There is no day in the year that comes with as much menace as Valentine’s Day; one that creeps up with the Jaws theme tune crescendoing in the background as time starts to creep away in the build-up to the 14th. Valentine’s Day is one of the most nausea-inducing, nerve-jangling days of the year, and this is just for people who get to take part. For those who have no-one to share it with, it’s also one of the most dispiriting days to be alive; a 24-hour bitch slap for those having to endure an already forlorn existence.
Trying to find any meaning is complicated by the plethora of restaurants offering special menus. Most of them are looking to make as much money through by being complicit in the emotional blackmail enforced on couples to put on a heightened display of affection on one day of the year when they should be spending time actually finding about each other in a non-pressurised environment. Sorry that should read ‘Most of them are spreading the message of love on a very special day of the year’. You shouldn’t have to genuflect to bad taste to get a good meal, and so The London Word picks out the best ways to eat your way through this vomit-fest.
In today’s straitened times, the only thing not in short supply is the sentence ‘In today’s straitened times.’ For those in the hunt for something that provides value for money, head to The Chiswell Street Dining Rooms where you can get a smashing three course dinner for £25.
A little more outlay is required at the Royal Institute of British Architects where their Valentine’s feast will cost £49. However, the venue is a charming art deco space and the menu offers the chance to enjoy well-crafted food as well as the chance to share enticing desserts.
If you want a little music along with your food, pop down to a pop-up restaurant in Camden. The Foundry, the restaurant in arts venue The Forge has created a three course Sicilian menu for £25. Enjoy typical Italian produce along with live jazz, as well as cocktails.
Finally, if you fancy staying at home, cooking for someone special is well worth your time as the effort put in goes a long way. Finish it off in style with a Fruit Passion cocktail brought to you by the good people at Euston cocktail bar Shaker & Company, a concoction that is fruity but also packs a punch:
20 ml Benedictine
20 ml Aperol
20 ml Pisco
12.5 ml lemon
1 small dash (4 drops or so) Peach Bitters
White of one small egg
Add everything together in a cocktail mixer, shake it up and serve with a lemon garnish. I think I have to add something here about drinking responsibly. But don’t bother as drinking responsibly is impossible. Either drink or be responsible. Have a great Valentine’s Day!
Chiswell Street Dining Rooms
56 Chiswell Street
City of London
Tel: 020 7614 0177
The Royal Institute of British Architects
66 Portland Place
Tel: 020 7580 5533
3-7 Delancey Street
Tel: 020 7 383 7808