WOW her on Valentines Day
There are several theories as to how Valentine’s Day celebrations began, but the most popular is the one involving third-century Roman Emperor Claudius II. Having served with the Roman army most of his life, Claudius was proclaimed Emperor by his troops after the mysterious death of his predecessor.
It is said his soldiers voted him in, out of fear rather than for his military glory. For if there is one thing historians agree on, it is that Claudius was known for his cruelty. He one day declared that single men made better soldiers than those with wives, and so outlawed marriage for young men.The priest Valentinius (Valentine), horrified by the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When this was discovered, Claudius ordered Valentine to be put to death.
Legend has it that the imprisoned Valentine sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after falling in love with a young girl who visited him while he was on death row. He supposedly wrote her a letter and signed it “From your Valentine” before his execution and burial on February 14th. Although this date was not associated with romantic love until the Middle Ages, Valentine became one of the most popular saints in England and France. By the 18th century, February 14th began to resemble Valentine’s Day as we know today: a time when lovers express their love with gifts of flowers, candy and cards, called ‘Valentines’.
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the goddess of perfect love and beauty had an entourage of godlings called the Erotes. Their leader, Eros was the god of desire and physical love. He is far better known as Cupid, his Roman counterpart – the winged youth with whose arrows all lovers want to be pierced.
There are many theories as to the origin of the “heart” shape. The most unusual one relates to a herb called silphium. A species of fennel that once grew near the ancient Greek and Roman city of Cyrene (present-day Libya). It is said to have been used as both a condiment and medicinal plant. Ancient silver Cyrene coins bear the heart design accompanied by the plant as a representation of its seed or fruit.
The first real association of St. Valentine’s Day with romantic love is said to be derived from Geoffrey Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules (or Assembly of Fowls). The poem, composed between 1381 and 1382, is a form of a dream vision in verse made up of approximately 700 lines.
In the Middle Ages, young men and women drew names from a bowl to see who their Valentine would be. They would wear the name pinned to their sleeve for a week, hence the phrase “To wear your heart on your sleeve”!
FALL IN LOVE AT CANTINA L’AMOREDO
This Valentine’s Day, feel the amor at Cantina L’amoredo with their Valentine’s menu, guaranteed to get the heart racing. The Mexican restaurant is partnering with award-winning chocolatier, Paul A. Young, to offer guests Mexican inspired treats to give their loved ones.
Tuck into traditional Churros de Canela or a Pecan and Walnut Chocolate Brownie, while sipping on Cantina Laredo’s tequila infusion, the Strawberry and Vanilla AquaRiva Reposado. Guest will also be offered a signature Mexican inspired chocolate pairing to take home.
WHEN: Wednesday 14th February 2018 (booking needed)
WHERE: Cantina Laredo, 10 Upper St Martin’s Lane, London WC2H 9FB
ROM-COM MARATHON AT THE RIVOLI
If you’d like to cuddle up to your sweetie with some popcorn and romance, why not try a different movie experience at The Rivoli Ballroom? One of the last remaining intact 1950’s style ballrooms left in London, its sweeping chandeliers and red vintage look are the perfect location for a romantic night out. Here are some fun February films to catch.
WHEN: Wednesday 14th February 2018: Pretty Woman
Thursday 15th February 2018: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Friday 16th February 2018: Bridget Jones’s Diary
WHERE: 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, London SE4 2BY
DATE AND BAKE WITH PAUL’S PARISIAN SWEET TREATS
Ditch flowers for flour, and give a gift with a little je ne sais quoi! Newly- launched PAUL pâtisserie and advanced bread-making masterclasses unleash the secret to hand-crafted Sourdough loaves, Éclairs and the art of the tart. The perfect gift for that special budding baker in your life.
WHEN: Products available in store from 6th -15th February 2018
VALENTINE’S MUSICAL SPECIAL AT BUNGA BUNGA
Get ready to be immersed in the world of the West End, as Bunga Bunga Covent Garden brings the love-songs to your table, for an evening filled with epic romantic tales, an Italian feast and free-flow frizzante. In honour of the day of amore, you’ll be transported to the heart of the stage, with passionate performances from some much-adored love scenes, all with a big Bunga twist. Start with an Antipasto feast with salumi, burrata and pappa al pomodoro, marinated vegetables, friggitelli peppers and fresh Sardinian music bread. No Italian love story is without a deliciously classic Metro Pizza, topped with salumi, vesuvio or quattro formaggi followed by a selection of gelato.
WHEN: 7pm on Wednesday 14th February 2018
WHERE: Bunga Bunga Covent Garden, 167 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PG
TAKE VALENTINE’S DAY TO NEW HEIGHTS AT BŌKAN
Take your love to new heights at Bōkan, Canary Wharf’s sky-high restaurant bar and terrace. Take in jaw-dropping, 360-degree views of London’s iconic skyline, as you cosy up at a table for two. You can gaze at the glittering lights of London’s historic landmarks while you tuck into a gastronomic feast. Sip on champagne as the sun goes down and enjoy a dazzling six-course tasting menu created by head chef, Aurélie Altemaire.
WHEN: Wednesday 14th February 2018 (booking needed)
WHERE: Bōkan, Floor 37-39, 40 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9TP