Whether it’s your significant other or your best mate, there are tons of places to spend Valentine’s Day in Portsmouth, plus a great selection of edible gifts to enjoy at home.
We’re rounded up some of our favourite Valentine’s Day treats from local businesses plus our favourite set menus to help you plan something special.
Carter & Co
Carter & Co are hosting an evening to remember with a gourmet 3-course meal including fizz on arrival and live music from Ricky Zalez.
We often go to Carter & Co for our date night and enjoy a large glass of wine and some small plates. From their Valentine’s Day menu I would find it hard to choose between the swede gnocchi (because I’m a little obsessed with gnocchi this winter!) and the pan-fried bream (because it comes with a crab tail brioche roll!). One thing for sure though is that I would certainly go for the trio of desserts because no one likes choosing just one!
We sampled the below dishes off their Valentine’s Day menu along with their special Valentine’s Day cocktail.
- Confit duck leg, blood orange, carrot puree and lovers slaw
- Baked camembert to share, rosemary focaccia, watercress salad, topped with red onion marmalade and pomegranate seeds
- Slow-roasted pork belly, bubble and squeak, kale, date and apple puree, pork jus
- Vegan vanilla pana cotta, grilled pineapple, gingernut crumb
Our favourite dish has to be the pork belly. As someone who doesn’t eat pork, Carlos was surprised to find me going back for more. It really was the tastiest pork belly I’ve had in a long long time, if not ever!
Find the full menu here.
Pre-booking is essential and you can do that online or by calling them on 023 0400 8103 or emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org to book. As with most places these days, a deposit is required to secure the booking. Look out for their new rooms, available to book soon!
Pauline’s Maracons make the perfect gift. For starters, they are so beautiful and well presented. They also taste great too and there’re always new flavours to try. In our eyes, they are a million times better and more thoughtful than your standard box of chocolates.
Pauline is hand-making a mixed box of macarons, especially for the occasion.
Each box contains:
♥️ 1x chocolate brownie (contains gluten)
♥️ 1x cookies n’ cream
♥️ 1x choco-banana
♥️ 2x raspberry & mango
♥️ 2x lychee & rose
♥️ 2x vanilla
Collection is on Saturday 12th and Sunday13th of February from Cosham. You can also have them delivered to that special someone on the day itself at a cost of £1 per mile. Each box is £13.50.
If your date or mate is gluten-free (omit choc brownie flavour) or if there is a flavour that you don’t like and prefer to swap, do not hesitate to ask. Pauline is very accomodating and everything is made by hand.
The Beach Club
If you want an exceptionally romantic Valentine’s Day in Portsmouth then head down to The Beach Club at sunset for a glass of fizz on the water’s edge. This Valentine’s Day they will be offering a special three-course menu and optional wine pairing. I mean, if you’re going to go all out, matching wines is a must! Food will be served inside in the dimply lit restaurant but you’ll still be able to look out to sea and see the twinkling lights of ships on the horizon.
During the night there will be live music including harpist Kate Ham who will be setting the mood with covers of popular contemporary classics. The great thing about this menu is that it is available on Valentine’s Day itself and Saturday 12th February, great if you don’t fancy heading out on a school night.
Looking at the menu, I’d personally go for the lobster croquettes, thermider sauce and caviar (see above photo) as this sounds a little different to your usual starter. Id’ then choose the sea bass ballotine, crispy skin shards, wilted spinach and Jersey royal cake, pak choi, saffron and lemon beurre blanc because we’re by the sea after all. All the desserts tickle my fancy but the molton s’mores cookie dough brownie, chocolate soil and cappuccino ice cream would be my order.
You can reserve a table from 7pm both nights via their website.
Skulls and cherries making a return for this year’s Valentines treat box, only £17.
- 2 x Cinnamon sugar cookies
- 2 x Red velvet cookies
- 2 x Brownie donuts
You can also pre-order a vegan brownie heart for £15 which can be made with or without gluten.
Both can be finished with a ribbon and a love note if you wish. Collection from Fratton Saturday 12th February 9am-12pm. Instagram DM to order.
If you’re looking for somewhere to end your Valentine’s Day in Portsmouth then Drift Bar is a great place to grab a nightcap. It’s spacious, spread out on three different floors with the top two much quieter so perfect for a date. We’d recommend a glass of the Big Aussie, an exceptionally nice Shiraz.
The Firepit guys will be in the kitchen serving up a selection of small plates and pizzas should you wish to have a nibble. We recommend one of their pizzas with the parma ham and caramelised onion one being our favourite.
Single and ready to mingle? Drift and holding a Galentine’s Partini night on Friday the 11th of February, a final chance to nab a date before the big day! Tickets are £29 and include 90 minutes of bottomless martinis (three flavours), small plates from Fire Pit Kitchen and glitzy RnB classics. Buy tickets online.
Nothing says “I love you” like a Hideout Coffee and Donut. This Valentine’s Day there will be specials, there always are, but they won’t be revealed until nearer the day.
Good news is that there’s likely to be a few different flavours, more than enough to make up a box (and we recommend you get a box). You can also pre-order your donuts in advance via GoodEats for collection or if you can’t bear to leave your sofa snuggles, Deliveroo will bring them to you.
New to Hideout is a quirky photo booth situation in their basement pink room – perfect for capturing memories of you and your Valentine. Look out for their everchanging 0800 slogans above the counter and be prepared for the occasional phallic coffee art.
Needs Street Food at The Merchant House
For a no-fuss, casual Valentine’s Day in Portsmouth, the Merch (otherwise known as The Merchant House) would be on our list. It’s our local and we enjoy countless craft beers gazing into each other’s eyes while munching our way through a sloppy burger. Sometimes you just can’t be arsed to get dressed up for your significant other, right?
Need Street Food serve up delicious burgers every time and if you’re one for sharing then a bowl of loaded fries or their epic mac and cheese will be sure to impress you, your date or your mate. Taps change all too regularly (we can’t keep up) and there’s a pretty decent spirit selection too (I need more Koko Kanu rum in my life). Great to see Deya’s Steady Rolling Man New England IPA still going strong, it’s their best seller.
You can’t book at the Merch which makes it great for those who are spontaneous, or unorganised, however, you want to look at it!
Whatever you decide to do this Valentine’s Day in Portsmouth there are plenty of options for a jolly good time. Be sure to pre-order or book in advance, you don’t want to be left with beans on toast.