Valentine's Day in Hitchin
By HitchinPeople | Monday, January 31, 2011, 18:00
Not much is known about Saint Valentine, in fact no one is completely
Victorian Valentine Card C1850
sure which of the three Saints called Valentine is being remembered.
What we do know is that ‘a day to honour St Valentine’ has
been in practice since 496AD and he gradually became adopted as the patron
saint of lovers.
In William Shakespheare's Hamlet Valentine's Day is mentioned ruefully by Ophelia (1600-1601)
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
Then up he rose, and donn'd his clothes,
And dupp'd the chamber-door;
Let in the maid, that out a maid
Never departed more.
Unsurprisingly, it was the Victorians who embraced and commercialised
Valentine’s Day, shaping the customs we still observe today. Until this time Valentine’s Day was a
celebration for ‘intimate companions’, the Victorians were the first people to adopt
the tradition of sending anonymous Valentines in the hope of romantic
beginnings. Cards became mass produced
and more and more elaborate featuring things like real and exotic bird
feathers, some with so much embellishment they had to be delivered in a
box. Many of these customs remained
important until the start of the First World War when, for obvious reasons,
they became more subdued, not unlike how we celebrate Valentine’s Day
We have been looking into what Hitchin has to offer to make
your Valentine’s Day special in 2011, starting with that romantic dinner for
is perfect for any special occasion but would be wonderfully romantic on Valentine’s
night. The tasteful decor, well spaced
tables and excellent service are perfect for the occasion.
Offley Place are having two Valentine’s days this year one on Saturday 12th
February where you can expect champagne and canapés on arrival followed by a 5
course meal and musical entertainment. Their
second is on Monday 14th February where you can expect all of the
above (minus the champagne and canapés) check out their menu here. Both come with the option to add a
night’s stay and enjoy the romantic surroundings for a little longer.
As always Doughty’s on Bancroft has pulled out all the stops when it comes to putting together an
extra special menu to celebrate Valentine’s day. For those
of you who have not visited Doughty’s yet it come highly recommended as you can
see from the reviews.
Can you think of anywhere else that would make a great
romantic dinner setting, if so please let us know?