An online escape room could be a fun way to work together on a game. Use your logic and problem-solving skills to complete the game. Escape Hunt UK have a collection of virtual games.
Date Night in a Box
Finally, if you want the effort of designing a date night removed, then there are ‘date in a box’ solutions like this one from Box 42 Dates.
You can either subscribe and receive one monthly, or just purchase as a one-off. A recent offering was Tuscan Pottery which included a partner’s pottery class and Italian themed pictionary. You can just imagine the giggles trying to recreate that scene from Ghost.
Each box contains themed snacks and drinks, a Spotify playlist and an optional 2-course menu and cocktail recipe. It’s an easy way to try something new with minimal planning.
Not romantically attached this year? Panic not, Galentine’s is always where it’s at.
Don’t forget to head over to Girl About Hampshire for more great local guides!
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