Ten ways to celebrate Valentine's Day in Leicestershire
If you are looking for a taste of romance this Valentine’s Day then don’t miss out on booking a table at one of Leicestershire’s array of top restaurants.
From a Michelin-starred tasting menu at Hambleton Hall to stunning seafood at Barnacles in Hinckley, there are any number of ways to infatuate the foodie in your life on February 14.
But if you are looking for a different kind of dining experience you can treat your loved one to a day of fine food and horse racing at Leicester Racecourse or an afternoon tea dance at Kilworth House.
One evening that is guaranteed to set pulses racing is the St Valentine’s Fine Dining Evening at the Great Central Railway in Loughborough.
You and your partner will be whisked away onboard a Pullman train for a night that includes a six-course meal and gentle journey through the Leicestershire countryside.
Great Central Railway marketing manager Kate Tilley said: “If you are looking for an extra special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day it is a really lovely thing to do.
“It takes place on the Pullman train set which is like the Orient Express of our trains. There are two bar carriages where people will be served pink Champagne and sumptuous canapés before being led to their table before the train departs.”
During the course of the evening diners will be treated to a feast that includes fillet of sole Dugléré with a white wine, tomato and shallot cream sauce and Italian chocolate fondant with fresh strawberries and a white chocolate sauce.
There are a number of stops for people to stretch their legs including the atmospheric Edwardian gas-lit station at Rothley.
And Kate says the whole evening is guaranteed to ensure love is in the air.
She said: “It is a very romantic experience. The dining cars are a very intimate and luxurious space and the journey itself adds to the excitement. It is always a really popular evening.”
For details on how to book your own table onboard the Pullman train and for our pick of the other top Valentine’s Day restaurants in Leicestershire check out the list below.
1. Hambleton Hall, Oakham, LE15 58T, 01572 756 991.
Style: Modern British.
Valentine’s Day: Seven-course tasting menu (available for the entire party only). Three course a la carte menu also available.
Price: Tasting menu £85 per person. A la carte menu £65 per person.
Try: Roast breast of Goosnargh duck with fig and spiced lentils
If you are looking to impress your partner this Valentine’s Day, head for the elegant and luxurious Hambleton Hall.
Michelin-starred head chef, Aaron Patterson has created a stunning seven-course tasting menu designed to take you on a journey of taste, texture and temperature.
This can be coupled with matching wines from sommelier Dominique Baduel who will recommend the perfect accompaniments to your meal.
And to make it a truly unforgettable evening you can also check into one of the country house hotel’s opulent rooms.
2. Carluccio’s, Highcross, Leicester, LE1 4SA, 0116 251 3501.
Valentine’s Day: Four-course tasting menu.
Price: £25 per person.
Try: Lobster lasagne.
The Italians are rumoured to know a thing or two about romance and Carluccio’s is no exception. From February 11 to 16 the restaurant is serving up a delicious four-course meal including two that are designed for sharing.
Mains include lobster lasagne and mushroom risotto but the star of the show is set to be the devilish dessert for two of a passion fruit and dark chocolate heart, white chocolate panna cotta and raspberries.
And at just £25 per person this is also one of the most affordable Valentine’s evenings you will find anywhere in the county.
3. Great Central Railway, Loughborough Central, Great Central Road, Loughborough, LE11 1RW, 01509 632323.
Style: Classic French.
Valentine’s Day: Six-course fine dining menu onboard the Pullman train.
Price: £67 per person.
Try: Braised shin of beef with red wine served with a herb dumpling and parsnip puree.
For an unusual and unforgettable Valentine’s celebration book a table on board the Great Central Railway’s elegant Pullman train.
Kicking-off with pink Champagne and canapés in one of the stylish bar carriages you will then settle down to a superb six course meal while you are transported through the Leicestershire countryside.
The train departs from Loughborough Central at 7.30pm, returning at around 10pm.
4. Barnacles, Watling Street, Hinckley, LE10 3JA, 01455 63322.
Valentine’s Day: Usual a la carte menu.
Price: Mains from £12 to £31.95, £20 deposit required at time of booking.
Try: Cod loin on braised potatoes with prawns, spinach and chorizo spiced sauce.
If your partner is a lover of seafood then a visit to Barnacles is sure to set their heart aflutter.
The popular fish restaurant has foregone the set meals of previous Valentine’s Days to offer its usual wide-ranging a la carte menu.
From lobster to lemon sole and swordfish to salmon, Barnacles specialises in the finest seafood cooked in mix of classic and contemporary styles.
5. Kilworth House, Lutterworth Road, North Kilworth, LE17 6JE, 01858 880058.
Valentine’s Day: Three-course dinner with coffee and petit fours (February 14 and 15) or Afternoon Tea Dance (February 14).
Price: Three-course dinner £40 per person, tea dance £21.95 per person.
Offering not one but two romantic experiences, Kilworth House is serving up a double dose of Valentine’s fun on February 14.
With its domed ceiling, glittering chandeliers and magnificent fireplace, the ornate restaurant provides a spectacular place to enjoy a AA rosette standard three-course meal.
But if you fancy a different kind of Valentine’s experience why not visit the hotel earlier in the day for an afternoon tea dance that includes sandwiches, cakes and live music from the resident ‘Kilworth Trio’.
6. The Golden Fleece, 77 Main Street, South Croxton, LE7 3RL, 01664 840275.
Style: Modern British.
Valentine’s Day: Three-course menu.
Price: £35 per person.
Try: Crispy pan fried wild duck breast with sweet potato fondant and spiced raspberry jus.
Situated in the idyllic village of South Croxton, the Golden Fleece offers a relaxed yet refined evening out.
The restaurant specialises in creative cooking using the finest local produce.
Enticing dishes on the special Valentine’s Day menu include Leicestershire chicken breast with goat’s cheese and pepper mousse and the delectable sharing plate of Golden Fleece desserts.
7. Leicester Racecourse, Oadby, Leicester, LE2 4AL, 0116 271 6515.
Valentine’s Day: Four-course menu.
Price: Entry £12, Valentine’s menu £56 per person.
Try: Tenderloin of Pork with a light mustard and crème fresh sauce with creamy mash.
For a Valentine’s Day guaranteed to set hearts racing take a punt on a day at Leicester Racecourse.
As well as a full afternoon of jump racing, the on-site restaurant is offering a seductive selection of dishes that really enters into the spirit of the day.
The four-course menu include ‘Sexy Slithers’ of smoked salmon and cream cheese on a mini blini, ‘Heart-shaped’ puff pastry topped with figs and gorgonzola and a passion fruit heart cheesecake.
8. Maiyango Hotel and Restaurant, 13-21 St Nicholas Place, Leicester, LE1 4LD, 0116 251 8898.
Style: Modern European.
Valentine’s Day: Five-course tasting menu. (February 14, 15 and 16).
Price: £55 per person.
Whether you are looking for a magical evening out or a romantic overnight getaway the Maiyango Hotel and Restaurant can cater for your every need.
For Valentine’s Day, executive head chef Phillip Sharpe has created a five-course tasting menu showcasing his award-winning brand of modern European cooking using locally-sourced seasonal produce.
You can also book one of the boutique hotel’s luxurious rooms which come complete with Egyptian cotton sheets, goose down duvets and pillows and either walk-in showers or deep bath tubs.
9. Scalford Hall, Melton Road, Scalford, Melton Mowbray, LE14 4UB, 01664 444654.
Valentine’s Day: Three course set menu, disco and overnight stay.
Price: £75 per person.
Try: Dessert sharing plate of Kirsch and hot chocolate shot, iced double chocolate parfait heart and vanilla cheese cake cream and raspberry shortcake.
Unsure whether to take your partner for a meal, a night out or an evening on the tiles this February 14? You can combine all three at Scalford Hall with its fantastic Valentine’s Day package.
A glass of fizz will provide a sparkling to start the evening before your taste buds will be tantalised with a delicious three-course dinner. A disco will then set hearts start pounding on the dance floor before you retire to your romantic room for the night.
10. The Waterfront, Bottom Lock, Gumley Road, Foxton, Market Harborough, LE16 7RA, 0116 279 1515.
Valentine’s Day: Free glass of pink fizz on arrival. Usual a la carte menu. Free bottle of wine for couples who book after 5pm and depart before 7.45pm.
Price: Mains from £10.95-£19.95.
Nestled in the basin at Union Wharf with stunning views of the canal and boats, the Waterfront Restaurant and Bar makes a spectacular Valentine’s dining destination.
On February 14 guests will be welcomed with a glass of complimentary pink bubbly before sitting down to their choice from the ever-changing seasonal a la carte menu.
Combining British and French classics you are sure to find something to your taste whether you fancy a fine fillet steak or a more exotic tiger prawn linguine.
There is also a relaxed bar area upstairs, perfect for enjoying a pre-dinner drink or coffee afterwards.