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Another year, another Valentines Day with the man who has my heart… this was only our third Valentines Day together and being of the romantic persuasion we always try to do something special… We’re not into big expensive gestures but homemade gifts and a romantic treat are normally on the cards…

The previous two years have seen us indulge in a mini getaway or a discounted hotel stay, this year however our purse strings are pulled incredibly tight saving for multiple weddings and hen do’s so we decided to indulge in a more low key affair and take advantage of having the house to ourselves.

Prior to V.Day, I made Maxwell a cute little suggestive embroidery and ordered a massage bar from Lush (see my Valentines top ten) and also gave him a card I found at a Market back in December last year…

Our day began with a lazy morning in bed, gifts and flowers, and crumpets in bed… having a break from our healthy eating regime we may have topped up breakfast with a few chocolates too…

Once we were showered and dressed we braved the drizzle and headed out to Midhurst to browse their plentiful charity shops and find somewhere lovely for lunch.

If you’ve never been before, you must… it’s a really cute little quaint street where it seems ever other shop is a charity shop or a gift shop! Even with trying to be good a few sneaky cheap purchases were made… The highlight of Midhurst’s shops (in our opinion) is Marmaduke’s, a vintage and antiques heaven! Don’t be fooled by the organised photos on the website, Marmaduke’s is 90% chaos, but wonderful, stacked to the ceiling, careful you don’t cause a landslide chaos!

Creeping through the thin aisles with treasures piled high on either side is fantastic…. 8 sellers in total sell their wares over 3 floors and as you head to the upper floors the wares become easier to browse and slightly less chaotic!

Vintage fashions, antiques, crockery, trims, knick knacks are all upstairs and if money allowed we could have easily filled Maxwells Van!

In the end we left with just one purchase, Maxwell brought me a beautiful, slightly fierce looking antique Japanese Doll, we called her ‘Valentine’ and with her painted red lips and matching dress it suits her completely.

We stopped for lunch in The Wheatsheaf Pub for a toasted cheese sandwich and a glass of wine (taster board of beers for Maxwell) and left feeling over full and a little tipsy (effects of dry January still in effect).

We walked off the wooziness whilst checking out the beautiful Cowdray Ruins. As the light faded we packed up the van, grabbed a warming hot chocolate and headed home via a supermarket to pick up ingredients for dinner.

Our friends brought us this wonderful cookbook for Christmas and we’ve been slowly working our way through the recipes…. we decided on smashed pea, dill and feta crostini to start the Artichoke and Goat’s Cheese Ravioli for main… this is however when things took a wrong turn…a funny but wrong turn…

I left my boy in the kitchen downstairs and set up a romantic indoor floor picnic for us  in the lounge with vintage blankets, flowers and lots of candles and cushions…

The starter was amazing, in the absence of fresh peas (Waitrose, I am disappointed in you!) we substituted frozen peas and soya beans, not cooked but just blanched in boiling water, and actually this was delicious! I would 100% recommend this, so light and full of flavours….. We’ve already made it up again for a side accompaniment to a dinner.

The main on the other hand was a disaster right from the start haha….

1, don’t ever try and prepare your own artichokes…. from the 3 artichokes I purchased (which aren’t cheap may I add) we were left with an overflowing bin and the most puny amount of artichoke to cook! Next time we would just buy a jar for a third of the price and probably have 3 times as much produce too!

It probably didn’t help that I also forgot the goats cheese and our attempt to use fresh lasagne sheets in place of wonton squares also didn’t work… you gotta laugh and we did!

In the end we did what we do best and improvised a lasagne with layers of rich sun-dried tomato and fresh basil sauce and a creamy pine nut, artichoke, garlic and lemon filling.

Completely not what we planned but seriously tasty all the same!

A giant jammy dodger and another glass of wine was enjoyed as we curled up in blankets and watched a film…

So there you go, that was our Valentines day… I’d love to hear what you all got up to?! Please feel free to share your Valentine Day Posts!

 

Here are some pics I snapped along the way….

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