If your love be true, la-la-la ... you’d better prove it, buddy


If your love be true, la-la-la ... you’d better prove it, buddy

Haven’t yet planned your Valentine’s Day? No worries! Here are some fabulous last-minute tips for happiness

Kelly Lodewyks

DIY dinner at home
If you fancy yourself somewhat of a master-chef, a candlelit dinner at home may be the perfect idea. Even if you’re not the world’s best cook, your significant other would appreciate the effort. Look up some recipes for a few of their favourite dishes and plan the dinner accordingly.
If you want to pair the meal with some homemade summer cocktails, AJ Snetler of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront recommends that if it’s a hot day, the best spirits to use are fresh-flavoured and best served cold. Think along the lines of Aperol, gin, and sparkling wine. Tequila and cachaça are also two of Snetler’s personal favourites for the warmer seasons. If it’s a cold day consider serving darker, heavier and more spirit-forward cocktails.
To make the evening really special, set the table beautifully and top it with a typed-up menu and candles.
A romantic picnic
In Johannesburg, try Thokoza Park, Zoo Lake or Rietvlei Lifestyle Centre. Those in Durban can try the beach (of course) or if you prefer grass to sand, then check out Krantzkloof Nature Reserve or the Durban Japanese gardens. For a romantic picnic in Cape Town, there’s the newly opened Battery Park in the V&A Waterfront vicinity, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the Company’s Garden, Green Point Urban Park or the beach.
Dinner/food reservations For a formal dinner setup, Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront has you covered with a five-course sit-down dinner.
The menu includes red bush chai spiced butternut soup, a duo of prawn and pomegranate gravadlax, lamb loin with Spanish chorizo and cilantro potato dauphinoise and, for dessert, a layered Tonka bean and berry panna cotta with pavlova madeira macerated cherries, salted liquorice noodles and cherry soil.
For something more relaxed try out some cupcake and wine pairings at Marianne Wine Estate in Stellenbosch from February 14-17. A night away
If you and your significant other can get away on February 14 (it’s a Thursday night), that would be first prize. But if not, then try for the weekend that follows. On Airbnb, try for an inner-city flat, a winelands escape or perhaps even something near the coast. If you have the budget for it, look into booking a hotel room – call ahead to request a romantic turndown before you arrive.
A shared experience
Material gifts come and go, but memories last forever. Give the gift of quality time and fun, shared experiences this Valentine’s Day. Try a kayaking experience in Cape Town, an inner-city food tour, or a hike to a Drakensberg cave.
How about a romantic day trip along a nice scenic route? In Cape Town, a day trip to Cape Point could be just what you need for that Instagram-worthy Valentine’s weekend post.
Here you could enjoy a romantic walk on the beach before sitting down to eat at the Two Oceans Restaurant. If you’re based in Johannesburg, a trip to the Cradle of Humankind is bound to astound, while those in Durban can enjoy the splendour of the Valley of a Thousand Hills. The natural beauty of the area will take your breath away.

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