Valentine’s Day is the most romantic day of the year and a perfect excuse to do something special to mark the occasion by spoiling your partner – and yourself – in the process.
Whether the day brings thoughts of flowers, drinks, candlelit meals or heart-shaped chocolates, it’s a day rife with traditions – with countless new ones being made as people find alternative ways to celebrate the day.
There’s no reason to travel any further than our very own city centre to find a range of local businesses offering a range of different deals and cuisines, with something to suit every budget.
Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland Business Improvement District believes that Sunderland ticks every box when it comes to making plans for February 14.
“We are so lucky to have such an eclectic range of businesses that have chosen to make their home in Sunderland and Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to make the most of what’s on our door step,” said Sharon.
“Whether people choose to follow tradition and go for an evening meal or if they celebrate it in their own way with afternoon tea or drinks, Sunderland has everything you need to have a fantastic night and show your partner that you’ve made the effort.”
With so many to choose from, here at the BID we’ve rounded up some of the best Valentine’s menus and deals Sunderland has to offer.
D’Acqua, John Street
Brick archways and French oak flooring creates a romantic atmosphere for a Valentine’s date.
Favourite dishes such as halloumi fish and chips and beef short rib make an appearance on the Valentine’s menu, which is £26 per person for three courses.
And as an extra special touch, diners will receive a red rose at their table, where they can enjoy their meal while listening to live music from Anthony Stringer.
Serendipity Tea and Trinkets, 10 Frederick Street
If you’re looking to do something different to the popular evening meal, why not take your partner for sparkling afternoon tea in the city to celebrate the day?
The tea room is known for its vintage crockery and roses on the tables add a special touch for Valentine’s Day, with a selection of handmade scones, cakes and sandwiches – and not forgetting the Prosecco.
The Funky Indian and Prosecco Bar, Mowbray Park Centre
The colourful décor and an actual rickshaw at one end of the bar means this is another Sunniside favourite.
And those who find it difficult to choose just one dish will be pleased to know that The Funky Indian are offering unlimited tapas for £14.95 per person on Valentine’s Day.
There’s the added bonus of the Prosecco Bar on site too for a glass of fizz to get the night off to a really great start.
Angelo’s Ristorante, 48 W Sunniside
A restored 19th Century building serving Italian classics with a modern twist makes this a popular choice.
For Valentine’s Day there’s something to fit every budget, starting at £12.95 for two courses and £15.95 for three between 5pm and 6.30pm or £20.95 and £24.95 in the evening.
Here, you and your partner can enjoy favourites like stone baked pizzas and homemade pasta, as well as a whole host of indulgent starters and desserts.
Asiana, Echo Building
With the opportunity to take advantage of a panoramic view of the River Wear while you dine, it’s not hard to see the appeal.
Their Valentine’s menu consists of a three course meal for £25, or £20 if the meal is ordered between 5pm and 6pm.
Bringing the taste of the Far East to Sunderland, you can choose from mains like sizzling fillet steak Cantonese or sweet and sour chicken
The Place Café, Bar and Bistro, Silksworth Row
This versatile setting is a café by day and transforms into a stylish cocktail bistro by night.
It’s not holding back on flavour for February 14, offering appropriately named mains like the mighty love burger and a selection of mouth-watering desserts.
At £15 for three courses, it would be hard to find better value for money in the city but they have a separately priced Valentine’s menu available too.
Tosca Italian, 25 Derwent Street
Saint Valentine himself was from Italy, so it’s no wonder Italian food is so popular in Sunderland.
Guaranteed a warm welcome from this family-run restaurant with candlelit tables and sepia pictures lining the walls, it makes the perfect setting for a romantic dinner.
Serving their usual à la carte menu, female diners will receive a homemade chocolate truffle in a heart-shaped box as an extra touch to the evening.
City Bistro, Park Lane
Sunderland College’s training restaurant has a fantastic reputation for the skill of its up and coming chefs.
For £30 a person loved up couples can enjoy Champagne and canapes on arrival followed by “three plus” courses at the stylish City Bistro. The menu involves a range of exciting ingredients, from truffles to dark chocolate.
Port of Call, Park Lane
There’s plenty of good food on the menu but if you fancy a liquid Valentine’s Day why not hit the cocktail menu at Port of Call.
“Toucan Play At That Game” sounds the perfect drink to share.
BDazzled Flowers and Events, Waterloo Place
If Valentine’s Day gifts really do leave you puzzled, you can’t go wrong with flowers.
From traditional roses to funky arrangements, this great store has numerous choices available.
Forget Me Not Florists, The Station
If the realisation when you’re heading home from work that you haven’t bought a Valentine’s gift, fear not – Forget Me Not Florists to the rescue!
It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling by taxi, train or Metro, this small in size but big in options florists will save the day.