Flowers are a must for Valentine's Day and there’s plenty of places to shop in the town centre to get beautiful bouquets. Eliza Blooms on Duke Street welcomes you in with the scent of seasonal flowers, then a sea of colour arranged in vases scattered over the shelves. The staff are always incredibly helpful if you need any advice or inspiration too.
In nearby Bondgate, you’ll find Heavenly Scent, who also offer gifts alongside their flowers. You could pick out a stunning arrangement and gift it alongside a mug, ornament or photo frame with a picture of you both. Or on Grange Road, you can take a look in Artichoke, which is like stepping into a wonderland of flora. This small but mighty shop stocks the most fabulous flowers, as well as a range of homeware and gifts, so you can put the perfect present together all in one place.
A trip to the spa is always a great shout, so you can either visit on Valentine’s Day together or buy a voucher for a future visit. If you really want to indulge, Rockliffe Hall have a Galentine's in the Spa Garden offer on from 13th to 15th February. But even if you don't book this offer, this stunning 5 star hotel and spa in Hurworth provides a touch of escapism and tranquillity year round. With a 20m pool, hydrotherapy pool, thermal suite, stunning spa garden, treatments and so much more, it would be an incredible place to treat your Valentine.
Darlington is also home to a Bannatyne Spa, creating a space to step away from the hustle and bustle close to the town centre. This spot always has a range of offers to book and enjoy, as well as a menu of treatments like facials, massages, manicures and more. And if that wasn’t enough, you can even team up a spa day with a stay at the nearby Bannatyne Hotel as a gift too.
Afternoon tea is always a lovely idea, no matter the occasion, but it’s extra specially lovely for Valentine's or Galentine's. What could be better than chatting over cups of tea and dainty cakes? And there are plenty of gorgeous places in Darlington to enjoy an afternoon tea, including Robineau Café and Patisserie. This Cockerton spot fuses French cuisine and English baking to result in a café with handcrafted patisserie creations and a shop stocked with chocolate, bread, cheese and so much more. Their afternoon tea is beautifully delicate and you can even add Prosecco or champagne to make it a really special occasion.
In the town centre, you’ll find the Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel, which is great place to stay over if you’re visiting the area, but it’s also a fabulous spot for an afternoon tea. Their menu includes three sandwiches, a sausage roll, scones and a selection of delicious cakes, so you receive a brilliant mix of items to try. Why not pair up this afternoon tea with a shopping spree around the town?
Did you know that you can also have afternoon tea in a castle in Darlington? If you’re looking for a bite to eat with surrounding views of picturesque countryside, then Walworth Castle is the place for you. This is a 12th century castle that once played host to King James I, but is now a hotel, wedding venue and restaurant. Complete with dainty sandwiches, homemade cakes and scones served with clotted cream and jam, this could be the ideal, unique Valentine’s Day.
There are plenty of options if you're looking for romantic restaurants in Darlington this Valentine's Day. If you're a couple of group of friends who love small plates and sharing food, The Old Yard Tapas Bar could be the perfect place for you. They have a huge menu of options, and it feels super cosy and intimate on an evening. Or if you're looking for something with a traditional English pub feel, but with an elevated menu and multiple feature's in the Michelin Good Food Guide, you should try The Bay Horse in Hurworth. Their food is simply divine and the experience of dining their is incredible from start to finish.
If you want something a bit more relaxed, try Stable Hearth on Duke Street, which serves up beautifully authentic stonebaked pizzas. If you want Indian food, book a table at the highly popular Akbar the Great, or if you're looking for Pan-Asian food, try out Bambudda on Gladstone Street.
A trip to the cinema or theatre
If you're looking for a fun date idea, why not book some tickets to Vue Cinema? You'll find this spot at the DL1 Leisure Park with parking available at nearby Feethams multi-storey. Or if you fancy a bit of culture, the Darlington Hippodrome is the perfect choice to see something on stage or to buy some tickets as a gift.
Bath & body
Maybe you love the idea of having a spa day at home or maybe buying some bath and body bits to make a gift hamper? In the Cornmill Centre, you’ll find a whole host of national brands, including Boots, Superdrug and The Perfume Shop. With the three of these shops combined, you could pick a few different products to make a fabulous pamper hamper, such as a face mask, body scrub, nail polish and a perfume. This is a great way to put a personal stamp on your gifting.
You’ll also find Blush Gifts in the Cornmill Centre, who are an independent business specialising in bath and body products, as well as home fragrances. From bath bombs to soaps, and from candles to reed diffusers, there’s a huge assortment of products in so many different scents, so you can really spend some time choosing the perfect items for your other half or Galentine's.
These are just some ideas to help you get the most out of Valentine's Day, but there's so much more to discover in Darlington. Why don't you view our other blog posts to plan a trip?