It takes two: Valentine's Day ideas to suit every lover
Once every 19 years, Chinese and Western Valentine’s Days overlap. Cupid’s arrow strikes twice this February 14, so why not indulge in a double dose of devotion? From a helicopter ride to camping under the stars, Kylie Knott and Charley Lanyon devise dates to suit every lover ... and every budget
ON THE RIGHT SCENT
Perfect for: fashionistas and mushy romantic types
Love is in the air – and so is the scent of Elie Saab. The Lebanese fashion label has joined up with French Window Brasserie and Bar at the IFC in Central to create a dinner that should satisfy all five senses. Dishes include honey-glazed monkfish with creamed spinach and crispy ham followed by rose-scented soufflé.
After dinner it’s time for gift swapping. For her, we love leggy British model/actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s lingerie collection for Autograph at Marks & Spencer. For him, how about a pair of boxers boasting Hong Kong comic heroes from French underwear designer Pull-In.
When it’s time for bed, check into the Mira Moon boutique hotel in Wan Chai, which was built for romance. The big-enough-for-two bathtub has champagne flute holders and a room service Valhrona chocolate tart is just a tap on the iPad away. For those who need some liquid passion, the mini bar boasts complimentary vodka, including on-the-house Grey Goose, along with other bar essentials, such as mixers and cocktail recipes.
- Elie Saab La Parfum Menu Gourmand: HK$498 per person, available until February 20 (thefrenchwindow.hk)
- Autograph: antique rose silk padded bra (HK$499); silk Brazilians (HK$199). Marks & Spencer, Central Tower, 22-28 Queen’s Road Central, tel: 2921 8323
- Pull-in brand boxer shorts: HK$469 (pull-in.asia)
- Mira Moon hotel: HK$2,300 per night. 388 Jaffe Road, Wan Chai, tel: 2643 8888 (miramoonhotel.com)
Perfect for: a kinky twist
Start your exotic night soaking up the sights of Victoria Harbour aboard the beautiful Aqua Luna, the city’s last remaining traditional red sail junk.
The 45-minute journey leaves Central and TST at various times. Catch the 7.30pm ride from Pier No 1 in TST to see the Symphony of Lights from 8pm.
When you’re back on dry land, head to the Woobar at the W Hotel in Kowloon for some serious wooing (a Soul Sense cocktail of Absolut vodka, lychee liqueur, lychee and guava juice and bubble up should help here).
But the highlight of this night comes in the form of the hotel’s “Fifty Shades of Fantasy” package. This includes a room or suite with welcome champagne, two cupcakes, 24-hour complimentary adult movies, and a W Fantasy Pack featuring handcuffs and fruit-flavoured condoms. There is also a 15 per cent off Valentine’s spa packages at Bliss, and breakfast for two.
If you want to pump up the sex factor, have the Erotic Fantasy Set from GiftHampers.com.hk delivered to your room. The hamper includes a copy of Fifty Shades of Grey (hopefully, there won’t be time for reading) a leather and lace eye mask, as well as soft lamb leather and lace handcuffs, both from Poetic Story.
- W Hotel: Fifty Shades of Fantasy Room Package only available Valentine’s Day weekend, HK$3,999 for Fabulous room (w-hongkong.com)
- Erotic Fantasy Set: HK$590 (gifthampers.com.hk)
- Aqua Luna junk: HK$195 per head (aqua.com.hk)
GET THE HEART RACING
Perfect for: thrill seekers
Start the day with a trip to Lantau Island (catch the ferry from Central Pier 6 to Mui Wo and then take a taxi or ride bus No 2 to Po Lin Monastery and the Big Buddha) for a vertiginous ride on the Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car. If you want your partner clinging to you for the entire ride then be sure to book the glass-bottomed Crystal Cabin (book online to avoid the queues).
Next stop is the Tai O Heritage Hotel where you have, of course, booked a room. A romantic sunset boat ride will take you through the fishing village, around the rope-drawn ferry bridge and the stilt houses.
If you’re in the mood for an adrenaline rush then surprise your lover the next day with a paragliding session in Sai Kung (for beginners), Shek O or Lantau (advanced).
If you wake up in Tai O on February 15, then sign up for the 14km Raidlight Lantau Base Camp Valentine’s Day Race on South Lantau Island. Each team of two must complete the whole race together … whether you finish it hand-in-hand is up to you.
- Tai O Heritage Hotel: weekend rates from HK$2,050 (taioheritagehotel.com) Boat tour: HK$150 per head
- Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car’s glass-bottomed Crystal Cabin: round trip HK$235 per adult (np360.com.hk)
- Paragliding: prices vary depending on your experience, tel: 9450 0851 (paraglidehk.homestead.com)
- 14km Raidlight Lantau Base Camp Valentine’s Day Race on February 15 on South Lantau Island: HK$388 per team (lantaubasecamp.com)
LET THEM EAT CUPCAKES
Perfect for: sweet tooths
Cupcakes are a romantic treat so why not make some? At the Valentine’s Rose Cupcakes course at the Towngas Cooking Centre in Causeway Bay, Cherol Li helps you make chocolate cupcakes, butter-cream rose piping and rose decorations.
Another option is to buy some of the best treats in town at Vero. Try the Moreish Collection, a cute, heart-shaped box filled with golden hazelnuts and red almonds.
With sweets sorted, it’s time to up the love stakes. What better way than with some star-gazing at the Astropark at the Chong Hing Water Sports Centre in Sai Kung. There are even camping facilities (HK$7 per night) if you’re keen to make a night of it. Public transport and shuttle buses go there, but if you really want to impress, hire a kaito at Sai Kung Pier for a romantic boat ride.
- Valentine’s Rose Cupcakes course: HK$400 (towngascooking.com)
- Vero Chocolate’s Moreish Collection: HK$90 (verochocolates.com)
- Astropark campsite: HK$7 per night
HEARTS ON FIRE WITH MONEY TO BURN
Perfect for: tycoons and lottery winners
If money is not an issue, why not treat your sweetie to a date no one will top? The Peninsula Hotel’s Luxury Peninsula Moments by Land and Sea package starts on the hotel’s roof where a private helicopter is waiting to fly you to a secluded beach in Sai Kung.
From the helicopter, you go to your own luxury yacht which will drop anchor in the aptly named Millionaire’s Cove. Here you can enjoy a luxuriant lunch, or unwind in the open-air beach lounge set up for you on the sand. Then you sail back to Tsim Sha Tsui.
Before taking your chauffeured Rolls-Royce back to The Pen, now would be a good time to escape the watchful eye of your minders and soak up some local culture on the TST waterfront; some of the best Lantern Festival celebrations are being held at Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza. This year’s theme is Roaming in Love.
Strolling among the low-light lanterns, gazing at the twinkling Hong Kong skyline, could there be a better time to pop the question?
- Journeys of Peninsula: Luxury Peninsula Moments by Land and Sea: HK$92,000 for two (peninsula.com)
- Lantern Display: January 23-March 2, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Piazza, Tsim Sha Tsui, free
LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON
Perfect for: lovers who like to sleep in
A session of floral jamming at Tallensia Floral Art on happening Tai Ping Shan Street in Sheung Wan is a great way to let love blossom. You and your partner are given access to loads of beautiful blooms and accessories for three hours and allowed to create the arrangement of your dreams.
Then head down the hill to Home Flavour, a charming French market on Possession Street and stock up on cheese, wine, cold cuts and one of their freshly baked baguettes.
After romancing your taste buds step onto one of Hong Kong’s most under-appreciated date destinations: the tram. Enjoy your picnic in the cool breeze of the top deck’s open windows. Keep an eye out for the colourful lanterns in Victoria Park as the city lights up for Spring Lantern Festival.
When the tram stops in Sai Wan Ho you’ll want to alight and surprise your lover with a reservation for two at Tapeo, for some of Hong Kong’s best tapas served right on the harbour. After dinner, walk off the food with a romantic stroll along the water before taking the tram back into town.
- Floral jamming at Tallensia Floral Art: HK$430 per person per arrangement, Saturdays 2pm-5pm. 6C Tai Ping Shan Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2239 4300 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Home Flavour: 18 Possession Street, Sheung Wan, tel: 2850 6878
- Tram from Western Market to Sai Wan Ho: HK$2.30 each
- Tapeo Sai Wan Ho: meal for two about HK$550. Shop GA01-03, Lei King Wan, Site A, 55 Tai Hong Street, Sai Wan Ho, tel: 2513 0199 (e-mail: email@example.com)