A Valentine Special from a Resolute Singleton:
A little secret – being a *single* blogger is a great way NOT to miss all the Valentine events that everyone else gets to do! I feel quite privileged sometimes as I am invited along to preview Valentine dinners and cocktails or sent wonderful boxes of chocolates like the selection below from Thorntons! AND I don’t have to put up with the snoring and smelly feet;)
I think I can honestly say that if I was being sent a Valentine’s gift from a significant other, I’d be utterly thrilled and delighted by this stunning box of chocolates. Now, mine came from Thorntons – to review with enough time to let you know what I think. So of course I am morally obliged to eat the chocolates well in advance of Valentine’s day…
I have a special affection for Thorntons chocolates. I think they were the first ‘posh’ chocolates I ever tried and I can remember buying little bags of Alpini, which I still love today. The box has a huge range – 16 different chocolates with three of each flavour. All the old favourites are there but there are some I didn’t recognise. Rather a nice touch having three of each it means you can try each other’s favourite – then have one extra of the ones you really love! And, I’ve discovered a new love in Valencia – a dark chocolate filled with sweet orange. This particular selection retails at £19.99 – for which you’ll get a beautifully packaged quality heart shaped box containing nearly 600g of chocolates. But there are other options too, even gift selections with flowers and champagne on the Thorntons website.
Or if your idea of the perfect Valentine is a wonderful romantic meal at home, if you live in London you can surprise your loved one with a handmade Wagyu Wellington. This is a modern take on the culinary classic (Beef Wellington). It’s the brainchild of Notting Hill butcher Provenance and Julia Cotter, a chef who has worked with Yotam Ottolenghi and Peter Gordon. Based on a 500g grass-fed wagyu beef fillet – the meat is wrapped in a duxelle of mushrooms (shitake, chestnut, oyster, flat black and porcini) with Madeira and double cream. It’s then encased in all-butter puff pastry. It stores perfectly having been prepped in advance and then cooks very simply – just slide it into a hot oven for 30 minutes.
That should give you plenty of time to enjoy a glass of champagne together before you eat – and will mean that neither of you needs to slave over a hot stove! It serves two perfectly and costs £28.95. To place an order (by 12th February) just call Provenance at 020 7229 8814 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ve been along to Provenance to check out what else they have on offer and can strongly recommend their produce. I’m busy taste testing a selection of their products myself at the moment so, you’ll find a full review of the meat and sausages in the next few weeks. For now, I’ve already tried a piece of their wagyu and can promise you a great taste sensation, for NO effort on your part.
If you’d rather go out than stay in, or perhaps if your love life needs a little help you might want to pop along to Bam-Bou. Why? Well they have love potions on the menu in the Red Bar upstairs – you can pick from the Ever After Elixir (to lure proposals from the most hardened altar dodgers), Cupid’s Kiss (to turn any frog into a price) or Rocket Fuel – which is a coffee and Kirsch concoction designed for ‘those who have lost the lust’.
If you prefer (or need something stronger after your tarot reading), the Red Bar also boasts London’s most comprehensive Japanese whisky menu. It’s a decadent and exotic place – a maze of dining rooms and bars which has a particularly intimate feel to it. I was invited along to preview the Love Potions (fingers crossed…I tried them all so SOMETHING should happen!) and to have a tarot reading from Susie Johns who will be there on the 11th and 18th of February. If you’d like to find out what the future holds for you why not book a 15 minute reading and cocktail for £25. And drag your intended along with you and serve them up with the cocktail of YOUR choice.. Oh and they do have a wonderful menu of Asian dishes and some fabulous bar snacks including Chicken Satay and Soft shell crab with spicy tofu mayonnaise.
To book a tarot reading or find out more about the Love Potions, visit the bam-bou website.