I don’t celebrate Valentines Day. I don’t have a problem with the commercial aspect of it – I don’t mind the big red love hearts everywhere and the fact everything is coloured red or pink. I don’t mind the soppy cards or big balloons – Not that I’ve ever bought any. I don’t mind the discounted chocolates or discounted flowers. It’s as good an excuse as any to treat myself or my loved ones, or to get them to treat me instead. The only thing I object to is the price of restaurants.
WE WOBBLE BUT WE DON’T FALL DOWN
Food is well and truly the way to my heart, as my other half will testify. For our second date I insisted we went to my then favourite restaurant for a 43 course banquet. This wonderful restaurant was where my closest friends and I celebrated each and every payday, by turning ourselves temporarily into Weebles. Sadly the restaurant is no more, much to my waists relief no doubt.
The thing that irritates me about Valentine’s Day is when restaurants use it as an excuse to charge extortionate prices. Many of them will be full to capacity, with increased profits to boot, so why push the prices through the roof as well? That’s just greedy, isn’t it?
Some restaurants change their menus specifically for ‘the big day’, serving six courses or more, but there’s really only so much you can eat. I don’t think stuffing your face more than usual is truly romantic. (I could be wrong). Personally I’d rather have a normal size meal for a normal price.
(Evidently my opinion has changed since the days of wobbling out through the banquet door…)
With all that in mind you won’t be surprised that I usually stay in on Valentine’s Day. I love eating out at restaurants and do so as often as possible, just not on February 14th.
This year I’m making an exception.
You’ll remember I eagerly anticipated the reopening of The Black Lion on Chapel Street with its own upstairs cinema. Well they’ve come up with a unique fundraising idea for Valentine’s Day: The Black Lion is hosting a one-off Pop Up & Pay What You Think food night.
The deal is you book a table (£1 per person), enjoy a delicious 3 course ’Valentine’s meal with a twist’ from 7.30pm (suitable for vegetarians and meat eaters alike). Then when the bill arrives, you pay what you think for the food.
FUTURE ARTISTS FUNDRAISER
The Black Lion reopened in September last year, after being taken over by a creative co-op called Future Artists. Over the past four months Future Artists have created an ‘arts space’ in the upstairs of the pub: developing a studio suitable for film screenings, theatre, meetings and ‘art happenings’, but the beautiful 130 year old venue isn’t accessible for everyone.
By paying what we think the food is worth (don’t be stingy now!) we will be contributing towards funding a stair-lift in the venue, so disabled artists can enjoy the array of new artistic programming across cinema and theatre too.
(Future Artists at The Black Lion is NOT funded by any government, arts council or artistic grant).
Additionally, Valentine’s diners will be the first sponsors of ‘Love your art space’ – We’ll get our names on the board!
(I don’t even know what ‘Love your art space’ is, but as there’s a board I want my name on it…!)
It’s an opportunity to be romantic and altruistic at the same time, or to simply enjoy a meal with friends or family. I think it’s a good excuse to go out on Valentine’s Day. Who’s with me?!
All comments are welcome 🙂