With the heavy snow falls across Europe this winter, the idea of going beyond a nice dinner at home may not resonate with you. But if a night out in one of Europe's most fabulous cities is the only way you can imagine spending Valentine's Day with your special someone, then here are a few ideas I have put together for you:
In Vienna . . .
1. Start with a gourmet dinner at Restaurant Korso; consider the lobster gratin or veal served with creamy savoy cabbage. After dinner, cuddle up for a romantic Fiaker carriage ride to the Musikverein to enjoy Vienna's Philharmonic Orchestra perform Schubert. Be sure to arrive early enough to enjoy a glass of champagne and the grandeur of the magnificent concert hall.
2. Or, enjoy a sweet pleasure without the calories in one of Vienna's most luxurious spas, Sacher Spa. The Time To Chocolate is the perfect Valentine's treat to indulge in. If one treatment isn't enough to spoil your sweetheart, plan to spend the day enjoying the historical sauna, salt steam room, herbal bath, ice fountain and meditation rooms.
In Budapest . . .
3. In Budapest on a budget? Try a stay in the romantic boutique inn Gerloczy. Dinner can easily be arranged in the cafe downstairs followed by a performance at the Hungarian State Opera House. Considered one of the most beautiful opera houses in Europe, its historic interior is still intact and offers ticket prices as low as 2-3 euros.
4. If you're not into opera, a private water limousine ride on the Danube might tickle your fancy, especially with champagne included.
5. Or, how does a nighttime helicopter trip over Budapest sound? Cuddle up together to see one of the most beautiful cities brilliantly illuminated from the air.
In Rome . . .
6. For a little out-of-the-ordinary romantic Italian experience, take your sweetpea to Tea with Tiepolo at the beautiful Rome Cavalieri hotel. Imagine finger sandwiches, scones and miniature pastries along with exotic teas served amid three magnificent Tiepolo paintings from 1725. What can be more romantic than this?
In Berlin . . .
7. How does sharing a dark wooden table dimly lit with candlelight while listening to soft melancholy music playing in the background and sharing a creamy warm cheese fondue with a delicious bottle of wine sound? It can all be yours at Ars Vini. Nothing says 'romance' more than wine and cheese!
8. Maybe your idea of 'romance' is on the livelier side. Then, there's plenty of Funk, Soul and Motown at Quasimodo. But hey, it is Valentine's Day! So pony up for a bottle of champaign to accompany the bebop!
In Madrid . . .
9. Visit Museo del Romanticismo, an 85-year-old, small and eclectic museum devoted to the depiction of life in Madrid during the 19th century (Spain's Romantic period). Afterward, head to Plaza Santa Ana for a stop in Vinoteca Barbechera. Sample wines while sharing elaborate tapas such as Solomillo con Cebolla Caramelizado (beef tenderloin with caramelized onions) and Trucha Ahumada con Pure de Tomate y tapenada (smoked trout with puree of tomato and an olive tapenade).
In Paris . . .
10. Well, just being in Paris is romantic. The city oozes with romanticism! But if you are hopelessly romantically challenged and need some guidance, start with Flute for a tasting flight of champagne and tapas. Then, hand in hand, take to the ice underneath the lights of the Eiffel Tower.
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All photos are courtesy of the establishments' websites.