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Make a meal of it: Dining in this Valentine's

Lucy Cooper reviews the best budget dine-in options for a romantic night in

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Image Credit: M&S

As 14th February approaches, the realisation that you are too late to book a table at The Ivy might well be sinking in. However, there is no need to panic, as all of the main supermarkets are offering some handy Valentine’s Day deals, ensuring a restaurant standard meal in the comfort of your own, slightly cramped student kitchen, for a fraction of the price.
Perfect for sharing with your lover or bestie, we run through the top deals. We don’t have a date... so we have the time.

ASDA
£15 for a starter, main, two sides, dessert, and drink.
With several brand new items on the menu, Asda have tried hard to create a classic Valentine’s menu, although there are some interesting additions, including runny scotch eggs, or a chorizo macaroni cheese. For £15 this is considerably cheaper than most other options, and still comes with an array of choices. Definitely a good option for students.

ALDI
Price dependent on what you pick.
Aldi’s offering could be the cheapest, depending on the choices you go for. However, the options are seriously lacking compared to the extensive offerings from its opponents- with only two or three choices each course. Furthermore, and the deciding factor in this poor showing, this does not include a drink.

M&S
£20 for starter, main, side, dessert, box of chocolates and drink
The god tier supermarket, Marks & Spencer haven’t held back curating this menu. Of course, just flashing the M&S logo is sure to convince your date you are the best of the best, but once they have wolfed down their starter - which could include prawn cocktail or breaded camembert - they are sure to instantly fall in love. Adding a box of chocolates is another nice touch in this premium meal for a reasonable price.

TESCO
£20 for starter, two mains, dessert and drink.
All Tesco Finest products, this is a decent offering, with a varied choice. Ranging from the classic fine dining options like lamb shank, they are also experimenting with their vegan range, including mushroom “scallops”. Handily, both you and your partner can pick a main - instead of having to share - avoiding squabbles before the date even begins. The desserts are equally as diverse, from raspberry and passionfruit cheesecake, to a heart-shaped brownie, keeping the romance alive.

MORRISONS
£15 for starter, main, dessert and drink.
Not as many options as some of its counterparts, Morrisons have gone for some quite highbrow options. No pizzas available here -just scottish salmon and celeriac steaks. Disappointingly, there is no vegan starter, and only one out of the six mains will be suitable for those on a plant-based diet. However, there is an extensive option of non-alcoholic beverages, like a cosmopolitan or mojito mocktail - or you can swap the drink out for a box of chocolate truffles, making it great for those who might not fancy a bottle of wine or prosecco.

WAITROSE
£20 for starter, main, 2 sides, dessert and wine or chocolate.
One of the most extensive menus on offer, Waitrose are not holding back. Keeping on brand, you can choose from venison steak or smoked salmon en croute, to name but a few of the mains. If you like dessert, this meal deal will be right up your street, with a whopping 11 puddings to choose from. A classic offering of chocolate and salted caramel profiteroles come alongside more unusual combos like a passionfruit and coconut torte. The drinks options are also impressive - making this an impressive option, for the same price as rival Tesco and M&S.

LIDL
Lidl are yet to divulge on their Valentine's Day meals, but they are offering a heart shaped pizza for onyl £1.99, which could well be the ultimate Valentine's dish.

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