COUPLES wanting to spice up their love lives this Valentine’s Day can do just that at a new Newcastle restaurant.

The recently opened Last Days of the Raj at Main Street, Dinnington, has put together a special menu for the most romantic night of the year.

And as the main spices used in Indian cookery are renowned for their aphrodisiacal properties, treating a loved one to a curry on February 14 will help make it a magical evening.

“There’s a whole range of spices in our food which are renowned for their health giving properties,” said owner, Imran Khan.

“And that also extends to them helping make Valentine’s Day one to remember.”

Spices such as cinnamon – known to heat up the body and in turn the sex drive – and cardamom, which increases blood flow, are regularly used in Indian cookery.

Allicin in garlic has the same effect, while the capsaicin in chili peppers also causes the brain to release endorphins, the “feel good” chemical.

Ginger is known for its ability to increase circulation and body temperature and was favoured by the famous French courtesan, Madame du Barry, who gave ginger tea to her many lovers.

Other spices often used in Indian cooking – including nutmeg and coriander –  also have properties which are renowned for giving a boost to a love life.

The Last Days of the Raj has put together a set menu for Valentine’s Day for £19.95, with the restaurant also planning to be specially decorated for the occasion.

The meal includes an appetiser, a sharing starter platter, a choice of ten main courses with rice, a side dish and a naan.

For further information or to book ring 01661 59818, or visit www.thelastdaysoftheraj.co.uk.