The official day of love is upon us. Valentine’s Day comes but once a year, and for those who fully surrender to the traditional idea of roses and romance, it’s a perfect opportunity to put some of the city’s finest establishments to the test. Each year restaurants, hotels, spas, cafes and bars offer some of their most accessible and tempting specials, so from speed dating for the singles and classic romance for the couples to cocktail degustations and rainforest getaways, we’ve picked out 10 of our favourite options for Tuesday 14th February for you to get across.
Classic Romance @ LOT.1 SYDNEY
The alluring purple glow that defines LOT.1 Sydney’s York Street facade will be the first thing you see should you book one of the city’s best and most diverse Valentine’s Day options. The three-floor establishment will be using their ample space to craft a number of loved-up experiences for couples looking to soak up the day in style, from classic candlelit dinners to casual Champagne & Oyster bars.
First off, the venue’s Restaurant space will be transformed into a delicate scene of dimmed lights, candles and rose petals as the kitchen offers a decadent five course menu for $150pp, bookmarked by a glass of sparkling on arrival and a special dessert at the end. Those wanting to build on the offering will be able to choose additional bottles of Champagne or wine, as well as caviar and roses. They’ll be taking bookings from 5:30pm, and have had the good sense to let the soundtrack of the evening bring in nothing but the charming voice of Frank Sinatra.
If that ain’t luxe enough for you then the venue will also be taking bookings for their Private Dining Room at $250pp, with Champagne and caviar on arrival plus personalised service and a few surprises.
Lastly, if you want a more casual Valentine’s Day head down to the venue’s Safe Bar, which will become a hideaway for the night with that aforementioned Champagne and Oyster bar, an à la carte menu and an atmosphere whipped together by a live jazz musician. No pre-paid fee is required for this one, just make a booking from 5:30pm onwards and sink into the venue’s classic romance vibe.
For more information head to the official LOT.1 Sydney website HERE.
Address: 18-20 York St, Sydney
Bookings: 02 9279 3555 or info@lot1sydney
Speed Dating @ Riley St Garage
You can’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense without an actual valentine, right? The day of love is as good as any for singles to head along for a good ol’ fashioned Speed Dating session, and fortunately for Sydneysiders there’s one of Woolloomooloo’s trendiest spots: Riley St Garage. You’ll find this essential speed dating event beneath that big brassy bar and art-deco interior, surrounded in the underground cool of Busby Private Dining Room as cocktails, beers and canapés (think beef carpaccio and chorizo corn dogs) fuel fifteen different “5 minute dates”. To top that off the theme is “Buckle Up Buttercup”, which should obviously be interpreted as one sees fit.
After the round of dates participants will be followed up with an e-mail detailing who is interested in them and who their mutual matches were. No frantically swiping right necessary, just pre-book with the $50 entry fee, make sure your over 18, and head along for a 7pm start (9pm finish).
For guys looking to get involved you can make an individual or group booking HERE.
Address: 55 Riley St, Woolloomooloo
117 Dining + Supper Club
You know it’s a special occasion when one of the city’s most exclusive and sought after rooftop bars opens up on Tuesday for the very first time since it rushed onto the scene in 2015. Usually the stunning rooftop and its outdoor terrace stick strictly to Thurs-Sun opening hours, but since Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday, the team behind the postcard-worthy venue couldn’t resist.
Climb up to InterContinental Sydney’s 32nd floor anytime from 8pm on Valentine’s Day and you’ll find the bar’s regular menu plus specially made exclusives like the Lychee & Rose Petal Martini (Belvedere, fresh lychee, agave syrup and house-made Rose Elix) as well as over 27 French Champagnes on offer.
If you want to make a full night of it, head to the property’s swish 117 Dining beforehand and book for their Divine Degustation, which is a bespoke five-courser featuring dishes like seaweed-cured hiramasa kingfish, dry-aged duck, tajima rump and a pair of Valentine’s Day inspired desserts. The package will be followed by a glass of Bimdadgen Sparkling Semillon up at Supper Club.
For more information click HERE.
Address: InterContinental Sydney – 117 Macquarie St, Sydney
Contact: (02) 9253 9000
The Roosevelt Bar and Diner
Potts Points classiest cocktail bar and diner will be dressed to impress on Valentine’s Day as they offer a three-course meal paired with shared cocktails set at $195 per couple. Anyone in Sydney that knows a damn about our busy cocktail scene knows how capable these bartenders are when it comes to mixology, but the food is sounding equally tempting as well with the likes of asparagus, truffle, bersaola and whipped labna for starters; warm buffalo mozzarella with lemon yerberia, mint and olive bread for the second course; frozen chocolate parfait with macadamia crumb and berry granita for dessert; and more options.
For more information head to their website HERE
Address: Ground Floor, 32 Orwell St, Potts Point
Contact: 0423 203 119
One of the most quintessentially Sydney dining experiences always comes in handy once Valentine’s Day rolls around. Head along to the acclaimed Circular Quay restaurant on Tuesday if a special five-course selection menu with an arrival glass of Perrier Jouet NV Champagne sounds like it’d impress (it will). The kitchen will be making some of their best dishes available, including black market beef carpaccio with truffle dressing, baby rocket, parmesan, caper and aioli; Queensland prawns with flame cockles, salt cod croquette, caper, apple and cauliflower puree; Dutch cream potato gnocchi with buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomato, tomato consomme and basil oil; and Salted caramel, chocolate peanut tart with banana fritter and chocolate ice cream. The full set menu is available for bookings from 6pm, with a price of $240pp.
Additional fresh seafood such as oysters and Moreton Bay bugs will also be available on the night, which you can grab more information about HERE.
Address: Customs House, 31 Alfred St, Sydney
Contact: 02 9251 8683
Dining is always the most popular of Valentine’s Day activities, and with all the specials on around the city it’s a good opportunity to not only impress your partner but actually get across the future legends of Sydney’s illustrious dining scene. One of the best new openings of last year, Surry Hills’ contemporary Lebanese restaurant Nour, should be at or near the top of that list. The gorgeous hatted restaurant will be keeping things simple and accessible for Valentine’s Day by offering a five-course share style menu for $90pp. Just make sure there’s enough room for that camel milk mouhalabieh.
For more information on their menu head to the official Nour website HERE.
Sitting down to the breezy surrounds of harbourside Barangaroo should be a popular option this Valentine’s Day given the amount of quality restaurants that have now popped up there. If we had to pick we’re going with Turkish favourite Anason, where dinner will be set up candelight style as Valentine’s tuck into a seven-course tasting menu featuring the likes of cured salmon pastirma, zucchini flower dolma and Turkish Delight ice cream. It’s worth paying a bit extra and exploring their rich stock of Turkish wines too! The menu is available for $80pp (food only).
More information can be found on Anason’s website HERE.
Address: 5/23 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo
Contact: 02 9188 1581
Eau De Vie
One of Sydney’s most highly regarded cocktail destinations are heading into Valentine’s Day by doing what that they do best, offering a micro cocktail degustation from 6pm onwards for Tuesday night only. Priced at $75 per couple, the package will feature three bite-sized canapé treats matched with three signature cocktails, including the option of either an Aperitif or Digestif.
Bookings will be essential and you can grab more information about the bar HERE.
Address: 229 Darlinghurst Rd, Sydney
Nathan Sasi’s celebrated new restaurant Mercardo will help sweep couples into Valentine’s Day ambience with their special, completely indulgent set menu which will highlight fresh and organic produce locally sourced from Sydney farmers. The banquet style menu planned for the day will riff on traditional Mediterranean, European and North African influences from buttery chickpea puree and house-cured cold cuts to rotisserie chicken tajine with green olives and Israeli style cous cous to hazelnut mousse cake infused with Pedro Ximinez. The set will be priced at $80pp.
More information is available at Mercardo’s website HERE.
Address: No.4, Ash Street Sydney
Contact: (02) 9221 6444
The Byron at Byron
For any Valentine’s looking to get out of Sydney for the weekend it’s worth heading up north to scope at the subtropical getaway that is The Byron at Byron as they’re currently running a pretty damn good package (from now until 31st March 2017) that’s fashioned as the ultimate couples weekend away. Not only will it include a romantic spa treatment in the middle of the rainforest, but also two nights stay in a Superior Suite, breakfast two two each day, a complimentary bottle of Bollinger Special Cuvee when dining in the property’s on-site restaurant for lunch or dinner, two Champagne flutes, and Bollinger bicycles available for a two hour hire. This one will set you back from $1,640 twin share, but that seems like a small price to pay for such a slick looking rainforest retreat.
For more information click HERE.
Address: 77-97 Broken Head Rd, Byron Bay
Contact: (02) 6639 2000
All images supplied.