Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! If you’re still scratching your head for original date ideas, we’ve been searching out some of the more unusual things you can do to celebrate the occasion right here in East Sussex.
Let your creativity run wild at a painting pottery session. This is a unique date experience with the added bonus of taking your creations home to remember the special time. You can book painting sessions in Brighton, Eastbourne, Lewes, and Uckfield.
Many of the pottery studios have a range of pottery to choose from and helpful assistants on hand to guide you through the process. Some even have a selection of hot and cold drinks, homemade cakes, tasty treats, or the option to BYOB!
Depending on the studio, you can collect your pottery a week later or have it posted to you.
Art, History & tranquillity
Based in Firle, at the heart of the South Downs, Charleston was home to the Bloomsbury Group, some of the 20th Century’s most radical artists, writers, and thinkers including the painters Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
Charleston now boasts a year-round programme of exhibitions, events, and festivals. Pre-booking for the galleries is advised, however, the shop, café, and beautiful gardens are free to visit.
Soak up the art-covered farmhouse and take in the inspiring gardens. Dare we say, Charleston also caters for weddings, something to take note of.
Get your bake on
We have a super easy and pretty darn cute jam tart recipe that would make the perfect tasty gift for your beau. Plus, this recipe uses ingredients most kitchens already have, and they’ll be ready in 30 minutes. Let’s get eating! baking!
250g plain flour, plus a lil extra for dusting
125g butter, chilled and diced, plus extra for the tin
1 medium egg
100g jam, fruit curd or marmalade of your choice
Put the flour, butter, and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub them together with your fingertips (or you can pulse these ingredients together in a food processor if you have one). When the mixture looks and feels like fresh breadcrumbs, stir in the egg and vanilla seeds, if using, with a cutlery knife. Add 1 tbsp cold water, then start to bring the dough together in one lump with your hands – try not to knead it too much. Add 1 more tbsp of water if it’s not coming together, but try not to add more than that. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Butter a 12-hole tart tin, then dust your work surface with flour. Unwrap and roll out the chilled pastry so it’s about the thickness of a £1 coin, then use a straight or fluted round cutter to cut out 12 circles, big enough to line the holes in the tin. Dollop 1-2 tsp of your chosen filling into each one and, if you like, cut out little pastry hearts and pop them on top.
Bake for 15-18 mins or until golden and the filling is starting to bubble a little. Leave to cool in the tin for a few mins then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Hand holding and sea view strolling
Regarded as one of the most romantic walks in East Sussex, the Seven Sisters Country Park and the Cuckmere Valley is a treasure trove of breath taking views, natural wildlife, and refreshing salty air.
The park is a popular location for both local and international visitors who have travelled far and wide to experience the magical stretch of coastline between Eastbourne and Seaford.
Start at the Seven Sisters Country Park Visitor Centre following the bendy meanders towards the coast. For those more energetic folk, there are multiple walks you can choose from, or for those wanting to take in the views (and tuck into a picnic) there are heaps of places to sit and take in the views.
Attention love birds, while you’re strolling, be on the lookout for little egrets (once extinct in the UK!) which are often found at the water’s edge of the meanders. Keep an ear out for the sweet sound of the skylarks which are never too far away. They have a constant, distinctive fast twittering song and are often heard not seen, as they fly high while they’re singing away.
Pst, the park is well served by local buses from Brighton Seaford and Eastbourne. Perfect if you’re looking for a car-free day out!
Made with love
Call off the search, we have the perfect homemade gift idea! Not only is this eco-friendly, but you can really put your own stamp on it. Thoughtful presents = the best presents.
What you’ll need:
- Some reclaimed wood, pallets are great
- Some sandpaper
- A few crafty bits to attach your items
- Photos, gig/cinema tickets, handwritten notes, postcards, anything meaningful
Sand down your reclaimed wood to give a nice smooth finish. If you have separate pieces of wood, attach them together – this will form your canvas
Once your canvas is ready to rock and roll – get creative! You can attach your photos or items in a clothesline fashion with string and pegs or attach them directly on. You can add dried flowers, leaves, and gems, the handmade gift world is your oyster!
Once you’re happy with your gift, carefully wrap it in some paper. Don’t forget to write a sweet note to accompany it.
Let us know how you’re celebrating love day 😊