Love is in the air!
Love is in the air!
Did you know that Valentine’s Day was celebrated in ancient Rome? Well actually the ancient Romans (who weren’t so ancient at the time . . .) celebrated a festival known as Lupercalia between 13th and 15th February. Like a lot of Roman behaviour, it appears to have been slightly debauched, in that it involved naked folk running through the streets whipping the bottoms of young women to improve their fertility!
Fortunately for our cold February climate--after the early Christian church declared the 14th February St Valentine’s Day in 496AD--someone decided that it should symbolise love and cosy intimacy, rather than lust. This may be partly connected with the legend that birds choose their mates and start nest-building on Valentine’s Day, which in turn came from a poem by Chaucer in 1382.
And while we’re on a literary theme, we can confirm that Valentine’s Day had become part of English tradition by at least 1601, because Shakespeare wrote about it in Hamlet.
This long tradition, with an estimated 1 billion Valentine cards sent worldwide every year, is certainly a popular celebration. And like most celebrations it involves a special meal. Not the usual large party gatherings like Christmas or Chinese New Year, but something cosy and intimate for two. A real treat.
A treat for some couples might mean a starter of oysters, a main course of Chateaubriand to share, and a rich melting chocolate pot for dessert—with Champagne to drink. For others it could be a meal full of aromatic or spicy flavours washed down with ice-cold beer. And anything in-between.
Whatever type of catering you provide it’s possible to create a special Valentine’s menu to encourage new and existing customers to dine with you.
As most Valentine’s Day menus feature indulgent dishes—food to be savoured slowly while gazing into each other’s eyes—it’s also important to create the right mood for the occasion.
The word ‘romantic’ comes from ‘in the Roman manner’, but we’re not so sure the way those ancient Romans behaved is our idea of romance. You may remember we mentioned the Danish folk’s love for ‘hygge’ earlier in the year. Well we think embracing this concept might be the perfect and simple way to create the right Valentine’s Day experience for your guests.
The room’s layout is important—tables shouldn’t be too close together—plus attractive menu design and descriptions will help stimulate your customers’ appetites. All that’s needed to complete the romantic ambience are candles and pretty table décor. Turn on the soft lights and sweet music and you’re good to go.