Make your Valentine’s Day unforgettable with these luxurious and one-of-a-kind experiences,
Chef Xavier Boyer is bringing his Michelin-starred magic to a stellar five-course Valentine’s dinner at Gaddi’s, the revered 65-year-old French dining institution nestled in The Peninsula. Boyer is a proponent of the less-is-more school of cooking, preferring to let carefully selected flavours in dishes shine. An opulent decor replete with shimmering chandeliers, flickering candles and white linen tablecloths sets the tone for romance. The menu begins with Hokkaido sea urchin with spicy avocado and lobster jelly, followed by Brittany scallop dumpling with kaffir lime foam and Kristal caviar, and then pan-seared John Dory with citrus, leeks and black truffle. An indulgent main course of roasted pigeon with hazelnuts and pear precedes a delightful dessert of red sugar pearl with light cassis cream, red fruit and almond ice cream. The exquisite meal concludes with coffee or Peninsula teas accompanied by Valentine’s chocolates and petits fours.
MOVE TO THE RHYTHM
Unleash your inner dance diva with the latest and hottest dance trend, ceroc. It originates from France and is akin to modern jive that can be done to any kind of music. The dance is hugely popular in the UK and was brought to Hong Kong by internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter and Celtic harpist, Katie Targett-Adams, who founded Ceroc Hong Kong. Workshops and classes are held in a spacious studio in Sheung Wan, while regular ceroc nights happen at various venues in Central. In the 45-minute class, beginners learn and practice four easy moves taught by qualified teachers. Intermediate classes demonstrate more complex moves. As well as getting down with your partner, you can dance with others and socialise after the classes. If that doesn’t appeal, take a private class for two. Either way, it’s heaps of fun. With just a few basic steps you’ll be whizzing around the dance floor in perfect harmony.
LOFTY SPA ESCAPE
Bliss Spa on the 72nd floor of W Hong Kong hotel boasts spectacular views of Victoria Harbour and West Kowloon. These impressive vistas can be admired while enjoying the specially curated Valentine’s spa treat, Just You and Me, designed for lovebirds. Pampering starts with a one-hour-45-minute aroma hotstone massage with a scrub for easing tense muscles, relaxation and boosting the immune system. This is followed by a one-hour Natura Bissé intense age-defying facial, which rejuvenates and firms skin from a cellular level, and individual 30-minute rose-petal super soaks. As tranquillity and gorgeous aromas wash over you, indulge in champagne, a lobster and avocado wrap, and fruit platter. Utilise the steam room and sauna, and head up to the rooftop for a dip in the Jacuzzi and the city’s highest outdoor heated pool – you’ll feel on top of the world.
ROMANCE ON THE BAY
The Kerry Hotel has done the impossible – it’s made Hung Hom Bay hip. It’s the first new hotel to open on the Kowloon waterfront in 20 years, and its interiors are conceived by designer du jour André Fu – so expect ultra-chic perfection. Red Sugar, the hotel’s bar, houses cosy leather armchairs, and exposed red brick and pipework that recall the district’s shipyard history. For just one night, the bar transforms into a romantic restaurant serving a sumptuous four-course Valentine’s dinner that includes lobster, beef, and dessert prepared by Executive Chef Matthew Bennink. Before the meal, you are served a welcome glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne, or a His or Hers cocktail – truffle-washed bourbon, Aperol and chocolate vermouth for him; vodka, citrus, house-made rose cordial, cranberry juice and sparkling wine for her – on the wraparound terrace, which offers unbeatable 270-degree views of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline.
Perfume-making dates back nearly 4,000 years to the Bronze Age. The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all played a role in making it an art form, but it was the French who elevated it to luxury status. Many of the botanicals used in modern-day perfumes come from Grasse, known as the perfume capital of the world (the flowers used in Chanel No. 5 are grown there). You can learn how to compose your own eau de parfum at an intimate two-and-a-halfhour Private French Perfume Making Workshop for Two at Intime Artisan de Parfum. Under the guidance of founder Angel Cheung – who learned the art of perfume-making in Grasse – you and your loved one will be taken on an olfactory journey that explores blending techniques and 170 ingredients to create a bespoke perfume that delights your senses and is unique to you. Your 30ml bottle comes with a personalised label.
SPA OF THE ORIENT
If you’re looking to share a classy spa experience with your beloved, then the award-winning Mandarin Spa at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong delivers with its special Valentine’s Day experience, Bubbles on the Balcony. A 90-minute treatment is expertly given in the privacy of a beautiful Couples Suite with Jacuzzi, steam shower and relaxation area, followed by champagne and strawberries served on the spa’s balcony. You can choose from a range of holistic treatments – the Aromatherapy Massage with essential oils relaxes the body and clears the mind – that draw on traditional Chinese medicine philosophies. Arrive 45 minutes early to submerge yourself in the heat and water facilities, which dissolve stress and help you transition from busyness to serene time with your sweetheart. As expected from a hotel that has been the benchmark of sophistication in Hong Kong for more than 50 years, everything from the treatment and service to the refined 1930s Shanghai-style decor is impeccable.
Cooking with your partner can be a wonderful bonding experience – after all, couples who cook together, stay together. The Cooking with the Culinary Stars classes at the InterContinental Hong Kong present a fantastic opportunity to gain expertise from culinary masters, and the chance to discover if your chef skills are on par with your loved one’s. There’s a variety of classes, each helmed by celebrated chefs from the hotel’s restaurants: two-Michelin-starred Yan Toh Heen, Nobu, one-Michelin-starred Rech by Alain Ducasse and The Steak House winebar + grill. In addition, classes at the hotel’s Baking Club feature demonstrations by Executive Pastry Chef Cyril Dupuis and Rech Pastry Chef Thomas Moulin. The two- to three-hour classes cover everything from classic cooking techniques and essentials to speciality and seasonal dishes, and include lunch featuring dishes from the class paired with wine. You also take home an official certificate, apron, pastry equipment set and chefs’ recipes.