Or should I say "how til have a Norn Iron Valentine's!"
Valentine's Day can bring an overwhelming sense of panic and schmaltz. If you want to get away from the cliché of expensive flower arrangements and cheap valentines chocolate to do something special, then I have planned the perfect day. As usual with my gift guides I've tried to give it a local vibe and focus on Northern Ireland businesses, I find that to shop local is the best way to add a unique touch.
So here it is. The ultimate Northern Irish Valentines Day.
*photo courtesy of @BelfastTimes
Blogger extraordinaire Jeff from Belfast Times is killing it with the card game! These cheeky Norn Ironism cards will give your date a chuckle and about the cheese of your standard Hallmark cards. Available online at Etsy or, if you've left it a bit late, nip down to St George's Market, he's there every weekend!
This one is optional as you might already have put a lot of work in to your day and, let's face it, this display of love shit's expensive!
IF you really want to give a gift then I recommend going for a print or something handmade. Are you dating an MMA fan? How about a Conor McGregor print from CiaranMonaghanArt. For your gamer/geek lover I'm a huge fan of LowLabs style and he has a wide range of geek inspired art! For something custom how about this moon print from LoveLovePrintsShop? I'm not usually a fan of word art but I think this is a cute way to say how much you love someone!
The Dinner Date
*photos courtesy of @DanielsTweedies
Thinking of a romantic meal but don't want to face the packed out crowds and overpriced set menus of the city? Head to Daniel's at Tweedies in Parkgate (15 minutes outside Belfast near Templepatrick) and take advantage of one of their February offers that don't break the bank. Daniel himself is Michelin trained so £50 for a three course meal for two is a bargain! Although you may not want to brag too much about that to your date!
*Photo courtesy of @LilyPinkBaker
Ok, you've had your Dinner by now, you've swapped your optional gifts, you have chuckled at your cards and you've maybe gone for a nice drive to take in the moment... time to bring on the sweetness! A selection of cupcakes from Belfast Baker Lily Pink Bakery are an absolute must if you're looking for a sweet romantic gesture. I'm a firm believer that if you want to say you love someone say it with cake. Claire's cupcakes are the best in terms of taste and texture and ridiculously pretty to boot.
The perfect way to bring on those sweet thankyou kisses! Too much? Seriously though you guys... they're so good.
The Dirty Stopover
Ok we're getting down to business now. If you don't mind a bit of a drive the Bubble Dome in Finnlough Fermanagh is probably the ultimate in Northern Irish romantic getaways. Unfortunately it is already booked out throughout the whole of February and most of 2017 but if you're planning ahead you can get it for next year! Fear not, they have a number of rooms, cottages and guesthouses that are still available and you'll get to wake up to this gorgeous view. Not a bad substitute!
Of course you could just sack it all off and spend the day in bed with a tub of Morrellis. That would be fun too!