Love is in the air! Restaurants stacked with Valentine's Day returners
- Credit: Getty/Archant
Romance is alive and well in Norwich after two years of lovebirds being locked down.
For the past two years Valentine's Day has been put on ice with restaurants, bars and cafes under restrictions.
But after the hiatus couples are finally free to wine and dine to their heart's content - and they're not waiting around.
Justin Watson, general manager of Rooftop Gardens in Rose Lane, said: "It's almost like going back three years, there's much more of a rush to get booked in.
"Peak times over the Valentine's weekend, as well as the day itself, are fully booked so we're looking forward to having more people back."
And Matthew Bailey, a member of staff at Giggling Squid in Tombland, said: "We've taken lots of enquiries up until now and I'm positive we'll get even more before Valentine's Day.
"We've got around 120 seats booked for the evening and throughout the day well - everything picks up."
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The rise in bookings is good news for everyone involved in the industry after couples had to cosy up indoors with a takeaway for the last couple of years.
Matthew added: "This time cheers everyone up, the staff get a buzz from couples who are happy and enjoying their time together.
"We're pleased we are able to provide them with a good meal and a good service - which we always do."
Gosia Szajor, assistant general manager of Cote, is optimistic about Valentine's Day, adding: "People were still a little worried about going out.
"But since restrictions have lifted, we've had many more bookings coming in - it's amazing.
"As long as people are happy and feel safe to come and dine then we are happy to get the bookings."
It's not just restaurants that are welcoming the boom in custom, with pubs around the area enjoying the benefits that come with a romantic meal.
Adam Kingston, general manager at the Rumsey Wells, said: "While we don't usually have a large Valentine's Day crowd, we are seeing more this year and fingers crossed we'll get some more in before the day itself.
"Since Valentine's Day has been essentially off for the last two years you can see the demand to come out and have a good time."
Culinary ways to woo your other half this Valentine's Day
Steak with creamy mushrooms and spinach: Let's start with a classic - there's a reason steak is generally considered a love food.
Tender steak combined with perhaps a rich, succulent sauce is sure to get the heart racing.
Meatballs and pasta: We've all seen that scene from Lady and the Tramp. What could be more romantic than sharing a steaming bowl of pasta to keep off the cold winter chill.
Milkshake: Another date night classic is a milkshake with two straws - though the race to the bottom can get a little competitive.
Champagne and strawberries: Another essential combination for a Valentine's Day is sweet strawberries and champagne, which is guaranteed to put some fizz in your evening.
Chocolates: It wouldn't be Valentine's Day without this sweet treat.