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VALENTINES – ENTWINE BAR & RESTAURANT CELEBRATES SINGLE THIS VALENTINES DAY, WITH ‘SMEETERS’

 

Entwine Bar and Restaurant is celebrating single this Valentines Day, partnering up with Australia’s newest dating phenomenon ‘Smeeters’ with an offer for all members looking for love this Friday 14.02.14.

The Neutral Bay dining hot spot goes against the grain of sappy romantic specials for the loved up couples on this commercial day of love, and invites all singles to mingle in their sexy Bar and Restaurant, the perfect environment to sit down and get to know one another over a glass of champagne and a meal, with plenty of dark and moody corners to escape too.

All Smeeters members will enjoy complimentary champagne on arrival, and half price mouthwatering cocktails all night long, by revealing a special code word.

Entwine Bar & Restaurant has on offer a unique and ever changing dinner menu of global share plates, influenced by the tastes of France, Europe, The Middle East, North Africa & Australia as well as a regular stable menu on offer. All options can be enjoyed with an international wine list like no other. Entwine encompasses the old school method of service, and will set the vibe as a warm and welcoming one.

The Smeeters concept is a new approach to meeting people. Single or not, you’re Smeeting to get to know each other and have a laugh. A unique and fun night out, a break from the ordinary, that’s what we’re about.

Entwine Bar & Restaurant – 19 Young Street, Neutral Bay. Opening for Dinner & Drinks – Monday through Sunday from 4pm onwards

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Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 101

If it’s the last minute and you’re looking for some gift inspiration for your significant other, then look no further than this comprehensive Valentine’s gift guide for Sydney-siders.

WISH Registry

 

WISH Registry is the Only App Taking the Detective Work out of Buying Lingerie this Valentine’s Day

 

Take the detective work out of buying lingerie this Valentine’s Day and stop snooping through her drawers with WISH Registry http://www.wishregistry.com – the innovative mobile website with app ‘wish-list’ tool.

 

With the impressive functionality to record sizing, styles and colours, WISH Registry is the world first mobile website with photo assistant and geo-location app ‘wish-list’ tool that has been specifically created to make gift-giving that much easier.

 

To make sure you end up in the bedroom not the doghouse this Valentine’s Day, encourage your loved one to create a WISH Registry account at http://www.wishregistry.com or by downloading the free smartphone app from https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/wishregistry/id757087129

 

Once a personalised WISH Registry account has been created, users can start snapping photos on their smartphone as they shop of their much lusted after Valentine’s Day wishes and WISH Registry will do the rest for you by sharing it with approved list of followers and enabled social networks.

 

Visually appealing and easy to use, WISH Registry can be used in all retail locations across Australia from department stores, boutiques to specialist retailers. To make the shopping experience that much easier for you, WISH Registry’s app geo-locates and records the store where the much loved item is available. The handy geo-location capabilities of the WISH Registry app includes a smartphone prompt so that when you are in the vicinity of the store that stocks a wish-list item, you will receive a notification reminder of the desired gift and where it can be purchased.

 

WISH Registry wish-lists can be sorted by product as well as price and restricts the account owner from knowing if and which of their wishes has been granted.

 

A time poor shopper herself, WISH Registry creator, Claire Summers always has the best of intentions of buying the perfect gift for those she loves. A serial entrepreneur, her first venture was for a not-for-profit initiative which raised over $130,000 for the Children’s Hospital Foundations of Australia last Easter.

 

A marketer with over 13 years senior sales and marketing experience with high profile brands and Australian retailers, Claire Summers saw a much-needed gap in the market for a mobile website with app wish-list that engaged at an in-store level. Claire Summers initially seeded her innovative idea to top-level management at several leading retail operations and with their endorsement, pitched Wish Registry to investment technology company, Blue Chilli. Forming an advisory board with some of the best retail minds in Australia, Claire Summers was signed on as Blue Chilli’s 24th business venture. Just recently, Claire Summers’ Wish Registry was named in the top 50 of the Top 100 Coolest Companies in Australia as part of Anthill Magazine’s 8th Annual Cool Company Awards.

 

www.wishregistry.com

 Tech gifts for loved ones…

They can’t take their eyes off it; they give it hours of love and attention and not a minute goes by when they don’t touch it. Does this sound familiar? …This year, forget about chocolates and hundreds of red roses – why not give your lover the gift of protection for the one and only true love in their life. That’s right, their smartphone.

 

For the Scatterbrained Lover

 

If your ‘other half’ is usually found scrambling through their bag or pockets for their cash / travel cards / credit card, give them the gift of organisation this V-Day. OtterBox’s New Commuter Wallet Series [RRP: $44.95] comes complete with discrete storage and quick access to cash and important cards, and is easily ‘swipeable’ for getting on and off buses and trains! So if your beau is an owner of the new iPhone 5S, the iPhone 5 or Samsung GALAXY S®4, what are you waiting for – time to streamline their life.

 

 

For the Clumsy and Carefree Companion

 

If your loved-one is an aqua-fiend, always the first person to dive-in at a poolside party, or if they’re just a little heavy handed and ditzy around cups of coffee, then this is the gift for them. The ultimate in light, waterproof device protection – the OtterBox Preserver Series [RRP $89.95] available for the Apple® iPhone® 5/5S/5C and Samsung GALAXY S4, is fully submergible up to 6.6 ft. for 30 minutes and protects device from drops up to 6.6 ft. Appeal to their inner adventurer!

 

All of these cases are available at http://www.otterbox.com or from selected local retailers and high res images of the cases can be found here: https://sendto.stwgroup.com.au/message/2LqyyfqPJGsJHmiMi9T1im

 

AlfaChoc: a special Valentine’s Day gift for the Latin lover

Sydneysiders sweet lovers have been enjoying South American alfajores for the last three years at many coffees shops around the city, and now, the delicious ‘national biscuit’ from Argentina is available Australia-wide through AlfaChoc http://www.alfachoc.com

These petite treats are essentially a ‘sandwich’ made with two baked biscuits and a filling of ‘dulce de leche‘ (literally translated it means ‘sweet milk’, sometimes also called caramel). If you ever travel to Argentina, you will find that in different regions alfajores are made in different shapes, flavors and with different fillings. They are a huge part of the Argentinian culture and it’s actually a snack locals eat for breakfast, dessert and with coffee or tea.

After years experimenting with chocolate and using his mother’s recipe, owner and baker Mariano Rodriguez, was inspired to turn his love for these dreamy bites into a business, and now he’s been running AlfaChoc http://www.alfachoc.com for three years.

“I strongly believe it is time to bring to the market the ‘Alfajor’, as it is something completely different from the popular cupcakes or macarons we’ve so far experienced and will help to introduce a little South American culture to Australia” says Mariano about the launch of AlfaChoc online retailer.

Priced at $23.40 for a gift box of 6 alfajores AlfaChoc offers three different options:

AlfaChoc Clasico: Cornflour cookies made with fresh lemon zest, vanilla seeds and hazelnuts liquor combined with the creaminess of dulce de leche.

AlfaChoc Dark: Flavours of rich cocoa powder, fresh vanillas and orange zest biscuits filled with dulce de leche and hand dipped in the finest Belgian 55% dark chocolate.

AlfaChoc White: Flavours of almond extracts combined with fine Belgian white chocolate, fresh vanilla seeds and dulce de leche… simply delicious!

AlfaChoc is available at coffee shops and delicatessens around Sydney, including Café Hernandez and The Deli Potts in Potts Points; Rushcutters Bay Kiosk in Rushcutters Bay; Café con Leche in Surry Hills just to name a few.

Very popular for birthday parties as well as for corporate events like morning teas, AlfaChoc can cater for small and medium events. If you’re planning a sweet Valentine’s Day, thinking on a different Easter with a Latin touch or just want to enjoy the flavours of Latin America, AlfaChoc is the perfect choice!

AlfaChoc is available to order online at http://www.alfachoc.com Free shipping for a limited time!

Dandi

The most romantic day of the year is swiftly approaching and Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to spoil that special someone with their favourite things. Dandi’s fine selection of homewares and decorating ideas will make your day truly memorable, whether you’re looking for the perfect gift, or a chic addition to your table setting.

Many loved-up couples won’t splurge on expensive fine dining, preferring to make the occasion more intimate by adding a personal touch, and creating something extra special in the comfort of their home.

Set the mood with a stylish table setting by laying out Dandi’s elegant Hydrangea Cotton Tablecloth in Oatmeal, then layering white plates – for a traditional feel add some contrasting Doilie Napkins in the customary Berry hue. Why not add a stunning vase of fresh flowers to the mix – a row of fragrant gardenias (or classic roses) will create an ambience that will make your sweetheart swoon.

It’s all about the little details that bring the occasion to life. Personalised place cards and decorations will show you care – print and personalise ‘made with love tags’ or napkin cuffs from the Dandi website for some adoring detail. Use Dandi napkins to wrap your boxed treats or presents for your partner – these make for a romantic keepsake they’ll be sure to cherish.

Bake some delectable treats for your other-half by using Dandi’s set of Kitchen Utensils with heart shaped cut outs, and ensure your goodies are baked to perfection with the dainty Heart Shaped Pot Holders. These will add a little love to your creations and will also make the perfect gift for the avid foodie.

Whether you’re wanting to surprise your special someone with a personalised treat they’ll remember for years to come, or are just after a gift idea that is truly unique – Dandi’s range of gorgeous homewares are the perfect partner for creating long-lasting, loving memories on this special day.

Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is the worlds largest online outsourcing and crowdsourcing websites where more than 10 million skilled professionals are able to connect, work together online and complete jobs in more than 600 categories.

 

It is running a Valentines Day campaign for people who want to think outside of the box with their gifts in this modern era! We have people posting projects to get a caricature drawn of their loved one, have a professional writer write a love letter or poem for their paramour or design and make a personalised gift.

 

When people are pushed for time or don’t know what to get their loved one they are able to get a Freelancer in any skill set to take the pressure off and create one for them!

 

Top ten tips on how to choose art as a gift:


Nichola Dare, The Gallery Shop

 

  1. Set your budget. It can be dangerous going shopping or into a gallery not knowing your price range if you tend to get carried away!
  2. If you are buying for a wedding present or special birthday, get a group of friends/family to go in together in order to have the funds to buy one larger painting. Not only will it be a greater gift, but it will also represent all of you.
  3. Think about the person that you are buying the work for. What is there home like, what kinds or art have they in it already, what kind of person are they?
  4. If you are very unsure, then maybe take the person along with you to a gallery to get an idea of the kinds of art that they are drawn to, then that will give you an insight on to what to choose as the gift.
  5. It’s fun to go out for the afternoon looking at art, but make sure there is a good cafe/bar where you can stop for lunch or a drink and rest your feet!
  6. Some galleries, like ours, offer a service where the owner will come to your home/workplace to help you decide what kinds of artworks would work in the space and even where and how you should display them.
  7. More often than not, all the art will also be available to view online, so you could even suggest looking through that to get an idea of what they might like.
  8. Often people buy aboriginal art for friends/family who live overseas as it represents the art of Australia. In this instance, make sure that the work comes with a good provenance. This is information that you will get from speaking to the gallery.  Ask them where they get the art from and if it comes with a certificate of authenticity. Make sure, if possible, that this certificate is supplied by the artist’s art centre. All of the works at The Gallery Shop come with these certificates.
  9. Be brave! A gift is as much about the thought that goes into it as the present itself.
  10. If all else fails, get them a gift voucher so that they can go and choose it themselves.

 

#Couplies

 

Finally, if you and your partner’s selfies are more gruesome twosome than Romeo and Juliet, it’s time to take a few #couplies tips from the pros.

 

As loved-up couples flood social media with romantic self-portrait #couplies ahead of Valentine’s Day, here’s how to turn the jeering into downright jealousy.

 

“Camera Cupid” Mel Lim-How, head of creative and photography at www.scoopon.com.au, says anyone can shoot a sexy snap with a few key ingredients.

 

“Valentine’s Day is all about expressing your love for someone special in every way possible – from the totally romantic to the utterly cringe worthy (but cute!). And the best way to capture that magical moment is with the perfect Valentine’s #couplie,” Mel says.

 

Mel’s top 3 tips for a cute #couplie

1. Location, location

“A #couplie isn’t a proper #couplie without a bit going on in the background. For a real point of difference and to truly express your love through a self-indulgent #couplie, capture that moment in front of a sparkling sunset, idyllic back drop or even a bustling city street.”

 

2. Body beautiful

“It’s all about body position. Don’t be shy to experiment canoodling in a variety of positions (we’re still talking about #couplies here!). Whether you’re lounging around sipping cocktails, savouring a romantic dinner, taking a couples’ massage, or flying high with a scenic flight in a helicopter or balloon, don’t forget to set yourselves up in a perfect position.”

 

3. Personality principle

“Add to this a generous dose of personal expression – be flirty if that’s you, silly or goofy, or pensive and serious – but don’t take yourselves too seriously! Or, go with an expression that shows another side your friends didn’t know you had. Be creative and enjoy the moment.”

 

Mel’s best positions for #couplies

 

* Position 1 – Face to face

o Don’t be shy with this one! Stand face to face, reach out with your phone, get that glint in your eyes and take the snap

o The perfect way to make the best of a picture perfect backdrop

* Position 2 – Ambush cuddle

o Stand one in front of the other with the person behind wrapping their arms around the person in front in the warmest of warm embraces

o Stage an ambush at the pub, the bar or even out at a festival

o Note – beware of #couplies photobombers!

* Position 3 – Getting down #1

o Lying front side down, get nice and snuggly. Then one of you puts your arm across the other’s back – smile like a Cheshire cat and take that snap!

o Take a couples’ massage together, ask to have the tables placed close together and capture that warm and fuzzy moment

* Position 4 – Getting down # 2

o Lying down on the ground, bodies pointing in opposite directions with your heads side by side and staring up at the clouds

o This creative shot looks extra-romantic lying on the sand, grass, or while relaxing on a floating pool lounge

* Position 5 – Up high

o Get cosy while standing up, raise phone above your heads and snap away

o Try and find the highest point in your surroundings and make sure your backdrop is underneath you

o Think hot air balloon rides, joint pedicures and cliff-top #couplies over moonlit lagoons!

 

 

Valentine’s Day 101** Your ultimate guide to Valentine’s Day in Sydney in 2014

Sydney Social 101 has pulled together the ultimate Valentine’s Day guide for you in 2014. We’ve worked to pull together an eclectic mix of options to suit all tastes.

This list will be updated daily, if you have any questions about specific events, e-mail me at sydneysocial101@hotmail.com

Hope you have the best Valentine’s Day this year, if you’re single check out the posts for singles events in Sydney – there is always something to suit every need: Fancied & Tinder events

If you’re in need of a chuckle – check out a Valentine’s post on our sister blog from years gone by: Valentine’s Grinch

Here are our top picks:

‘Romantic Dinner for 2’ at Donny’s Bar – Manly

The welcoming and rustic new small bar that is based in Manly is the realisation of a dream for business partners, Matt Clifton & Tol Broinowski.

Together the pair envisioned an exciting new addition to the burgeoning bar scene in the famous beachside suburb.

With Donny’s Bar, Matt and Tol hope to offer a fresh and original venue that will be a part of and support the local small bar community.

LuchettiKrelle_Donny_687

Designed by Sydney based architecture firm, Luchetti Krelle, the venue brings to life the pairs love for rustic, warm and comfortable places to enjoy the company of friends & family.

Donny’s is a two-storey, New York style loft bar that offers a selection of dumplings & Modern Australian tapas (perfect for sharing) with a slight Asian influence.

A small, local bar with a versatile offering and cosmopolitan feel, Donny’s Bar is destined to become one of Manly’s most talked about & loved destinations.

Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining

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Celebrate Valentine’s Day this year at Rabbit Hole Bar & Dining! For $75pp enjoy a 3 course modern French fine dining meal with your loved one.

ENTRÉE

Scallop Carpaccio, pomegranate, tequila & black pepper

or

Ravioli, smoked mozzarella, Italian ham, herb essence

MAIN

Duck breast tarte tatin, goat cheese & caramelised apple

or

Salmon confit, creamed roots, orange & avocado

DESSERT

Tropezienne tart, raspberry & lemon sorbet

or

Salted caramel slice & ginger and Greek yoghurt ice cream

VEGETARIAN OPTIONS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

The Australian Heritage Hotel

 

In The Rocks, iconic pub The Australian Heritage Hotel will be showing some love to a few lucky customers with the chance to win a special Valentine’s Day in the raffle at 7pm. Hampers will include champagne, chocolates, candles and maybe something a little cheeky too.

The Glenmore

For those without someone to snuggle up to, never fear as The Glenmore is throwing a party for singles and partygoers with a DJ spinning tunes at the rooftop bar from 6pm and a lip-smacking selection of cocktails on level 1.

The Glenmore Rooftop Bar

The Glenmore Rooftop Bar

The Royal, Leichhardt

At The Royal in Leichhardt, couples can cosy up at The Royal Botanical restaurant with a two-course meal and glass of sparkling on arrival for just $49 per person. There will also be live music from 9.30pm, so bookings are essential to get a good spot.

The Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks

If you’re planning a romantic getaway to treat that special someone, a trip to The Seabreeze Beach Hotel in South West Rocks could be just the ticket. The Hotel offers a wide range of comfortable and spacious rooms, all at an affordable price, making it the perfect long weekend getaway. On Valentine’s Day itself, treat yourselves to a delicious seafood platter for two and receive a complimentary bottle of wine enjoy whilst taking in the stunning ocean views.

For further information on any of the venues or events, visit www.wshorthotelgroup.com.au.

The Unicorn Hotel

Paddington’s, The Unicorn Hotel is taking tongue-in-cheek, cheesy romance to the next level this Valentine’s Day with The Serenade Sessions. Pub diners on Friday the 14th will be treated to a three-course set dinner with glass of bubbles on arrival for $45 per person…with an awkwardly hilarious twist.

The Unicorn staff are calling out to those that don’t take the day too seriously, inviting local romantics to make a booking prior to the night,with a special love song request for their partners. Musicians on the night will then surprise unsuspecting lovers with an impromptu and probably cringe-worthy love song serenade at their table. That loving feeling will extend throughout the venue with all time favourite rom coms to be played on the pub’s big screens and a specially produced musical soundtrack that promises to put Richard Mercer to shame.

For all those loved up duos who can’t make it on the 14th, the Serenade Sessi ons will continue on for the following Wednesday evenings in February. And for all you fantastic singles out there, The Unicorn recommends you come down and play spectator for the night anyway whilst Tindering the night away.

The Unicorn Serenade Sessions will take place on the evenings of Friday 14, Wednesday 19 and 26 February. Diner’s are encouraged to call the venue in advance to book a table and make serenade song requests on 9360 7994.

Zeta Bar’s Arabian Nights Valentine’s package

Have an exotic Valentine’s Day!

•For Couples: 4 Cocktails from our exotic Spice Market and one sharing platter from Arabian menu ($150)

•For Singles: Receive 2 complimentary sharing platters (min 5 people and $500 min spend)

Arras Offers a Touch of Class with a Fun Twist this Valentine’s Day

Arras_venue3

Modern European fine dining restaurant, Arras, is the perfect place to treat your loved one this Valentine’s Day with a mouth-watering eight-course menu that will be a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds.

The specially crafted menu features the restaurant’s signature modern twist on European dishes including Salt baked heirloom carrot, Arras crème fraiche and carrot sponge; Roast salmon, lightly marinated scallop and asparagus; and Quail, black bean, pumpkin and peanut with quail broth.

The refreshing Coconut, citrus, ginger, basil and lemongrass promises to cleanse the palate before the decadence of the Spiced chocolate soup, coffee and chocolate ravioli. Those without such a sweet tooth can opt for a selection from the infamous cheese trolley for $25 extra.

Of course a meal at Arras wouldn’t be complete without the restaurant’s handmade, show-stopping petit fours, served with tea or coffee to finish. The menu costs $115 per person and includes a glass of bubbles on arrival.

Arras is run by young British chefs Adam and Lovaine Humphrey, who bring with them a wealth of experience from top restaurants across Europe and Australia, including the three Michelin-starred Michel Bras in France, Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck and the Castle Hotel in England.

The restaurant comfortably seats 60 with a private dining area available on the mezzanine for 22 guests seated and 40 guests standing for a cocktail-style event. Guests will be inspired by ARRAS’s offerings off the plate too, with unique design features including a graffiti mural by Az One, aka Andy Steel, a Sydney-based graffiti artist and bespoke Paul Smith suit-fabric dining chairs.

The restaurant earned one hat in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2014, three hats in the Gault & Millau Guide 2014, and a star and three glasses in the Australian Gourmet Traveller 2014 Australian Restaurant Guide.

Arras

204 Clarence Street, Sydney

Lunch – Tuesday to Friday 12pm until 2.30pm

Dinner – Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm until 10pm

02 9283 1922

reservations@restaurantarras.com.au

functions@restaurantarras.com.au

http://www.restaurantarras.com.au

Merivale

Merivale has a range of different offers across the group including a very cute ‘Kiss for a Cocktail’ at ivy.

ivy Pool Club – ‘Kiss for a Cocktail’ – Lovebirds, start your night of romance night at ivy, where a kiss is legal tender. Simply pash your other half for a free Lover’s Cup cocktail for two. Pecks on the cheek excluded. Available at Palings and Pool Club between 5-7pm. Pash your partner for one complimentary share cocktail per couple.

est. – Four-course set menu with matching wines and a his & her gift from Jo Malone, $295.

Uccello – Four-course menu including a flute of Veuve Clicquot, $140.

Felix – Four-course menu including a flute of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, $150.

Bistrode CBD – Three-course menu including a flute of NV Moët & Chandon, $140

Sushi e – Six-course set menu including a flute of NV Moët & Chandon, $135

http://merivale.com.au/whats-on/event/valentines-day2/

 The Cottage Bar & Kitchen

Cosy up at The Cottage Bar & Kitchen for Valentine’s Day and indulge in a Banquet for 2 for $55pp. The Banquet will include the following:

         2 x Glasses of Prosecco

         Oysters ½ Dozen (choice of Sydney Rock or Pacific’s)

         Seared Scallops w Rocket, fresh fruit Vinaigrette, Pancetta

         Mushrooms Stuffed with dried fruit and grain and marinated chevre

         Rib Eye Steak

         Fairground plate, Maple candied popcorn, house made orange marshmallows, fairy floss, mini ice cream cones, mini toffee apples & peanut brittle

To celebrate the occasion, there will be a special on Veuve Clicquot  – $24/Glass, or $110/Bottle

www.thecottagebalmain.com.au

‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’  screening at Maltesers Moonlight Cinema

Spoil your loved one this Valentines Day with a special screening of ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ at the Maltesers Moonlight Cinema at Belvedere Amphitheatre in Centennial Park on February 14! Or for a great gift idea, grab some Gold Grass tickets and experience a night of luxury film and food under the stars with that special someone! Maltesers Moonlight Cinema is running until 23rd March, tickets available from moonlight.com.au

Sydney Moonlight Cinema 1

Vesta Italian

Vesta Italian is serving up $25 Italian Antipasto Picnic Platters for the month of February to tie in with Sydney Harbour Foreshore’s Month of Love. Located in the south end of Sydney’s Darling Quarter, Vesta Italian is popular for its authentic and fresh Italian cuisine. The delicious Picnic Platters will be available for couples and all diners to pick up and enjoy in Darling Quarter’s lush green parks on heart shaped picnic rugs, which will be laid out throughout the month.

A celebration of love, the month will be filled with entertainment, including movies from Wednesday through Saturday nights for the first two weeks and special Mardi Gras parades and shows for the second half of February.

Choose from platters of cured meats, gourmet cheeses, tasty olives and pickled vegetables, all served with fresh bread and a selection of bread sticks and crackers.

For more information on Vest a Italian or to order a Picnic Platter, http://www.vestaitalian.com.au / 9267 9644 / facebook.com/vestadarlingquarter

Vaucluse House Tearooms

This Valentine’s Day enjoy a romantic dining experience at the enchanting Vaucluse House Tearooms.

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Fresh Catering is delighted to announce an exclusive dining experience for Valentine’s Day at Vaucluse House Tearooms. Enjoy a special three course dinner created by Executive Chef, Marco Adler and immerse yourself in the charming art deco Tearooms, surrounded by the peaceful gardens of the historic estate.

The menu includes for entrée; Beetroot Tart Tartin, Red Wine Reduction & Horseradish Crème Fraiche; Green Gazpacho with Pickled Spanner Crab Ravioli & Harissa Oil or Jamon with Grilled Asparagus, Crispy Quail Eggs & Saffron Shallots.

For mains, couples can choose from; Crispy Barramundi, Fritto Flowers of Prawn & Scallop with Tomato & Tarragon; Chicken Pave, Corn & Buttermilk Bread Sauce & Snow Pea & Crispy Skin or Saffron Risotto with Broad Beans, Pine & Enoki Mushrooms, Miso Butter.

Desserts include; Torta Di Verona – Amaretto & Pandoro, Blueberries & Mascarpone Cream; Passionfruit Charlotte, Strawberry & Orange Salad or Rose & Watermelon Macaron.

$75 per person. Reservations are essential and are available from 6.30pm. To make a reservation please contact Fresh Catering on (02) 8399 3055 (business hours) or email reception@freshcatering.com.au.

Emmilou

Emmilou has earned a reputation for exceptional tapas and cocktails and a wonderful ambience for a romantic setting.

This Valentines Day we will be offering a decadent 5-course menu including a glass of champagne for $95pp.

Emmilou has always been a favourite on Valentines day and this year, our new head chef will be stepping up the menu to ensure it is a seamlessly romantic evening for your users.

Our new head chef, Gary Ryley recently took over the reins as head chef at Emmilou. Ryley’s passion for Spain, coupled with his time spent overseas has helped him make his mark at Emmilou in fine-tuning the menu to perfection.

To view our Valentines Day offer and other promotions updated regularly on the blog, visit: http://emmilou.c om.au/blog/

The Morrison Bar & Oyster Room

Morrison_MG_1044 v2 web

Book a Valentine’s Day lunch or dinner at The Morrison and receive a complimentary Love Potion cocktail. The Morrison is a stylish, authentic New York style brasserie in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

225 George St, Sydney

www.themorrison.com.au

Bishop Sessa

Bishop Sessa venue horizontal

Bishop Sessa is a charming bistro and wine bar located in the heart of vibrant Surry Hills. Chef Paul Cooper is a sustainability advocate and applies a nose to tail philosophy to Bishop Sessa’s food going as far as ageing and butchering large sides of pig, beef and lamb on site himself. An ‘urban gem’, Bishop Sessa serves up fantastic, creative food in an unpretentious and accessible way.

Bishop Sessa is offering both a lunch and a dinner menu for Valentines Day:

Valentine’s Day Lover’s Lunch, four courses, $49

A glass of Jean-Pierre Marniquet Chaine d’Etoiles Brut Reserve, Tours-sur-Marne, Champagne on arrival

Fresh shucked Tathra Rock Oysters, mignonette dressing

Scallop ceviche, cucumber, avocado, lemon & ginger beer sorbet

Roasted Aylesbury duck breast, honey spiced beetroot, lentils & cassis

Bittersweet chocolate tart, honeycomb, salted caramel ice cream

Valentine’s Day Dinner, 5 courses, $75 (with matching wines, additional $50pp)

Smoked Trout Rillettes, asparagus mousse, confit fennel& hazelnuts

Scallop ceviche, cucumber, avocado, lemon & ginger beer sorbet

Hay-baked Pork Belly, roast peach, fennel, radish & cress

Lamb Mixed grill, pomme puree, eggplant, red peppers, mustard seeds

Chocolate delight, chocolate mousse, apricots & macadamias

527 Crown Street, Surry Hills

www.bishopsessa.com.au

02 8065 7223

MONTH OF LOVE AT DARLING HARBOUR


ROW YOUR WAY TO ROMANCE

A truly unique chance to circle the bay in a rowboat made for two as the sun sets over Darling Harbour and magical, twinkling hearts decorate the surface of the water. Pre-book online or go to Darling Harbour Marina (in front of Cockle Bay Wharf) to board your love boat.

Where Cockle Bay
When Sat 1, Wed 5 – Sun 9 and Wed 12 – Sun 16 Feb, 6pm – 10pm
Cost $25 per boat
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/row-your-way-to-romance-tickets-10180605465

 

LOVED UP FIREWORKS

Cosy up to your baby and stare into the sky as heart-shaped fireworks burst over Cockle Bay on Saturday.

Want your love to go the extra mile? Say it in the sky or even pop the question with specially personalised fireworks.

Where Cockle Bay

When Sat 1 Feb, Wed 5 – Sat 8 Feb, Wed 12 – Sat 15 Feb, Sat 22 Feb and Sat 1 Mar, 9pm
Cost Saturday fireworks – FREE / personalised fireworks – $1,000
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/romance-infused-fireworks-tickets-10181353703

 

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Stop by Darling Harbour’s giant sparkling red heart to steal a kiss or grab a Valentine’s photo. Post your photo to social media and share your love around the world.

Where Palm Grove

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar, from dusk
Cost FREE!

LOVE IS IN THE AIR – FRAMED!
Who doesn’t love the chance to be cheeky in an instant photo? For one very special night only (Valentine’s of course) you can capture the moment your heart went pop in our Month of Love Fotobooth. Pucker up, pose, print and then post to social media to your heart’s content.

Where Palm Grove (in front of the Love is in the Air giant heart)
When Fri 14 Feb, 6pm – 8pm
Cost FREE!

 

 

LEAVE A MESSAGE OF LOVE

Wander down the ‘Avenue of Love’ from Harbourside and chalk a public message of love on the Darling Harbour Live hoardings. Quote a poem, declare your love or perhaps even pop the question!

Where Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Forecourt
When Early Feb – Sat 1 Mar / 24 hours
Cost FREE!

SMOOTHFM LOVE SONG SERENADE
Take a stroll with your sweetheart along Sydney’s most romantic bridge and be serenaded by the world’s smoothest love songs and dance moves to follow.

Where Pyrmont Bridge

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar (excluding 16 Feb) / from 6pm

Cost FREE!

LOVE ON THE ROOFTOPS

Take a moment and take in the view of the hearts and rainbow projections on the rooftop of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Where Australian National Maritime Museum

When Fri 14 Feb – Sat 1 Mar, from dusk
Cost FREE!

SUPERCHARGE MY LOVE

Hit the road with your baby for a dazzling super car dream date! Spend $10 or more in Darling Harbour at participating venues anytime during the Month of Love and you’ll go into the draw to win one of 25 super car dates. See the super cars on display around Cockle Bay Wednesdays and Thursdays between 4pm and 11pm.

 

Where Around Cockle Bay

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar, cars on show every Wed & Thurs from 4pm -11pm

Cost FREE to view Supercars OR spend $10 for your chance to win a super car date* conditions apply

ROSES ARE RED

Go one better than a dozen red roses and dine among hundreds of roses woven in the foliage surrounding the restaurants at Cockle Bay Wharf. Come back again and again and watch the roses grow!

Where Cockle Bay Wharf

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar / 24 hours

Cost FREE!

 

TICKLE ME PINK
Spread out a blanket or pick up a heart-shaped rug and snuggle up to watch the special Month of Love Luminous displays or a classic romantic film on the Village Green. Purchase a gourmet picnic platter or pack your own picnic basket. Catch the special ‘loved-up’ hearts display from 1-14 February (excluding Mondays) and the beautiful rainbow display from 15 February – 1 March.

Purchase a romantic antipasto picnic platter for two from Vesta Darling Quarter (9267 9644), which includes cured meats, cheeses, olives, marinated vegetables and bread for $28 or pack your own picnic basket (please note alcohol is not permitted to be brought into Darling Harbour).

Where Darling Quarter Village Green

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar, dusk – midnight / Film screenings 8pm, 5–8 Feb, 12–15 Feb, 19–22 Feb and 26 Feb – 1 Mar
Cost FREE!

ANIMAL LOVE

Celebrate love at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo by giving special treats to the animals, learning about animal romantics; crafting a Valentine’s Day card and more! Did you know crocodiles blow love bubbles to their potential mates, the male koala woos his lady with a loud bellow and male satin bowerbirds attract females by collecting blue items for their bowers? These are just a few fun love facts you’ll learn during our special Month of Love keeper talks.

 

Where Wild Life Sydney Zoo

When Sat 1 Feb – Fri 28 Feb

Cost Inclusive in Wild Life Sydney Zoo entry – Adult $40 / Child $25 / Concession $31.50 / Family 4 $130
LOVE-IN

Get free entry to all special performances during the Month of Love and enjoy two signature Love Potion cocktails for $20.
www.tokiohotelive.com.au 
facebook.com/tokiohotel

Where Tokio Hotel

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar

Cost FREE!

A TOUR OF LOVE

Discover love in the Australian National Maritime Museum through a guided tour of the permanent exhibitions to uncover real-life love stores. Tours held daily.

 

Where Australian National Maritime Museum

When Sat 1 Feb – Fri 28 Feb

Cost Adult $27/ Child $16/ Concession $16/ Family $70

 

CHILDREN’S VALENTINES CRAFT

Get creative and craft a Valentine’s Day card made out of recycled paper and share the love with one of Wild Life World’s Aussie animals!

Where Wild Life Sydney Zoo

When Sat 1 Feb – Fri 28 Feb

Cost Inclusive in Wild Life Sydney Zoo entry – Adult $40 / Child $25 / Concession $31.50 / Family 4 $130

VALENTINES NIGHT WITH THE STARS

Walk the red-carpet, sip champagne, enjoy a selection of pre and post dinner canapés PLUS lots more at Madame Tussaud’s memorable Valentines event at Darling Harbour.

 

Where Madame Tussauds Sydney

When Fri 14 Feb

Cost $120 per couple (valued at $236)

ULTIMATE CELEBRITY VALENTINES

At Madame Tussauds you can vote for your ultimate celebrity Valentine. The winner will be revealed on Valentine’s Day!

 

Where Madame Tussauds Sydney

When Sat 1 – Thu 13 Feb

PLAN YOUR PERFECT DAY… WITH CELEBRITY WEDDING PLANNER PRESTON BAILEY

Celebrity event and wedding designer Preston Bailey will share the secrets of his global success. With clients including Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Hudson and Joan Rivers, Preston is known for completely transforming spaces into opulent, theatrical environments.

 

Where Cockle Bay Wharf

When Wed 12 Feb/ 5pm & 7pm

Cost $95 – book signing, bridal showcase and champagne/canapés OR $195 – also includes presentation by Preston Bailey www.premier.ticketek.com.au

TEST YOUR COMPATIBILITY

Test your love compatibility with gelato at Meno Diciotto! Research by Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago say that flavour can predict your perfect match! www.personalityquiz.net/foodtests/icecream.htm

Where Meno Diciotto, Darling Quarter

When Sat 1 Feb – Sat 1 Mar

 

OPEN DAY OF LOVE

Dockside Group showcases three spectacular reception venues overlooking Darling Harbour.

Where Three locations – Dockside, L’Aqua & Star room

When Sun 16 Feb / 10am – 4pm

Cost FREE!

JOIN HANDS FOREVER IN WAX

Join hands with your partner at Madame Tussauds and experience the magic of wax-making together with a special keep-sake to take home.

 

Where Madame Tussauds Sydney

When Sat 1 – Fri 28 Feb

Cost $15 (usually $25)

BOWL ME OVER

Enjoy one game of bowling per person, one drink on arrival (local tap beer, house wine or soft drink) and a platter to share (10 pieces) for just $40 per couple. Pre-bookings essential, must mention ‘Month of Love’. Not valid with any other offer or promotion, subject to availability.

 

Where Kingpin Bowling, Harbourside

When Sat 1 – Fri 28 Feb

Cost $40 per couple

POP-UP BRIDE

Immerse yourself in Chinese Wedding culture in 20 minute participatory performances at The Twilight Gardens, Chinese Gardens. Bookings essential, $25 ticket and price includes garden entry, Asian noodle box and a glass of wine.

 

Where The Twilight Gardens, Chinese Gardens.

When 7 Feb / 6pm – 9pm

Cost $25

Social Spy** FANCY A VALENTINE’S DAY DATE?

phone-match

Fancied, an Australian based dating App, has been moving in quickly on the dating scene and hopes to make it easier for Australians to find a date this Valentine’s Day! Having only launched in September last year, the App already boasts thousands of mutual ‘fancies’ nationally, and was nominated as Top 10 finalist for Startup of the Year by Shoestring Media, and for a MOBI Award in the Nightlife category.

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Entrepreneur Christie Sharpe, the Founder and CEO of Fancied, stated “We are thrilled with the results and have 60% engagement on the app, this is mainly because users are getting matched by people they mutually fancy.”

Thanks to the rise of mobile dating, Gen X and Y users have now ‘opened their hearts’ (#boomchh) to testing out the market and have made it socially acceptable. Sharpe adds, “Fancied is about finding mutual connections made easy in a social environment – We don’t just show you who you can meet, we also show you where the best places are to meet based on your location.”

Alicia & Kristy Gray

There are two ways you can find your perfect match on Fancied. Firstly, by searching through singles profiles, and secondly, by checking into a local venue listed as a Hot Spot.

The geo-location gives the user a safer opportunity to meet their match at a recommended bar, or alternatively, motivates singles to step out of the house and socialise as they can see which ‘Hot Spots’ to saunter over to.

The Fancied team have launched a new blog (www.blog.getfancied.com) which explores all aspects of dating and meeting people online. This light-hearted blog is perfect for dating advice, lists funny dating experiences and different ways to approach your love life. The step-by- step guide to the perfect New Year’s Kiss helped ease users into 2014 and is set to help singles navigate through the Aussie dating scene.

Fancied is available for free from the App Store on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch or at:

http://bit.ly/16MgPjC

Socialising made simple, download the app and Get Fancied!

Android version coming soon!

Valentines 101** Bucket List Loves Tinder

With Christmas, New Years and Australia Day celebrations all safely behind us, just when we thought our social lives were back to normal, Valentine’s Day comes up to pinch us on the behind.

 

No date? Don’t worry! The Bucket List is teaming up with Tinder to host a Valentines Day party on Friday 14th of February. Patrons will receive a complementary glass of champagne on arrival when they present their Tinder App at the Door, and $10 ‘It’s a Match’ cocktails will be available all night.

 The Bucket List 02-078

For those of you who have been living under a rock (or are in a relationship). Tinder is a location-based dating app which highlights fellow singles in your area. The Bucket List will become

Tinder destination, with a push notification prompting users to head to the Bondi, beachside venue.

Screen Shot 2014-02-05 at 1.11.57 pm

 

COMPETITION 101** Win with Michel’s Patisserie this Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day is all about showing your loved one how much they mean to you by creating a moment that says ‘I love you’. Michel’s Patisserie’s indulgent treats are perfect for making any Valentine’s Day moment special.

 

Michel’s Patisserie understands that Valentine’s Day is about you and your special someone, so this year it has introduced three delicious treats that are perfect for two. Choose from a red velvet cupcake topped with a decadent white chocolate ganache and chocolate hearts, a chocolate cupcake with an indulgent ganache finish and chocolate hearts, or share the ‘perfect for two’ mouth-watering chocolate mud cake.

 

Sydney Social 101 has teamed up with Michel’s Patisserie to offer four lucky winners a $25 voucher!

To be in with a chance simple let us know how you plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Also like the Sydney Social 101 Facebook page to enter!

COMPETITION CLOSES AT 5PM TODAY!

WHAT’S ON** FEEL THE LOVE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY IN SYDNEY

This Valentine’s Day there is plenty to treat your other half to, or yourself!

Here is a comprehensive list for you to have a glance at, to give you inspiration for the day of love!

Valentine’s Day at Arras

At this stunning restaurant nestled in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, it’s the perfect choice for an inner city splash out. Think amazing food, stunning intimate interior and LOTS of brownie points! There’s a five course menu and an eight course degustation to choose from.

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Bucket List Bondi

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“Come in to The Bucket List and break bread with your Valentine on February 14!” – The lovely guys at Bucket List: Bondi ‘s beach-front trendy eatery, have baked a special heart shaped loaf.

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Top chef Tom has created a platter that he calls -‘Love to Share’. It promises to be amazing and has a bit of an aphrodisiac theme -rock oysters, tartare of salmon served with avocado crème, fresh figs , almonds, pomegranate and zucchini flowers … which will be sure to get you in the mood! at $40 it is incredible value.

Valentine’s Day with the Keystone Group

GAZEBO WINE GARDEN

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The Scoot N Root

Glass of Madam Coco rosé, 1 x red stemmed rose, shared platter of aphrodisiacs to start and a main course – $55 per person

Glass of Taittinger, 1 x red stemmed rose, shared platter of aphrodisiacs to start, a main course and dessert – $99 per person

*Have dinner with us then head then over to Darlinghurst Theatre to see Torch Song Trilogy. If we book for you – we can get you a concession rate to the play for $35!*

THE WINERY

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Fall in love at The Winery

Indulge in a desert tasting plate for two for $26 which can be ordered on the night.

MANLY WINE

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Surf, Wine and Love at Manly

A delicious dinner, decadent desserts and a wine list to swoon over! We also have a rose, chocolate and glass of bubbles for $15 to make your dinner that little bit extra special.

NEWTOWN HOTEL – THE ANIMAL

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Get animalistic this Valentine’s Day

Enjoy bubbles on arrival, a flower for your valentine and a feast for 2 from our Greek Eatery – $55 per person

AND if you are flying solo this Valentine’s day…

Sweethearts Rooftop BBQ

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Who needs boys anyway?

$35 Banquet menu including cocktails on arrival.

MCA Café’s “Sounds on the Terrace”

At the MCA Café in the Rocks, guests can soak up free live music and spectacular views from Circular Quay to the Harbour Bridge at the Café’s Sculpture Terrace where Sounds on the Terrace takes place. This is the perfect spot to start your Valentine’s evening with pre-dinner drinks before your dinner reservation nearby. Or you can make a night of it in the relaxed ambience, sipping champagne and enjoying shared plates with friends and loved ones. New Sydney-based act, Recall will feature music composed by Daniel OʼLeary on the night.

MCA Cafe & Sculpture Terrace

The MCA Café and Sculpture Terrace is located on Level Four of the Museum of Contemporary Art. The understated but luxurious finishes of the Sculpture Terrace provide a sleek contemporary backdrop to suit any occasion. Open to the public as well as Museum visitors, the café has a contemporary atmosphere in which to enjoy lunch, morning or afternoon tea, or simply to drop in for a coffee. The seasonal and sustainable menu changes daily, to utilise fresh, local produce.

Date: Thursday 14 February 2013
Time: 05.30 PM – 09.00 PM
Location: MCA Sculpture Terrace, Level 4 Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St, The Rocks
Cost: Free
More Info: http://www.mca.com.au/events/sounds-terrace-14-feb/5822/

Vaucluse House Tea Rooms

At the Eastern Suburbs’ historic Vaucluse House Tearooms, Fresh Catering will present an exclusive dining event featuring live entertainment for couples celebrating Valentine’s Day, Thursday February 14th. The Tearooms are situated within the grounds of the Vaucluse House Estate.

Guests will be treated to a sumptuous three course dinner prepared by award-winning caterer, Fresh Catering, together with a glass of sparkling wine on arrival. With bookings available after 6pm, the price for each guest is $65. Live harp music will feature throughout the night, filling the room with a touch old school romance.

Celebrate Valentines at The Star Casino

The Darling

This February, The Darling hotel will be running its special ‘Be My Darling’ package including an overnight stay, romantic breakfast for two in your room and two cocktails at Cherry bar. For those seeking extra relaxation, it’s possible to upgrade your booking to a Jewel Suite for an additional $250 that entitles guests to a couple’s massage to the value of $350.

(Be My Darling $399; Jewel Suite Upgrade $250; to book quote “BEMYDARLING”; available Sunday-Thursday February 2013; 1800 800 830;www.thedarling.com.au)

Spa

In celebration of the month of love, The Spa at The Darling is offering two exclusive pamper sessions for both men and women – The Romeo and The Juliet. For the guys, what’s not to love about an invigorating sports massage, followed by a relaxing scalp massage and a refreshing beer afterwards as part of the treatment? The Juliet includes an express facial, back, neck and shoulder massage, the short and sweet pedi and an indulgent glass of champagne at the end.

(The Romeo – 1hr 15 $200; The Juliet – 1hr 30 $200; available February 2013; 1800 800 830; www.thedarling.com.au)

Sokyo

main-dining

The contemporary Japanese restaurant will be serving an indulgent eight course menu, created by renowned chef Chase Kojima, including some of the restaurant’s most famed dishes such as its signature sushi and Abalone Tempura. Chef Kojima brilliantly fuses traditional Japanese culinary craftsmanship with modern Australian flavour.

($120 per person; bookings required; www.star.com.au/sokyo

BLACK by ezard

Award winning chef, Teague Ezard, has put together a seven course degustation menu for Valentine’s Day showcasing what makes BLACK by ezard one of Sydney’s top restaurants. From a delicate sashimi through to a luxuriant wagyu rump, the menu features the perfect balance of Australian and Asian flavours.

($130 per person, matching wines $70 per adult; bookings required; www.star.com.au/black)


Balla

Stefano Manfredi brings the best of romantic Italy to your table at Balla this Valentine’s Day with a four course set menu beginning with an antipasti feast, followed by a choice of fresh pasta, a main course of either wood grilled John Dory or veal tenderloin, finishing off with a delicious Italian dessert.

($125 per person; bookings required; www.star.com.au/balla)

Cherry

With its stunning harbour views, Cherry bar is the perfect setting for a stylish pre-dinner tipple to begin your evening. Choose from a host of impeccably made cocktails, made with only the finest ingredients, including fruity Bellinis, aromatic Mojitos and robust scotch based drinks.

(www.star.com.au/cherry)

Rock Lily: Thursday 14th February

It’s rockabilly night at The Star’s live music venue this Valentine’s Day with a dance competition open to everyone! Strut your stuff on the dance floor to Australia’s best live swing acts for the chance to win prizes galore.

7:30pm-9:30pm – Aston Martinis

10:00pm – 11:30pm – Jordan C Thomas

(Entry is complimentary and no bookings are required. With a limited capacity, Rock Lily operates on a first in best dressed basis;www.star.com.au/rocklily)

24/7 Sports Bar Thursday 14th February

It’s set to be an unforgettable Valentine’s Day for cricket lovers this year as Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Brad Hadden make an appearance at the 24/7 Sports Bar. There’ll be a chance to get the players’ autographs, listen to a short Q&A and enter a competition to win a framed signed bat by the Australian Cricket team.

(Entry is complimentary and no bookings are required. With a limited capacity, 24/7 Sports Bar operates on a first in, best dressed basis)

For bookings, more information or enquiries, visit www.star.com.au or call 1800 700 700.

So as you can see there is PLENTY to choose from! Hope you have a simply wonderful day and celebrate it with those that mean the most to you!

Valentines Day Gift Guide for Him & Her & Yourself by Sydney Social 101

The day that they call Valentines Day is almost upon us, on the 14th February couples, singles and friends and family use this opportunity to tell their loved ones just how much they mean to them.

From experience I have found that there is definitely a split opinion when it comes to Valentines Day Celebrations. They usually come in the following two categories:

Haters

These people believe that there shouldn’t be just one day that you are forced to, by society, to proclaim your undying love to your partner, friends and family. They often refer to it as a ‘Hallmark Holiday’. They feel that you should be able to make grand gestures ‘just because’, not just because it’s Valentines Day, and well that’s the done thing…

Singles also fall into this category, these singles hate romance being paraded in front of them. They ask for the ‘sick bag’ and they’ll probably arrange an ‘anti-Valentines’ evening – Cue takeaway, horror/ comedy DVD and the rest of their single/ anti-Valentines loved up friends.

Then there’s the:

Lovers

This category of people love everything there is to love about Valentines, they love what it stands for, they love any excuse for a grand gesture and embrace it with both arms and share the love. They’ll book/ cook a special meal for their nearest and dearest, they’ll have flowers delivered to their respective other’s workplace and they’ll probably splash out on an expensive gift.

Singles also fall into this category too – they might go to all lengths to bag a date as they don’t like to be alone on Valentines Day. They might even want to celebrate the ‘day of love’ with their best friends and toast all that Valentines Day stands for in their minds – A day to show how much you love your friends and family. If grand gestures can be celebrated anytime, why not today?!

I have been guilty of falling into all of the above categories at some point in my life. What I can say is that I do believe that you should be able to show your loved ones how much they mean to you anytime sure, however I do think then why not celebrate Valentines Day? The day of love, romance and grand gestures – seems like the perfect time for me. (I’m of the school of thought, that if you want to do big romantics acts at anytime of year, then do! Just because you choose to do one on Valentines Day too, doesn’t use up your quota!)

Here are a number of gift suggestions, for either your partner (girl or guy), your friends on family members:

FOR HER:

Pamper Hamper Gifts http://www.pamperhampergifts.com.au/

This luxury gifting site provides the ultimate selection of pampers to suit your loved ones perfectly:

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With a nod to adventure this fragrance conjures the grace and beauty of remote destinations. Light yet sophisticated, Galapagos makes the most of kaffir lime with an added hint of lemon, verbena and kumquat. http://www.pamperhampergifts.com.au have put this gorgeous gift together in hope of someone pampering themselves from head to toe in indulgence!

RRP: $152.00

JOYA

Instead of automatically reaching for these obvious gifts shoppers should think about going for something a bit different this Valentine’s Day.

JOYA-Australia created a special package with a thoughtful and more unexpected gift that will keep you and your Valentine relaxed and your relationship rolling smoothly – on Valentine’s Day and beyond.

Couples all over the world have been discovering JOYA – freely rotating crystal spheres in smooth, handy timber holders – makes massaging easy, enjoyable and relaxing for both partners, opening the door to a wonderful way to connect with each other and to enhance each other’s well-being.

http://www.joya-australia.com.au – Starting price is $74

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Something a little bit cheeky…

Swarovski Crystal Vajazzles that can be worn all over the body! They are a huge hit with celebrities and have become the ultimate easy DIY adhesive to compliment any outfit for any event especially great for Valentines Day to be able to spice things up in the bedroom and do something unique!

They’re funky and very affordable $10 each and last for 7-10days, they make your body sparkle and glisten in the sun with 7 stunning designs to choose from, including some Hearts Vajazzles and Funky Heart Swirl designs.

They’re all waterproof, sweat proof and ocean proof!

They can be purchased online from http://www.playfulmansion.com.au/catalog/accessories-9113

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Rebello Wines ‘Strawbellini’

An internationally acclaimed sparking wine made from fresh Sunny Ridge Strawberries from the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

It’s the only strawberry and moscato sparkling blend sold in Australia.

Strawbellini is available at premium liquor outlets across Australia and online at http://www.rebellowines.com.au where it can be purchased for $19.

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DIY Ladies Tool Kit

This contains a comprehensive choice of quality manufactured tools in hot pink. Perfect for doing repairs at home and around the office.

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Available from – http://www.latestbuy.com.au/Valentines-Day-Gifts-Guide.html which also has a great selection of gifts for men and couples too!

Remington Runway Curls (H480AU) – RRP $93.95

Treat your special lady to these innovative velcro rollers and let her create romantic inspired curls with ease. Four separate sized rollers create runway ready curls in almost any length for salon professional results at home.

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FOR HIM

Pamper Hamper Gifts http://www.pamperhampergifts.com.au/

This luxury gifting site provides the ultimate selection of pampers to suit the guy in your life:

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Mr Metro is aware of the importance of good grooming. More men than ever are interested in taking better care of their skin & a simple daily ritual of cleansing, moisturising & grooming will maintain great looking healthy skin.

RRP: $159.00

Remington Black Diamond (R7150AU) – RRP $203.95:

Spoil the man in your life to the Aston Martin of smooth shaves with this luxurious new rotary
shaver. Featuring an exclusive Black Diamond Technology, coupled with Remington¹s Pivot & Flex functionality this tool offers smooth results like no other.

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DIY artisan cheese making kit:

Mad Millie bring you the Specialty Cheese Kit with which you can you make your very own heart shaped cheese this Valentine’s Day.

The French Neufcahtel is a cream cheese in the shape of a heart and is sure to melt the heart of all romantics out there this Valentine’s Day.

Surprise and impress your loved one with the gorgeous heart shaped cheese and create the most romantic French inspired picnic for your partner by teaming it with their favourite wine or champagne.

Available via: http://www.madmillie.com/

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BCNU

A NEW premium Sportswear and Streetwear fashion brand on the Australian market, known for it’s innovative style, form and function. It’s the type of clothing you grab from your wardrobe, wear and enjoy 24×7. BCNU has been designed differently to traditional gym gear instead it’s a style of clothing that can be worn for training, handing out, play’n or just lazing around at home.

Added feature of sportswear range is that it features material which has moisture management system built into the shorts and training tops, vest which draw moisture away form the skin, keeping a guy dry and comfortable whilst working out.

The BCNU range consists of sports shorts, tank tops, athletic vests, hoodies and sweatshirts that are bold and masculine featuring brilliant colour choices.

Check out the website http://www.bcnuclothing.com to view the entire collection

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iSwim Waterproof Case w/Headphones

Enjoy your tunes on the beach, in the pool, on the boat or anywhere! Keep your iPod or mp3 player safe from water, sand and dirt in a truly waterproof, sealable case that will not only protect it from weather or waves, it’ll float if dropped in water too.

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Available from – http://www.latestbuy.com.au/Valentines-Day-Gifts-Guide.html which also has a great selection of gifts for men and couples too!

Finally for friends, lovers and family… you can’t go wrong with a gift from Red Balloon:

Valentines Day Gift Guide Ideas from Red Balloon can be found here: http://www.redballoon.com.au/valentines-day-gifts

Spending a day on the water, leaping from a plane or learning to cook a killer soufflé are some of the top ways we choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day, according to online experience retailer redballoon.com.au.

After selling more than 1.7 million experiences in just over a decade, RedBalloon is a popular choice for the loved-up wanting to celebrate February 14 in a romantic or adventure-fuelled fashion.

Top Valentine’s Day experiences in 2012:

1. Sailing

2. Eating out and cooking classes

3. Massages, beauty and spa treatments

4. V8 and rally car experiences

5. Skydiving

RedBalloon customer Sheri Gould was one who opted for the skydiving option, proposing to her boyfriend Max after leaping from 14,000 feet on Valentine’s Day last year.

As part of a daredevil skydive proposal arranged by RedBalloon, Sheri surprised Max with a skydiving experience – little did he know Sheri was taking the biggest leap of her life.

“I was very nervous as we boarded the plane – I had to jump first so that I could be on the ground and on one knee ready to pop the question when Max landed,” Sheri said.

“There was a huge banner reading ‘Will you marry me?’ laid out on the ground as Max came into land, and a film crew capturing the moment for TV.

“It was a real logistical and emotional exercise. But when he said yes it was the happiest moment of my life.”

Sheri and Max plan to wed in Sydney this year.

For both of you:

Love is sweet and so is chocolate! And to celebrate the most romantic day of the year, Australia’s favourite chocolate-based cafe Max Brenner, is inviting you to treat your someone special to its new range of romantic, love inspired gifts.

Bursting Heart Chocolate Box; intimacy meets fashion as this heart shaped chocolate box designed with tattooed imprints and pulsating colours, expresses your love. Bursting with milk chocolate cubes filled with delicious hazelnut praline and roasted coconut, this original treat includes the romantic inscription; “Gift It to The One You Love”. (RRP: $21.50, 80g). The heart shaped tin will serve as an eternal reminder of a love that lasts all year round- even after the last morsel of chocolate is gone.

Bursting Heart Chocolate Box

Bursting Heart Chocolate Box

Sweet Love Praline Box 9; this delectably sweet and delightful gift includes nine of Max’s signature Pralines presented in a ‘Sweet Love’ designed box featuring a heart shaped window revealing the chocolate within.  Add that extra bit of romance by filling it with Max’s newest Praline –whipped milk chocolate ganache enrobed in white chocolate and adorned with the words “Sweet Love”. (RRP: $21.50)

Sydney Social 101 hopes that you all have an amazing Valentines Day, no matter what you decided to do! We hope this guide has provided you with some inspiration with regards to gifts!

COMING UP: Where to celebrate Valentines Day – Sydney venues to spoil the one you love…

THOMAS SABO TRI-COLOUR JEWELLERY FOR SS2013

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GOLDEN SILVER COLLECTION LAUNCH L’Aqua Gold Room, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney

THOMAS SABO invited the Australian fashion and lifestyle press on Wednesday afternoon to the launch of the new Spring/Summer 2013 Sterling Silver Collections at L’Aqua Gold Room, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney. Around 100 media and a handful of selected celebrity guests celebrated the international lifestyle brand’s exquisite new ranges.

The THOMAS SABO GLAM & SOUL Women’s Collection renowned for its 925 Sterling silver sparkled with a completely new design signature for the brand – 18 carat yellow and rose gold plated silver. Entitled GOLDEN SILVER, this new feature of the SS2013 collection was unveiled against a backdrop of picturesque harbour views.

The modern look of the women’s collection is inspired by the fabulous designs and colours of Moorish culture and includes warm-coloured elements incorporated into the gold-plated pieces of jewellery. Drop-shaped arabesques, intensive bright turquoise and golden yellow suns from One Thousand and One Nights are combined in new style statements.

A highlight was the presentation of the new SS2013 campaign which features Poppy Delevingne as the new global brand ambassador for the Women’s GLAM & SOUL Collections. Poppy Delevingne, a top British model and internationally celebrated style icon, is the face of the evocative campaign for the women’s wear and perfectly captures the spirit associated with the GOLDEN SILVER range with her youthful twist and seductive charm.

Poppy Delevingne: “The new Spring Summer 2013 Collection by THOMAS SABO offers the modern woman every opportunity to take centre stage. With the many new combination options using silver, rose gold and yellow gold, you can find the right accessory for every occasion, every style and every personality.”

The THOMAS SABO REBEL AT HEART Men’s Collection was presented autonomously for the very first time. With countless items of jewellery with rebellious attitude, blackened silver is the material that lends the designs their special coolness. Although created for the rebellious gentleman, the REBEL AT HEART Collection includes numerous unisex items of jewellery. The celebrity testimonial for the new the men’s collection is internationally successful violin virtuoso, David Garrett. David Garrett is a huge jewellery fan and a role model for men’s jewellery as he demonstrates the courage to experiment with exceptional styles and accessories.

Warmly welcomed were local celebrities Samantha Jade, Alice Burdeu, Danny Clayton, Keiynan Lonsdale, Jaynie Seal, Brendan Moar, Maude Garrett, Sophia Conn, Lachlan Cosgrove, Briden-Starr and Rochelle Fox who joined esteemed fashion media identities in attendance.

L’Aqua Gold Room provided the perfect setting for the presentation of the THOMAS SABO GLAM & SOUL and REBEL AT HEART Collections, which will be available from leading jewellers nationally in March 2013.

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SUBURB IN THE SPOT LIGHT – MANLY

Plans for this weekend?

We have it each week, there it literally so much to do in Sydney that each weekend is fully booked about two month in advance – what I feel is important however is to not fall into the trap of doing the same thing every single weekend. There are so many amazing suburbs out there, which are host to many a hidden/ relatively unknown bar.

Each week I’m going to do a ‘Suburb in the Spotlight’ this week its Manly. Rather than go for the obvious, I’m going to profile the ‘lesser-known bars’ that remain the suburbs best kept secrets… until now…

This week the spotlight is on Manly

 Manly is one of Australia’s most renowned beaches, but lovers of the outdoors, food-lovers, bar-hoppers and shopaholics will know there’s much more to this iconic Sydney suburb than just surf and sand.

 Here is a profile of some of the bars that you should check out if you’re planning on visiting this stunning , seaside suburb.

Miss Marley’s

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, I used to be a cocktail bar tender in my Manchester days. I loved it, great team, free alcohol and I loved knowing how to make a balanced cocktail with just the right amount of sugar syrup and lime juice. It also didn’t hinder the attention from the guys either, there seems to be something about bar staff and their desirability stakes shooting up the scale as they serve you a cocktail, shaken but not stirred (over crushed ice).

A seven can become and eight and a four can even become a respectable six, how does this happen?

So I was contacted by the lovely guys at Miss Marley’s in Manly with regards to its Cocktail Masterclass which they pitch as a great introduction into the art of mixology & the background of its Pan American drinks menu.

Get involved

They advise that their highly experienced & award winning bartenders will guide you & your group through the elements of this art, from its origins & history to the tricks of the trade.

Demonstrating two of Miss Marley’s most popular cocktails, the Margarita & one of our exquisite in house creations, then a Grand Finale “The Cocktail Cup” where you get a chance to create a future classic & they are the judge!

The Masterclass is for groups of 8-16 guests. Perfect for hens parties, networking, team building events or simply to show off at your next dinner party!

A selection of delicious canapés are served throughout…

You can expect to get involved, be inspired, in great spirit & in the know!

For more info contact Miss Marley’s on: (02) 8065 4805 or info@missmarleys.com.au

 The Cantinero

 From the team that brought us Miss Marley’s tequila bar, comes a Mexican cantina just around the corner.

 

Tequila & Taco’s

The boss, The owner, The main man. The Cantinero – In Mexico you will find Cantinas all over the country, The Cantinero, is the owner of these fine establishments!

Cantinero is soon to be the talk of the town. In a Manly first, the team from recently nominated “Australian Small Bar of the Year 2011 Miss Marley’s” & Tequila Tromba of Mexico, have opened a “pop up / take over” bar concept

Where they transform local favourite, Ground Zero coffee house into a secret hideaway Cantina style venue by night. The Intriguing & ambient space with it’s lantern lined entrance leading to the intimate dining room & large outside terrace area is sure to get local movers and shakers buzzing for the coming summer nights.

Jumping on the bandwagon of the Mexican street style taco & botana craze sweeping Sydney right now.
Cantinero exec chef Lupita Manzo Moreno brings a wealth of “real mexican” flavour & tradition spins it around & delivers big flavour with a fresh, light modern twist on the ever popular street cuisine of Mexico. Cantinero serves up delicious taco’s and botanas for the more discerning of diners who are looking for a difference when it comes to Mexican as we know it.

Alongside the food will of course be Tequila! Recently launched premium Tequila Tromba will be the focus of the drinks menu with a small list of “must have cocktails & signature serves”.

MENU: http://cantinero.com.au/menuforwebpdf.pdf


4 Pines

4 Pines is a brewery come bar that is located opposite Manly Wharf, they have their own ales and they are amazing in my opinion! It has a great atmosphere and is regularly host to acoustic/ band performances from local Aussie talent.

Choices include their pale ale, kolsch and (my bessie fave) heferweizen.  From Mondays to Thursdays, the cinema and bar have a deal where for $33.00 you get a main meal in the 4 Pines restaurant and a movie ticket, while Mondays is ‘Monday Madness’ where you have the option of Mussels or Spaghetti & Meatballs + Pint for $20. There is also live music every Monday kicking off from 7:30pm.

It is a nice alternative to Manly Wharf and provides a more laid back ambience, perfect for a date or drinks with your friends. The balcony provides a perfect suntrap between the hours of 2 – 6, so if you’re wanting some al fresco drinking/ dining –  this is a great shout!

If you’re looking for something to do this Valentines, they have a great Mr and Mrs event taking place, further details below:

Here are some of the other places you should try to frequent whilst visiting/ staying in Manly:

The Manly Wharf Bar

Hugos

Shore Club

Bavarian Beer Cafe

In Situ

Sugar Lounge

Steyne Hotel

Shore Club

Charlie Bar

Das Kaffeehaus

Fish Cafe Food & Wine Bar

Ivanhoe Hotel Manly

Jah Bar

New Brighton Hotel

Old Manly Boatshed

Sable

Shark Bar

Sunset Bar

The Celtic

The Pony Room

Whitewater

Echoer – Featured Blogger

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