Every 14 February it’s nice to check in with your relationship status and reflect on the past year. Dreaded by some as yet another blown-out endorsement for capitalist regimes that value industry over integrity, Valentine’s Day has a rich romantic terroir. Nevertheless, Valentine’s Day as we know it has evolved from such nebulous beginnings into a contemporary Lupercalia of gifting and cuddling that has the CEO of Hallmark rubbing her hands together and placing a deposit on her third summer house.
This celebration of whimsy is all about reigniting that little spark, getting the old love train chuffing again, and conveniently held just after your bank account has recovered from the commercial hell of Christmas—so no excuses for a stingy bouquet. You can stay in with takeaway any goddamn day of the year; get out there and treat your other half because they bloody well deserve it (probably).
Love isn’t dead, it’s sleeping. Wake it up with a bunch of necking and a stuffed teddy, ya randy goat. Here are some real champs toting the load of logistical havoc for you this Valentine’s Day.
Love Trivia At The Defiant Duck
Not ones to let the Valentine’s festivities stand in the way of their trivia gig, The Defiant Duck are charging ahead with their usual Wednesday quizzing but with a seasonally amorous flavour, ergo Love Trivia. Hosted by the bodacious Sellma Soul, contestants can compete in teams of up to six for the much-coveted top prize of a $200 voucher. Perfect if flower delivery drained the coffers.
When: 6pm Wednesday 14 February
Call 3252 1581 or email [email protected] to secure a spot.
Valen-tinnies At Betty’s Depresso
Not buying the roses and chocolate shtick? Neither is Betty’s Espresso, which is why they’re throwing an anti-Valentine’s celebration for all those bucking the shackles of commercialisation. Starting early at 10am and rollicking until late, Betty’s is your place for flash tattoos, tinnies, and prizes to escape the schmaltzy minefield of rom-coms and overuse of the word ‘bae'.
When: 10am-midnight Wednesday 14 February
Eleven Rooftop Bar
Rooftops naturally showcase some of the more spectacular features that evade lower levels. Sparkling city lights, spectacular sunsets, and unfiltered moonlight are just some of the more glorious advantages to celebrating Valentine’s Day at Eleven Rooftop Bar. Just for 14 February, they’re offering a special three-course dinner for loved-up valentines, with a slammin’ menu of their kitchen’s finest overtures and their entire range of beverages available for pouring.
Bookings essential to secure your table here.
Madame Rouge's Valentine's Day Dinner
Ahh, l'amour: it's certainly not dead if you're spending your V-day at Madame Rouge. Romantic, but not cheesy; atmospheric, but not tacky; this belle madame of the Brissy restaurant scene is the perfect spot to woo your S.O. A specially curated menu has been created for the evening, featuring some of the finest French-inspired dishes—paired with the finest French plonk, too! If food is your love language, Madame Rouge is fluent.
Price: starting at $79 pp
Bookings are essential. Click here to reserve your spot.
The Jetty South Bank
Every red-blooded Brisbanite froths a good look at the river, so take your love to South Bank’s the Jetty this Valentine’s Day. Their V Day dinner menu is available for either two or three courses, and features some pretty cute stuff like confit duck and steak frites to tuck into, as well as some absolutely stellar sweeping river views.
Price: $55pp for two courses; $70pp for three courses
Book tickets here.
V-Day is all about treating yourself, doing something out of the ordinary for and with the one you love. It goes without saying that Aria Brisbane is a place doing extra special things—but we're here to remind you anyway. Winner of countless awards (including the GFA 2018's best wine list—overachievers much?!) Aria is a no-brainer for woo-ing your SO. Revel in a glass of champers on arival, then tuck into three exquisite courses as you overlook the Brisbane River (or as you gaze into your SO's eyes).
Price: $185 pp
Book your table, here.
Lennons Restaurant And Bar
Man do we owe Next Hotels bigtime. This year they’re offering not one but two romantic options for the smitten couple, the first being a swanky dinner at the lush Lennons Restaurant. This package offers couples a three-course dinner including a brand-new dish from their new menu, and a bottle of Domaine Chandon per couple. There’ll also be music from a live band taking special requests, which is great because the sound quality in a jukebox is woeful.
Price: $90pp (upgrade your champagne to Moët & Chandon for an extra $55)
Email [email protected] or call 3222 3232 to place a booking
Next Pool Terrace And Bar
And for something bit more casual and lowkey, Next has that covered as well. For just a cheeky $50 you can treat yourself and your SO to poolside tapas at one of the Pool Terrace's luxe tables. It’s like reliving the glory of a 1950s beach club! You can even level up with a bottle of Domaine Chandon (or Moët & Chandon, if you’re feeling spendy) and really treat yo’selves. Please note seating is extremely limited so book now to avoid disappointment.
Price: $50 per couple
Email [email protected] or call 3222 3282 to place a booking.
With an animated love feature screening, free entry, and cracking meal deals aplenty, Bakery Lane’s V Day bash is pretty much the place to be. Local cafes and restaurants are getting in on the action, with Nutella crêpes from Le Petite Paris, salad bowls from Nom Nom Korean, and Johnny’s Pizzeria will have a deal going for just $20 that includes a pizza and bottle of wine. But the centre of the action will be the outdoor cinema, which will be screening eleven animated short films dedicated to love courtesy of the Animation Alliance Australia. This is the second year of the Lane’s loved-up festivities and it’s tipped to be busy; tickets are free but places are limited so register here to get around the joy. Bonus: the first 20 attendees will score themselves a free brownie from I Heart Brownies.
Price: free, register here.
Bulimba’s Il Molo are getting into the romantic spirit with a special menu just for Valentine’s Day. Choose two or three courses from the set menu and delight in some seriously delicious dishes – we dig the sirloin with truffled mash (!) for the main, and the lemon and ricotta cannoli for afters. Also highly recommended: taking a walk along the river afterwards.
Price: $55pp for two courses; $70pp for three courses
Book tickets here.
Lovers Lane At The APO
Having their own Valentine’s celebration beyond the Bakery Lane skirmish is The APO. The menu for heir three-course Valentine’s Dinner is kinda hectic, featuring a refreshing kingfish ceviche taco to start, followed by a levelled-up American feast of brisket, chipotle pulled pork, and BBQ ribs, with coleslaw, pickles and cornbread. To finish off, diners can dig into the quintessential love slab: a shareable chocolate fudge brownie that is borderline sinful.
Email [email protected] or call 3252 2403 to place a booking.
Tiger Island At Dreamworld
Really want to push the boat out this Valentine's Day? Treat your SO to an evening on Tiger Island, for their exclusive V-Day event, Wild At Heart. Think this is your standard dinner-at-the-zoo kind of experience? Guess again. You'll be spolit with a specially designed three-course dinner, drinks (because nothing says 'love' better than bubbles), live music, a gift for you to take home, and a freaking tiger presentation! Numbers are strictly limited (obviously), so get on it, asap!
When: 7pm-10pm, Wednesday 14 February
Tickets: $175pp, book your here.
Off the idea of V-Day altogether? Grab your pals and check out Brisbane's secret rooftop rosé bar.
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie for The Urban List