Experience

A VALENTINE'S DAY THAT'S AS PLEASANT AS POSSIBLE

Predictably it involves eating (and drinking) your heart out

01.02.2021

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It’s Valentine’s Day soon. Perhaps that means nothing to you. We’re still in lockdown, after all. But whether you only subscribe to Galentine’s or are actually partnered, it is still an excuse to do something nice. Maybe you’re just a human being in need of fun and sustenance. That too is valid. Although how are you supposed to celebrate Valentine’s Day in lockdown? The word begins with ‘d’ and ends with ‘y’. And no, it is neither ‘dignity’ nor ‘dysentery’ – it’s ‘delivery’, obviously.

From the food to the alcohol and beyond, here's how to make this Valentine's Day a special one. Because love is indecision and subsequent annoyance, we’ve provided two options for each category.

THE MAIN EVENT

As HOSTE’s Galentine’s box – curated in collaboration with Moët & Chandon – provides every single facet of a Valentine’s Day meal, purchasing one could involve disregarding the control freak within who protects you on a daily basis. But it’s worth it for a whole baked camembert, beef short ribs (or a vegetarian wellington), celeriac, dauphinoise potatoes, buttered greens from the Covent Garden vegetable market, Eton mess, a bottle of Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial champagne, a Wax Atelier candle, a box of HOSTE matches, menu cards and champagne cocktail recipes.

Or you might want to support a small business by ordering something from Cutie Pies. That ‘something’ will – unsurprisingly – be pie and mash. With fillings changing weekly, and vegetarian and vegan options always available alongside meat, inclusivity prevails (and love conquers all).

THE DESSERT

It’s Valentine’s Day, not a first date where every one of your actions is prefaced with anxiety, which means this: there is no need to forgo dessert. We recommend brownies for a housebound Valentine’s Day because they keep well. And now we feel compelled to offset such sensible sentiment with extravagant options. With varieties featuring familiar favourites such as Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Kinder Bueno, brownies do not get much more decadent than those by Brownie Eyed Boi. Vegans, however, can rejoice at the existence of Cake or Death. We’re sure there’s no harm in omnivore households ordering from both establishments for the occasion.

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THE ALCOHOL

Maybe you don’t need to drink alcohol on Valentine’s Day. Maybe the mere sight of your beloved is enough to warm your flesh and make the room spin. But it can also be a recourse for making it an even jollier affair. STIR-UP is a new cocktail subscription service that’s delivered monthly through your letterbox. If it has you suddenly mansplaining mixology, then so be it. An alternative is, of course, wine. Peckham Cellar’s sommelier, Ben McVeigh, recommends Phanus Pet Nat Rosé – a sparkling natural wine – as a love potion of sorts for the event.

THE FINISHING TOUCHES

As you’re at home and this is supposed to be a special occasion, you might as well do a tablescape. You haven’t had the opportunity to since Christmas, after all. MAZA candles are handmade in Peckham by Maisie Penn, a former beauty PR who established her business after being made redundant in lockdown. The only complication is that lighting them means they will – eventually – cease to exist. Another south London venture borne of redundancy is Sid’s Flowers. Being both sustainable and affordable, we adore their bunches.

THE MORNING AFTER

Weird. Awkward. Regretful. Sometimes the morning after can be a particularly sobering experience. But this is not a safe space for that kind of thing! We are smugly happy here! Especially when we remember to order snacks from Good Canteen. Or anything from Popham’s.