Valentine's Day - where to take your date
Some seductive suggestions for what to do on or around February 14th
Experience a May-December relationship
… or at least, vicariously experience someone else’s. Among the several films the Glasgow Film Theatre are screening to get you into the Valentines spirit on 14 Feb (including Brief Encounter and French coming-of-ager J’aime Regarder les Filles) is Harold and Maude, Hal Ashby’s 1971 black romcom about a morbid young man’s relationship with a 79-year-old woman. As romantic as it gets, surely?
GFT, Glasgow, Wed 14 Feb.
Try some fine dining
As one of the finest French establishments in Glasgow, Restaurant Brian Maule at Chardon D’or can get a bit pricey. If the £75 ‘Pure Luxury’ menu seems a little rich for your tastes though, you can always opt for the half-price ‘Early Love Birds’ option before 6.30pm. The Michelin-starred Kitchin in Leith operates a similar pricing system – a tasting menu will set you back £70 in the evening, but there’s a set menu available for under £27 for lunchtime diners.
Brian Maule at Chardon D’or, 176 West Regent Street, Glasgow, 0141 248 3801, brianmaule.com; The Kitchin, 78 Commercial Quay, Edinburgh, 0131 555 1755, thekitchin.com
See where beauty really lies
Loosely linked to the tercentenary celebrations of David Hume’s birthday, eclectic exhibition Beholder gathers together works by various artists on the theme of beauty. Included are works by Yoko Ono, Karla Black, Giorgio Morandi, Alan Reid and Hamish Fulton, while another exhibiter, Anthony Schrag, was recently spotted sitting in the gallery telling visitors how beautiful they were – rather than an attempt to muscle in on anyone’s turf, see it instead as just well-meant love-spreading.
Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh, until Sat 18 Feb.
Sip a tasty tipple
There’s nothing special going on at The Raconteur for Valentine’s Day, but to be honest, its delicious selection of cocktails are already amorous enough. Our top tip would be the Charlie Chaplin (Sloe gin, apricot brandy and lemon juice), although the staff will happily whip up something special just for you. In Glasgow, the same applies at Ivy, where rum-based cocktails are the order of the day: ask for your personal favourite, or sample the Lady Stardust (Pampero Blanco rum, lime juice, house made Demerera gomme, pressed apple juice and star anise tincture).
50 Dean Street, Edinburgh, 0131 343 3221, theraconteuredinburgh.com; 1102-1106 Argyle Street, Glasgow, 0141 337 3006, ivyglasgow.co.uk
Create your own work of art
Led once a month by artist Damian Callan, the Easel Sketching in the Gallery sessions at the Scottish National Gallery gives you the chance to create something unique and artistic for your Valentine, or alternatively, go along as a singleton and meet some similarly artistically-minded people. There’s a different theme each month (but given the session’s proximity to the 14th, we think it’s fairly obvious what February’s subject will be), and life models are sometimes on hand to lend some perspective.
Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh, Thu 16 & Fri 17 Feb.
Arrange a Rendez-vous at the Arches
Following a highly successful run at the 2011 Fringe, FellSwoop theatre company are set to bring their adaptation of Sylvain Chomet’s Belleville Rendez-vous to the Arches. Accordingly, the Arches Café Bar has been transformed into a rustic French bistro, with an appropriately Gallic menu to be served on performance days. There’s also a special three-course Valentine’s menu to be served on the 14th, available for a bargainous £20.
The Arches Café Bar & Restaurant, 253 Argyle Street, Glasgow, 0141 565 1035, thearches.co.uk; FellSwoop Jazz Quartet presents Extracts from Belleville, Fri 10 Feb; FellSwoop’s Belleville Rendez-vous, Sat 11 Feb.
Have a spiritual experience
Take part in a Victorian-era séance, conducted by the flicker of gaslight – or at least, experience what such a thing might have been like. The Infamous Brothers Davenport is the latest production from visual theatre company Vox Motus, based on the lives of real life American spiritualists William and Ira Davenport. Sure, a séance might seem more suited to Hallowe’en than Valentine’s Day, but you’ll thank us when your date is clinging onto your arm.
Lyceum, Edinburgh, until Sat 11 Feb (not Mon & Sun); Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 14-Sun 18 Feb.
Sample the underground dining scene
It’s the mark of a cultured sort to be well-informed about the lesser-known corners of the culinary scene, and Stockbridge basement restaurant Purslane is more discreet than most. With room for only 20 diners, Paul Gunning’s recently opened establishment relies less on PR-based exposure than simple word of mouth generated by having great dishes on offer. The Valentine’s set menu is testament to this: both the starters (such as a roast tomato consommé with goats cheese tortellini) and desserts (dark chocolate marquise with vanilla ice-cream) sound mouth-wateringly good.
33a St Stephen Street, Edinburgh, 0131 300 0840, purslanerestaurant.co.uk
Learn the steps to the dance of desire
No, not the Macarena. Tango Libre is a weekly dance class that takes place in authentic Spanish-run restaurant La Bodega Tapas Bar. Attendees to the Thursday evening ‘Tango Salon’ can polish up on their dance steps, while a free salsa club the following afternoon exists as an opportunity to show off your newly found fancy footwork. Needless to say, there’s some delicious Spanish cuisine on offer as well – perfect for a slightly spicier Valentine’s fiesta.
La Bodega Tapas Bar, Glasgow, Thu 16 Feb.
Indulge in some classical romance
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra has book-ended St Valentine’s Day with a double dose of romance this year. The weekend before, they perform a Romantic Valentines set, including the ‘Elvira Madigan’ movement from Mozart’s ‘Piano Concerto No. 21’. Then a few days afterwards, it’s the turn of Prokofiev’s ballet score for Romeo and Juliet, as part of their Naked Classics series.
RSNO: Romantic Valentines, Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 10 Feb; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 11 Feb. RSNO: Naked Classics - Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Thu 16 Feb, and Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Fri 17 Feb.