Your essential guide to Valentine’s Day in Vancouver

by Lise Boullard

Stressing about what to do for Valentine’s Day this year? Whether you’re coupled up, going solo or planning a singles’ party, we’ve got you covered when it comes to those romantic V-day essentials. From a fab florist and luxe lingerie shop to a scenic spa and some delicious dining options, here’s your guide to celebrating le jour d’amour in Vancouver. [Image courtesy of Landeau]

Your essential guide to Valentine’s Day in Vancouver

Give your babe a floral bouquet (in a bucket)

If you think a dozen roses are a Valentine’s Day cliché, you likely haven’t seen the gorgeous and sophisticated bouquets from Vancouver floral company Landeau. Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s quote, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and his time spent living in Europe, owner Trevor Patterson creates works of art with premium roses. For Valentine’s Day, Trevor recommends keeping it simple with a classic Pont des Arts red bouquet or the Quattre bouquet, which features a beautiful four-tone colour palate of cream and pink hues. “Both are priced at $249, and contain 25 imported Ecuadorian roses,” Trevor notes. Each Instagram-worthy bouquet is presented in a stunningly simple white bucket emblazoned with Landeau’s clean logo. Designed to resemble a Parisian hatbox, the beautiful buckets can be kept as keepsakes long after the flowers wilt.

Lust after lace

Vancouver is home to a number of high-end lingerie shops where you’ll find renowned European lingerie labels, as well as delicate undergarments from local Canadian designers. At Diane’s Lingerie on South Granville, discerning shoppers hunt for luxurious teddies, nighties and lingerie sets made with premium fabrics and materials, including French Leavers lace and silk. Whether you choose an avante-garde bodysuit from contemporary Parisian designer Simon Perele or a red lace bra from 130-year-old French lingerie company Chantelle, there are a myriad of sensual options here – and all are guaranteed to get you in the mood.

Say “oui” to something sweet

France is famous for being the country of love and all things sweet. Thankfully, a number of French-trained chocolatiers and pastry chefs have decided to call Vancouver home. You could say “Je t’aime” to your Valentine this year with an assortment of heart-shaped chocolates and pretty macarons from Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie. Award-winning Burnaby chocolatier Christophe Bonzon has been making chocolate since the age of 10, and is known for his premium handcrafted chocolates, pastries, cakes, tarts and desserts. Alternatively, take your sweetie out for petit déjeuner at Beaucoup Bakery and Café. At this charming neighbourhood bakeshop in Fairview, owner and prominent Vancouver foodie Jackie Kai Ellis recently launched a selection of honey-flavoured specials just in time for Valentine’s Day. “I’ve been struck lately with our wide array of amazing local honeys, each with floral, citrus or nutty notes,” Jackie explains. Treat your honey to a deliciously flakey honey croissant or share a classic pain-au-chocolate. From tempting tarts to classic viennoiserie, all of the tasty treats at Beaucoup are best enjoyed while staring into your lover’s eyes from across the café’s Parisian-style marble tables.

Have a delicious love-in

While many Vancouver restaurants are offering special Valentine’s Day date-night menus this year, some couples may prefer to avoid the crowds and eat in. If you want to plan a home-cooked meal but don’t fancy doing all the grunt work in the kitchen, consider ordering a pre-made sustainable seafood platter from Fresh Ideas Starts Here. There’s nothing more romantic (or fun, if it’s a singles' party you’re having) than sharing a feast of lobster, Dungeness crab, sashimi and spot prawns with the special person – or people – in your life. If cooking together is how you bond, pick up one of the fish market's do-it-yourself meal kits; options include a taco fiesta, a poke party, and a seafood-filled bouillabaisse – yum! Grab a bottle of vino to accompany your meal and you’re good to go.

Head to the hills for some pampering

What could be more rejuvenating than an afternoon at the Scandinave Spa in Whistler? Grab your significant other (or a group of pals) and enjoy a healthy dose of hydrotherapy together while frolicking among the hot and cold pools, Nordic waterfalls, eucalyptus steam rooms and the wood burning Finnish sauna. Surrounded by spruce and cedar forest on the edge of Lost Lake, this picturesque 25,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor health and wellness spa boasts spectacular views of the mountains and offers a number of spa services for those looking to unwind and ease sore muscles. Relax with a good book in an outdoor hammock, enjoy a healthy bite at the on-site café, or turn up the romance factor with a couples massage.

Take an international taste trip

Can’t afford to whisk your love away on a romantic vacation this Valentine’s Day? Plan an internationally inspired dinner date at Ancora Waterfront Dining and Patio, where the high-end fusion cuisine features West Coast, Peruvian and Japanese flavours. Situated along Vancouver's picturesque Seawall, the chic, two-level restaurant has a sophisticated whitewashed beachy vibe. “With sweeping views of False Creek and Granville Island, our Juliet balcony table is guaranteed to be among Vancouver’s best seats in town this Valentine’s Day,” notes the restaurant’s general manager Andrea Vescovi.

Whether you’re staying in, planning a spa day or ordering a surprise floral bouquet, there are plenty of ways to spoil your sweetie in Vancouver this Valentine’s Day.

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