For oyster-haters, here's an alternative: book your Valentine's Day lunch at The Connaught (0171 499 7070). For the launch of the new black truffle season, the hotel is organising a five-course truffle lunch, plus a lecture by one of the Peybeyre truffle family from the South of France. The cost is pounds 75 per head.
If you want to order an oyster cracker you can get one at a special price for IoS readers of pounds 8.99 (p&p included), from Rossmore Oysters, Carrigtwohill, County Cork, tel: 00 353 2188 3248. You can order oysters by mail from Loch Fyne Smokehouse, Clachan Ardkinglas, Cairndow, Argyllshire PA26 BBH, tel: 01499 600217. Johnny Noble, who grows them, trains his oysters to survive many days out of water, thus guaranteeing freshness when they arrive in their attractive wooden punnets.