Valentine’s meal for love-ly couple

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LOVE is on the menu for a local couple who will be enjoying a night of romance, bubbles, fine wine and food after winning the Evening News Valentine’s Day competition.

Husband and wife Frank Donovan, 72, and Angelina, 58, of Lowdale Avenue will tonight be dining at Ox Pasture Hall in Lady Edith’s Drive after their answer to ‘why we are a couple’ was picked as the top entry.

In their reply, Angelina said: “Having known each other for 34 years and married for 31 (second marriage for us both), we have naturally had our ups and downs, but we have recently come through our most challenging phase with my husband’s cancer which has only strengthened our love for each other.”

The couple have come through Frank’s battle with non-Hodgkin lymphona and will be celebrating the most romantic day of the year over a five-course gourmet, candle-lit dinner for two in the hotel’s Courtyard Restaurant.

Mrs Donovan added that they are looking forward dressing up for the occasion as well as some tasty options on the menu.

She said: “To win the competition is really nice. I entered because of what we’ve been going through with myself and my husband. He had cancer diagnosed quite suddenly and he underwent eight cycles of chemotherapy, it’s been quite a long haul for us over the last eight months, especially over Christmas.

“We we’re waiting to hear if he was in remission and we wanted to enjoy ourselves but it was still in the back of our minds. We were finally told in January, although he will need regular check-ups, so we just thought, let’s get going in 2011 with a new start.

“Staying together and battling through, it’s just made us realise. As for the meal, we’re really looking forward to it. It’ll be nice to go out and dress up; we’re both retired so going out for meals is not something we do on a regular basis.

“The chemotherapy destroyed a lots of his taste buds and he has been getting them back slowly to the point he can taste again so he’s enjoying his food again.”