If ever you needed a reason to celebrate Valentine’s Day, here’s one we love:
The origins of Valentine’s Day are a little murky, (the Catholic Church recognises three different Saint Valentines) but the most commonly accepted story goes all the way back to 3rd Century Rome. Legend has it that at that time Emperor Claudius passed a law preventing his soldiers from marrying as he wanted them to be completely devoted to Rome. St Valentine, a believer in love, started marrying these soldiers in secret ceremonies. Sadly, Valentine was found out, jailed and sentenced to death. While in prison he cured the jailor’s daughter of blindness, and wrote his last message of love to her, signing it ‘from your Valentine’. He is believed to have been executed on Feb 14 in the year 270.
Romance on toast
Get in early with romantic gestures – six quick and easy Valentine’s breakfast treats that’ll pull at the heart strings right away!
Image courtesy closetcooking.com
Slices of baguette
Slices of gorgonzola
Few fresh figs cut in half
Handful of roasted walnuts
Sprigs of thyme
Toast or bake waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Serve with a dollop of cream, fruit of your choice and a drizzle of honey.
A passion for pancakes
Image courtesy goodfoodrecipes.com
Filling of your choice
Image courtesy hiddenponies.com
pork or beef sausages
Image via healthcareinsights.net
Fruit of choice
Layer the muesli, yoghurt and fruit in a tall glass until it is full.
Finish off with a layer of yoghurt and a fruit decoration.
Sweet iced coffee
Image via sdcoffeetea.com
1 large jug freshly percolated coffee (cold)
1 – 2 large cups ice cubes
Milk and sugar
Blend the coffee and ice cubes until you have a creamy consistency.
Add milk and sugar to taste.
Your dinner date, sorted!
If you’re determined to enjoy a fine meal out with your love, then boy have we got some great options for you.
From mouth-watering prawns to perfectly-grilled chicken, Adega’s extensive menu is sure to please any palate! After all, there’s a reason they were voted Joburg’s fave Portuguese restaurant! It’s the perfect spot to treat your significant other to a candle-lit dinner accompanied by flavoursome Portuguese cuisine and a glass of wine … sounds positively perfect to us, how about you? Details: www.adegas.co.za
For Japanese-style fare to savour, we love Yamitsuki! They have drool-worthy soups, grills, teppanyaki, stir fry dishes and, of course, sushi! Is it just us or is there something sweet and romantic about a sushi platter for two? Then maybe end off your meal with their dessert sushi (which is a crepe sushi roll with strawberries, nutella, cookies and honey … yum!). If that’s not a unique dining experience, then we don’t know what is. Details: yamitsuki.co.za
You could also go all out and spend the evening swooning over a plate of saucy chicken livers or a tender steak … we don’t know about you but we’ll take that any day! Turn ‘n Tender serves up some of the most delish dishes around and is a great choice for an indulgent night out. Good food, check! Good vibes, check! Good company … well, that’s completely up to you, but we’re sure you’ll put a check in that box, too! Details: turnntender.co.za
For Greek cuisine at its best, why not head to Mythos? Salads, meaty meals, fish dishes and veggies … they really do have it all. Plus, they have a selection of traditional options, which means that you’re guaranteed to enjoy an authentic dining experience. If you haven’t eaten there before (or even if you have), pay this foodie fave a visit this Valentine’s Day. Details: mythos.co.za
Image courtesy sa-venues.com
Don’t run out of romantic things to do this Valentine’s Day…
If you’re planning a romantic treat for your partner or loved one/s on Valentine’s Day best get your ducks in a row and book ahead. And if you’re not planning one, start now!
Yes, we did say loved ones! There are mothers, fathers and children out there who’d also appreciate a little extra love on Val Day – so consider a special something if you’re not already tied up.
Or, how about surprising the love of your life with a weekend trip to a breathtakingly-beautiful spot, where they can enjoy picturesque natural landscapes and unsurpassed luxury? If this sounds like your cup of tea, there’s no better place to head to than Sun City! Plus, if you haven’t yet had the chance to check out their new look, now you can … it’s like visiting it for the first time all over again. From enjoying a yummy breakfast at The Palace to splashing around in the water at Valley of the Waves, you’re sure to have an unforgettable trip. Details: www.suninternational.com/sun-city
Speaking of special surprises, nothing beats the classics (aka choccies and a fresh and fancy bouquet of flowers)! For the prettiest selection of florae, simply head to Dunkeld Fruit and Flowers … Joburg’s best florist. They’re our go-to spot for gorgeous red roses (hint, hint!) as well as a variety of other flowers like lilies, chrysanthemums and carnations. Now you’ll have anniversaries, Mother’s Day and next year’s V-Day sorted, too! Details: 011-341-0101
Make your own
Short of a gift for your Val this year – buy a selection of “smalls” that fit in with one of their hobbies or interests (think gardening, golf, sport, cooking, vino or pamper products), wrap them up and label them so they open one every hour.
While we’re on the subject of spreading the love, why not show your home a little love too? Whether it’s sprucing up your kitchen so that you and your special someone can cook something together this V-Day (awww!), or beautifying your bedroom with fresh and fab ideas, Builders Warehouse has got you covered. Keep up-to-date with the latest trends or try something new – after all, it’s all in the details, darling. We especially LOVE their DIY projects page on the website … it’s filled with style and decor inspiration. Thank you, Builders! Details: www.builders.co.za
Two’s company – pairings to tickle the senses
“Wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic and the serious smile,” says Homer. And what better excuse do you need for a frolic and a smile than Valentine’s Day. To get you suitably chilled, pop a cork and get tickled pink with these lovely local food and bubbly pairings from a Vino guru (Sheila@sheila.co.za).
Newton Johnson’s Felicité Rosé
Image courtesy newtonjohnson.com
Fresh pomegranate and cherries aromas with a touch of spice. Crunchy palate, delightful fruit sweetness, and juicy acidity to finish.
Pairs beautifully with Weber chicken or sushi.
Niel Joubert Blanc de Noir
Image courtesy nieljoubert.co.za
Lovely on the eyes with a lively pink colour, has an alluring floral nose with red fruit on the palate.
Pair with fish, in particular salmon, trout and crayfish. Also with ham and vegetarian dishes.
Silverthorn – The Genie
Image courtesy Silverthornwines.co.za
MCC made from 100% shiraz, boasts an exotic nose of Turkish delight and rose water and a palate of fresh raspberries and sherbet flavours supported by a velvety texture, fine mousse and lengthy finish.
Pair with Salmon gravlax on crisp rye toast – Parma ham and red figs – Strawberries macerated with black pepper.
Dieu Donné Brut Rosé
Image courtesy Dieudonnevineyards.com
This salmon pink coloured MCC has a delicate yeasty biscuit nose, with raspberry and strawberry touches on the palate and an earthy dry mineral finish.
Pair with tapas, cheese and preserves and light seafood entrees.
For all your pairing needs, head over to Liquor City. They have several red and white wines to complement the amazing meal that you plan on cooking … and you can find them just about anywhere (bonus!). Plus, you could buy a bottle or two as gifts for your friends – because there’s nothing like spreading the love on V-Day, don’t you agree? Details: liquorcity.co.za
Surprise your significant other with a (ridiculously easy) triple chocolate mousse…
Image courtesy playingwithflour.com
Dark Chocolate Mousse
180g dark chocolate
1/4 cup water
Extra 1/4 cup cold water from the fridge
Milk Chocolate Mousse
180g milk chocolate
1/4 cup water
Extra 1/4 cup cold water from the fridge
White Chocolate Mousse
180g white chocolate
1/4 cup water
Extra ¼ cup cold water from the fridge
There’s more than one way to sweeten up someone’s day! Simply pop by Krispy Kreme and treat your Valentine to a creamy cappuccino and a selection of decadent doughnuts (FYI, they have limited edition heart-shaped ones, too!). Whether it’s a milk tart, red velvet cake or chocolate iced glazed doughnut, your sugar is sure to love your surprise. Details: www.krispykremesa.com
Enjoy a little me time! Who says you need a companion for this one day of the year? Treat yourself to a spa, a long bubble bath, a wicked gym workout or your very favourite meal. Or put your feet up, grab a book or find just the right movie on TV.
Feel like heading out instead (you go girl!)? Take a drive to entertainment hub, Montecasino – from movies to divine restaurants and more, they offer a range of fun and exciting things to do. Our recipe for the perfect solo night out? Enjoying a scrumptious meal at Col’Cacchio Pizzeria or Mugg & Bean and then an awesome show at the Teatro … did you know that the BLUE MAN GROUP will be performing there until March 5? You’re welcome! Details: www.tsogosun.com/montecasino