Valen­tine’s gifts:

Norfolk can claim to be the county of ro­mance as home to leg­endary gift-giver Jack Valen­tine, plus the village where the first Valen­tine was sent, and miles of brac­ingly ro­man­tic seashore all be­neath our fa­mously big skies – ideal for some starry-eyed sta

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE -

Ideas with a Norfolk twist

WITH FLOW­ERS

Roses are the flower of ro­mance – and fill three acres of gar­dens at Peter Beales Roses in At­tle­bor­ough.

Peter spent much of his life pre­serv­ing wild and clas­sic roses, sav­ing some from ex­tinc­tion as well as breed­ing 70 new rose types. The na­tional col­lec­tion of old roses is held here and the dis­play gar­dens are open daily, for free, along­side a gar­den cen­tre and gift shop for ro­man­tic pur­chases.

WITH A PIC­TURE BY LUCY LOVE­HEART

Norfolk artist Lucy Love­heart is loved around the world for her quirky, sparkly pictures which of­ten cel­e­brate her love of Norfolk – its coast, coun­try­side and ar­chi­tec­ture. Fairy­tale palaces, moon­lit beaches, bird-thronged or­chards, blue skies and happy peo­ple and an­i­mals abound. Her big­ger art­works brighten homes, ho­tels and shops and restau­rants around the world, while her work can also be bought for the price of a greet­ings card.

ON A NIGHT OF A THOU­SAND STARS

Cas­cad­ing from a rose to a dragon is the name of the evening event at the Seething Ob­ser­va­tory on Fe­bru­ary 16. Chris Green­field of the Nor­wich Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety will take you on a tour of some of his favourite win­ter ce­les­tial sights be­gin­ning at 8pm. This is one of the reg­u­lar pub­lic evenings held at the ob­ser­va­tory, near Lod­don. If the night is clear vis­i­tors can ex­plore the night sky them­selves, with a chance to look through some of the tele­scopes af­ter the talk. Ad­mis­sion £3 per adult and £1.50 chil­dren.

WITH WINE FROM A NORFOLK VINEYARD

Win his or her heart with a glass of Win­birri, made in Surling­ham, near Nor­wich. Win­birri Vineyard pro­duces wines so good they have won in­ter­na­tional awards; its Win­birri Bachus was named the world’s top white wine made from a sin­gle grape va­ri­ety in 2017. Other vine­yards putting Norfolk wine on the map in­clude the Chet and Waveney Val­ley Vineyard in Bergh Ap­ton. Based on a tra­di­tional fam­ily farm, it pro­duces award-win­ning sparkling, white and rose wines. The Hum­b­le­yard Vineyard in Mul­bar­ton also spe­cialises in white, rose and sparkling wines.

WITH CHOCOLATES LOV­INGLY MADE IN NORFOLK

Try Gnaw bars, but­tons or hot choc shots, cre­ated in their Gnaw­folk kitchen in Nor­wich, with flavours in­clud­ing fudge crunch, le­mon meringue and rasp­berry crisp. There’s a bar dec­o­rated with chewy red hearts for lovers and even a rocky road can be ro­man­tic in choco­late form. Booja-Booja, based in Brooke, near Nor­wich, cel­e­brates its 20th an­niver­sary this year. Its dairy-free de­li­cious­ness in­cludes choco­late truf­fles in flavours such as cham­pagne, rasp­berry, tof­fee strudel and al­mond-salted caramel.

WITH A WALK ALONG SOME OF THE MOST RO­MAN­TIC BEACHES IN BRI­TAIN

Search for heart-shaped stones at Cromer; have a Hol­ly­wood mo­ment at Holkham, star of the clos­ing scenes of Shake­speare in Love; en­joy the ro­mance of windswept cliffs near Mun­des­ley; or join the birds which are said to choose their mate on St Valen­tine’s Day. Let your hearts soar with the birds as they wheel across one of our world-fa­mous wildlife re­serves, or stay warm and cosy and watch the win­ter flood­lit swan feeds at Wel­ney Wet­land Cen­tre, daily un­til Fe­bru­ary 28.

WITH SHELLFISHR­ELATED CLICHÉS

North Norfolk is your oys­ter, for oys­ters. Warm the cock­les of his or her heart with cock­les. Oys­ters have been har­vested from the sea and salt­marshes of the north Norfolk coast for gen­er­a­tions. There are still oys­ter beds in Bran­caster Har­bour. And cock­les from Stiffkey, called Stiffkey (pro­nounced stookey) blues, are said to be the best in the coun­try. Try at a sea­side stall or shack for a spur-of-the-mo­ment ro­man­tic snack.

ABOVE:The Seething Ob­ser­va­tory, near Bun­gay. Pic­ture: Nor­wich Astro­nom­i­cal So­ci­ety

FAR LEFT:A Peter Beales rose called San­dring­ham, which was launched at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2016.

LEFT: Wine­maker Lee Dyer of Win­birri Vine­yards

Holkham Beach

Bran­caster oys­ters

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