Having worked hard with our clients to deliver freshly refurbished premises in time for Christmas, we are now racing towards 14th February, Valentine’s Day, which always gives the hospitality industry an early year boost.

Norma & Dorothy, the wedding stationery supplier, recently conducted a survey to see how romantic we are in the UK and it concluded that 60.8 per cent of Brits believe romance is still alive and well. Interestingly, the over 55s still have the most faith in romance, with 65 per cent reporting that it’s definitely ‘not dead’, followed by 64.6 per cent of 16 to 24s.

They then asked their panel to read a list of activities and say which ones they considered to be romantic and, top of the list, at 74.3 per cent was a ‘romantic meal out for two’. Again, good news for the restaurant and pub trade.

Valentine’s Day is thought to have its roots in Roman times, when there was a mid-February feast day called Lupercalia. The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Geslasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine’s Day and it came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.

Formal messages, or valentines, appeared in the 1500s, and by the late 1700s commercially printed cards were being used. The first commercial valentines in the US were printed in the mid-1800s. Valentines commonly depicted Cupid, the Roman god of love, along with hearts. Later, gifts were exchanged, including chocolate and flowers, particularly red roses, a symbol of beauty and love.

Today people find and celebrate love over a shared meal. While there are certain foods which are traditionally ‘romantic’ such as oysters and chocolate, some couples might simply fall in love over a sharing platter or a particularly good glass of red.

Here at PSE Associates, we’ve been happy to spread the love over the last few months and were delighted to discover that 14 Hills restaurant, the latest offering from our client D & D London was recently named as one of the most romantic restaurants in London by GQ! We provided Quantity Surveying and Project Management on this project, working alongside designers Robert Angell.

GQ describes 14 Hills as: “A spectacular spot for all those looking to celebrate in style, or simply gawp at London’s ever-changing skyline.”

Whatever your plans are for 14 February, we hope you have a romantic time.