Love bites: Create the ultimate valentine's meal with Mark Hix's sensuous oyster recipes

It's St Valentines Day tomorrow, and I have always thought that going out to a restaurant for an intimate dîner à deux on 14 February is a bit of a rip-off – some restaurants seem to think it's a good excuse to charge a small fortune for expensive food and champagne.

Anthony Rose: 'It's hard to be inspired by the usual roll-call of wines based on romantic names, such as Carnival of Love Shiraz'

It's that day again tomorrow, in case you hadn't already been browbeaten with nudge, nudge, wink, wink spam messages. I enjoy the cheesy annual press releases exhorting me to recommend this or that booze as an aid to seduction, but they've been disappointingly thin on the ground this year. So I can't tickle your fancy with anything except news of a Valentine's Day Gourmet Food and Wine Masterclass at London's Vinopolis tomorrow. If anything was designed to provoke the desire but take away the performance, it's surely wine with "smoked and confit salmon terrine, strawberry sorbet, venison casserole with a vanilla mash and spicy red cabbage topped off with a marquis au chocolat with an orange flavoured custard, coffee and rum".

Amy Jenkins: Raunch or romance – the choice women have been given

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. A day that calls for roses and romance, for candle-lit dinners à deux, and Hallmark cards with sentimental rhymes.

Chastened, By Hephzibah Anderson

One Valentine's Day, the literary critic Hephziabah Anderson went to bed with a pile of escapist novels, reminding herself that "though I felt lonely, I'd felt lonelier in the past with a lover by my side".

Valentine's Day (NC)

At first sight Garry Marshall's all-star ensemble looks to be a Short Cuts-lite – Short Cutlets, if you will – until it establishes its tone of flabby sentimentality and you realise it's more like an LA version of Love, Actually. There's even a sickeningly precocious kid who declares his love to an adult.

Armitage vows to perform for England

Delon Armitage vowed never to let his team-mates down again as he offered a brutally honest assessment of his performance in England's 30-17 victory over Wales.

'Poison curry' murderer sentenced to 23-year minimum

A jealous woman who laced her former lover's curry with poison was given a life sentence today for his murder.

Rowntree backs Cole to thrive for England

England scrum coach Graham Rowntree is convinced rookie prop Dan Cole can handle being thrown in at the deep end against Italy's renowned pack of scrummagers.

Lisa Markwell: Where is the prestige in healthy eating?

So the only difference between our eating habits 10 years ago and today is that now we know we're eating crap. Still doing it, just feeling guilty about it. Possibly.

'Flirt bot' delivers kick in the credit card

Lonely men looking for love around Valentine's Day are being warned of an artificially-intelligent cyber scam which seduces its victims into revealing credit card details.

Lakhvir Singh faces life in jail for poisoned curry murder

A jealous woman who killed her lover by poisoning his curry was facing a life sentence today after being convicted of his murder.

Ten reasons for getting dumped on holiday

If you fancy making it to Valentine's Day with your relationship still intact here’s a what-not-to-do to do while on holiday with your other half.

The ten best Valentine's day gift ideas



Chosen by Miranda Porter

Liz Hoggard: Yes all right, I love you. Next ...

Why do so many heterosexual men refuse to emote on paper?
Latest stories from i100
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?