Ideas for Valentine Dates
LOOKING to plan the perfect date for your Valentine? Specially chosen days out can make great presents or fun shared experiences. Here's some ideas:
LOVE UNDER THE STARS:
IF your partner is adventurous then you might like to stir their affections by whizzing them away to a romantic getaway in the stylish new quarry pods at Dunsdon Farm near Holsworthy.
Swap camping in the February cold for glamping in the comfort of a cosy pod. They've got double glazed windows, sheep's wool insulated walls and internal heating and lighting. There are door and window blinds, a rug and cool-box. In fact it's possible to rent everything you need for your stay, including cooking stove, pans and utensils, and comfy beds and bedding.
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"The camping pods are the perfect place to come and relax, unwind and enjoy each other's company," said owner Paul Stenning. "What could be more romantic than spending the night under the stars amid the beautiful North Devon countryside?"
Details: www.quarrypods.co. uk or phone 01288 321860.
A BLOOMING ROMANCE:
IF your honey has the hots for all things horticultural, you might surprise them by booking an outing to RHS Garden Rosemoor. Flowers have long been associated with romance and on Valentine's Day, Rosemoor will be hosting a Snowdrop Day. One of the UK's leading authorities and growers, Joe Charman, will be divulging all you need to know about growing these fashionable bulbs. Snowdrop Day is on Thursday, February 14 with a talk at 11am and a garden walk at 2pm. Cost: £15 (RHS members), £23 (adult). Bookings: 01805 626800.
A FERVOUR FOR FOOD:
DON'T fancy cooking to stimulate Cupid's bow? Turn to pages 18-20 to see where to take your loved one for a luscious meal out. If they are the type to get in a fervour about new foodie experiences you might consider taking them to Cherrywood House. This is a unique dining experience where a family home has been transformed into a restaurant. It's informal and friendly with the added delight of a home-cooked meal. Details: www. cherrywood-house.co.uk or phone 01805 601786.
CHOCCIES are often the gift of choice for Valentine's Day but if your loved one loves the luxurious, smooth taste of the cocoa bean, why not book them on a course where they can learn to make their own handmade chocolates?
Swiss chocolatier Carlo Melchior welcomes visitors into his world of chocolate and teaches them how to make sweet treats. At Melchior, in South Molton, he runs workshops on weekends to suit requirements.
Melchior is also a great place to buy beautifully presented chocolates handmade by the Swiss trained chocolatier.
Details: 01769 574442 or visit www.melchiorchocolates.co.uk
IF YOUR Valentine has a crush on all things crafty then why not book them on a creative course?
Atelier craft gallery in Barnstaple holds friendly fun courses on Sundays throughout the year. There's Sculptural Needle Felting on February 17 (£22), Wire Sculpting with Melanie Deegan on March 3 (£55), Linocut print workshop with Kerry Tremlett on April 21 (£30) and Sewing A Girl's Dress by transforming a vintage pillow case on May 12 (£20). All materials and complimentary refreshments are provided. Details and bookings: www.gallery-atelier.co.uk or phone the gallery on 01271 268244.
There's also a lovely DIY and Take It Home Arts and Crafts drop-in day at the Manor Hall in Berrynarbor on Saturday, February 16 from 10.30am. It includes making a table flower arrangement with Sue Neale (£4), making sugar-paste flowers or animals to decorate a cake with Jan Quinn (£4), making a stained glass panel from ready-cut glass with Lani Shepherd (£12), stitching a pretty blue patchwork with an applique yellow daffodil with Penny Armitage (£4) and card making with Margaret Walls (£2). Materials are provided and there is a £1 entry fee. Soup lunch: £2. Partners welcome to watch.
DEVOTED TO DANCE:
GET the blood pumping to the heart on Valentine's Day with a dance date. North Devon against Domestic Abuse (NDADA) and Dance Fit are joining together to host an event for the One Billion Rising campaign (demanding an end to domestic abuse). There will be many styles of dance to enjoy, including demonstrations and a chance to join in. Music includes cha cha, merengue, belly dance, Bollywood, pop, salsa. Local schools will also be joining in.
"People can wear what they like but if they can wear something pink or red that would be great," said organiser Anne Marie Wilson. "We will have a graffiti wall there so people can express their feelings about domestic abuse and we will be releasing pink balloons with people's feelings written on to represent freedom.
It's free at the Old Bus Station Café in Barnstaple on Thursday, February 14, noon to 2pm. Visitors can take part or watch performances. Details from Dance Fit on 0779 1568340.
ELDERY people in the South Molton area have an opportunity to meet new friends when one of the town's Abbeyfield centres, Bidders Court opens its doors on Valentine's Day. People of retirement age who live within a ten mile radius are invited to spend the day, inclusive of a free lunch and high tea, in homely surroundings and with the company of other independent, older people. Transport can also be arranged in most cases. Phone Wendy Harris on 01769 573864 or Jo Tough on 01769 572813.