8 subtly romantic things to do this Valentine’s Day, no soppiness required

So, it’s almost Valentine’s Day. While marking the occasion may not be at the top of everyone’s list, there are still plenty of lowkey ways to celebrate romance on the day — even though, this year, V’ Day falls on a Monday. Those allergic to grand gestures can find comfort (nay, inspiration) in the simple pleasures listed below, no soppiness required.

Add a picnic for instant romance
To keep things light, unfurl a blanket in the park (weather permitting, of course), pop a bottle and voila, the mood is masterfully set. To show you’ve made some effort, we suggest skipping the supermarket salami and going for something more refined, like one of Cazador or Savor Good’s excellent hampers — who can resist the likes of duck parfait, game terrine and heritage pork coppa? If you’d rather secure a table indoors, refer to our guide of the most sophisticated spots to wine and dine your Valentine.

Wander wistfully through the countryside
As we’ve learnt from watching countless period romances, a long, anticipatory stroll is the key to building sexual tension. Take advantage of the lingering long daylight hours and go for an evening walk — we suggest you take your pick from our favourite local walks, historical garb optional.

Show a rare glimpse of your nurturing side
No, not with a fur baby or an actual human child. We’re talking about a plant, you fool. Plan ahead and peruse your local nursery on Saturday the 12th or Sunday 13th, picking out a pot plant to care for.

Do something fancy, but not too fancy
Champagne and oysters at any other locale may seem over the top to Valentine’s Day grinches, but at your local beach, it’s perfectly charming. If you’re at work for the day, there’s still time to pop a bottle of bubs and grab a dozen deep-fried oysters from the nearest chippie to be enjoyed by the water’s edge. Why not go a step further and add a jar of caviar to the mix?

Get swept off your feet
Show yourself some love or encourage your boo to do the same, and book one of Spring Spa’s special Valentine’s Day treatments. We like the sound of the TLC for my Toes, a sweet orange and patchouli pedicure. Sit back for 60 minutes and enjoy a decadent soak, full pedicure and soothing foot massage.

Chocolate-dipped strawberries, but make it wholesome
If you’re spending the daytime hours together, change gears and make it a family affair by taking the kids to a pick-your-own berry farm, like Sweet Red or Zaberri. Once home, pair your freshly picked score with any ambrosial delights that tickle your fancy — melted chocolate, yoghurt and caramel sauce are all tasty bets.

Enjoy the silence at long last
If your epitome of romance looks a lot like sitting quietly in the dark for an hour and a half, you’re in luck. Academy Cinemas is showing David Lean’s masterpiece The Passionate Friends as its Valentine’s Day flick.

When in doubt, eat in bed
Some say cliché, we say who cares. Breakfast in bed is an unfussy token of love that not only tastes delicious but means the rest of the day can go back to your regular programming — if you so wish. We recommend this sensational breakfast sandwich, these crumpets or arguably the fluffiest pancakes ever.

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