Love Ac­tu­ally


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Fun ways to spend the Valen­tine’s Day in the city.


spe­cial oc­cas­sions such as Valen­tine's Day, a reg­u­lar can­dle­light meal just won’t do, Prego in­tro­duces an aphro­disiac meal for cou­ples with a sim­ple yet ro­man­tic ta­ble set­ting. The in­ti­mate meal will have a pian­ist or crooner act to add to the mood. “We saw our reg­u­lar list of sup­plies and picked out the aphro­disi­a­cal in­gre­di­ents from it. Then we set out to cre­ate a menu that uses at least one of th­ese in each of the preparations," ex­plains Su­jan Mukher­jee, ex­ec­u­tive chef.

The four course meal is avail­able ex­clu­sively on Valen­tine’s Day and fea­tures cre­ations like gam­beroni verde aran­cio, pan seared king prawns in brandy and orange sauce, Risotto Agli As­paragi with fresh as­para­gus, Si­cil­ian lemon sor­bet and panna cotta ap­pas­sion­ata, a pas­sion fruit panna cotta with straw­ber­ries and chilli choco­late ganache. The evening ends with the cou­ple tak­ing away hand-rolled spiced choco­lates to let the flavours linger for long af­ter.

Eat a Three-Course Choco­late Meal

Couldn’t find the time to plan some­thing spe­cial on Valen­tine’s Day? It isn’t too late yet and you could cosy up with your spe­cial some­one over a three­course choco­late meal. Fa­belle, from the ITC Foods Divi­sion that has an out­let at ITC Grand Chola has cre­ated a spe­cial cou­ples' plat­ter to end the day of love on a sweet and sen­sual note.

Be­gin with strawberry cups en­cased in 64 per cent dark choco­late, crunchy on the out­side but filled with a smooth and dark choco­late cream fil­ing.

The Mada­gas­car choco­late mousse with pas­sion fruit con­fit quite lit­er­ally ex­plodes in your mouth to re­veal fruity flavours. The meal has small por­tions—just enough to give you a ful­fill­ing sweet bite with­out over­whelm­ing you. Fin­ish this up with a smores milk choco­late bev­er­age that is smoky, sweet and com­fort­ing all at once. The plat­ter comes with a por­tion for each of you and varies only in pre­sen­ta­tion, so you share your evening but not your dessert. ÜAT Fa­belle, ITC Grand Chola, Guindy ÜTEL 22200000 ÜPRICE Rs 750 for a plat­ter

Go on a her­itage food trail to­gether

If you are the type of cou­ple that doesn’t want to spend Valen­tine’s Day cooped up in a res­tau­rant, here’s a way to sam­ple some street food to­gether with a side of his­tory. Con­ducted by the ten-year-old Sto­ry­trails, the spe­cial Food Trail for cou­ples takes you through Mint Street in Ge­orge Town. The culi­nary tour brings to you a les­son in his­tory of the re­gion and food prac­tices through sto­ries of res­i­dents and trav­ellers. “We use a bit of hu­mour in our sto­ries and our trails are de­signed for both lo­cals and vis­i­tors,” ex­plains Vi­jay Prab­hat Ka­malakara, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Sto­ry­trails.

As a spe­cial pack­age for cou­ples, the sec­ond per­son gets a 50 per cent dis­count on the trail. ÜTIMING 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. ÜTEL 9940040215 ÜEMAIL chennai@sto­ry­ ÜPRICE Rs 1,950 per cou­ple

Dine in a boat un­der the stars

This is for those who like to go the conventional way, with flow­ers, can­dles and rose petals. Pic­ture an open-air set­ting, a cor­a­cle for seat­ing and a lav­ish din­ner spread. A din­ner on a boat at Ly­die's is eas­ily one of the most ro­man­tic din­ing op­tions in the city. A des­ig­nated cou­ples area on the day en­sures you aren’t in­ter­rupted by large noisy groups and the ta­ble set­ting for your din­ner will in­clude the per­fect ro­man­tic props—rose petals and can­dles. Choose from con­ti­nen­tal and South In­dian

a-la carte op­tions as there is no spe­cial menu for the day. “We’ve tried that be­fore and re­alise peo­ple make the drive all the way here for what we al­ready have on of­fer,” ex­plains Ly­die Ab­dulla-Vranker, owner of Ly­die's.

How­ever, as a spe­cial treat for you and your part­ner, you will be treated with two desserts for the price of one. Their Bel­gian choco­late desserts are fa­mous for tast­ing like a lit­tle piece of heaven. ÜAT 2/196, Ruby Gar­den, East Coast Road, Muttukadu, Be­tween Maya­jaal and MGM ÜTEL 27472602 ÜCOST FOR TWO Rs 2,000

In­dulge in Vino Ther­apy

Take some time out to de­stress to­gether with Spa In­flu­ence’s sig­na­ture Vino ther­apy. Loaded with the good­ness of wine and con­ducted in a ded­i­cated cou­ple’s rooms, the ses­sion gives you the unique op­por­tu­nity to bond and re­lax to­gether. It be­gins with a foot rit­ual and a wel­come drink which is fol­lowed by a gen­tle or­ganic wine scrub ses­sion. A 60-minute wine cream mas­sage which has both re­lax­ing and anti-age­ing prop­er­ties fol­lows. A body wrap af­ter, en­sures that the good­ness of the cream seeps in and you get a mo­ment of calm. You can even opt for a face or head mas­sage based on your pref­er­ence. In line with Valen­tine’s Day, the spa is also of­fer­ing a 25 per cent dis­count on all cou­ple’s ser­vices. ÜAT all Spa In­flu­ence branches ÜPRICE Rs 17,800

Ex­plore the East Coast Road

What’s the month of love with­out a stroll along the beau­ti­ful sandy beaches that the city has on of­fer. If the Marina and

El­liots Beach are get­ting too crowded for a pri­vate mo­ment, take a spin along the East Coast Road. Here is where you will find, pris­tine and un­touched beaches and where you can hear the waves away from the chat­ter of peo­ple. While many re­sorts of­fer a pri­vate en­try to beaches, there are some that are ac­ces­si­ble oth­er­wise like the Peb­ble Beach. Quite like a well­guarded se­cret, the beach is full of sur­prises, start­ing with a patch of vines lead­ing you up to clear white sands. Watch the sun go down as you spend time rem­i­nisc­ing the past or plan­ning your days ahead. ÜAT Near In­jam­bakkam

Work Out To­gether

Here’s another way to spend some more time to­gether as you mo­ti­vate each other to get health­ier. The city’s well-known yoga stu­dios 136.1 Yoga are cel­e­brat­ing Valen­tine’s Day with a free mem­ber­ship for your part­ner when you reg­is­ter. And cel­e­brat­ing love here isn’t restricted to a spouse, you could also have a friend or a rel­a­tive avail the of­fer. The stu­dio of­fers var­i­ous classes on hatha yoga, si­vananda yoga, power yoga and yoga for the lower back. ÜAT 136.1 Yoga branches ÜPRICE Rs 5,500 per month on­wards

Let a Par­rot Tell Your For­tune

Give in to clichés and spend a day like in the movies—strolling along a beach and treat­ing your­self to some cot­ton candy. While you do, look out for lo­cal as­trologers who claim a par­rot can tell your fu­ture. While we would take their read­ings and ad­vice with a pinch of salt, the ex­pe­ri­ence is quite worth it. Once you are made to sit down, a mat is spread in front of you with what look like tarot cards. The for­tune telling par­rot is let out of its cage and it hops across to pick up a card and hands it over. Based on the im­age on the card, the for­tune teller will read and talk about what's in store for you in the near fu­ture. The par­rots are trained to re­peat a few words with the for­tune teller and the ex­pe­ri­ence can be rather en­ter­tain­ing. You never know when you will hear some­thing that can make your day. ÜAT Be­sant Na­gar beach

En­joy a Spa Day for Two

Look­ing to spend a lux­u­ri­ous day to­gether? Oryza Spa with its many out­lets is one of the few in the city to of­fer a range of cou­ple treat­ments. Choose from the aro­ma­soul el­e­ments mas­sage for a full sen­so­rial ex­pe­ri­ence or opt for a vol­canic scrub that con­di­tions your skin while pro­vid­ing you a re­lax­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to­gether. You can also choose from other body pol­ish­ing and anti-age­ing rit­u­als and in fact have a whole day at the spa with your loved one. ÜAT all Oryza Day Spa out­lets ÜPRICE Rs 2,000 on­wards

Ex­plore the Sea on a Yatch

When some­thing or­di­nary just won’t do to ex­press your love, you could ac­tu­ally hire a yacht to take you and your loved one out to the sea. Ac­cre­tion Avi­a­tion of­fers mul­ti­ple pri­vate char­ter op­tions in­clud­ing mi­cro-light planes and yachts of dif­fer­ent sizes to turn your cel­e­bra­tion into a truly spe­cial oc­ca­sion. “We have two kinds of yachts—the smaller sized sail­ing yachts are of­ten used by cou­ples for birth­days, an­niver­saries and pro­pos­als. The larger ones can ac­com­mo­date 15 to16 peo­ple and have all the works aboard in­clud­ing cab­ins, fish­ing equip­ment and bar­be­cue grills. Th­ese are of­ten used for par­ties and en­gage­ments,” says Rahul Muc­chal, 32, owner. The yachts set sail along the cost and are avail­able for a min­i­mum of two hours. You can also throw in a few ex­tras like cakes and flow­ers on re­quest while the larger yachts come with snacks and cold drinks.

ÜDETAILS ÜTEL 9575340786 ÜPRICE Rs 7,000 on­wards for sail­ing yachts and Rs 30,500 on­wards for larger yachts

Go Star Gaz­ing with the Chennai As­tron­omy Club

Once ev­ery month, on a new moon day, a group of peo­ple from the city set out to go the out­skirts, to an open ground where a clear night sky is vis­i­ble. Armed with tele­scopes, binoc­u­lars, cam­eras and other gear, this is the Chennai As­tron­omy Club’s monthly meet-up. This one's for cou­ples look­ing to spend some quiet time in­dulging in a com­mon hobby and learn­ing some­thing new. The club isn’t all for fun, if that is what you are look­ing for. The meet-ups have a mix of pro­fes­sion­als and am­a­teurs and an agenda of ob­jects in the sky that they are look­ing to

ob­serve. “We setup tele­scopes by about 8 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. and start ob­serv­ing af­ter a quick din­ner. This can last till about 4 in the morn­ing af­ter which we drive back or catch a nap at the open ground,” says Subra­manyam, founder. The costs for the trip are shared and the club has no fee but re­quires you to reg­is­ter in ad­vance. ÜREGISTER on face­ Chen­naiAstron­o­myClub/ by Feb­ru­ary 15.

Bond over Ice Cream

The re­lent­less heat in the city might be back to play havoc with your love-filled day, but here’s a way you can cool off with your part­ner. Head to Roll Over, where your frozen dessert is made fresh in front of you, over a cold stone and pre­sented as rolls. Th­ese rolls come placed in a waf­fle bas­ket and topped with sauce. “The ice creams aren’t blast frozen and made at higher tem­per­a­tures, re­duc­ing your vul­ner­a­bil­ity to sore throats,” ex­plains Ma­hade­van, 32, part­ner, Roll Over. Their sig­na­ture dessert, Choco­late Karma repli­cates the choco­late sphere crum­bling ex­pe­ri­ence that has been fill­ing our In­sta­gram feeds. ÜAT No.338/3, Ground Floor, New Sun­shine Apart­ment, Ran­ganathan Gar­den, Anna Na­gar ÜCALL 45556466 ÜPRICE Rs 99 on­wards

ÜAT Prego, Taj Coro­man­del, 37, Ma­hatma Gandhi Rd, Nungam­bakkam ÜTEL 66002827 ÜPRICE Rs 7,500 per cou­ple

Pho­to­graph by JAI­SON G

JAI­SON G Pho­to­graph by

A yoga ses­sion at a 136.1 Yoga stu­dio in the city

Vino ther­apy at Spa In­dul­gence

Count stars with the Chennai As­tron­omy Club

Set sail and ex­plore the Bay of Ben­gal on a yacht

Pho­to­graph by JAI­SON G

Try the hand-rolled ice creams at Roll Over

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