All you lovers in Sydney should be prepared because there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, diners, and bars around putting on their best for the most romantic day of the year. Whether it’s your significant other or a group of loves ones you’re planning to hang with on February 14th, keep these events in mind, they might just make the difference between a night with Adele and a tub of Ben & Jerry’s or a night chilling with Marvin Gaye and Netflix.
Headline image: The Grounds of Alexandria.
DIY Valentine’s Day Picnic
Before we get into all the lunch and dinner offerings, many of those who celebrate Valentine’s Day are moving away from the typical expensive night out and leaning towards the more DIY style of romance. It makes sense, you can customise every aspect of the experience and personalise it towards your loved one (assuming you’re the planner) and the cash saved can be sent on gifts and what not. Here are a few tools you’ll need to get started on that romantic picnic, including the best picnic spots around Sydney.
- First you’ll need a good, spacious picnic blanket, and this new range over at Bask seems perfect. They’re huge, 100% waterproof and even have a hidden pocket on the underside to store valuables. They also double as a good gift for anyone who spends most of their time at the beach.
- Second, choose a location, and these five are some of the best in Sydney for picnic’ing: Lane Cove National Park; Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden; Centennial Park; Barangaroo Reserve; and Mrs Macquaries Point.
- Third, start packing the essential into a picnic hamper: bottle opener; bread and cheese knives; small wooden boards; napkins; plastic bags; and a bluetooth speaker.
- Finally, pack all that food on top. Our recommendations: charcuterie, pate, cheese, a bottle of wine (a Calabria Bros The Barossa Shiraz 2011, Champagne Bollinger Rose, or Penfolds Bin 14A Chardonnay always goes down well), bread sticks, figs, and chocolate.
Decadent Date Night at The Grounds of Alexandria
A team of 20 visionary designers have been called upon to create the most stunning Valentine’s Day “evening in the garden” possible, spun into an exclusive event that includes a dinner for two with a four-course meal, an array of treats, and more amongst over $60,000 worth of floral arrangements under the stars. The atmosphere will be helped along by French inspired design, romantic lighting, and an immersive experience.
The ticket price is set at $250pp and includes a bespoke menu designed for guests on the night (including sharing elements), a selection of wines and other beverages, including a bottle of Pol Roger NV on every table, a unique ice sculpture as the centre piece, a dramatic range of beautiful bouquets and candelabras styled by Florals by Silva, a pro photographer and themed photo booth, and live entertainment. There will be take-home gifts for each guests as well.
Where: The Grounds, 7A, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW 2015
Time: 6.45pm arrival – 10.30pm (approx. finish)
Lunch or Dinner at est.
Merivale’s highly praised est. restaurant is offering both lunch and dinner on Valentine’s Day, with the afternoon bringing in a three-course choice lunch menu with a glass of champagne on arrival for $180pp, and the evening moving onto a lush four-course dinner with a choice of main and matching wine for each course, set at $315pp.
Where: est. Establishment/252 George St, Sydney
Bookings: (02) 9240 3000
Eight Course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Devon by Night
Surely one of the most affordable Valentine’s Day Dinner menus in Sydney can be found at Waterloo gem Devon by Night, where on Feb 13th and 14th, there will be eight course menu of signature Asian dishes like mixed charcoal grill, and king salmon tartare. It’ll set you back $70pp.
Where: Devon by Night, 2 Danks Street, Waterloo
Bookings: 02 9698 7795
Seven Course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Ananas Bar & Brasserie
The Rocks’ superb restaurant of Parisienne glamour, Ananas, will be offering a big seven-course menu for $125pp this Valentine’s Day, offered up with a glass of Champagne on arrival and dishes from their new menu like steak tartare, ricotta ravioli, Galcier Toothfish 51 ‘En Papillote’ and a dessert with tonka been ganache, caramel crémeux and raspberry sorbet.
Where: Ananas, 18 Argyle St, The Rocks
Bookings: (02) 9259 5668
Valentine’s Lunch at Bennelong
Dining under those iconic sails at the Sydney Opera House with Peter Gilmore’s to-die-for menu is a good an option as any for a date night this weekend. The team will be offering up on-arrival cocktails and a menu with everything from XO scallops to Fraser Island spanner crab and roasted lamb. You’ll also get their signature pavlova, which is shaped after the Opera House sails. The menu is set at $200pp
Where: Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Bookings: 02 9240 8000
Three course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Glass Brasserie
Luke Mangan’s superb, award-winning Glass Brasserie will be offering a special three-course meal for V Day evening, complete with a glass of Champagne Rose on arrival with a set price of $180pp. They’ve got around 1000 wines so there should be plenty mixing and matching here with the stunning food on offer.
Where: Glass, Level 2, 488 George Street
Bookings: 02 9265 6068
Star-Crossed Lovers High Tea or Valentine’s Day Dinner at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is one of the area’s finest properties, and not only are they planning love-themed dining for the whole month of February, but they’ll be offering a special V Day dinner on Feb 14th.
In partnership with Bell Shakespeare and their performance of Romeo & Juliet at Sydney Opera House, the hotel has created the eternal love themed high tea with the know-how of Exec. Chef Boris Cuzon. It’s a daytime alternative to the typical Valentine’s Day dinner date and features a whole pile of sweet and savoury treats including fig & arugula sandwiches, kiss chocolate brownies, and a range of Capulet Cocktails. It’s running through this month and also extended right to 31st March from $59pp.
Then you have the special Valentine’s Day dinner at Sofitel Sydney’s Garden Court Restaurant, offering a four-course meal hand crafted by Chef Cuzon from $109 per person. One lucky couple will also win a Romance Package to stay at the hotel, featuring overnight accomodation in a luxurious classic room with chocolate delights, a leisurely breakfast in bed, and a super late check-out at 4pm (also available for purchase from $381 a night).
Where: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, 61-101 Phillip Street.
Seventeen course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Silvereye
Silvereye hasn’t been open for long but it’s already become a treasured part of the fantastic Old Clare Hotel on Kensington Street. For their first ever Valentine’s Day they’ll be offering up a huge 17-course menu for hungry lovers, paired up with matched wines or juices. Exec. Chef Sam Miller has put together something truly special for this occasion, with sittings available for 6:30pm, 7pm or 7:30pm. A glass of champagne will be available on arrival, and then it’ll be time to settle in for an adventurous culinary date. Just make sure you’re hungry. Price on booking.
Bookings: 02 8277 8520
Where: Silvereye, 20 Broadway, Chippendale.
Valentine’s Day at Meatstock
Something a bit different for Valentine’s Day this year; a food festival dedicated to juicy meats, guaranteed to be one of the best smelling things in Sydney on Sat 13th and Sun 14th. The Saturday is sold out but there are still tickets left to head along on Valentine’s Day and journey around the live bands, Low-and-Slow BBQ, BBQ Wars, Butcher Wars and a huge BBQ expo. Full eyes, clear hearts, can’t lose.
Where: Meatstock, Sydney Showgrounds
Five course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Automata
Much has been said about Clayton Wells’ Automata, recently opened at Old Clare Hotel and instantly winning diners over with innovative dining and an excellent wine list. For V Day the team will be offering a seven-course menu including two arrival snacks, five savoury courses, and two dessert courses for $130pp, with wine pairing option for an additional $80, carefully curated by renowned Sommelier Tim Watkins.
Bookings: 02 8277 8555
Where: Automata, 5 Kensington St, Chippendale
Heart-Shaped Nutella Pizzas at Coogee Pavilion
Coogee Pavilion will be offering some special heart-shaped Nutella pizzas for Valentine’s Day, sliced your way and available alongside gifts of chocolate and single long-stemmed roses available for purchase.
Where: Coogee Pavilion, 169 Dolphin St, Coogee
Seven course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Bentley
When Sydney Morning Herald selection Brent Savage as their 2015 Chef of the Year and Gourmet Traveller awarded Nick Hildebrandt as their 2015 Sommelier of the Year, a renewed interest in the already super popular CBD restaurant Bentley Restaurant and Bar propelled discerning diners towards the restaurant. Their specially curated Valentine’s Day Dinner should match up nicely to this reputation; seven courses designed by Savage, offered on both Sat 13th February and Sun 14th February. The menu is $200pp with optional wine pairing from Hildebrandt for an additional $100. That’s a lot to fork out, but something tells us no one will leave feeling shortchanged.
Bookings: 02 8214 0505
Where: Bentley Restaurant & Bar, Corner Pitt & Hunter St, Sydney
Five Course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Icebergs Dining
Head Chef Monty Koludrovic can do no wrong in the kitchen, especially aided by that stunning, gets-you-everytime view that Icebergs Dining is famous for. For $150pp, the team will be offering a menu full of fresh oysters, rib eyes, and more. Sittings at 6:30pm and 8:30pm.
Where: Icebergs Dining, 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach
Bookings: 02 9365 9000
Five Course Valentine’s Day Dinner at BLACK by ezard
The Star’s excellent BLACK by ezard have a lavish five-course dinner planned for Valentine’s Day, offering harbour views alongside an exquisite mix of scallop sashimi in sea urchid custard with wakame, BLACK’s signature wagyu mbs 9+ flat iron steak, a dessert of couverture ganache with hazelnut, cherry and mascarpone ice cream, and more. Price is set at $150pp, plus matching wines with an early sitting at 5:30pm-8:00pm and second seating at 8:15pm.
Where: BLACK by ezard, Level G, Harbourside, The Star, 80 Pyrmont St, Pyrmont,
Bookings 1800 700 700
Valentine’s Day escape at Lake House
For a short getaway weekend, the award-winning Lake House at The Entrance is offering one or two night weekend escape packages which include accommodation, a full country style breakfast each day, Champagne & artisanal chocolates on arrival, and your choices of a eight-course tasting menu at Lake House Restaurant on Saturday, or a five-course lunch on Sunday. Prices start from $541 for a one night escape, and from $771 for two nights.
Those in the area can also partake in Lake House Restaurant’s Valentine’s Day Dinner on either Sat 13th or Sun 14th for $155pp, or the five-course lunch (including a glass of sparkling rose on arrival) on the Sunday for $150pp.
Bookings: 03 5348 3329
Where: Lake House, 1 Oakland Ave, The Entrance