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The Way to our Heart!


The Way to our Heart!


Read all about Valentine's day - it origins, traditions and we've even put together a romantic and simple menu just for two!


What day is the second biggest gifting and card sending day after Christmas?
For which occasion do we spend £880 million each year in the UK alone?
Final clue - on this day you could receive some of the 110 million roses sold!

You’ve guessed it! Valentine’s Day! 

No-one is quite sure why we celebrate this day on 14 February, but it is thought that on this day, late into the third century AD, a man by the name of Valentinus was martyred by Emperor Claudius II for helping Christian couples to marry in secret, as single men were thought to be better soldiers and forbidden to wed.

Inside Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin, on Rome’s Piazza Bocca della Verità, it is claimed that, inside it, resides the skull belonging to this man whose previous existence is responsible for that huge sale of greetings cards, chocolates and flowers in February. This alone is worth a trip to Rome (big hint to my other half right there!)

More recently, the tradition of sending anonymous Valentine’s Day cards originated in the UK and was made popular by the Victorians, when mass-produced and pre-printed cards were made available. Some were romantic, some sentimental, as expected from the supposedly prim and proper Victorians, while others showed a more humorous and bawdier side to their nature!

For me on Valentine’s Day I don’t expect roses, but I do look forward to a simple supper with extra special touches. The food has to be decadent and paired perfectly with the wine. This menu does just that, with the starter and main meal just light enough to fit in a dessert! Here’s my perfect menu…

To start it has to be Fishcakes with homemade Tartare Sauce. This is a guest recipe from our very own recipe book; that guest being Michelin Starred Chef, James Mackenzie from the Pipe & Glass Inn. James also provides the foreword in the recipe book which is available on our website with over 100 inspiring recipes. This particular recipe also teams Pickled Samphire, which is perfect if you have pickled it in advance, as it is best when fresh and in season during July and August, but they taste just as good without! The tartare sauce has just the right combination of flavour and texture in this recipe, and teamed with our own Yorkshire Mayonnaise, it has to be homemade. This recipe is perfect for preparing earlier in the day and cooking on the evening, which is perfect for date night!

Next it has to be Steak with Creamy Black Pepper and Mushroom Sauce! A simple dish full of flavour and hits the spot every time. Here's how! Cook a thinly sliced small onion in Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil with Black Pepper, soften and then add 100g of baby button mushrooms, cook on a medium heat for around 3 minutes. Then it’s time to turn up the heat and add the steak to the pan, fillet of course and cooked rare for me (2½ minutes on each side – add ½-1 minute for medium and the same again for well done). Once cooked, remove the steaks from the pan, add 4tbsp of double cream to the pan juices, warm through and then pour the sauce over the resting steaks. Drizzle a little of our Dijon and Black Pepper dressing over the mushrooms before serving. Great with our Garlic & Rosemary Potatoes – check out our website for that recipe.

For me the meal has been perfection so it’s now time to finish the night off in decadent style with the unusual but definitely moreish Chilli Chocolate Ice Cream! The hint of chilli teasing the palate after the seductively smooth richness of the chocolate – this was made for Valentine’s Day! This recipe is also in our recipe book, so get armed and get out your bottle of Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil with Chilli and add a teaspoonful at a time to get your level of chilli kick – hot for me! Made in advance you’ll have all your time to spend with your loved one!