I am well aware that Valentine’s Day is not everyone’s favourite holiday. Yet even if you disagree with the commercialization of romance or the celebration of couples which leaves singletons out in the cold, Valentine’s Day still occurs every 14th of February. Being the small city that it is, Durham doesn’t offer a large range of options for taking your date out, most either too closely resemble every other date you’ve ever been on or the restaurant is hiking up its prices by 50% for this one evening. I’ve compiled here a few suggestions that won’t cause too much money stress but also offer something slightly more exciting than another night at the Swan.
1. An Afternoon at Crook Hall: Yes, it isn’t the best month out of the year to be visiting the gardens, but take a fifteen minute look around and then settle into the lovely café for their afternoon tea, which includes entrance into the grounds for £24.50 per person.
2. Dinner at Garden House Inn: Slightly outside the general radius of the town centre, you actually feel like you’re managing to escape Durham for a few hours without having to get a bus or train.
3. Drinks and Dessert: Please just take me to Whiskey River. I know it’s overpriced and that you aren’t the biggest fan of cocktails, but I will pay for my ridiculous chocolate concoctions and then we can just pick up some Ben & Jerry’s on the way home…it’s going to be on offer somewhere.
4. Looking for something themed?: The Court Inn has a very silly Valentine’s Day menu that is bound to either make you uncomfortable (‘sexy prawns laid with a rampant cock tail sauce’???) or laugh your way through the meal for £50 per couple.
5. Breakfast at Claypath Delicatessen: Going out for a meal that night before pretty much ensures you’ll get a reservation and a cheaper meal. But if you still want to do something on the day itself, Claypath Deli has great breakfasts for £5, including your coffee or tea.