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29 October 2014

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Couple kissing
Let there be love

The cost of Norfolk romance

by Louise Priest
There are cynics who think that Valentines Day is just a money-making venture, but for others it's the perfect chance to prove how much they love someone - but at what cost?

Some would argue that Valentine's Day is just is just another excuse for commercial gain, whereas others believe it's the best time of the year to demonstrate just how romantic they can be.

But how much does it cost in Norfolk to share a token of your love?

From the cheap and cheerful to pushing out the boat, BBC Look East has been looking at some of the less obvious ways of proclaiming your love in the county.

Sporting passions

Thousands of people are passionate about football and some fans like to combine that passion with their feelings for a loved one.

At Carrow Road, if you want the club to announce your proposal over the PA during half-time it may cost you a blush or two, but nothing more.

Bowl of mussels
Mussels are an ideal meal for sharing

You can of course take the option of flowers, cards and chocolates - but if you plumb for a romantic meal for two, be wary of strong flavours and bits getting stuck in your teeth!

One pub in Norfolk, the Walpole Arms at Itteringham, is so concerned of the meal-time perils for tongue-tied lovers, head-chef Andy Parle has devised a three course meals to ensure safe kissing for Valentine's Day - it'll cost you £21 for a trouble-free smacker.

"The idea of the meal is to get away from the chocolate and think more about the romance. To serve something light and not heavy on the spices, to avoid the horror of spinach in your teeth," said Andy.

"I've based the meal on food where lovers can feed each other, you must remember that romantic scene from Lady And The Tramp.

"We've local mussels on the menu from Morston, they're a great excuse for sharing. To follow it's a light melon-based dessert for refreshing the mouth, an essential preparation for whatever else the evening might bring," he added.

Air and earth

If you're the earthy type, for just £3 you can plant a tree for your loved one at Holt Country Park. A token of romance which is destined to bloom as your love grows.

Flying banner 'Susie I love you'.
Declaration of love in Norfolk sky

However, if you wish to to make your feelings more public, an advert in one of the local papers such as the EDP will cost from around £17. Other papers in the area offer the service for free.

Norfolk also offers you the chance to take your love to new heights.

A hot air balloon ride always makes for a special occasion, but if your partner isn't the adventurous kind - then spell out your love with a giant personalised banner, flown from a small aircraft near where you live at a cost of around £170.

"Over the last few years the number of one-off jobs has increased immensely, especially with a romantic theme," said pilot Bob Shilling of Airads.

"It does seem that it's the men who are booking this service, which makes me think they are the real romantics at heart. I can write anything on the banner as long as its decent!" he added.

An old softy at heart, a sky banner is exactly the gesture BBC Look East reporter Alex Dunlop made for his wife Susie Fowler-Watt. The aircraft displaying the banner flew from Old Buckenham airfield in South Norfolk.

last updated: 12/02/05
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