How about a night in?

Many supermarkets offer meal deals throughout the year. But, this Valentine’s Day, if you don’t fancy a night at a restaurant, you can often find a cheaper, less pressure-filled meal at your local shop. If you are single, fear not, you could share this meal with a friend, or even treat yourself to the whole thing – we won’t tell anyone if you don’t!

Marks and Spencer:

For £20, you can get a three course meal, with prosecco or a bottle of wine. With lots of delicious options such as scallops, antipasti, duck, lamb, and not forgetting an endless list of dessert treats. We like the look of the raspberry and prosecco spheres with edible glitter, and the salted caramel rose desserts. This is definitely the most fancy dine-in meal deal, but is definitely one to go for. If you split the cost, it is only £10 per person, a huge saving compared to an expensive Valentines meal  out (and you can eat it in your pyjamas!).

Tesco:

Two mains, two sides, two desserts and a bottle of wine or chocolates is what you will get for £20 at Tesco. Perhaps not as upmarket as M&S, but the Tesco menu includes a range of classic dishes, from beef wellington to lasagne.

Asda:

Asda are offering a main meal, side, dessert and drink for the pocket friendly price of £10! If you’re looking to spoil someone without the splurge, this could be the perfect meal deal for you and your date.

Waitrose:

If you live on campus, you can walk to Waitrose in about 20 minutes, and it’s definitely worth it for this meal deal. A three course meal and a bottle of wine or fizz can be yours for £20, and the menu will make your mouth water! Iindulge with the baked vanilla cheesecake heart with strawberry and prosecco compote for dessert!

LC & LL

The best date-night spots

The Bicycle Shop:

Nestled amongst the chic St Benedict’s street bars and restaurants is this gem. I actually went here on my first date with my boyfriend, so it holds lots of lovely memories for me. Share tapas by candlelight and enjoy a wide range of wines, beers and spirits. After your meal, head downstairs to the bar area to relax and chat with your date.

The Iron House:

A bit of a swanky option but with decent prices, the Iron House can be found in Norwich’s quaint lanes. With a wide range of classic dishes, alongside some hearty innovative meals, the Iron House serves a range of small, medium and large plates. Perfect for sharing, or going solo.

The Grosvenor:

If you’re looking for a daytime date or a more casual spot, The Grosvenor have recently opened a new seating area in the crypt below the restaurant. It has a cosy atmosphere, with award-winning fish and chips and purse-friendly prices. The cod goujons are  a firm favourite- definitely not one to miss! And with the Birdcage just across the street, you couldn’t be in a better spot to carry on the date over cocktails.

The Georgian Townhouse:

If Unthank Road is your stomping ground, look no further than The Georgian Townhouse for a delicious date-night meal. The sharing boards are both delicious and romantic, and their wide selection of drinks means any date would be happy! The pub has a delightful seating area, and in the warmer months, the beer garden is a lovely place to enjoy an al-fresco date.

Turtle Bay:

Enjoy a Caribbean twist to your date, with some rum cocktails and spicy treats at Turtle Bay. I reccommend their signature Jerk Chicken, the goat curry, and they have sharing platers, too. The bar has a lovely seating area and they have happy hour deals and a specal lunchtime menu, so any date at any time would be well-suited to Turtle Bay!

Cryptic Escape:

If wining and dining isn’t your ideal date, don’t worry! Why not try this  escape room game? You can play as a team of two, solving puzzles, find ing clues, and cracking codes to escape the room together. This is the perfect idea for an adrenaline fuelled Valentine’s Day!

LC

A quick and easy recipe for Valentine’s Day cookies

A gift for your valentine or a cheeky bit of festive scoff for yourself, this simple cookie recipe will win everyone’s heart.

Ingredients:

175g plain flour

100g butter (chilled)

85g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

A selection of decorations

Ready made icings

Food colouring (optional)

Equipment:

Baking tray

Cookie cutters

Cling film

Whisk / wooden spoon

Rolling pin

Piping bags (optional)

Cooling rack

Method:

Mix together the flour, butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until it forms a dough (it might be easier in a food processor if you have one – if not, it’s a good work out).

Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius.

Roll out the dough 3-4mm thick and stamp out shapes with a cookie cutter (heart or circle shaped – easy to find on Amazon or Lakeland). Re-roll any leftovers and repeat.

Slide onto a baking tray and pop into the oven for around 10-12 minutes until just turning golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Depending on how you’re feeling or whether you own piping bags, a sieve and food colouring – the whole malarkey – why not buy some ready to go, coloured icing and go to town with decorating and sparkles. If not, a batch of ready to roll icing, mixed with food colouring rolled out to about 3mm thick will stick nicely to your cookies with some water and icing sugar. Use the rest of that mixture to pipe on detail in a contrasting colour.

LL