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East Surrey 'romantic capital of the UK'

By Leatherhead Advertiser  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

By Jenny Seymour jenny.seymour@essnmedia.co.uk

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ROSES, fizz and posh chocolates will change hands faster than the arrow from Cupid's bow this Valentine's, if you believe new figures which show East Surrey is the romance capital of the country.

Reigate has been named as the UK's most romantic town, with Oxted hot on its heels in third place.

The survey was based on spending at one online retailer in the two weeks before February 14 and reveals that people in Reigate spend close to £200 EACH on presents for their beaus or belles. Those in Oxted spend £126, still more than double the national average of £43.

But we've proved it's not all about the cash, as East Surrey residents opened their hearts to make public proclamations of love in this newspaper, this week.

When it comes to flowers, East Surrey chaps are willing to splash the cash but in a traditional way, according to Clare Ross of Willows florist in Reigate.

"Valentine's is very busy – but not as busy as Mother's Day," she said. "People will spend from £20 up to £100 quite easily. They still go for the dozen red roses."

It is "very rare" that women buy flowers for men, she added.

And, interestingly, those treated to a new piece of jewellery are likely to be our younger residents, according to the boss of two jewellery shops in Reigate.

"Reigate does have an aura about it," said Alan Giddings, who owns Clive Allan in High Street and Village Jewellers in Woodhatch.

"You do see the youngsters coming in; I think older people are more likely to go for a meal and buy flowers.

"But I did have a 97-year-old man in last week who purchased a ring for his wife, aged 94.

"There is a lot of money in and around Reigate," he added.

"But romance shouldn't be linked to money."

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