For today’s Writer Wednesdays post, we’re discussing our favorite ideas for romantic dates (because apparently romance writers are supposed to know all about these things!)

For me, instead of going to Home Depot to pick out medicine cabinets and towel racks while the kids are stuck in their all-day SAT Prep course, I want to head west to the Hunters Head Tavern in Upperville, VA. Especially in winter when the fireplaces in the eighteenth-century log cabin are kept roaring to keep out the bitter cold.

The pub offers standard fare with a twist — all the meals are farm-to-table with the freshest meats and vegetables. And they have awesome desserts! So my perfect date includes my wonderful husband, our favorite pub, and pints of Guinness on a cold February night. It doesn’t get more romantic than that!

Fireplace in the West Room of Hunters Head Pub, Upperville, VA.


Since that’s probably my shortest post ever, I’m going to add a blurb about why I love Valentine’s Day. It has nothing to do with chocolate or cards or expensive presents, and everything to do with the man himself.

A courageous Bishop known as St. Valentine.

Born during the reign of Claudius II, a Roman Emperor who hated and persecuted early Christians, St. Valentine was an early Bishop who married young couples in Christian ceremonies in flagrant violation of Claudius II’s edicts. Since Claudius II believed his soldiers fought better without wives or families, and he hated Christianity, he had St. Valentine arrested.



Turns out St. Valentine had also been marrying couples right before they were martyred and had been aiding the Christian families of those left behind. Enraged, Claudius II told St. Valentine to renounce his faith or be martyred. After St. Valentine gave a forceful “No“, Claudius II had St. Valentine beaten with clubs and beheaded outside the Flaminian Gates in Rome on February 14, 269 AD (approx year).


According to legend, two days before his execution, St. Valentine miraculously healed the jailor’s blind daughter and on the day of his death left her a letter signed “your Valentine“.


Sometime between the years 492 and 496 AD, the date February 14 was chosen to replace the February 15 pagan feast known as Lupercalia, a day set aside to worship the pagan god Lupercus. On this day, young Roman men would draw the names of young women whom they would then keep for a year as their sexual companions.


Pope Gelasius I, not happy with this annual event, came up with a new lottery. On February 14, young people would choose the name of a Christian saint whose example they would try to emulate throughout the year. But since young men still hoped to seduce young women by sending them handwritten notes, the Pope elected Saint Valentine to be the patron saint of the day. Hence the custom of sending cards from “your Valentine“.


Now I’d love to know if you have a favorite romantic date or have any Valentine’s Day traditions you’d like to share!

Thank your for spending the day with us. Below is a link of my Golden Heart sisters who are participating in today’s blog party. Hope to see you next month!

Contemporary Romance: Tamra BaumannPriscilla Oliveras Shelly Alexander | Paranormal romance: Kay Hudson | Romantic suspense: Sharon Wray | Novels with Romantic Elements: Jean Willett | Faith-based & Sweet: KD Fleming | Historical romanceWendy LaCapra

_Writer Wednesday Date List

All photographs courtesy of Sharon Wray. Copyright 2016.


Similar Posts


    1. Thanks, Diana! Can’t wait to see you on Saturday!!!

  1. shellycalexander says:

    The flower and the fire. Definitely!

  2. tamrabaumann says:

    I’d LOVE to go to Hunters Head Tavern! Sounds like my kind of date too! And thanks for the history of St. Valentine. Very interesting, as always! Happy Valentine’s Day!

    1. And I’d love for you to come with us, Tammy! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  3. Waves and hugs from another Guinness fan! That pub sounds like a wonderful, heart-and-toe warming date!!

    1. Waving back! It’s just a train ride south to see me if you ever want to share a pint! I’d love the company. 🙂

  4. Hi Sharon.

    The pub sounds fabulous. We would be trying to find a way to roast marshmallows over the fire (and be asked to leave, I imagine.)

    Thanks for reminding us of how deep and true the love was that created this tradition. Sometimes that gets lost in this busy world. We have so much to be grateful for. And a Valentine is one of them.

    May you enjoy your weekend and your special Valentine.


    1. Thank you so much, KD. If you’re ever in the DC area, I’ll take you to the pub and we can roast marshmallows together!

  5. Sharon, you have such a beautiful way of reminding your readers of what’s important– love, commitment, faith. Thanks for sharing St. Valentine’s story with us.

    Your special pub definitely sounds like a fun place to visit! A pint and a good meal– yum!

    Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family!

    1. Thank you so much, Priscilla! I wish we lived closer and could spend more time together–and go to the pub and share a great meal. 🙂

  6. Lovely pictures as always, Sharon. And I’d say there are several story ideas in those Roman tales.

  7. Pat Amsden says:

    Loved this post. How have I missed your web page until now?

    1. Thanks so much, Pat! I’m not sure how you got here, but I’m really glad you stopped by. 🙂

Comments are closed.