10 Crazy-Romantic Restaurants To Up Your Valentine’s Day Game
All you need is love... and a reservation.
If we’ve learnt anything from cheesy rom-coms, it’s that come Valentine’s Day we can all expect our lover/main Tinder squeeze to surprise us with an overseas trip. Thanks for the unrealistic expectations, Hollywood. But even if you don’t find yourself on a spontaneous vacay this V-Day, file these romantic restaurants away for when you need to pull out all the stops (in the name of love).
#1 Hanging Gardens, Bali
Bali insiders will be familiar with the Hanging Gardens, a resort just outside Ubud surrounded by lush jungle with an insane two-tiered pool. But did you know you can eat in the pool? The hotel can organise for guests to enjoy fine-dining fare while perched on a volcanic rock pillar in the middle. Just remember to heed your nana’s words and wait half an hour after eating before you swim out.
#2 Panza Verde, Antigua, Guatemala
The candlelit garden grounds of this hotel and restaurant are super-romantic no matter where you’re sitting, but for an extra special experience book the La Cupola dining nook. The private space for two is scattered with rose petals and filled with so many candles that it borders on a fire hazard. Foodies will not be disappointed – Panza Verde offers one of the most impressive culinary experiences in Antigua.
#3 Ristorante Grotta Palazzese, Italy
Seaside dining goes next level at Risorante Grotta Palazzese in the southern Italian town of Polignano a Mare, where a limestone cave has been carved out to create a truly unique – and romantic – dining experience. It’s only open in the summer months though – the cold, choppy seas of winter would kind of kill the ambiance.
#4 La Sponda, Positano, Italy
Unquestionably one of the world’s most romantic nations, it’s no surprise Italy pops up twice on this list (fun fact: the word ‘romance’ originates from the meaning ‘to be of Rome or Roman’). The Michelin-starred food at La Sponda in the Sirenuse Hotel combines with one of the country’s most adored views – the cluster of colourful buildings on the cliff-edge at Positano. The only question is whether to enjoy the iconic outlook during the sunshine-y day or by candlelight at night. Either way, that’s amore.
#5 Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania, Australia
Tasmania has garnered serious global attention recently for its combination of unspoilt natural beauty and mind-blowing food and wine scene, and bringing these two elements together is the Saffire Freycinet luxury lodge on the island’s east coast, two-and-a-half hours drive from Hobart. Here you can be taken by boat to a secluded white-sand beach in Wineglass Bay to enjoy a gourmet spread of oysters, wine and other local delicacies.
#6 Banyan Tree Koh Samui, Thailand
As if relaxing on a breezy tropical island with your S.O. isn’t romantic enough, Banyan Tree Ko Samui continues to lift the bar for lovers. Make the most of the white sand and crystal-clear water by dining on the beach in your own private pavilion. What could be better than scoffing down a bowl of Pad Thai with sand between your toes?
#7 Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar, Queenstown, New Zealand
Our friends across the ditch know how to do romance right. Take in one of the most beautiful views on the South Island from Stratosfare Restaurant & Bar in Queenstown. Perched on a mountain top, the floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to take in Lake Wakatipu and the Remarkables mountain range while you dine. The best part? It’s a buffet-style restaurant. There’s nothing sexier than going back for seconds.
#8 Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, Rangali Island, Maldives
If you’ve already in couples retreat territory, you might as well go all out and try dining underwater (or the closest thing to it) at the world’s “first and only all glass undersea restaurant”. Housed within the Conrad Hotel on Rangali Island, you can pretend you’re a mermaid, or recreate that infamous fish tank scene from Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet as you watch the fish swim past in the enormous aquarium. It would be cheesy if it wasn’t so beautiful.
#9 The Caldera Restaurant, Santorini, Greece
Santorini is a favourite destination for romantics – those deep pink and purple sunsets over the Aegean Sea, combined with warm, salty air and mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine could get anyone in the mood for love. One of the best places to enjoy said sunset and cuisine together is the Caldera Restaurant, perched on a peak with full views of the infamous volcano. Book the exclusive private dining spot for when you don’t want anything in your range of vision but that spectacular view … and your other half, of course.
#10 Turtle Island, Fiji
If sharing a restaurant with other people is killing your vibe, why not dine on a pontoon floating on a lagoon? It’s possible at Turtle Island resort in Fiji, where your waiter will arrive by boat to serve your meal. Dining under the stars, on the water, surrounded by lanterns, just you and your love. This is where we drop the mic.
(Lead image:Risorante Grotta Palazzese)