Valentine's Day 2013
How to show a loved one they’re really special – in Swindon!
Worse still - Valentine’s Day so-called ‘treats’ like that are surely exactly the opposite of what you are supposed to be trying to achieve on February 14.
Surely she or he deserves better...
We’re not saying the fancy chocolates and the romantic meal can’t be part of the package, but in their own they are a bit of a cop-out, if you’re honest with yourself - so we’ve come up with some off-beat ideas to perk up your Valentine’s Day this year.
Thursday 14 February
You’ll notice something else that’s different about our ideas. We think it’s time to get away from the idea of Valentine’s Day being about exchanging trivial, over-priced and often pointless gifts, and make it more about sharing – especially as February 14 falls on a Thursday this year - meaning you can spend the whole weekend enjoying the romance.
So here are 14 ideas for you to celebrate the day together - all in and around Swindon, and enough for one a day from the start of the month to the big day...
1. A table for two
Whether you want a romantic meal in a secluded corner, or a pub meal at your local, Swindon offers it all!
Sally Pussey's Inn
Sally Pussey's Inn are offering a very romantic 4 course meal this Valentine's, for just £19.50 per person.
For more information, visit their website via the link below.
Celebrate Valentine's day in style, and enjoy Fratello's great 3 course Valentine's menu, featuring some of their renowned authentic Italian dishes.
Please contact Fratello's via the link below for more information.
The Barrington Arms Hotel
Situated in the peaceful village of Shrivenham, The Barrington Arms Hotel is perfect if you fancy slipping away and enjoying a quiet Valentine's meal together.
And with 2 courses for £15.95 & 3 courses for £19.95, it's great value too!
For more information, please visit The Barrington Arms website via the link below.
The Weighbridge Brewhouse
Good quality, fresh & seasonal ingredients are all that goes into a meal at The Weighbridge, so you can be sure that taking your loved one to dinner here will be a real treat.
Hurry though, spaces for Thursday 14 are filling up fast!
Cut into a hill in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside, The Plough Inn at Badbury is a very romantic setting for a quiet meal with your better half.
To book a table for Thursday 14, just visit their website via the link below.
The Curry Place
Recently voted 'Best South Asian Restaurant' by the House of Commons, The Curry Place offer excellent Tandoori cuisine, all served with a smile by their experience staff.
To book at table for Valentine's, please visit The Curry Place website via the link below.
The Pear Tree at Purton
The Pear Tree's very special Valentine's dinner will be served on Thursday 14 February, and it includes champagne or a cocktail on arrival and a 5 course evening meal.
Please contact The Pear Tree via the link below for more information.
20 At The Kings
Offering 'Loving Starters', 'Romantic Main Courses' and 'Passionate Desserts', you can be sure that a Valentine's meal at 20 At The Kings will carry the message of love!
Available on Thursday 14, Friday 15 & Saturday 16 February.
For more information, please visit 20 At The Kings website via the link below.
Sun Inn at Coate
Why woo them with a romantic walk around Coate Water before tucking into a delicious meal at cosy & traditional The Sun Inn, which is right next to the park?
The Harrow Inn have got a Valentine's day menu that's sure to get your heart racing, and with dishes like fresh Oysters to share, this is definitely a night with romance on the cards!
Really want to impress your loved one this year? Tuck yourselves away at The Highworth, where they're serving a fantastic 5-course Valentine's meal with a glass of pink fizz to start. Available 14,15 & 16 February.
Marsh Farm Hotel
Want to get out of Swindon for a Valentine's? Marsh Farm Hotel are hosting a luxurious 4-course Valentine's Dinner on the 14 & 16 February, including a glass on Champagne on arrival.
If your budget is a little smaller, why not take advantage of Rufu's superb meal deal - any starter, main, side, rice & naan for £14.95!
For more information or to view their full menu, please visit Rafu's website via the link below.
Get Your Coat, You've Pulled!
Tell us your best (or worst!) chat-up line and win a table for two on Valentine's Day!
Just tell us the best (or worst!) chat up line you’ve ever heard!
Tell us on Facebook and the one we pick will win a TABLE FOR TWO on Valentine’s Night at the Curry Place Indian Restaurant, incl. a bottle of wine. What a prize!
2. Dance the night(s) away
Not just one night, but several. If you’ve watched Strictly Come Dancing and fancied getting off the couch and learning together, then surely there’s no better time to start dancing than in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day!
You never know, it may set you on the road to endless romantic nights together that will guarantee Valentine’s Day togetherness all year round.
Cricklade Hotel Valentine's Ball
Saturday 16 February 2013
Plus they're offering an accommodation deal for the night - just £75 per room (tickets for the Valentine's Ball not included).
> Cricklade Hotel - website
Valentine's Masquerade Ball
Blunsdon House Hotel
Saturday 16 February 2013
Enjoy a fabulous 4 course dinner, then dance the night away to WMD Band. There's even prizes for the best mask!
Includes a set 4 course dinner for £32.95 per person
Do you want to go on a date that's going to be an unforgettable experience?
Then look no further than a flight in a glider at the nearby Vale of The White Horse Gliding Centre near Shrivenham.
Take to the skies
Experience almost silent flight with a qualified instructor, fly the glider or just enjoy the fantastic views.
Get Hot Under the Collar
Because the balloon moves with the breeze, it’ll probably be warmer than you think – and anyway, who said you can’t be romantic in scarf and gloves?
There are lots of firms flying over, around and near Swindon, including Head in the Clouds Balloons, Ballooning in the Cotswolds and Altitude Balloons.
Alternatively, Virgin Balloons organise a ticket scheme with vouchers that you can redeem with the balloon company of your choice.
4. Stopping over at a hotel
If you think about it, where the hotel is situated is fairly irrelevant as the idea is to turn up the romance - first in the hotel restaurant and then behind closed doors.
Even better is the fact that there are some great deals on, with the chocolates and champers being thrown in with the purchase of the room!
Check out our Swindon hotel guide, but as smaller venues are sure to be friendlier and cosier, also see Arkell’s guide to their premises that offer accommodation.
5. A day out together
When God created Swindon, He kindly put us within easy reach of some stylish and romantic places – so there are plenty of locations to choose from if you are planning a day out for just the two of you, and not solely by car.
From Swindon station why not take the train to Bath, it's the obvious choice because it’s good for shopping, sightseeing and eating out, and has a naturally romantic atmosphere, but there are countless options for days out that you’ll both enjoy.
Barnes Coaches’ website www.barnestravel.co.uk is a great place for ideas - why not a trip to the theatre?
6. Pampering times two
This idea requires that you get over the old-fashioned notion that pampering and/or chilling out is just for women. Men deserve it too – and this Valentine’s Day there are lots of options for enjoying the experience together.
As well as relaxing together in the hydro pool, sauna, steam room and ‘relaxation suite’, you can also spoil each other by booking ladies’ beauty treatments, male grooming sessions or by picking from the wide range of luxury de-stressing activities on offer, such as ‘experience showers’.
Four Hand Massage
Well, Bloomin Beautiful have the answer!
Their signature body treatment is the four hand massage, a specialised unique treatment that takes massage to a new level of complete relaxation.
Part of the idea of this unique therapy is that your brain will not be able to predict the next move or motion which enables you to achieve a higher level of relaxation.
Valentine's Special Offer
Throughout February a four-hands massage is available for just £75 instead of £115 - with gift vouchers available.
7. Messing about on the river
Just the two of you.
It’s cheap, it’s a whole lot of fun – and you’ll certainly end up with an unforgettable experience. Softies could compromise and hire a rowing boat-sized one with a silent electric engine.
Of course, you’ll need some wine or even Champagne for your trip, check out Magnum Wine in Old Town - they've got lots to choose from.
8. A really, really posh meal
SwindonWeb features guides to all the best restaurants in town (see below) but if you can’t push the boat out for Valentine’s Day, when can you? Some venues are so special and so posh that it’s not so necessary to visit them on the big day itself for the meal to seem really romantic.
You can revel on real quality and ambience at the following Michelin rated and award-winning restaurants:
9. Take home something special
If you’re thinking of investing in that extra special present for him or her, then you’ve probably already thought about jewellers such as Deacons.
But our theme is sharing, so instead of buying each other rings and cufflinks, you could pool your money and take home something to celebrate your partnership and remind you of Valentine’s Day every day of the year, such as a quality clock.
Deacons once supplied the Great Western Railway with clocks, so can provide expert guidance – on clocks and across a wide range of special gifts.
Why not buy a gift voucher for a chocolate body wrap (£45) or a half hour chocolate & orange back neck and shoulder massage (£25).
And for the guys, why not treat them to a clear skin facial - where they will be using fabulous products to cleanse, scrub, exfoliate, mask and moisturise the skin (£37).
A new Swindon company have launched a website where you can create your own jewellery, or buy direct from a massive selection of ready made rings and pendants. Prices start from as little as £20.
10. Stepping out together
For example, you could have a wander around Stanton Country Park possibly nipping over to Stanton House Hotel afterwards, to take advantage of their special Valentine’s Day menu.
And if you don’t fancy a full-blown meal, just drop in for a cosy Valentine’s tea instead.
11. Let’s get personal
Personalised gifts are always special, and there are lots of different ways to say ‘I love you’ (or, better still, ‘We love each other’) with a gift that is literally unique. Perhaps most appropriate for the occasion are personalised champagne bottles from Magnum Wine, but if you think about it, it’s possible to personalise most things, just by taking them to the engraver’s.
Vince Ayris produces plaques but can also engrave directly on to glass, crystal and metals.
> Vince Ayris - website
12. Hey Good Lookin', What You Got Cookin'?
At the Thyme at Southrop near Lechlade, award-winning chef Sebastian Snow offers expert culinary courses on all sorts of subjects, most of which last a day.
> Thyme at Southrop - website
13. A bicycle made for two
Riding a tandem is one of those fun things that every couple should do at least once. You'll soon find out who puts the most effort into the relationship!
Chances are you won’t actually be able do it on Valentine’s Day unless you buy a tandem before the day, but you can make a date with Mitchell's Cycles ready for the summer ahead, who always have a few in stock.
14. Lingerie for him and her
Buying lingerie is something that couples are increasingly doing together rather than on their own – because the smart people have realised it’s part of the fun. Besides, how else are you going to know what is going to be the most effective, before you buy it?
We recommend visiting the Swindon Designer Outlet where several of the units stock sexy underwear, including a Triumph store where you can not only get in the mood but support local workers at the same time!
Or for those who want a bit more, we don't think Ann Summers or Debenhams lingerie department will disappoint.
And... not forgetting?...
Personalised chocolate from Thorntons in The Parade is always that little bit more special, but don’t feel like you are restricted to the usual products such as their chocolate message plaque, as they will gladly personalise others.
If she’s on a chocolate-free diet, buy her an inedible chocolate beauty treatment instead! The Thyme Treatment Rooms at West Swindon, do chocolate body wraps.
Check out our guide to florists where they will be able to advise you on the most romantic way of saying it with flowers.