In the mood for food

Is food and sex really the perfect combination?

It’s been said many a time that the way to one’s heart is through one’s stomach. But if the Valentine’s Day dinner is to be believed, then the stomach is the route to one’s forbidden fruit.

Once we hit February, the promise of aphrodisiacs are out in full force. We’re met with endless temptations to woo a mate with candles and caviar – there’s an absolute precedence to make the fourteenth a night you’ll never forget. And with more people than I care to mention’s birthdays being in November, it’s a trick that has obviously worked for decades. A home-cooked meal where you serve up your better half’s favourite dish is the acceptable compromise of giving in and doing Valentine’s. And while I’m curious to know just how many couples instead take to restaurants on any given Valentine’s night, I’m even more curious to know who, if anyone, will end up paying to eat the world’s most expensive Valentine’s menu, priced at a very eye-watering £61,000. Who said you couldn’t buy love?

Cooked exclusively by Michelin chef Adam Simmonds in the home of the spendy pair, this ultra-extravagant menu is pretty much sex on a plate. Expect white caviar, foie gras, bamboo salt and oysters, all chosen for their apparent sexual suggestiveness and the trigger-happiness of certain hormones. Such an occasion is not to be sniffed at, considering the – can I say it? – insane amount of money it’s going to cost. But my main concern, in all honesty, would have to be dealing with all the damn pressure to be ‘aphrodisiaced’ into action under the pressure of the rose petals, the harpist, the food. Did I mention that there will be doves, and a poet too?

I don’t know about you, but eating copious amounts of grub, no matter how decadent and romantic it all seemed, does not ergo copulating by the end of it. Of course it’s not like avoiding eating before swimming in case you drown, just a simple question of discomfort. I’m full, I’m groggy after the wine, and I might even feel a little bit sick because I ate a pudding, drank a coffee and was swayed into a dessert wine that I really definitely didn’t need. Usually my first thoughts after splurging on an evening meal are “where is bed?” and “someone bring me a bucket”, not “let me show you my food-baby, baby” (and lullaby you to sleep with the inevitable sleep-tooting that follows).

I can safely assert that some of the tried-and-tested aphrodisiacs will not work on me – I probably won’t like oysters (there’s the fussy eater in me crying out) and I step away from the likes of politically incorrect enlarged liver. Hell, I think it’s romantic that I get a coffee brought to me every morning to help coax me out of my nightly coma. But if you do find yourself getting in the mood this Valentine’s after an expertly-prepared dinner, remember this: keep those lights down low and the music turned up – all for more reasons than you might care to admit.

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