George's Great British Kitchen
A seaside date in the middle of winter? Belting. George’s were voted number one for fish and chips in Nottingham on TripAdvisor, and will leave you reminiscent of summers past, without the bitter taste of sand-infested sarnies. The fish is perfectly battered, chips twice cooked, and the desserts are worthy of the poshest seaside fair. Skegness, eat yer ticker out. If you’re not really into the marine-based edibles, don’t rule it out as there’s plenty of other meaty and veggie options, and you can sit inside a beach hut while you yam your food. There’ll be no seagulls nickin’ your chips, but we can’t say the same for your date…
Queen Street, NG1 2BL. 0115 950 5521
These lot are open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays, and you know there’s always room for an after-dinner treat. They specialise in Italian artisan gelato, all handmade on site. Dead posh. There are flavours aplenty to pick from, as well as sweet and savoury crepes, waffles, sundaes an’ all sorts. Grab yoursens a seat upstairs to watch the gelato masters at work, and to gaze on the ant people roaming around Old Market Square below.
Beastmarket Hill, NG1 6FB. 0115 924 1579
Tapas is always a great choice, especially if your other half is notoriously indecisive; little bit of this, little bit of that and no hangry arguments in the process. The Mediterranean dishes on offer at Yamas are some of the best, with the menu stuffed full of olives, feta and everything else you need for a Greek feast. Top picks include the apricot and raisin lamb tagine or the spicy patatas bravas. The aioli game is particularly strong here too. Don’t worry about the garlic breath. You’re in this one together.
Thurland Street, NG1 3DR. 0115 950 1000
In the age of man-sized teddies and love-heart balloons, it’s easy to forget that Valentine’s Day isn’t all about extravagant gifts and splashing cash. It’s about spending time with that lovely someone you’ve chosen spend the code nights with. And you don’t necessarily need a three-course dinner to do that, just a place to curl up with some homemade cake, loose leaf tea and a poetry open mic night. For all that, you’ll find nowhere better than the Malt Cross. Stick around for a spot of dinner if you like, or just chill out and admire the historial surroundings.
St James’s Street, NG1 6FG. 0115 941 1048
Lost City Adventure Golf
Fancy meals aren’t for everyone, and there’s always the option of getting smashed on cocktails and playing a game of mini golf instead. Just remember that this is a day for feeling the love, not blinding rage when your bird gets a hole in one on the same course you spent fifteen minutes trying to conquer. Choose from two trails, or attempt all 36 holes for thirteen quid; just watch out for snakes and skulls on the way. After all the balls have been bashed, settle down in the Tiki Bar and reward yourselves with a Spikey Pineapple or a Mosquito Mojito. Romance, sorted.
The Corner House, NG1 4DB. 0115 985 9455
There’s no need to fork out hundreds of pounds for a romantic trip to Thailand when you can get an authentic taste of Southeast Asia just off Maid Marian Way. Put one foot inside Zaap and you’ll instantly be transported to a busy Bangkok street, complete with luminous 7-Eleven signs and tuk-tuks. The menu is packed with popular Thai dishes as well as regional specialities, and the open kitchen allows you to watch your food being made right in front of you, just like in a traditional street food market. It’s a ten outta ten for authenticity.
Bromley Place, NG1 6JG. 0115 947 0204
Aubrey’s Traditional Creperie
Prepare for a crepe like you’ve never experienced before. This proper cute pancake gaff is hidden away from the surface dwellers, in the depths of West End Arcade off Long Row, and will have you swooning over its charming setup, as well as all the most thoughtful savoury and sweet crepe combinations you can imagine. If you and your other half are still a bit brassic after the festive season, cheer yoursens up with a delicious salmon, pickled beetroot and dill yoghurt-dressed galette, and a salted chocolate ice-cream, orange curd and toasted hazelnut crepe for pud. And yes, all the flavour combos are that deliciously interesting.
West End Arcade, NG1 6JP. 0115 947 0855
The Larder on Goosegate
This one’s a fine bit of Notts histreh. Sat atop an Oxfam down Goosegate, The Larder resides in a Grade 2 listed building that was home to the first ever Boots shop, and it’s got the vintage sign and apothecary equipment to prove it. Their Valentine’s menu may cost a pretty penny at £43.95 per person, but will see you eating like royalty with a three-course feast. With four options to choose from for each course, you can sample the finest of cuisine, like monkfish, Nottinghamshire lamb, gin cured wild sea trout and passionfruit cheesecake.
Goosegate, NG1 1FF. 0115 950 0111
The Pelican Club
Nothing screams date night like Italian food and jazz. For San Valentino, The Pelican Club are pulling out all the stops to fill you with divine food, sublime wine and make you both right giddy. They’re flogging three courses for £39.95, with nosh like homemade pasta and classic Italian tiramisu gracing the menu. You’ll also be treated to a live jazz performance from The Foregate Street Band on the big day, who’ll be there belting out all the swing, blues and bossa nova hits. Close your eyes and you might just believe you’ve wound up in fair Verona.
St. Mary’s Place, NG1 1PH. 0115 924 2932