Take the stress out of Valentine’s Day…
How about going out and buying your gifts with each other as part of the fun! Because after all; isn't it REALLY about being together?
Have you been with your other half for yonks and haven’t thought about Valentine’s Day in years? Or are you the person who dreads the whole commercialisation of it, and knows that whatever you buy, your partner will no doubt re-gift it, or even worse, leave it in that messy drawer that never sees the light of day? If the answer to either is yes, why not spend the pressie shopping time together and take the worry out of it being such a big deal.
My other half (aka Plus One) and I have already booked a meal out for the big V Day next Thursday; but since he’s not renowned for his gift giving and quietly frets about it but does nothing, I took things into my own hands and suggested a pre V Day trip out to Rushden Lakes.
First stop House of Fraser! I’m a big fan of HoF, maybe a little less so since Sports Direct Mike Ashley has taken over and surreptitiously seems to be moving in some sporty, Sports Direct type stock into the clearance section. Still; I once did ALL of my Xmas shopping in a House of Fraser. Ok, it was in London, but they all have quite the selection to appease even the pickiest of recipients.
First up was a visit to the Fragrance section which has loads of big brands crying out for you to spritz them, ensuring you leave the store smelling of 28 different perfumes. It’s a lovely space for a browse but before I could say ‘mmm I love Tom Ford Neroli Portofino’, Plus One had spied a sale on in the Dune concession.
I managed a scoot around while he was otherwise engaged and picked up some Diesel pants and some BIBA candles (fine, the BIBA contingent is really for me, but hey, he likes candles too).
Whether it’s undies, jewellery, cufflinks, make-up or bags; you don’t have to face the frosty winds much in your pursuit of a V Day purchase here; it’s all under one roof. If you want to browse further afield then there’s loads more shops within 100 metres (check out full list here). We made a detour to Next to see if the dressing gowns were on sale (classy), and Plus One felt it was in the Valentine’s spirit to check out a table tennis table in Decathlon because ‘we’ll both get to enjoy it, right?’
Breathing in deeply and counting to 10, I suggested a walk around the lakes. It was all frozen over and looked eerily beautiful as the sun was setting. However many times I go to Rushden Lakes, the fact you can be in mid shop chaos to outdoorsy freshness within seconds (often not a soul in sight at the lake), is pretty special.
Appetite built up to the max we had the choice of Pizza Express, Wagamamma, Five Guys, Nandos and Wildwood (plus loads more) for a post shop, post walk feast…We plumped for Wildwood because he’d never been and really fancied a pizza, and I also remembered once having a rather good king prawn and chilli linguine.
Neither dish disappointed and they also have a great selection of cocktails (perfect to pucker up with on V Day)!
The wild mushroom crostini with truffle oil was a welcome surprise and Plus One also liked the dimmed lighting and restaurant vibe (when you ask for an extra fork you get it along with a new napkin; nice)! The Valentine’s Day menu is served from Feb 11th until 17th and includes 4 courses with a glass of wine or beer, so it’s really good value whatever your budget (well, unless your budget is less than £19.95 and you’re just paying for yourself obvs)!!!
All in all we had a great pre Valentine’s Day date and I’d heartily recommend it. If you’re a traditionalist and still want to be surprised, you could always separate for a few hours and meet back up with the goods. Either way, there’s plenty of places afterwards to eat, drink and step up the romance (ooooh, if you get proposed to, let us know! We love a good proposal yarn here at Muddy)!
THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED, THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED AS SOON AS WE’VE INFORMED THEM (lucky things 😁).
Thanks so much for all of your entries. You gave us poems, little insights into your lives and absolutely loads of optimism. I’m sorry you couldn’t all win but thank you for engaging with Muddy Stilettos Northants, we always hope to entertain you and talk about all that’s good and great about our county ☺️
Fancy a £150 Valentine’s Day gift from Rushden Lakes. There’s £75 to spend at a shop of your choice and £75 for food and drink after! Just leave a comment below! Competition closes Tues 13th Feb at midnight.
Rushden lakes (and remember, it stays open until 8pm)!