Valentine Restaurant: A Love Shown


I had another post planned for today, but I was so overwhelmed by my children last night that I wanted to share RIGHT AWAY!!  Yesterday morning we were informed that we were required to dress up for a valentine dinner at Valentine Restaurant, which the children were opening just for us that night.  We grinned and played along.  The children beavered away all day.  We were not allowed in the living room, the kitchen, the hallway…. you get the picture.  There was much excitement, which by 6pm had reached titanic proportions. 

Setting Up Valentine Restaurant

The babies were put to bed, Gary and I bathed, dressed up and looking our best were shown into ‘Valentine Restaurant’:

Valentine Restaurant

They had gone to SO MUCH trouble and the attention to detail was amazing. We even had a lantern hanging from the wooden beams over the table:

The Menu

After we were sat in our chairs we were handed a menu:

And this was on the corner (it says ‘book now’ but somehow that didn’t come out in the photo):

A love shown

The Valentine Restaurant Staff Members

Obviously each child had been alloted a role to play for the evening.  Thomas was waiter, Lillie the cook and Charlotte the drinks waitress.  Thomas took our orders:

A love shown

Whilst Charlotte brought us some drinks from the drinks table they set up…

A love shown

She then proceeded to plonk herself down, next to daddy and settle in for the night!!

Valentine Restaurant

After Gary and I cracked up (much to her confusion!) we gently explained that it would be very difficult to have a romantic dinner accompanied by one of our daughters.  She happily went to help her siblings in the kitchen. 

Valentine Restaurant Meal

Thomas then brought through our meal:

A love shown

This was the dinner Lillie had been cooking and planning all day.  It was simple, beautifully presented and I think one of the tastiest meals we’ve ever eaten.  I was SO, SO proud of my girl!  She served double cooked baked potatoes with cheese, chives and an egg in the middle accompanied by an avocado salad:

Valentine Restaurant

C10, obviously passing on our wishes for privacy, had T11 shut the door after he exited the room:

A love shown

Privacy was to be in short supply however.  We live in a very quirky house, which has an indoor wall with a window.  This means one can peek from the hallway and kitchen into the living/dining room.  And peek they did:

A love shown

Again and again:

A love shown

They just couldn’t help themselves!!

After we had eaten our dinner, the children brought a gorgeous desert of sticky toffee pudding and ice-cream, again, all homemade by Lillie:

Valentine Restaurant

Lillie, the Chef

The food was so good that we asked the cook if she would come out so we could express our delight in her cooking personally:

A love shown

We had a truly special night, for our children had expressed THEIR love for us in a completely unique, tangible way.  I can’t begin to tell you how much this all meant to me personally.

Children, I love you all so much.  Thomas you were the perfect waiter, attentive, seeing to our needs yet unobtrusive.  Charlotte, sweetheart you were just you and kept us giggling the whole night, never change sweetiepie!  And Lillie- oh, my goodness!!  Your food was just amazing, you are such a natural in the kitchen!   Thank you so much!

The Bill

Then we got the bill:

Valentine Restaurant


Over lockdown our children did the same again! For that post click over to Valentine’s Restaurant: Take Two


  1. Ahh, this has nearly made me well up, Claire! HOW beautiful. I agree with Phyllis, there’s so much love in your home! Nice picture of Gary, too 🙂

  2. This is too funny! I think $300 is a but steep! Seriously though, what wonderful kids you have 🙂

    Thanks for linking with Collage Friday!

  3. I love it! I’m so impressed with your kids cooking and presentation abilities. The “only open once a year” reminds me of the old movie Holiday Inn, where the Inn was only open on the big holidays. 🙂

  4. I so enjoyed reading this post. Those are the memories we parents treasure in our hearts forever. It also shows they have learned a lot by example. Thanks for sharing such a delightful story.

  5. Hey guys,
    It is your cousin Megan from Northern Ireland.I love the idea of the valentines dinner. L10 the food looked amazing, T11 you looked a very handsome waiter and C10 you looked beutiful.Make sure you say hello it R1 and A3 from us. Uncle Gary looked lovely in his suit and tie. I am sure mummy looked beutiful too. I am sure your mummy and daddy were very pleased with your idea. Hopefully will see you alll soon.We miss you all.
    Megan,Archie ,Jason and Audrey xxxxxx

    1. Hi Megan, Thanks so much. C10 and I(L10) think T11 looked very handsome too. Hope everyone is well in Northern Ireland, please send our greetings and love to all. God Bless, love T11, L10 and C10

  6. This is so heartwarming! I remember making a restaurant with menus for my parents when I was about the same age as your kids and it was so much fun for me. I love the menu your kids made. It’s hard to read it exactly but it looks like it says something along the lines of “with a smattering of chives” and that made me giggle…sounds so elegant and upscale! It looks like the supper was delicious. What a touching and loving tribute to their parents on Valentine’s Day!

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