The Complete Valentines Experience

There’s no better excuse than Valentine’s Day (14 February for those that need reminding!) to celebrate the finer things in life and to share the experience with your special 'someone'. It’s a pretty special day for me (not because I get spoilt at all - in fact Danny and I are pretty hopeless!) but because it’s the date we settled on our ‘dream home’ - our very own piece of paradise that I had been striving for since I was about 3 years old (and yes, I still remember the day I made the decision I would work as hard as I could to achieve this!) And Valentine’s Day just happened to be the day our dreams came true!
For the romantics it could be a surprise candlelit picnic on the beach complete with champagne, for adventurous souls it could be a hike to the top of a mountain to take in the breathtaking views at sunset or for foodies it could be 6 course degustation dinner followed by a stay in the most beautiful accommodation you’ve ever dreamed of. Whatever it is that makes your Valentine’s Day a day to remember, we’ve put together a few of our favourite (tried and tested) ideas on how you could spend it in our favourite towns.
Leura and The Blue Mountains
1. Picnics By Hannah
Want to create the ultimate surprise? What could be more romantic than a private ‘pop up picnic’ that has been beautifully styled with rugs, floral arrangements, cushions and mood lighting? Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Blue Mountains at sunset with your special someone, a glass of champagne and the most decadent grazing platter you will ever set your eyes on. 

Picnics by Hannah is a boutique picnic, event and food styling service who specialise in creating picture perfect picnics and indulgent grazing platters throughout the Blue Mountains. Their service includes styling and implementing bespoke pop-up picnics for any occasion, including; proposals, anniversaries, date days, elopements, baby showers, hens days, engagement parties, birthdays and small intimate weddings.

2. Love Cabins
For an overnight stay (complete with spa bath), you couldn’t get more romantic than Love Cabins. Love Cabins offer romantic Blue Mountains getaways for couples. Nestled amongst 600 acres of spectacular world heritage Blue Mountains bushland, each cabin gives you the opportunity to come and experience the peace and romance of this secluded wilderness setting.
3. Mount Vic Flicks
For those looking to keep it simple, but who enjoy good old school service (and a choc top ice cream!), then there’s no better venue than Mount Vic Flicks, an historic cinema located in heritage-listed Mount Victoria. Built in 1934, the cinema is a window into the golden age of Australian country picture theatre culture and is a much loved and treasured icon of the Upper Blue Mountains. Mount Vic Flicks is a family run independent cinema showing an eclectic mix of quality films from Australia and abroad, arthouse to kids, new releases to classics.
4. Josophans Fine Chocolates

If there’s no better way to your loved one’s heart than a box of chocolates, then Josophan’s Fine Chocolates is definitely the place to go! Josophan's signature store is in the historic village of Leura, where the chocolate boutique fronts onto the cherry blossom lined street, and at the rear of the store, through a viewing window, you can see the chocolate production laboratory, and watch the Josophan's team at work.  

Josophan’s creates extraordinary fine chocolates, using Fair Trade certified Callebaut Belgian couverture chocolate, Single Origin and Single Plantation chocolates and ganache fillings made with fresh flavour infusions. No preservatives, no artificial flavours, simply fresh, naturally flavoured, luxurious chocolates.

And if you’re feeling adventurous? Sign up for one of their truffle making workshops, where you can really get included in a true chocolate experience!
Huskisson and Jervis Bay
1. Jervis Bay Sailing Charters
For the ultimate romantic escape, and you’re looking to really splash out, surprise your loved one with a private sailing charter with Jervis Bay Sailing Charters (and your own professional skipper!). 

Enjoy the peaceful feeling as you explore the clear waters of this unspoilt world class destination under sail. Jervis Bay abounds in wildlife from seabirds to marine mammals and is a unique waterway surrounded by majestic cliffs and the whitest sand beaches in the world.

Jervis Bay Sailing Charters is the perfect platform to experience this spectacular aquatic playground on your own exclusive yacht charter. Catering can be BYO or relax and let one of the excellent local cafe’s take care of it for you.

Offering anything from 2 hour sightseeing adventures to overnight charters, this is an experience you’ll never forget!
2. Worrowing Jervis Bay
If it’s peace and tranquility you’re after only minutes from the pristine white sand beaches, treat you and your loved one a night in one of Worrowing’s Wilderness Huts or in one of their overwater Boatshed Studios where you can immerse yourself in nature. Depending on how well you go with this surprise, you may even decide to return for them to host your wedding!
3. Hands On Mobile Therapies
Feeling like you don’t want to leave the comfort of your restful sanctuary hideaway? Let Sanna and her team bring their services to you for a blissfully relaxing massage or a day of pure indulgence to make your special time away even more amazing. I’ve been using Sanna for massage and facial treatments since being pregnant with Jonah and she is amazing!!! Her mobile therapies are the perfect excuse to never leave the house.
4. The Gunyah Restaurant
Wind up your day with a cool drink and a snack from the bar menu on the verandah of The Gunyah Restaurant after 2pm while you sit and watch the changing light of the bush as the sun disappears for the evening. The sliding doors of the restaurant open up for outdoor dining on the verandah, providing a bushy backdrop to candlelit meals and to observe the goings on of their resident possums, sugar gliders and birdlife. This is romance at its finest.
Berry and Surrounds
1. Flowers on The Mill
If you’re not the kind to make a fuss, but still like to let your loved one know how much they mean to you, then a beautiful bunch of blooms will always do the trick. 
Caroline, from Flowers on The Mill is one of the most talented florists we know! Her carefully designed bunches tell a story of love through nature’s most beautiful of wonders: Flowers. Caroline believes that flowers have the ability to tell a story, bringing not only delight but a moment of wonder and marvel to your ’special person’ on Valentines Day. If you’d like Caroline to tell your story through flowers, get in touch with her here:
2. Far Meadow Table
For a full foodie experience, and the opportunity to master your culinary skills (together!), you’ve got to try the cooking classes at Far Meadow Table. Work with nutritious home grown produce as well as produce from local farmers and gardeners, fishermen and artisans and learn how to create unique seasonal dishes celebrating the beautiful South Coast. Enjoy your freshly prepared meal over a glass (or two!) of wine
3. Bangalay Luxury Villas
Need a little luxury in your life? Those who appreciate authenticity, as well as style and quality will love the genuine, natural and peaceful style of the boutique Shoalhaven Heads accommodation on offer at Bangalay. Each of the 16 private luxury villas features golf course or garden views, as well as a fireplace and a sun filled north facing deck, encouraging rest, relaxation and getting back to nature.
If you don’t feel like venturing out (because let’s face it, this place is an oasis!) Bangalay Dining is passionate about delivering quality food from local, respected producers and incorporating the foraging element in a sustainable and ethical way. Bangalay Dining offers both formal dining and an alfresco area, where you can enjoy a cocktail by the bar looking out over the pool and golf course whilst enjoying the ocean breeze as you sit back, relax and connect with each other over a delectable meal.
4. Regal Horse Riding School
If you’re the adventurous type, and like the idea of riding horseback into the sunset, then organise a horse riding adventure with Monique from Regal Horse Riding School. Monique is a lovely host who will take you from the Horseriding School, along the fringe of Seven Mile Beach National Park and onto the beach and back, all the while making you feel at ease and ensuring you have a great and safe time on your romantic adventure.


Bowral & The Southern Highlands

1. Eschalot

For those who appreciate fine dining and and an award winning experience, a romantic candlelit dinner at Eschalot should be on your list.

Located in the historic village of Berrima and operating from one of the most significant heritage buildings in the area, Eschalot delivers consistently beautiful cuisine with an elegant and understated sense of occasion.

Eschalot has been the recipient of many industry awards including 11 prestigious chef hats, so I'd say you're in for a real treat!

2. A Romantic Walk around Fitzroy Falls with a Packed Picnic

There is something truly romantic about a sunset picnic. Consider packing a picnic hamper, including some local cold beer or a bottle of local wine, and off course a cheese platter (we love Cheese Etc housed in The Mill in Bowral), and venture out for a day of exploration around Fitzroy Falls.  Sounds romantic to me!

3. Wine Tasting at Centennial Vineyards

Offering breathtaking views across the vineyards, Centennial Vineyards Restaurant is an ideal setting to enjoy a relaxed lunch in the country with that special someone, great food and fine wine.

On balmy summer days, the restaurant’s glass doors open onto a spacious Australian verandah to provide a unique alfresco dining experience. In winter, the cosy and rustic appeal of the restaurant is enhanced by the enormous fireplace.

Why not make the most of your day out and laze around after lunch for an afternoon of wine tasting? 


4. Bendooley Estate  

Looking for the perfect end to a magical day? Truly escape and relax in Bendooley Estate's luxurious cottages. Enjoy glorious vistas of the serene lake, valleys and groomed gardens. Individually designed, the inviting interiors are an elegant harmony of rustic and glamour, featuring upholstered furniture, bespoke wallpaper and artwork, heated hand-made tiles and deep free-standing baths to relax and unwind after an already unforgettable day.

So there you have it... there's definitely no excuse now to not have some kind of surprise up your sleeve for Valentines Day! Good luck and enjoy yourselves lovers!!! x