Ah, Valentine’s Day. The day for Instagram dedication posts, giant teddies and long, long walks on the beach…or not. Whether you’re looking for something a little more authentic or hoping to dodge Cupid’s arrow entirely; look no further. We sat down with Professional People Pleaser, Kyle Hirst – concierge at the Establishment Hotel – to chat Valentine’s Day, sans clichés.
Make it memorable
Nothing says romance like a synthetic, heart-wielding teddy right? Oh, so wrong. This year, consider treating your beloved to something a little less flammable and a little more intimate; like dinner at a tiny, hatted restaurant serving some of Sydney’s best sake. Hidden at the back of hemmesphere, sushi e is a high-end dining experience with a twist “You’re not only eating incredible food that looks like art, you’re interacting with the chefs while they make it,” says Kyle. “And we’re talking Australia’s top sushi chefs. It’s pretty special.” Thanks for the tip, Kyle. Find the sushi e Valentine’s menu here.
You’ve played your cards right and booked a winner of a dinner, and you’re currently sitting at the table, gazing into one another’s eyes. Things couldn’t be going more perfectly…or could they? What’s that there? Ah yes, it’s the bouquet of roses you pre-arranged at Palings Flowers, being hand-delivered to your table (thanks again, Kyle).
Surprises and sake aside, Valentine’s Day needn’t be a lavish affair. It’s the thought that counts – so make it thoughtful. Think heartfelt, hand-written notes or a picnic basket full of favourites. Or breakfast in bed. Or a bubble bath. Or bubbles in bed. You get the picture.
Dumplings, drinks, and dancing
Because who ever said no to a dim sum platter and deep-fried ice-cream? Check out the Mr. Wong Valentine’s menu, along with our other special lovers’ menus, here. Looking for something a little more casual? Head underground to Palmer & Co, a speakeasy with craft cocktails and excellent charcuterie. “Think New York City in the ‘20s,” says Kyle. This one’s a great pick for a first (or early-ish) date as the vibe does a lot of the heavy lifting when conversation’s running thin. Top picks for lovebirds looking to boogie? “Pool Club for sure,” Kyle suggests, “their Thursday night parties are famous.”
Plan an indulgent staycation
Crisp white sheets, a free-standing bath and an open bottle of French champagne…do we have your attention yet? According to Kyle, it gets even better. “Something people don’t know about The Establishment Hotel is that you can actually get the food from any of our restaurants (that’s Mr. Wong, sushi e and est.) delivered to your room.” Yep, that’s right: Hatted room service. Think est’s chocolate mousse in bed, or a private feast from Mr. Wong. “It’s a totally out-of-the-ordinary experience,” says Kyle, “couples can have a complete, luxury holiday without ever leaving their room.” Ooh-la-la.
The best present? Your presence.
“I can always tell when a couple are really in love”, says Kyle, “because they don’t even notice me. And they certainly don’t look at their phones.” You heard the man! Don’t spend all night scrolling. Put your phone away and focus on the person in front of you. And no matter how magical, resist the urge to document every minute of your evening on social media. Live in the moment, if only for a day.
Single? Celebrate it!
Put down that pint of ice cream and hang up your home-pants, because today’s the day to rock your single status and treat yourself like it’s nobody’s business. Get your nails done! Buy that stupid shirt! Better still, join the fun at our infamous singles party, Coogee Be My Valentine. With speed dating, DJs, Chandon cocktails and absolutely NO Valentine’s Day paraphernalia, this is the one stop spot for singles ready to mingle.
Looking for more suggestions? Check out our full list of recommendations here.