With the annual celebration of romance around the corner, many may be stumped on how to spoil their partner this Valentine’s Day. Luckily, in a city as chic and scenic as Cape Town, the options are abundant. So we’ve compiled a list of the best ways to keep you entertained around the Mother City, appealing to diners, dancers, loungers, friends, couples and even singles.
VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER AT EIGHT RESTAURANT
For couples who want to spend a luxurious and romantic evening out, but not at the expense of the environment, consider Eight Restaurant. Their 5-course Valentine’s Day dinner is made from natural and organic ingredients from Spier and nearby farms and is served with a complimentary wine pairing. The menu includes an amuse-bouche, starter, palate cleanser, main course and dessert.
Eight’s décor embodies the restaurant’s sustainable ethos, with lights made by local artist, Heath Nash. The impressive ceiling on the terrace is lined with over 10 000 individually crafted flowers made from recycled white plastic milk bottles and lit with low voltage LEDs, creating an atmosphere perfect for the romance of Valentine’s Day.
- Amuse-Bouche: Saldanha bay oysters with lime aioli, bloody marry jelly and crispy nori
- Starter: Pan-seared yellowtail with samphire, oyster mushroom, white wine foam, asparagus and crispy capers
- Palet Cleanser: Mixed-berry sorbet
- Main Course: Farmer Angus beef fillet with farmer Neil’s carrots, pomme anna, mélange of courgette and bone marrow butter
- Dessert: Selection of chocolate treats – milk chocolate mousse, dark chocolate truffles, chocolate s’mores and strawberries.
Location: Eight Restaurant, Spier Wine Estate, Annandale Road, Stellenbosch
Cost: R390 pp
ANTI VALENTINE’S SPEED DATING AT GROUNDED ESPRESSO BAR & BISTRO
Staying home and watching rom-coms with a bottle of gin is tempting, but we have a better solution for all the singletons looking for a fun way to meet new people this Valentine’s Day. Grounded Espresso Bar & Bistro, the quaint bistro in De Waterkant, is hosting their first Anti-Valentine’s Speed Dating evening which promises to be filled with fun. Why toil around on Tinder when R100 can get you the opportunity to engage in a unique social experiment? All you need to do is show up and look pretty. Plus the bistro will also throw in a complimentary glass of red/white wine or a Camelthorne beer on entry!
Dress Code: Red and black
Time: 15 Feb, 8.30pm to 11.30pm
If you do find the perfect match and want to share a laugh, save the date for Cape Town Pride Festival’s upcoming ‘Proudly Funny Comedy Show’ (in association with Grounded Espresso Bistro & Bar and Jax & Gina). Headlined the stand-up comedy stylings of lesbian and former drag king Chantal ‘Jax’ Justice Venter, gay and former drag queen Eugene Mathews of Jax & Gina fame, as well as comedic newcomer and proud metrosexual Mark R L Johnson, this show promises to be one filled with laughs and LGBTQ content.
Time: 25 Feb, 8pm to 9.30pm
STAY IN A GARDEN VILLA WITH LOVED ONES
Show appreciation for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day with a stay at Garden Villa, Stellenbosch.
Whether this means gathering your single girlfriends together and taking advantage of the neighbouring wine farms or pausing to spend quality time with family, this Manor House is the perfect location. The gardens which surround the villa are beautifully maintained and fall under lush oaks and pine trees. The villa includes verandas, balustrade terracing, fountains, and a picturesque lake as well as a children’s jungle gym. You may choose to watch the sunset over the Helderberg Mountains whilst enjoying a glass of wine on the lake’s floating deck or retreat to the deck hidden in the trees and dine under the stars.
There are three en-suite bedrooms in the Manor House. The main bedroom is a spacious suite with a king-size bed and both a bath and shower in the en-suite bathroom. The second bedroom has a double and single bed whilst the third bedroom has a double four-poster bed and an en-suite with shower. The fourth bedroom is a separate suite next to the swimming pool. It has an en-suite bathroom and a balcony overlooking the lake.
Location: Stellenbosch, Winelands
Time: Check in after 2pm | Check out by 10am
SURPRISE YOUR LOVED ONE WITH A PETAL&POST VALENTINE’S GIFT SET
Early each morning (probably before you are out of bed), the Petal&Post team are out and about sourcing the freshest seasonal flowers from the local markets around Cape Town. Founder Kim Du Plessis crafts a unique style of Posy every day and deliver it to your loved one’s doorstep beautifully wrapped in simple white craft paper and accompanied by a Petal&Post handwritten note for your personalized message. The Cape Town florist also offers luxury treats to add to or send independently of your Posy. Expect pampering treats such as candles, chocolates, fudge, vases, tea tins and more.
Don’t miss out on their special Valentine’s Gift Sets, including a Petal&Post Posy with a Watercolour Heart Gift Card (custom designed for Petal&Post), and:
- A Kerr&Napier e-Coffee Cup, or
- The Counter Fudge (white chocolate or malt), or
- A Takkleberry Bralette and Panty Set.
What better way to spoil your Valentine? Orders for Valentine’s Gift Sets close on the 12th of Feb. Pre-ordering is stressed, as they tend to sell-out on Valentines.
Location: Petal&Post Offices, 100 Voortrekker Rd, Salt River
Time: Orders from 8.30am to 12.30pm (or until sold-out) daily
Cost: R245 Reg | R450 Dbl Posy | R350 Valentines Gift Sets | Extra products vary
VALENTINE’S CELEBRATION AT THE RAPTOR ROOM
The Raptor Room, one of the city’s hippest LGBTQ hotspots, is hosting a “hot night out” this Valentine’s with a two-stage night full of entertainment. Kick-start the evening with a welcome glass of bubbly followed by a chic three-course meal curated by owner and head chef, Amy Lilley. Lilley is keeping the menu under tight wraps, but given her reputation, one can only expect a unique twist on experimental cuisine. Cape Town native Keren Lindley Music will serenade guests with her smooth, mellowy, acoustic-folk tunes. The second part of the evening starts right after dinner when the doors open for the My Queer Valentine after-party. Gather all your mates as DJ Andie Reeves take you through the past 30 years’ most romantic and raunchy RnB and pop beats, before DJ Queen of Booty Bass, ANG, takes over to end the evening. Naturally, no schmaltzy Celine Dion will make the cut.
This quirky eatery with its swoon-worthy cinematic decor and neon lighting accents promises a night filled with extra surprises and amusement and comes as the perfect opportunity to add your own twist to the meaning of Valentine’s Day. ‘My Queer Valentine’ is open to monogamous, polyamorous, open, or casual relationships, friends with benefits (or without), singles, and pretty much anyone in between. Advanced booking is essential.
Venue: Raptor Room, 79 Roeland St, Zonnebloem, Cape Town
Time: Dinner 6pm to 9pm | After-Party 9pm till late
Cost: Dinner R360 | R50 pp (buy at the door or book via email)
VALENTINE’S DINNER/PICNIC AT LE POMMIER WINE ESTATE
Treat your better half to a romantic evening at Le Pommier Wine Estate, overlooking the breathtaking view of the mountains of Banhoek Valley.
Le Pommier offers a choice between a 3-course candle-lit dinner at their cosy, traditionally South African restaurant with live music and a Le Pommier Rose wine cocktail upon arrival, or a romantic sundowner picnic with a basket filled with mouth-watering treats and award-winning Le Pommier wines. Complimentary photo booth photos for each couple joining either event are gifted as a memento of the evening.
Candle-lit Dinner Menu
- Starter: A mezze plate for two with dips, olives, figs drizzled with honey and parma ham served with rosemary focaccia hearts | A trio of seafood for two
- Mains: Tender fillet or beef topped with a mustard sauce and served with potato wedges and julienne vegetables | Creamy pesto chicken with roasted cherry tomatoes served with mashed potato and julienne vegetables | Crispy pork belly stuffed with apple and feta served with baby potatoes and julienne vegetables
- Dessert: Le Pommier red poached pears served with ice cream | Creamy vanilla panna cotta topped with a fresh homemade plum compote | Decadent chocolate fondant served with clotted cream or ice cream
Picnic Basket Menu (For 2)
- Sliced cold cuts
- Selection of cheeses and homemade plum chutney
- Assorted savoury biscuits
- Creamed cheese, sundried tomato and basil pesto dip
- Homemade bread served with butter
- Mini chicken pies
- Mini bobotie meatballs
- Mini camembert and tomato tartlets
- Olives and sweetbell peppers
- Crispy Greek salad
- Potato salad with tangy mayonnaise and herb dressing
- Mini fruit kebabs
- Lemon tart in a jar
- Mini milktarts
- Lindt chocolate
Le Pommier is also offering an intimate weekend away with dinner, breakfast and accommodation going fro R1250 per person sharing.
Location: Le Pommier Wine Estate, Helshoogte Rd Stellenbosch
Cost: Cande-lit Dinner R350pp | Picnic R500 p/basket
TIGGER 2 CHARTERS VALENTINE’S DAY CRUISE
For a little bit of luxury before or after your dinner event, bring Tigger 2 Charters promises to wow them with a sunset cruise – featuring the fresh sea breeze, drinks and a gorgeous view of the sun setting over the Atlantic. Tigger 2 is offering a variety of romantic cruise options.
1.5 hr Romantic Sunset Cruise:
Tigger 2’s luxury Valentines Day Cruise includes an Aperol Spritz Cocktail on boarding, a glass of Sparkling wine Cinzano Pro Spritz at sunset and a rose for each couple.
Time: 6.30pm to 8pm
Cost: R530 pp
2.5 hr Romantic Sunset Cruise and Canapé Dinner:
The Valentines Day Cruise and Canapé Dinner not only includes an Aperol Spritz Cocktail on boarding and a glass of Sparkling wine Cinzano Pro Spritz, but each person receives a 13-piece fine dining canapé platter. This canapé dinner is served at mooring once the boat returns from the cruise.
Time: 6.30pm to 9pm
Cost: R750 pp
Private Romantic Sunset and Dinner Cruise:
Tigger 2 Charters also offers exclusive 3hr Private Romantic Sunset and Dinner Cruise excursions throughout the year, making it ideal for special occasions such as proposals, wedding anniversaries, engagements, or a very special surprise. The cruise package is valid for one couple only and includes a welcoming cocktail; a half-way stop to enjoy some snacks, sparkling wine paired with the beautiful scenery; and a candle-lit 3-course meal in the bottom lounge set intimately with rose petals and accompanied by soft, romantic music.
Cost: R13500 per couple (out of peak season)
Location: T-jetty at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (in front of the Hildebrand Restaurant at the clocktower)
BURGER & LOBSTER VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER
Burger & Lobster – the Bree Street gastropub credited with making lobster chic again – is hosting a romantic 3-course dinner which shines a light on their signature dishes. Kick-start the evening with a complimentary glass of Boschendal bubbly with your loved one before tucking into some of the hotspot’s fare. Think fresh lobster and prawn bites wrapped in a pastry shell with dipping sauce. A choice between their Lobster Roll with homemade Japanese mayonnaise and onion chives or the B&L Burger, and rounded out by Oreo Nutella cheesecake.
With a focus on local seasonal produce, Burger & Lobster prepare most of their menu items from scratch without fail or compromise. It is complemented by a selection of hand-picked premium imports sourced exclusively by their in-house team, and their lobster meat being proudly sustainably sourced. Located in the heart of the city’s foodie epicentre, owns a trendy yet vibrant atmosphere to accompany turn your evening into something special.
- Starters: Maple bacon infused Mac ‘n Cheese balls wrapped in oven baked phyllo pastry; or fresh lobster and prawn bites wrapped in a fried pastry shell with cheese, lemon zest, chives and a side of sweet chili sauce
- Mains: The B&L Burger (A grass-fed, steak beef burger with streaky maple bacon & cheese, served on a warm, toasted home-made brioche bun, with skinny fries & mixed herb salad of croutons, red onions, Parmesan cheese & a balsamic glaze); or The Lobster Roll (Fresh lobster dressed in a light home-made Japanese mayonnaise & onion chives, served in a warm, toasted New England style brioche bun, with skinny fries & mixed herb salad of croutons, red onions, Parmesan cheese & a balsamic glaze)
- Dessert: Oreo Nutella Cheesecake (B&L’s signature dessert)
Note: There are 2 seating times to choose from; booking is essential.
Location: Burger & Lobster, 105 Bree Street, Heritage Square, Cape Town
Time: 6pm to 8pm | 8.30pm till late
Cost: R369 pp
NEDERBURG WINES VALENTINE’S PICNIC/DINNER
Let love bloom with a classic fine dining feast at one of the country’s esteemed wineries this Valentine’s Day. Located in the elegant Cape Dutch-styled manor house of Nederburg Wines, chef Lisa Cilliers and the team at The Red Table restaurant offers a gourmet dinner coupled with live entertainment and a touch of finesse. For a more effortless experience, a picnic option is also on offer to spend the afternoon lounging under the winery’s beautiful old shady trees. Each picnic package comes complete with a scrumptious basket brimming with delicious al fresco fare and the required accessories.
Chef Lisa Cilliers’ Dinner Menu
- Amuse-Bouche: A glass of Nederburg’s Première Cuvée Brut with confit duck in phyllo parcel with apricot jus
- Starters: Calamari and chorizo salad, chickpeas, pickled fennel bulb, cucumber ribbons, and heirloom tomato salsa or spiced cauliflower pannacotta with green chutney
- Palate Cleanser: Red wine and raspberry sorbet to cleanse the palate
- Main Course: AAA-grade rib eye steak served with chateau potatoes roasted in duck fat, long-stem broccoli, tomato-on-the-vine, and brandy mushroom sauce or sesame-crusted salmon fillet with beetroot carpaccio, asparagus, crushed edamame beans, and a teriyaki dressing
- Dessert: Chocolate fondant with vanilla bean ice cream or hazelnut shortbread hearts with grilled nectarines and honey mascarpone
Time: 14 Feb, 6pm til late
Cost: R595 pp
Valentine’s Picnic Basket Menu
- Freshly prepared selection of artisanal bread and cheeses
- Fig preserve
- Thyme & lemon chicken kebabs
- Springbok samoosas
- Roasted Cajun spiced nuts
- Brie & mushroom tartlet with caramelized onions
- Fresh seasonal salad
- A sweet treat
Time: 12, 13, 14, 15 & 17 Feb, 12pm to 4pm
Cost: R550 p/couple
The award-winning range of wines, as well as refreshments, are available for purchase to compliment the meal or picnic. Booking needs to made at least 24 hours prior.
For couples with kids or who are looking for something more interactive, the Nederburg Harvest at Dusk Festival is also taking place on the weekend following Valentines Day, and promises good fun. Experts will explain the process of wine grape harvest, and there is a chance to join in on the excitement of picking and stomping grapes. After stomping up an appetite, participants sit and listen to the live music of popular South African musician, Matthew Gold, while feasting on freshly-prepared mezze matched with award-winning wines.
Time: 4.30pm till late
Cost: R460 | 6 – 12 years old R220 | U6s Free
‘VALENTINES WITH A VIEW’ AT MELONCINO
Rated as one of the top Italian restaurants in Cape Town, Meloncino boasts a view that’s almost as good as the food. Situated at the upper level of the V&A Waterfront, diners overlook one of Cape Town’s finest marinas as well as the iconic Table Mountain. It’s the perfect setting for a romantic sunset dinner, which is exactly what they are offering this Valentine’s Day with their 3-course set menu. The menu comes vegetarian-friendly, and guests receive a glass of Pongracz bubbly upon arrival.
- Antipasti: Foccacia, along with the choice between one of the 3 starters on offer. Highlights include crispy Arancini balls stuffed with Mozzarella, and floating on a classic Margherita sauce.
- Secondi Piatti: Choose between the vegetarian, poultry or beef dish available for the evening. A must-try dish is the oven-cooked beef fillet resting on a bed of Italian-style roasted potatoes and served up stylishly with a fig and mustard sauce, roasted cherry tomatoes and aged Balsamico.
- Dolce: 2 choices of desserts. Look out for their Nutella-based chocolate mousse, rounded out by a shot of Galliano liqueur cream.
- See full Valentine’s Day Menu here.
All Meloncino’s food is made from scratch, which is what has made its taste so popular and delectable. Note: There are 2 seating times to choose from; booking is essential.
Location: Meloncino, Shop 259, 19 Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town
Time: 6pm to 8pm | 8:30pm – 11pm
Cost: R399 pp
VALENTINE’S DAY DINNER & TOURS AT NORVAL FOUNDATION
Join the Norval Foundation on Valentine’s Day for an intimate preview tour of four new exhibitions, followed by a fine dinner at the Skotnes Restaurant.
Stroll through the galleries with your partner and a glass of bubbly to see the exhibitions of David Goldblatt, Yinka Shonibare, Ibrahim Mahama and Collectors Focus: Sanlam Collection. The romantic evening is then concluded with a ten course, curated tapas style dining experience at the culinary arm of the Norval Foundation – the renowned Skotnes Restaurant.
Location: Norval Foundation Art Gallery, 1 Ou Kaapse Rd, Steenberg Estate, Cape Town
Time: 14 Feb, 6pm to 10pm