Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day in South Africa

While eating out at fancy restaurants is always a treat, creating a romantic Valentine’s Day table setting at home can be just as special. | Pexels Edward Eyer

While eating out at fancy restaurants is always a treat, creating a romantic Valentine’s Day table setting at home can be just as special. | Pexels Edward Eyer

Published Feb 8, 2024


Many people have already started planning their interesting daily activities for the month of love, beginning with conversations about romantic dinners at home or on the town, or even bae-cations.

Restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues are also expected to showcase their culinary and design inventiveness on Valentine’s Day, with many hosting one-of-a-kind events.

Where to celebrate Valentine’s Day in South Africa?

At home

Imagine coming home from a demanding workday with a rumbling tummy and sore feet. You receive an invitation to the person you have been dating's home. As you step through their front entrance, you are greeted by a bounty of candles and roses strewn all over the floors and window sills.

As supper is being cooked, you spend time soaking in the tub with a glass of wine that your partner has prepared, complete with bubbles and essential oils. After sharing a box of chocolates and dinner, you spend the evening watching a romantic comedy about Valentine’s Day. Everyone should have a romantic dinner at home at least once in their lifetime.

“Don’t forget to close your meal off with a delicious dessert,” advises Executive Sous Chef of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront, Bianca Beukes.

“If you want something lighter, try slices of mango and strawberry with whipped cream and crushed pistachios sprinkled on top,” adds Beukes.

In the park

Beukes says picnics are also a great way to bond with a significant other. Often the experience is just two people surrounded by nature while enjoying each other's conversation and a simple spread of food and drinks.

For a successful picnic experience, remember to pack a picnic blanket, a few scatter cushions, cups, plates, knives, forks and something on which to cut cheese and bread. As a sweet added touch to surprise your date, you could feed them chocolate-dipped strawberries or oysters on ice or other aphrodisiac foods such as avocado, pistachios, asparagus and honey.

A drinks date

It is also advised that if you are just getting to know your Valentine’s Day date or meeting up for the first time, consider keeping things light with a simple drinks date.

Across South Africa, there are a range of spectacular drinking spots, including Unity Bar and Brasserie in Durban, Six Cocktail Bar in Johannesburg and Cause and Effect in Cape Town.

A romantic dinner

According to her, going out to eat for a romantic dinner has the benefit of being hassle-free and virtually always producing interesting encounters. While there, one can partake in any other innovative event or have the chance to taste a flavour, ingredient, or beverage that they have never tried before.

Many South African restaurants will be hosting sit-down dinners with romantic set menus on February 14. Make sure to specify that you would want to be seated in a quiet section of the restaurant when booking a private supper for two. Those who enjoy live music should look out for events with entertainment.

A midweek bae-cation

With this year Valentine’s Day taking place on Wednesday, it is suggested that to extend the experience, consider taking the rest of the week off work and book a few nights’ accommodation away from home.

The Star