Go for brunch
Pocket some pennies and beat the crowds by swapping the traditional romantic dinner for brunch. OK, you’re still spending money, but with one course and no wine list to tempt you, you can feel as though you’re having a real treat for a fraction of the price of a three-course meal. Find the best local breakfast spots – as reviewed by people like you – at tripadvisor.co.uk.
Find a new secret spot
Get your heart racing with a romantic walk and see if you and your partner can find some new tucked-away beauty spots in your area. Whether it’s stunning architecture, fascinating local history or a hidden wildlife spot, everywhere has somewhere secluded to enjoy. Get some ideas ahead of the big day from your local tourist information office, or find a new route at ramblers.org.uk (non-members can access short routes for free).
Catch a romantic film
A trip to the cinema has long been a go-to for date nights, but these days the cost of two tickets and a few snacks is often more than a slap-up meal! So why not grab the best seats in the house and recreate the cinema experience at home: find your perfect couple’s flick on a streaming service (catch-up apps for free-to-view channels also have regularly changing lists of films if you don’t subscribe to any paid-for services), stock up on bags of popcorn, crisps and your favourite drinks and get cosy!
Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a partner is to take a weight off their mind. So for a different take on the big romantic gesture, think about what has been bothering them recently – perhaps you could book their car in for an MOT, clean out the fridge, or take that pile of stuff in the garage to the tip. One less thing to worry about means more headspace for romance!
“Sometimes the most loving thing you can do for a partner is to take a weight off their mind.”
Scale it down
You don’t need to go crazy with presents on Valentine’s Day (unless your partner has been dropping serious hints) – it’s better to buy just a small box of high-end chocolates and a half-bottle of the best fizz you can afford than to overload your partner with a mountain of food they’ll never get through! Thinking of going for the traditional bunch of flowers? Why not look for a new houseplant or – if your loved one is green-fingered – a small shrub for the garden? You’ll spend the about same as you would on flowers, but your gift will last a lot longer.
If you can’t imagine Valentine’s Day without a candlelit dinner, why not cut costs and make it more fun by cooking together? Plan your meal ahead of time and work together, so you don’t end up with one person slaving in the kitchen while the other sits alone waiting to be served. If neither of you are good cooks, don’t worry – your burnt dinner will be a memory to laugh about together in years to come! You can find plenty of inspiration for simple suppers, fancy cocktails and more on our recipes page.