Valentine’s Day in Warsaw


On arrival in Warsaw it was most noticeable was that it was very, very busy indeed and this turned out to be on account of the fact that this was February 14th, Saint Valentine’s Day.

Apparently this is a very big big day in Poland with lots of street entertainment, so many free roses distributed on the pavements that most girls were carrying an overflowing bouquet and bars full to capacity as families and lovers dawdled through the old town streets in the unexpected sunshine.

After completing a circuit of the old town just to get our bearings and to identify some potential restaurants for later we found a bar with a vacant table and ordered our first Polish beers.  The waiter tried to persuade us to eat but we said it was too early.  He was persistent and told us this would be a good time because later everywhere would be full.  In retrospect he clearly knew something that I didn’t.

Kim wondered if we should book a table somewhere but I passed this off as opportunist salesmanship and persuaded her that there was no real need.

This was a decision that I was going to regret later.  Life is like that, sometimes you miss an opportunity that you will never get again, rather like putting £100 on Leicester City to win the Premier League at 5000 to 1.  I didn’t of course.

Warsaw Old Town

So we made our way back to the Polonia Palace Hotel stopping off at a mini-market on the way to get some essential supplies and then we squandered a couple of hours enjoying the room and a glass or two of wine as there was no dining problems ahead at all.

Finally we made our way out at about eight o’clock and the place was heaving with people, the pavements were jammed and there were queues at the burger bars and pubs and that was when I first started to grow concerned.  We tried a restaurant but were turned away because it was fully booked and then a second with the same result.  At a third the waiter told us that everywhere was certain to be fully booked tonight for Valentine’s night and that without a reservation we had almost zero chance of securing a table because every restaurant was sure to be full to capacity with misty eyed lovers exchanging gifts and carried away by the occasion making ill-considered marriage proposals.

Slowly that “I told you so” look started to creep over Kim’s face like a red wine stain on a white tablecloth.

We had a debate and Kim decided that there was little point walking all the way to the old town just to suffer multiple rejections and my complete humiliation so we walked back to the hotel in the hope that there would be a spare table there.  My fingers were so firmly crossed that the blood circulation was slowly being cut off.  We passed the Palace of Culture which was bathed in Valentine crimson light and as I glanced across I noticed that Kim’s face was a similar colour, flushed in her case with irritation rather than passion.

Luckily the hotel restaurant could accommodate us for a special Valentine’s Day buffet and we enjoyed a fine, if rather expensive, meal and a glass or two of wine.  The day was saved!

One thing that intrigued me was that although this was Valentine’s Day with a special menu there were a number of people around us who seemed preoccupied with their mobile phones.  A young couple at the next table barely spoke a word to each other as they endlessly scrolled through their digital lives rather than attempt a conversation with each other.  I wondered if they had booked a table for four, him and her and their two tablets.  It seemed like a waste of money to me to pay for an expensive meal and spend so much time on Facebook!

Warsaw Palace of Culture

25 responses to “Valentine’s Day in Warsaw

  1. On Valentine’s Day of all days, the restaurants should have banned mobile phones. Glad you were able to rescue your hide.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The digital age of the western world is ruining all the rest. Sigh. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post again and well timed. Loved your red wine and table cloth analogy. The mobile phone thing is staggering. I gave a speech on it once and you guessed it people in the audience were scrolling away. In Cuba it was a WIFI desert – absolute bliss! People actually spoke to each other!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sweet post, Andrew. Mobile phones grrrr …..
    Happy Valentine’s Day to you ❤
    However you spend this day of love this year, we hope you are healthy and happy.
    The Fab Four of Cley


  5. Haha….never try to eat in a restaurant on Valentine’s Day! And as for the digital age, grrr from me, too, regarding mobile phones and also Selfies. Is the art of conversation going to be lost forever?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a brave man who mentions his wife’s face and “a red wine stain on a white tablecloth” in the same sentence. It would be interesting to see what the odds are for LCFC to get relegated. Personally, I don’t think Ranieri has the know-how to get them out of it.


  7. Don’t get that mobile phone thing in restaurants at all. Although sometimes my son has a friend round and they sit at either end of the room and communicate via ipads.. until I intervene that is! Would love to visit Warsaw but I guess avoid on Valentine’s Day is the way to go.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, keeping in contact with someone far away instead of being together with some closeby is happening everywhere.


  9. Luckily saved! Glad to see in the comments reservations have been made for dinner today. 🙂


  10. I’ve been there once or twice on Valentine’s Day, Andrew, so I had 100% empathy for your plight. 🙂 As for cell phones in restaurants, words fail me, or at least can’t be repeated. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The joys of marital bliss! And the dread of ‘I told you so!’ 🙂
    My daughter maintains that it’s more romantic to stay home and cook for her beloved, but then they’ve only been married 4 years, and she can cook! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I once watched a table of ten 20 somethings spend all evening on their phones in a restaurant. I always turn mine off when we sit down to eat and I only take it with me for those photography opportunities. You just never know. Glad the hotel were able to accommodate. Had a similar experience in New York on Thanksgiving Day a few years ago. It was the hotel to the rescue, although the meal was rather poor. The wine helped, though.

    Liked by 1 person

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