That time of year is fast approaching, when newly be-coupled men are found quivering nervously in the lingerie section of department stores, and those long-married are spotted frantically scanning the card rack at the local corner shop for something that might just pass muster...yes, Valentine's Day is almost here.
First off, I must say that I will not be out and about this Valentine's. I am not a big believer in enforced romance, and am trying to train my husband in the general direction of celebrating our relationship by buying me a little something pretty much every day. And anyway, Valentine's this year falls on a Monday, which is a rubbish night for a lavish celebration - all those oysters etc are likely to play havoc with your digestion during the six classes you have to teach on a Tuesday. I will merely say that I am very partial to Angie Gooderham jewellery and that I am dangerously low on Chloe perfume, just in case Mr Liz happens to cast an idle eye over this blog in passing.
Having said all of that, I cannot help noticing that there are some rather nice things going on in Manchester this Valentine's Day. Top of any sensible girl's wish list may well be the offer on at Harvey Nichols' Second Floor Restaurant, where £99 per couple will procure you a drink on arrival, a five course meal, and a turn on the Manchester Wheel afterwards. This seems like a fine night out to me, although I would sound a cautionary note about eating and drinking too much before spinning around on what is essentially an oversized Ferris wheel. Still, brave souls can find out more on the website or by calling 0161 828 8898.
Or, if you're on a slightly tighter budget, a good value option looks to be Dilli in Altrincham, a restaurant that offers reasonable deals all year round. Valentine's is no exception - the Sunday buffet on the 13th is £11.95, or you can have three courses for £17.95 on the Sunday or Monday night. Clearly a sensible approach is required to taking your date for curry - make sure you both eat the garlic nan or it could all fall a bit flat. Call Dilli on 0161 927 9219 for more details.
Finally, you could always take a leaf out of the sensible man's book. Simply purchase some beautiful flowers (The Flower Lounge on Barlow Moor Road in Didsbury is a good place to start), hand over the gifts, and stay in and watch Glee. You know it's what she really wants.