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Alternative Valentine’s

Forget playing romance-by-rote, sitting in a restaurant and being handed a soggy rose. Here's some original ideas to try...

The Cotswold Discovery Trail


Get away from the crowds with your Valentine this year with The Cotswold Discovery Trail – a fun packed new way to explore the Cotswolds. A stunning map will take you on two day-long trails (one in the north Cotswolds and one in the south) for you to follow by car and explore on foot at the many Cotswold highlights set out on the routes. The maps are designed as treasure trails, with loads of information to uncover and questions and clues to answer on the way that illuminate and enlighten further on your surroundings.

The Lobster screening, Prince Albert Pub, Stroud, Wed 13 Feb
Film night at the pub returns with The Lobster by Yorgos Lanthimos (director of Oscar nominated The Favourite) starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz. In a dystopian society, single people are obliged to find a matching mate within 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released into The Woods. Nothing schmaltzy and romantic about this one, then!
Valentine’s at Thornbury Castle, Thornbury, nr Bristol, 14-18 Feb

Treat your loved one to a Valentine’s break at Thornbury Castle, and live like kings and queens. As you step behind the heavy oak doors of this ancient Tudor castle, you’ll find a magnificent hotel with roaring fires, delicious modern cuisine and beautiful, sumptuous bedchambers – a truly magical setting for a romantic Valentine’s break. They’ll also chuck in a bottle of bubbles, a rose and a box of home-made truffles to start you off in style.


Rob Heron and The Tea Pad Orchestra, Prince Albert Pub, Stroud, Thurs 14 Feb
Join this lot at the pub for a Valentine’s Night to remember  – Rob and the gang never fail to entertain and tonight is going to be an extra terrific affair. Dive back in time when men wore waistcoats and ladies wore the prettiest of dresses. With food from street food vendors Sri-Licious, serving Sri Lankan inspired dishes, prepared lovingly from scratch.
Valentine’s at Lucknam Park, Colerne, 10-15 Feb
Gorgeous Lucknam Park has loads on offer this Valentine’s, including one-night retreats to allow you to relax and indulge in the magnificent surroundings, including dinner in either Restaurant Hywel Jones or The Brasserie, full English breakfast, half a bottle of champagne and a rose in your room on arrival, and full use of the award-winning spa facilities. Can’t splurge on a stay this time? Why not explore the parkland on horseback with a choice of riding adventures from their Equestrian Centre? Or take Time for Two at the spa, with a traditional afternoon tea in the Library or Drawing room, a treatment and use of the spa.
The Mirror Crack’d, Salisbury Playhouse, from 15 Feb

Times are changing. Girls are wearing trousers and Hollywood has come to a sleepy English village in the shape of a beautiful film star. Miss Marple begins to question her place in the world until a mysterious death calls into question the past of all those present.  Everyone’s version of events is different.  Can Miss Marple unravel the tangle of lies? This thrilling new play, based on Agatha Christie’s novel, explores how we all colour our own memories, our own truths, to disguise the darkness that lies within.


Simple Superfoods Cookery Course, Lucknam Park, Thurs 14 Feb
Head Chef Ben Taylor proves that healthy shouldn’t mean boring or tasteless. Cook up some great tasting dishes that are exciting and simple to recreate at home.

Winter Hideaway Deal, Tudor Farmhouse Hotel, Clearwell, Forest of Dean, throughout February  

Tudor House Hotel, Clearwell, Gloucestershire.

Stay at this gorgeous country retreat in the Forest of Dean, with dinner included. Snuggle by the fire, drink and eat to your hearts content and get in some proper new year relaxation.


Pop up at The Garden Café, Miserden Greenhouses, Thurs 14 Feb

It’s pop up crazy over at Miserden with The Garden Café hosting a series of foodie ventures for 2019. First off the blocks is chef Brett Mills, who heads up the kitchen at Soushi Cirencester, and will be taking over on 14 Feb. Or if you prefer something a little more traditional, Michelin trained pro chef Rory Baxter (he’s worked under Gordon Ramsey and Raymond Blanc) will berustling up some Brit classics with a modern twist on Thurs 14 and Fri 15 Mar. From £35,

Waiting for Godot, Cheltenham Everyman, 7-16 Feb

Two hungry, battered drifters wait by a dead tree. They might have been here yesterday. And they might well come back tomorrow. Unless Mr Godot arrives first. Which he might, if they’re lucky. Which they don’t tend to be. Samuel Beckett’s undeniable triumph of 20th century literature comes to the Everyman Theatre for the first time ever. Don’t miss your chance to see this essential modern classic starring Tweedy.


Speedy Meals, Vaughan’s Cookery School, Devizes, 20 Feb 

Get some fresh ideas of quick and easy meals to liven up your repertoire of midweek suppers. Suitable for anyone who feels stuck in a culinary rut.


Glamping at Mill Farm, Devizes, throughout Feb

Rest up under Wiltshire’s big skies on a glamping break, or sleep among the branches in this amazing treehouse.


Valentine’s at Bowood, Calne, Thurs 14 Feb

Treat your other half to dinner in the heart of the Bowood Estate this Valentine’s. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a glass of fizz before feasting on an exquisite menu prepared by Head Chef, Ed Fortune in The Shelburne Restaurant.


Lover Village Post, Fisherton Mill, Salisbury, throughout Feb

Support Lover Village fundraising this Valentine’s Day by buying and posting your cards at Fisherton Mill.  They even have a red post box in which to put them. Each card will then be franked by the Lover Village elves and will wend its way to your Valentine on the big day.

Find more ideas here

Valentine's Day

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