Top tips for an accessible and budget-friendly Valentine’s Day

Top tips for an accessible and budget-friendly Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is everywhere and the pressure really does feel like it’s on to find love or celebrate an existing relationship. Whether you are disabled or able-bodied, nobody is immune from the avalanche of romantic hype coming your way, or the cost of it. So David Miller from Disability Match shares his top tips for a stress-free, accessible and budget-friendly Valentine’s Day.

I know how easy it can be to get swept up in the expectations and pressures to celebrate Valentine’s Day. But relax and put all the commercial pressure to one side and ask yourself: ‘what will make my Valentine happy?’

Keep that in mind as you read my top tips for how to have an accessible Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank…

Valentine’s Day food

Do you really need to book a restaurant that offers a Valentine Menu at 50% higher price than usual?  Perhaps it would be better to prepare a lovely meal at home and maybe splash out more on a nice wine or a heart-shaped desert?

Many supermarkets offer special deal Valentine’s Day takeaway menus that are restaurant quality but budget prices. This way you can also carefully check ingredients in case you have specific dietary restraints.

If you are more ‘hands on’ in the kitchen then the busycooks.com site has a special ‘budget friendly Valentine feast’ whilst celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver and Nigella have Valentine recipe pages you can get ideas from.  Nigella has ‘love buns’ and Jamie puts his faith in seasonal figs with Parma Ham.

Valentine’s Day restaurants

If you do decide to go out for a meal then the key thing to making Valentine’s Day stress free is finding a restaurant that is easily accessible. Here, help is at hand with the wonderful DisabledGo website where it has a very useful Valentine’s Day page  for accessible restaurants.

The site is super easy to navigate; you just need to enter your location and the search function brings up suitably accessible restaurants or bars in your area. It also includes clear accessibility ratings so you can be sure the evening will go smoothly.

Accessible cinema

Seeing a romantic movie is another great way to spend Valentine’s Day and if you are fortunate to be in London then BFI Southbank has a special Valentine film event showing the best loved romantic films of all time. Many cinemas and cultural centres around the country are hosting similar events, so a look in your local newspaper or regional website will tell you what is going on. For Londoners the Museum of London is presenting its first ever visitor all-nighter for Valentine’s Day with a whole range of events and themed restaurant menus.

Accessible Valentine’s Days out

Around the country there are inexpensive Valentine’s Days out at National Trust properties. One example is Sudbury Hall in Derbyshire, which is offering a Valentine meal at their Coach House at a very reasonable price. You can download all their Valentine events for across the UK on the National Trust website, so you can make it romantic day out in your part of the country.

In a country like England we are often at the mercy of the weather but, if the sun is shining, why not visit a local nature spot together and perhaps have a picnic. If the weather is less accommodating then check out your local museums and galleries, many of which will be wheelchair accessible. If you take lots of photos of your day out you can later have it turned into a printed photo book, which will give you a permanent memory of your Valentine’s Day. If you do this every year you will create a wonderful collection of romantic memories in printed format that you can treasure forever.

Free Valentine’s Day gift

Buying a romantic gift for your partner need not be expensive either. We know that money can’t buy you love, so here are is an idea that will have minimum impact on your wallet.

Why not give your partner ‘Time in a bottle’? Offer your hard-working partner a full day to do whatever he or she wants without interruption. For him it might be a whole day enjoying his hobby or watching his favourite sport.  For her it might be a peaceful soak in a bubble bath.

Announce your gift on with a handwritten note and lots of romantic endearments. Clean out an old wine bottle and roll up your note, place it in the bottle and tie it with a red bow – voila!  A lovely romantic gesture that will cost nothing but love and care.

So as you can see, with a little thought and planning you can capture the true spirit of Valentine’s Day and show your partner you much you love and cherish them.

By David Miller

If you’re looking to find love, visit Disability Match to sign up for online dating, and who knows where you’ll be come Valentine’s Day next year?

Tell us what you’ll be doing for Valentine’s Day – we’d love to see your pictures. Get in touch by messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons, emailing us at editor@disabilityhorizons.com or leaving your comments below.

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