Valentine’s Day Roundup: For Couples Who Love to Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
Chocolate. Oysters. Champagne. There are many foods and beverages that remind us of romance. This Valentine’s Day, couples are invited to share sweets with their sweet at several aphrodisiac-themed events across the globe. Read on for Jetset Extra’s picks of delectable dinners and tasty tours.
On February 14 and 15, chef Raymond Blanc of the Raymond Blanc Cookery School in Oxford, England, invites couples to attend a cooking course at the special price of £720 for two. Lovebirds can discover tantalizing chocolate recipes and learn the secrets of making some of Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons’ famous sweets and desserts. In addition to truffles, chocolate-filled hearts, ice creams, cakes, and patisseries, guests will also be treated to a glass of Bucks Fizz to start the day, morning and afternoon tea, and an informal lunch in the school. All attendees will receive a certificate and their “chef whites” so they can look the part while re-creating their dessert-making skills.
Perfect for any decadent getaway, the popular “Chocolate Bliss” package at Kimpton’s Harbor Court Hotel features a fun, educational, and delicious tour of some of the best artisan chocolate makers in San Francisco. The package starts at $249 and includes accommodations at the Harbor Court Hotel, two tickets for the San Francisco Gourmet Chocolate Tour on Friday or Saturday, complimentary continental room service breakfast for two, and two vouchers for Ghirardelli’s World Famous Hot Fudge Sundae at Ghirardelli Square. The tour, which is run by Gourmet Walks, features nine tastings.
The W Singapore – Sentosa Cove invites couples to celebrate in style this Valentine’s Day with a specially crafted, six-course, aphrodisiac menu at SKIRT. Diners can complement a prime cut with a bottle of bubbles and indulge their sweet tooth with SKIRT’s X Rated Chocolate Fantasy as a DJ spins tunes in the W Lounge. The set dinner, which is available on February 14 only, is $388 per couple and includes two glass of Veuve Cliquot Ponsardin Rosé.
This year for Valentine’s Day, think outside the box of chocolates with a dessert tasting tour hosted by Sugartooth Tours in New York City. Available February 8 to 10 and 14 to 17, the tours include at least six stops in about a two-hour time frame. So get your sweetheart—and your sweet tooth—ready for a sampling of some of the city’s decadent desserts. Tickets cost $50 per person.
Valentines can gaze lovingly into each other’s eyes over a seven-course, aphrodisiac-inspired menu at Ellenborough Park in Gloucestershire, England. The luxury Cotswold hotel presents a special menu that begins with artichoke soup with chili, ginger, coriander, and toasted pumpkin seeds and moves on to truffled egg and asparagus salad, creamed goats cheese with crisp Parma ham, sous vide Uig lodge-smoked salmon, and a medallion of beef filet. For dessert, couples will be treated to baked raspberry and banana custard finished with nutmeg and 70-percent dark chocolate ganache with candied orange and a blood orange sorbet. The mouthwatering meal is £75 per person.
Julie Pech has made a career out of teaching others about the health benefits of chocolate. This Valentine’s Day, Pech is available to host a private chocolate and wine-pairing party for any number of guests (20 is ideal), anywhere in the world. The party will include a presentation about how chocolate is made and an international chocolate pairing with instructions about how to eat chocolate properly. Attendees will also be treated to a pairing of up to five international wines with two chocolates custom-crafted the Chocolate Therapist, a Colorado-based shop.
The Blu Bar the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, has designed a very special cocktail for that very special someone this Valentine’s Day. The Diamond Martini is a cocktail in the classic sense, but the handpicked diamond ring sitting at the bottom of the glass is anything but ordinary. The bar is open every night and can be rented out during the day for a proposal, which can include rose petals, homemade cakes, staff participation, and anything else guests desire. Mix that with spectacular views of Sydney Harbor out the bar’s floor-to-ceiling windows and you’ll have one overjoyed future bride.
There might be no better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than at the home of Champagne. Couples can take a two-night trip to Reims, France, for a Grape Escapes Exclusive Champagne Tour. The tour includes accommodations at the five-star Château les Crayères, visits to three Champagne houses, and approximately 10 tastings. Guests will also be treated to two breakfasts, a chees and charcuterie platter, and dinner at the château’s double Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Parc. Prices for the luxury getaway start at £1129 per person, plus international travel and transport to and from the château.
The Japanese have a unique and special way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and a similar holiday called “White Day,” which is held on March 14. On February 14, women traditionally treat men to chocolate, while on White Day, the men present women with white chocolate. Kyoto, Japan, is known for its matcha truffle chocolates, which consist of dark chocolate coated in green tea powder, and chocolate delights can be found at shops such as Nakanishi’s Chocolate and Organic Tea House and Kashi Shokunin. Also honoring the tradition is pastry chef Shunji Yasuda at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto; chef Yasuda created a special Valentine cake containing Armagnac brandy to delight gentlemen with an adult palate.
Roux at The Landau at the Langham, London has prepared a six-course Valentine’s Day menu for couples looking for inspired eating and effortless elegance. Walk hand-in-hand with your one true love through the vaulted wine corridor to a table for two. The meal includes spit-roasted filet of aged Hereford beef with truffled hollandaise as well as Yorkshire rhubarb pavlova with coconut Chantilly and Alphonso mango dressing. The menu, which is available on Valentine’s Day only, is priced at £95 per person.
Check back tomorrow for our final roundup of Valentine’s Day specials and events!