Published in the City Hub and City News.
Transvision Vamp sang it best: “I guess it never really ends, it just comes around again.” Another year is over and we’re back in the lead up to Commercial Exploitation Day er… I mean Valentine’s Day. It’s not that I’m anti-love - really! I just happen to think that ANY night is a good night to take the one that you love to a restaurant. Truth be told, any night bar Christmas is probably a better one to dine than the 14th February, 2011. However it is on the social calendar, and if you need an excuse to re-energise your love life like a little chocolate/flower envy at the office or a saucy dinner invitation, who am I to dissuade you?
Start with half a dozen cupcakes from Sparkle Cupcakery. At my office, eyes got wide at the little raspberry flavour surprises at the bottom of the Raspberry Red Velvet cupcakes, and even wider at the Black Velvet cupcakes with dribbly dark Belgian chocolate topping. Plus they come in silver and black boxes designed to inspire envy.
Fast track to Paris with a top end, five-course Vive L’Amour Degustation ($130/head, $170/with wine) at the InterContinental Sydney. After chowing down on Avruga Caviar, a Club InterContinental room wouldn’t go astray. Your $575 outlay grants you access to the spiffy lounge with deluxe brekky, a variety of tea services and extensive twilight drinks. Sex will be a shoo-in.
Waterside locations are popular for one very good reason – you can up the ante by arriving by boat. Higher points of course go to boats that don’t operate on timetables. All that boating is hot work, so a champagne on the balcony at Manly Pavilion will be necessary (and complimentary) before their four course Valentine’s Day Set Menu ($130/head).
Another way to inject a little magic might be with the progressive dishes of Tomislav Martinovic. Tomislav’s balcony also overlooks Kings Cross, which leads me to suggest a little post-dinner shopping at Risqué Boutique after you’ve eaten his freshly shucked oysters and gobbled his infamous Chocolate & Coconut Bar for $125/head.
If the prices thus far are giving you shivers, head on down to Aperitivo where Head chef Joe Cavallo will give you six-courses of seafood and seasonal produce bang, for sixty bucks apiece. Drink from their selection of great cocktails, or explore their wide-ranging wines.
Now if V-Day fills you with horror, here’s some other sexy stuff you might enjoy:
Drink wine in hot pants with Natural Selection Theory on Saturday 12th February from 4-6pm at The Factory, 2-8 Parsons Street, Rozelle. They’re tasting new wines from Tom Shobbrook, James Erskine, Sam Hughes and Anton Van Klopper whilst wearing hot pants. I do not fully understand the connection between these things, however I do like the idea of Feather and Bone tasting plates, wine, and yes, even hot pants.
Head on down to a huge Chocolate Dance Party on Saturday 19th Febuary at the Royal Randwick Racecourse. Before you get too excited, I need to explain that chocolate will be the only stimulant available. You heard it right folks, no drugs, no alcohol, you’ll just be sipping on an elixir made from pure, raw chocolate. Confused? The event’s part of David Wolfe’s Australian tour. Think superfoods and associated food mania.
I’ll end with a bit of cheese (just in case Valentine’s Day isn’t cheesy enough) - head on down to Helm Bar on Tuesday 8th March at 6.30pm for a fun night of wine and cheese. Aided by the personable Claudia McIntosh you’ll get the opportunity to experiment with four premium Australian farmhouse cheeses and a bunch of wines for $35/head. It’ll be more fun than V-Day – promise!