It’s less than week before Valentine’s Day and, as a guy, despite your best intentions, you probably still have no idea what to plan for you and your partner or where to take the woman you’ve been seeing. Luckily we have your back: we reckon the Cape Town CBD, with its quaint paved side streets, magnificent green public spaces and renowned restaurants, is the perfect place for a romantic encounter. So we asked the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) for some suggestions for things to do to impress the other half.
Greet her with flowers
Before you even think of picking your date up, stop by Adderley Street Flower Market and purchase 12 red roses. Bonus tip: tulips are a modern twist on the traditional Valentine’s bouquet.
Where? Trafalgar Place, Adderley St
Treat yourselves to a couples’ spa
So you’ve always wanted to go for a spa treatment but you’re concerned about what your friends would say? Now you have an excuse: the eighth floor of The Pepper Club hotel is home to the tranquil Cayenne Spa, where you and your partner can indulge in a couples’ treatment together. She’ll love you for it and you can tell your friends you only did it to spoil her for Valentine’s Day.
Where? Cnr Loop and Pepper Sts, www.pepperclub.co.za/cayenne-spa, 021 812 8812
Explore the Central City in a horse-drawn carriage
Treat her like a princess: contact The Cape Town Carriage Company and book a horse-drawn carriage ride for two that takes you past many of the Central City’s historic and romantic sites. You’ll get major brownie points for this one.
Where? Castle of Good Hope, Darling and Buitenkant Sts, www.ctcco.co.za, 021 704 6907/8
Stop for lunch in The Company’s Garden
If you live in the Cape Town CBD, you will most likely already use The Company’s Garden. According to the Central City User Survey conducted by the CCID, it’s the most popular public space in the area. More importantly, it’s a great spot for a picnic. The nearby Food Lovers Market on St George’s Mall is a convenient place to fill your basket. Or try Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants for biltong, cured bacon, cheese and bacon jam. If she likes that selection, she’s a keeper.
Where? Food Lover’s Market: 122 St George’s Mall, 021 424 0294; Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants: 81 Church Street, www.ffmm.co.za, 021 424 7204
Enjoy a pre-dinner sundowner
As the natural light starts to dim, you’ll want a drink. Enjoy a sundowner at The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium, named one of the Best New Bars in 20 Cities by Condé Nast Traveler in 2013, or on a rooftop at Tjing Tjing. Cape Town’s worst-kept secret, Julep – hint: it’s in a lane off Long Street – is another gem worth looking for. (Yes, they all serve beer too.)
Where? The Orphanage Cocktail Emporium: 227 Bree St, www.theorphanage.co.za, 021 424 2004
Tjing Tjing: 165 Longmarket St, http://tjingtjing.co.za, 021 422 4920
Julep: Vredenburg Lane, www.julep.co.za, 021 423 4276
Go for dinner and a movie
Here’s a pearl of wisdom: The Twankey at Taj Cape Town is known for its oysters, which are known for their aphrodisiac qualities. Pair with a bottle of champagne. You’re a guy: never say “bubbles”.
Where? Cnr Wale and Adderley Sts, www.tajhotels.com, 021 819 2000
Remember Lady and the Tramp and their bowl of spaghetti? No, neither do we. But we do know that nothing is more romantic and delicious than an authentic Italian dinner. And for that there are two places you have to go: 95 Keerom, one of the top Italian restaurants in Cape Town according to the 2014 Eat Out 500, and True Italic, whose Valentine’s Day special includes a four-course meal and the sounds of Italian singer Francesca Biancoli.
Where? 95 Keerom St, www.95keerom.com, 021 422 0765
True Italic, www.trueitalic.co.za, 021 418 7655
You could go to the movies at the mall, or you could cuddle up in the back row under starlight at the Pink Flamingo cinema on the rooftop of The Grand Daddy. On Valentine’s Day they’re showing Four Weddings and a Funeral. The Notebook,Casablanca and Serendipity are also on in February. You’ll probably want to see Casablanca. She’s more likely to go for The Notebook. Don’t be selfish.
Where? 38 Long St, www.granddaddy.co.za/pinkflamingo, 021 424 7247
Jazz it up
The Crypt at the world-famous St George’s Cathedral has live jazz five nights a week. On Valentine’s Day you can enjoy the sounds of the Abigail Peterson Quartet from 20h00 while you make eyes at each other over candlelight. Or book for Jimmy Nevis at African Pride 15 on Orange hotel and get a complimentary bottle of Graham Beck MCC on the night.
Where? 1 Wale St, www.thecryptjazz.com, 079 683 4658
Cnr Grey’s Pass & Orange Street, www.africanpridehotels.com, 021 469 8000
Stay the night
Inn on the Square hotel, situated on the cobblestoned Greenmarket Square, is offering a special on a romantic overnight stay that includes dinner and breakfast the next morning. We’re not saying it’s going to happen, or that you should plan it, but you should be ready to catch your date if she stumbles on the cobblestones. You get show off your muscle and save a damsel in distress against one of the most romantic backdrops in the Cape Town CBD.
Where? 10 Greenmarket Square, www.threecities.co.za, 021 423 2050