All things Valentine

All things Valentine

We know that February has long been celebrated as the month of romance, where candy, flowers and gifts are exchanged between loved ones. St. Valentine’s Day as we know it, contains traces of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who is this mysterious Saint Valentine?

Who was St. Valentine?

The popular belief around St. Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he believed married men made bad soldiers. Valentine thought this was unfair and arranged marriages in secret. Claudius found out, and Valentine was sentenced to jail and later to his death. While in jail, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter, and when he was taken to death, he wrote her a letter signed with “from your Valentine”.

How did Valentine’s Day start?

This day is an ancient tradition, thought to have originated from a Roman festival called Lupercalia. It’s been held in the middle of February when their springtime started. At the festival, boys drew names of girls from a box as part of their festivities. They’d be boyfriend and girlfriend for the day, and sometimes, later on, got married. The church wanted to turn the festival into a Christian celebration, and it became a remembrance of St. Valentines too. Since then, St. Valentine’s name started to be used by people to express their love for others.

Celebrating Valentine’s Day 2020

Valentine’s Day is around the corner and falls on a Friday this year, which means it could turn out as Valentine’s weekend. Because this is an annual celebration and most people do the same for their partners every year, this year we want to encourage you to do something different. Instead of giving a gift this year, rather give an experience. Experiences last forever and are much more treasurable than gifts. Ladies, you do know its leap year, right? (wink-wink)

So, each year you and your partner go to a pre-booked restaurant, enjoy a Valentine’s meal and exchange gifts. It’s cute but can become somewhat monotone. There are better and more fun ways to celebrate your love. We’re giving you an idea of an example of the best Valentine’s experience.

  • Catch the Gautrain to Sandton City station. Get into a tuk-tuk (you can book one in advance) and make your way to The San Bar to enjoy a trendy cocktail while relaxing and chatting about the day’s events.
  • After the cocktail, take a 15-minute stroll to the News Café for an afternoon quickie – SNVL. It’s a must-try cocktail, if you may, with Absolut Vodka, vanilla syrup, grapefruit juice, Schweppes Indian tonic topped with salted caramel.
  • Around the corner, you’ll find The Baron (so the idea with this experience is to enjoy a meal at different restaurants, much like bar-hopping but more like restaurant-hopping). You’ll have to make a booking before eating here. At this restaurant, you’ll have appetizers (to thin out those 2 cocktails), and you can choose anything from garlic snails to a butter-fried halloumi and chourico pan.
  • Now off to Saints, where you’ll enjoy a mouth-watering pasta main course. They also offer anti-pasta meals, pizzas and grills. Online reservations can be made to secure your table.
  • It’s dessert time! If you’re a sweet tooth, walk straight to Nelson Mandela Square and enjoy a sweet treat at The Big Mouth. But if you’re not sweet at all, grab a steaming coffee at Vida E Caffè.
  • Your final stop for the night, one of the hotels in Sandton Central, where you get to enjoy a romantic evening with your partner.

This is just an example. Still, we’re sure that we’ve stimulated your creativity in planning something unique on this special day and night, and weekend. Remember to make your bookings in advance.