Aaahhhh – 14th February. Valentine’s Day. Some love it, some hate it, some feel ‘eh’.
I’m in the “eh” boat. I have a kind and generous partner who demonstrates his love for me everyday (and I hope he feels the same). As such, love is celebrated everyday in my house, so I don’t feel any compelling need to do Valentine’s, however, I’m always keen for any excuse to do something a little extra!
So here are some V-Day ideas, no matter who you’re spending your day with – you lover, your girls, your mum or yourself. Plus, a bonus gift guide at the end.
If you’re spending the day with … your lover
A fancy steak dinner
If Brodie and I are ever in the mood for a boujie dinner, it’s most likely going to be a really nice steak. In my opinion, there’s not much better than spending quality time with a loved one, accompanied by a well-cooked, quality cut of steak and a nice bottle of wine. Our favourites are Black Hide Steakhouse on Caxton Street (there’s one at the casino as well, but I’ve not been there yet); Kingsleys on Eagle Street; & I also love Les Bubbles in the Valley, it’s a unique vibe and great pricing.
I think the perfect picnic consists of copious amounts of cheese, a cold bottle of wine (probably a riesling or a prosecco), gourmet sandwiches and fresh seasonal fruit. Then, team that up with a a quiet location, a mix of shade and sunshine, and a picnic blanket big enough to have a food coma snooze, and you’re in for a wonderful afternoon! I have a great picnic basket already, but I’m keen to get my hands on one of these big beauties to laze around on.
Blanket fort and a movie
This is one for the homebodies. Mix-up a regular movie night by building a blanket fort! You can take this to any level, from a simple blankets over your dining chairs, to pillows for days and fairy lights. Then grab some popcorn, more blankets (crank the air-con if it’s hot), chuck a movie on, and sit back and enjoy!
If you’re spending the day with … the girls
Painting & wine
Any creative activity mixed with wine and your best girlfriends is going to be a bundle of laughs. Somewhere like Cork & Chroma lets you bring you favourite tipple, provides all the equipment, and gives guidance on the painting so you don’t end up with an accidental Pollock. Alternatively, you could make it a regular night at home, stocking up on supplies, and finding a video of The Legend that is Bob Ross to follow along.
Brunch is great. You get a sleep in, you get breakfast food (which is always superior because, bacon), and you get to drink with breakfast! Who doesn’t want a beer or sparkling with their eggs! The other beauty of brunch with the girls, is that it can extend into more drinks, a later lunch, early tapas, or even dinner if you really have the staying power!
Wine or brewery tour
I get that there’s a theme in this one, but I can be a booze-hound, with booze-hound friends. So with that in mind – a winery or brewery tour is a great way to spend a day with the girls. You’ve got a designated driver, you get to try new places, guided tastings let you explore new wines or beers you might not have considered, and there’s guaranteed to be laughs. Have a look at Cork & Fork, Dave’s, or Hop On Brewer Tours.
If you’re spending the day with … your Mum
Perhaps, like me, your Mum taught you how to cook. However, there’s always new skills to learn and flavours to explore, so why not continue the Mother/Daughter cooking tradition with a cooking class. You could do anything from cake decorating and hosting skills, to Thai cuisine or rustic Italian. I suggest By Caitlin Mitchell, Spirit House, or Vanilla Zulu Cooking School.
Day spa day
I’ve done a day spa day with my mum before and it was SO good. We went and had a lovely lunch before, then both had the most wonderfully muscle-melting massages, followed by a delicious rooftop high tea. It was a really lovely day. Many places also have a hydro-massage pool, or saunas, which are great add-ons, and a nice way to spend some extra time together.
A drive to the country
I’ve been thinking about the things my Mum loves, and she is all up for a road trip. So why not grab a map, pick a country town to visit, and make a full adventure of it, with stops along the way. So many of our regional communities are suffering from the drought and from the fires, and by planning to spend a day, and spend money, in affected regions, is an economic stimulus which will have a flow-on affect. You’ll have the bonus of being able to visit places you’ve never been, buy local crafts, products and produce you won’t get in the city, and shit me, if a country pub doesn’t do a killer lunch, then I don’t know who would! Plus you’ll get to do it all with your mum. Check out Spend with Them, Buy from the Bush & Empty Esky for some inspiration.
If you’re spending the day with … yourself
Sometimes just being alone is the best. It gives you time to take a step back from life, allows you to recharge, and practice some self-care. So here’s some ideas for a free evening, with the house to yourself!
Cook your favourite meal
I LOVE mushrooms. Chuck a (cooked) mushroom in just about anything, and I’m in! Brodie, on the other hand, vehemently HATES mushrooms, so I don’t cook them very often. However, any time he’s out at dinner time, or I just feel a bit #treatyoself I like to cook a mushroom dish. My favourites are creamy mushroom pasta, mushroom toast, or spicy mushroom larb. Plus, let’s face it, with that last video, gazing upon Andy Baraghani’s luminous face is a form of self-care itself.
Take a bubble bath
In the fast-paced life we live, it’s so nice to slow down and take the time to run bath and soak among the hot bubbles for an age. It’s something I rarely do, because showers are so much quicker and practical, but when I do make the time for a bath, it’s so lovely. Light a candle, make a tea or pour a wine, get a bath bomb, and put on some soft music – it’s a recipe for relaxation.
Give yourself permission to spend time doing something you love
I struggle with the need to feel like I’m using my time productively – 110% of the time. I get the guilts really bad when I watch TV, or read a book for fun – I feel like there’s always something else I should be doing. So for me, a form of self-care, is giving myself permission to have more fun – just for fun. Endless hours of TV, day after day, may not be the best use of my time, but bingeing a few episodes in a day won’t be the end of the world, nor will is an evening in bed reading. I’m also working on eliminating the word ‘should’ from my vocabulary. There’s only things you need to do, and things you want to do. No should.
Bonus Gift Guide
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your loved one, here’s some of my favourite gift ideas.
It’s easy and affordable to sent cute arrangements with companies like Poco Posy & Poppy Rose. They do a daily posy that features fresh, seasonal blooms, as well as special V-Day arrangements, available to pre-order.
There’s some really great Australian distilleries in market at the moment, so it’s crazy easy to #drinklocal and support some great businesses. Plus, gin is so versatile, both in terms of flavour and serving style. Try it on the rocks, have a cheeky martini, or go for a classic G&T. Try brands like Winston Quinn or Threefold Distilling.
This is especially handy if you’re planning on a picnic! Why not give the gift of a full tummy, with some quality local food. Check out places like The Cheese Pleaser, Black Protein Snacks, Noosa Chocolate Factory, Bee One Third, or Witches Falls Winery.
Heart Cover Photo by Steve Halama on Unsplash
Steak Dinner Shutterstock 1116966779
Picnic Photo by Alexandra K on Unsplash
Blanket Fort Shutterstock 583423777
Painting Class Shutterstock 693010933
Brunch Photo by Natalia Ostashova on Unsplash
Brewery Photo by Evan Dvorkin on Unsplash
Pasta Making Photo by Jorge Zapata on Unsplash
Day Spa Shutterstock 565914010
Country Road Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Mushroom Pasta Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash
Bath Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash
Book in Bed Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash