And yes, we are only going to take someone we love, which may well mean boyfriend or girlfriend or husband or wife. But it could also mean our mum or dad, our best mates, or our kids. Love is love after all, and coming together at table is an act of communion and celebration.
Even a table for one means we are showing ourselves some love, instead of hiding at home for want of a dining partner on this night of nights. Here’s another thought – we might invite someone who needs a bit of love: a friend down in the dumps, a teacher at the end of her tether, a neighbour who never gets a night out, a social worker, a politician.
Let this empower chefs and restaurateurs to come up with new ways to help us celebrate our love. Instead of a multi-course degustation dinner for two, they could offer a choice of dishes two could happily share, from côte de boeuf and roast chicken to fish pie or macaroni cheese. They could host a local community group or social enterprise in the name of love, or set aside a communal table at which singles can mingle.
Sorry about disrupting your special day, St Val, but at least we’re really thinking about love, and putting a value on it, not just a price.