Last-minute planning for a romantic Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is just a few days ahead.  Some look forward to it.  Some would dodge it like a bullet.  Whether you are in a relationship or not, you do not need to stress about this day.  Just don’t.   With today’s technology, you can find a date at the blink of an eye.  For people like me who love to travel, it is possible to buy some last-minute deals to celebrate this day.

If you have a special someone, then you can hop over the first part.  If you don’t have a special someone, then just relax.  As long as you are realistic and just want a date, then you can get one.

FINDING A VALENTINE’S DATE

Remember that finding a date through an app does not mean finding love. A date does not just come suddenly.  Love, definitely not that fast either.  No app in the world can guarantee that a prospective date will love you.

Thanks to today’s technology, finding a date is as easy as swiping your finger.  What was tabu a while back, is the norm for today.  Have a smartphone?  Then you can have a date.

Google started it all with collecting consumer behaviour and creating algorithms for marketing purposes.

The same is true for apps.  You are asked a lot of questions when you register and they use these data to set you up with someone.  Technology is today’s matchmaker.

So get your smartphone and check out iTunes or Google Play and download your dating app.

BOOK A SURPRISE HOLIDAY AT A ROMANTIC PLACE

When you surf online you get a jungle of price and offers.  Everything offering you whatever your heart desires.

So where to go?  I have three favourites which I can tell you about.  Perhaps you can choose one of them.

New York – Will never get tired of New York.  It has something for everyone

There are a lot of tourists who take the horse carriage tour around Manhattan.  It is romantic and it is a tourist trap.   A lot would gladly pay for it because it has its own charm.  It can be just as romantic to rent a bike and cycle around the park.  We did that and it was a great feeling afterwards.

For dinner with a garden and a view, I can recommend  Gallow Green, McKittrick Hotel’s rooftop bar and restaurant.  When you arrive at the place, you do not feel that you are on a rooftop because it is so green.  The whole place is a beautiful garden and yet you have great views of Manhattan.

Who can forget The Plaza Hotel and its role in bringing romance to a lot of Hollywood films.  It costs a fortune to live here and quite expensive to dine at The Palm Court, the iconic-over-100-year-old restaurant on the first floor.  So dine here  only when love is real.   Do make reservations.  Even with their prohibitive prices, the restaurant is always full.  Through the years, several tourists visit the hotel just to have a look and to take them back to their favourite Hollywood film where The Plaza was the setting. The hotel saw this deluge of tourists as an opportunity.  At the basement of the hotel, you can find The Plaza Food Hall.   This is not a cheap fast-food hall, mind you.  There are several restaurants serving really good food at a fraction of a price of the restaurants upstairs.   A lot of choices at prices most of us can afford.  My favourite is the Tartinery. 

Valentines Day, travel blogger

Walking over the Brooklyn Bridge is also romantic.  No rush here.  Go slow, enjoy the view and each other.  Talk nonsense, talk about everything under the sun while you stop and look across the Hudson River.  Look back at the fading Manhattan skyline as you approach Brooklyn.   When you get to Brooklyn, go to your right and follow directions to DUMBO (short for Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass).   This place has had a facelift in the past few years and is now hip and vibrant and romantic.   You get incredible views of Manhattan here.   For eating, some will go to the tried and tested  Grimaldi’s that has been here forever and serves really good, no-nonsense pizza.  I prefer River Cafe.  No other restaurant in this area can offer better views of Manhattan, the Hudson River, and the Statue of Liberty on one place.  The price is worth it, specially if you are with the person you love.

Where should one stay.  It all depends on you budget.  For those who wants to live in the middle of it all and just want a bed, then Pennsylvania Hotel is ok.  An upgrade would be The Wyndham New Yorker Hotel  or Radisson Martinique not too far away.

If you come back to New York with a group, I can help you.  Request for a quote. 

Maldives

When we arrived the Maldives, my hubby and I both felt that this is going to be one of the best, if not, the best romantic and relaxing holiday ever.  If you also like to dive and snorkel, then this is heaven.

Valentines Day, travel blogger

I normally recommend my clients to do visit the capital of the country they are visiting.   Maldives is not one of them.

We stayed on an overwater bungalow and it’s literally just hop out into the ocean when you wake up.  Even if you don’t, you get rays, octopus, reef sharks and other fishes that swim by.  You can just look a them while staying on the bungalow.   When you are in the Maldives, overwater bungalows are recommended by several travel agents.  For me, the beach bungalow is enough and gives you value for money.  The overwater bungalows have a jacuzzi, but we only used it once the whole time.  Some hotels do not allow children so check out the hotel site when you prefer to stay in such hotels.    We stayed at Meeru Island Resort and Spa.  Check out the transfers as well.  Some island hotels are so far out that the airfare transfer costs a lot.

Norway – It may be cold up here, but there are a lot of warm and cosy places around.

In Halden, we have the Fredriksten Fort.  Inside this fort, you  can find the restaurant  Vertshus Curtisen.  This restaurant is included on the list of historical hotels and restaurants of Norway.  They do not have an a la cart menu.  You just choose whether you will have 3-courses, 4- courses, 5-courses… all the way to 12-courses.  Their most popular is the 5-course meal. Do order also the wine package.  They have already done their research on which one fits your meals so you do not have to go over any wine menu.  If one of you does not drink alcohol, then they have an alcohol-free drink package as well.  Very well-thought of.  A dinner here is such a wonderful experience.  You are in a restaurant inside a historical fortress with your loved on on Valentine’s Day.  Each meal is explained to you as they offer only the best ingredients from the area.  They tell you where the raw ingredients come from, what they did with it and what kind of taste you can expect.

Lofoten is a favourite of mine.  In Lofoten, it is not roses and romantic set-ups that makes it romantic.  It is the incredible nature that becomes the background as you celebrate love.  Very unique with Lofoten is that is a great destination whatever the weather, even when there is a storm.  You can just feel how mighty  mother nature is.

MAKE DINNER AT HOME IF THE BUDGET CALLS FOR IT

Make dinner together at home.  Let the person who is best at cooking the day’s main course do the cooking.  My hubby is fantastic when making beef. Any beef.  He can compete with any restaurant.   Can be entrecôte, Angus beef, sirloin, whatever.  He can do it really well.

So how do you make this dinner romantic?

  • Dress up for the occasion.  Choose whatever you think is best and comfortable for you.
  • Use scented lights to set up the mood.
  • Play your romantic playlist which you downloaded on iTunes or Spotify. Soft and low volume in the background.  You would want to hear each other.
  • Choose a meal that both likes.  What a bummer if you cook a fish dinner and he hates fish.  Preferably something that takes around 45 minutes to cook.
  • Decide beforehand what will be served for drinks.  Beer, alcholfree drinks, red wine, white wine, etc.  If you know what kind of meal is being served, you can ask the  Vinmonopol (for those living in Norway) for recommendations.
  • Go for an easy and light appetiser like bruschetta.  You ned only a baguette, garlic, onion, olive oil and tomatoes.
  • Definitely no paper towels, no paper plates and no plastic fork and spoon.
  • Have some light on the table and a low flower arrangement.  You would want to see each other.
  • Go for an easy dessert that both likes.  Strawberry with ice cream, fruit plate, for example.
  • Do have a Plan B.  If the person you are dating for the first time is not who he/she you expected, then go to Plan B.
  • In the worst case, I hope you also have a Plan C.

Happy Valentine’s to all.

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