We’re not quite sure where or when this infamous day of romance officially began. Many speculate it stems from the Roman festival ‘Lupercalia,’ which took place in mid February, but what that has to do with heart shaped cookies and red roses, we’ll never know. These days, Valentine’s Day is celebrated as an opportunity to spoil the one you love and make life long memories. While we may not need a single day to profess our love, it seems that people are happy to jump on board with the tradition and see it as an opportunity to have a little fun. Go ahead and make this Valentine’s Day something special, an excuse to be young and fearlessly in love.
Dinner for two
Okay, this is hardly a novel suggestion but there is something undeniably romantic about sharing a meal together, especially if it’s prepared in your very own kitchen. While we love a good date night at our favourite restaurant or perhaps someplace new, there’s a simple joy to cooking a meal at home, where the wine’s flowing and the records are playing. It’s an elevated take on an everyday ritual, which perhaps is what’s most charming about the idea. Have a flick through some cookbooks or food blogs and pick out a recipe that peaks your interest. Try a dish that you haven’t tried before. It’s more experimental that way, embracing a sense of anticipation and curiosity which just adds to the fun. And is there anything more enjoyable than grocery shopping? Okay, some will beg to differ but shopping for fresh produce is a simple task that carries the potential for such childlike glee. If this is something that you don’t usually do together then just the sheer fact that you’re doing something different will add to the whole experience. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate or fancy meal either. A cheese platter is always a great starter and allows you to have some time to relax and chat together while dinner is cooking. Pop some champagne or get going with that cocktail recipe you have always wanted to try. Better still, create a playlist for the night that will set the right tone for the evening. Cook together – take turns being responsible for certain elements of the dish and have fun watching it all come together. Laugh a lot and avoid intensity, even if the meal is an absolute disaster! Two words can save the day – take away.
Going for a massage is always a welcome treat. Rather than just stopping by your local for an ordinary visit, opt for something a little more indulgent this Valentine’s Day at a therapeutic massage house. Get in matching white robes, sip on some herbal tea and relax in each other’s company to the sweet sounds of pan flute serenades. The mutual experience will have you chatting for some time after needing to debrief your thoughts, similar to the rush of excitement you get when you walk out of the cinema after watching a movie together. If you’re on the coast, Comma Byron is an ambient massage house in Byron Bay that is ideal for couple massages. Being a lover of massages is one thing, but the design of the Comma Byron interiors will have you falling in love with the entire experience, from the moment you pull on your robe to when you leave with a few less knots than you had when you walked in.
Engage in some anti-art
Remember when we said to engage in experiences you may not have tried before? Well doing something like ‘life-drawing’ is a creatively daring place to start. This doesn’t mean that you have to go for the ‘nude’ option that is commonly associated with life-drawing. Rather there are plenty of events that invite you to draw several entertainers as they perform a kind of Dadaist theatre. Dr. Sketchy’s anti-art school runs events like these in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Previous sessions have included roller derby and burlesque models as a form of performance art. You are prompted to sketch the models at particular points throughout the show as they pause in different poses and costumes. Surely an experience to remember.
Visit a vintage cinema
For generations, people have been going to the cinemas as one of life’s simple pleasures. Even with the advent of home theatre technology and movies on demand, people still seem to appreciate the experience of ordering popcorn, finding your seats, and moments of collective laughter as you watch a film at the good old-fashioned cinema. Speaking of old-fashioned, there are several vintage cinemas around that make for the perfect date on Valentine’s Day. Snuggle up and enjoy a cult classic with a glass of red and a bucket of popcorn. The Golden Age Cinema in Sydney’s Surry Hills is intimate and sophisticated, with a neighbouring bar area that’s perfect to unwind before the movie begins. The historic Astor Theatre in St. Kilda is a great one to visit if you’re in Melbourne, while The Elizabeth Picture Theatre in the heart of the Brisbane CBD is surrounded by great restaurants and bars (and game arcades) to top off the date. Going to the drive-in also has a classic appeal that makes it an exciting and romantic thing to do on Valentine’s Day. Just make sure that you have packed some snacks, pillows and a nice big blanket along for the ride.