Guest Post: ‘Top spots for eating out at Valentines’ by Stella Newman, author of The Dish

Posted February 12, 2015 by Charlotte in Blog Tour, Guest Post / 0 Comments

'Top spots for eating out at Valentines' by Stella Newman

Today I am delighted to be part of the Blog Tour for The Dish by Stella Newman. Today I have some Top Spots for eating out at Valentines.

I loved reading this story which was full of my favourite things, some romance, witty and loveable characters, and food to drool over (see my review) and highly recommend it for all you Chick-lit fans out there! Don’t forget to visit other blog stops along the tour for other great content. Below Stella shares  her top spots for eating out at Valentines! Just in case you need some inspiration…


I’m not a fan of going out for dinner on Valentine’s Day.  Like New Year’s Eve, the pressure to have THE BEST TIME EVER tends to mar the occasion.  Whenever I’ve done it in the past, restaurants seem to be full of couples bickering, or who’ve run out of things to say to each other.  I’d much rather stay home.  As the fabulous Elizabeth Gilbert’s husband once (more-or-less) said: A woman’s place is in the kitchen.  With her feet up.  Drinking a glass of wine.  With her other half cooking for her.

So yes – ideally I’d have my date make dinner for us – preferably pasta based, followed by an epically rich chocolate pudding with cream on the side.  However if I was feeling more romantically inclined these would be my top three choices in London:

Duck and Waffle, Heron Tower, Liverpool Street

I know I’m always banging on about how truly great it is here – but that’s because it is truly great.  Fantastic food, (particularly the flatbreads) – forty floors up with a stunning view of the whole city – and a lively, buzzy atmosphere.   After dessert I’d make my date travel up and down in the lifts with me. If my date thought this behaviour was in any way tedious, he’d get swiped left.  If he thought it was fun and a touch exhilarating, then he might just be a keeper.  (A similar scene to this does actually appear in The Dish – but is, so far, a figment of my imagination.  I’ll let you know…)

Bocca Di Lupo, Archer Street, Soho

As a pasta obsessive (see Leftovers for details) – I’d be equally happy to go to this brilliant Italian restaurant in Soho.  I’d sit at the ever-so-glamorous-yet-casual bar and pretend I was a 1960s Italian starlet, rather than a woman who’s eaten a few too many chicken dhansaks.  I’d eat deep fried olives, the entire bread basket (their focaccia is amazing, springy, lush with caramelised onions) and then order their delicious orecchiette with spicy sausage.  I’d also drink my own bodyweight in red.  (The date would have to be with someone I’m well past the point of trying to make a good impression on, as I’d be asking for at least one extra bread basket to go with that pasta – possibly two.)

My local curry house

Truth be told, I’d be happiest here.  I could turn up in my pyjamas (my go to outfit these days.)  I’d over-order, eat absolutely everything to the point where my stomach hurt, then revel in the post-curry free After Eights, feeling truly serene and content.  And surely ‘truly serene and content’ (and garlicky) is when one is at one’s sexy best?

Stella’s favourite valentine’s pasta

It’s very hard to pick one’s favourite pasta dish – much like being asked to pick one’s favourite child.  I’m not a huge believer in aphrodisiacs (other than wine) so I wouldn’t bother with asparagus, oysters or any of that malarkey.

Instead I’d opt for the classic feel-good comfort option: macaroni and cheese.  Come on!  It’s February, it’s cold outside, who doesn’t like melted cheese?   Besides, if you’re in a relationship with a man who’s worth half his salt he won’t judge you for wanting to eat loads of carbs and fat. I’d probably luxe it up a bit, push the boat out and use at least 3 cheeses – including Parmesan and a strong Cheddar.  Inevitably I’d add some sort of bacon scenario – probably pancetta or lardons.  And I’d sprinkle with crunchy garlic-buttery breadcrumbs on top for texture and a bit of colour contrast – fancy pants style.

For dessert I’d go for a molten middle chocolate pudding with vanilla ice cream on the side.   And then I’d probably pass out in a contented heap on the sofa.


What do you think of the Top Spots for eating out at Valentines? Will you be going out this Valentines?

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