Look, sorry to break the news to you this late in the day, but it’s St Valentine’s Day and right now, rather than feeling the love, you’ve got that sinking feeling instead and wondering how you’re going to get yourself out of trouble.
You could to a restaurant, but seriously, all you’re doing is eating out of the industry’s busiest night of the year, generating around $76 million in revenue at a 25% premium.
But if your heart’s now set on dinner, we can recommend Aki’s at Sydney’s Wooloomooloo Wharf, which is doing a $90 Indian banquet with complimentary champagne, and in Melbourne Spanish-flavoured The Bohemian is doing a $120 for two shared menu, but it’s either 6pm, then out, or 8.30pm tables.
So failing that, here is Business Insider’s guide to last minute gifts.
Silver jewellery from Bouvier
Rebecca Raft and Peter Conroy launched Bouvier, named in honour of those two powerful women Jacqueline and Marge a decade ago, producing exquisite, Moroccan-inspired silver jewellery in the beachside studio on Sydney’s Palm Beach. Elegant and ornate, the Bouvier collections range from necklaces to pendants, rings, bangles, brooches and earrings.
Order online (make sure you check out the discount page) – you won’t get it today, but you can always print out the picture and once your muse sees it, she won’t mind the wait, and even if it does go pear-shaped, you can return everything except the earrings.
But if you need something today, here’s the list of Bouvier stockists.
An appointment with diamond merchant Susie Israel in Sydney
GP Israel, a family run diamond merchant in King Street’s Trust Building has been around for more than 50 years and sells a range of diamond jewellery for men and women, but there’s nothing quite like a session in gemstone education by the fast-talking family matriarch, Susie Israel, who gives couples a masterclass in diamond selection before telling your diamond-dazzled beloved to choose the stone that “speaks to her”. Business Insider got his engagement rock from here and while it may have been one of the most expensive days of his life, many years later the smile on Mrs BI’s face is still priceless.
Book at appointment on 9233 2455, slip the details into the card and you’ll be sweet for today at least.
Top shelf bubbles
Thanks to a sustained high dollar, champagne has never been cheaper – no wonder Australia is the highest per capita consumer of the stuff outside of France. If you’ve never tried the pointy end, make it now. Laurent-Perrier produces gift boxes with its premium bubbles: there’s the Grand Siècle in a 17th century style bottle that harks back to King Louis XIV, the guy who started the champagne trend. It comes with two glasses for around $400.
Or think pink: the Cuvée Rosé Laurent-Perrier with its flavours of strawberries, Morello cherries, black currants and raspberries, is less ambitiously priced at $175 with the glasses, or just over $100 for a bottle on its own.
A dirty weekend with Mr & Mrs Smith
The Australian branch of this English boutique hotel reviews and bookings company started out as a couples getaways business, so there a plenty of sexy places to try, from QT Sydney for sexy interiors, killer cocktails in the Gowings Bar as well as the in room DIY Martini kits; Spicers Clovelly Estate in Montville, Queensland for fabulous food, floaty interiors and cool, country-chic; the gourmet retreat of the The Lakehouse in Victoria’s Daylesford with its sublime spa; Big Blue Backyard at St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula for surfside bliss; Sangoma Retreat in the Blue Mountains (pictured above) for its infinity pool for skinny dipping in a bushland setting.
Go shark diving
Studies show that heightened fear increases your love for someone – a principal known as the misattribution of arousal – so why not take your beloved cage diving with Great White sharks in South Australia’s Port Lincoln region.
There’s also a safer, tamer dive at Manly Sealife Aquarium in Sydney, with grey nurse sharks, which look fierce, but really, are the labradors of the sea.
Root for rabbits or bee nice to a stranger
For a day that marks the death of a priest beheaded by the Romans 1750 years ago for conducting Christian marriage ceremonies, Valentine’s Day has turned into something a bit too commercial and Me! Me! Me!, so show the person you love that you care about others with a gift from international aid organisation Cafe Australia. You can get a rabbit for $26 or, since St Valentine is the patron saint of bee keepers, a bee hive for $65 is still cheaper that half a dozen roses and last longer.
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