Often referred to as Chinese Valentine’s Day, Qixi falls on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese lunar calendar, making it August 2 this year. The traditional festival celebrates the once-per-year meeting of the weaver girl and the cowherd in Chinese mythology, whose forbidden love had them banished to opposite sides of the sky. Read more about the myth here.
Luckily for lazy lovebirds, Qixi falls on a Saturday this year, so there is no excuse not to treat your significant other to a second Valentine’s blow out. Here are our pick of events around town (all events fall on August 2 unless otherwise stated).
Chinese Valentine’s Day Celebration
Indulge in an international dinner buffet featuring seafood and salads from Greece, Thailand and Germany. Finish up with a selection of romantic, pink-themed desserts. RMB 498+ per person. 5.30pm.Greenfish Restaurant (6629 6990).
Chinese Valentine’s Day at Mutianyu
The Brickyard’s great value Qixi package includes private transfers to/from Beijing, a stay in a superior Great Wall view queen room, a bottle of Prosecco, breakfast for two, and two 60 minute Chinese massages. RMB 2,488 per couple.Brickyard Eco-Retreat (6162 6506).
Double 7 Valentine’s Day
Celebrate Qixi, Spanish-style, at Agua. Daytime diners can choose the infinity brunch, while evening visitors have the option of a special set menu for couples. Both will be showered with special Chinese Valentine’s Day gifts. RMB 980 per couple. 6pm. Agua (5208 6188).
"Be my Valentine" Staycation
Want a romantic getaway but don’t have time to leave the city? Head over to Xicheng, where the DoubleTree is offering a staycation package including a five course Chinese meal and breakfast for two. RMB 1,088 per couple. DoubleTree by Hilton (6338 1999 ext 1628).
Set the mood for romance with a special five course menu of classic Italian dishes created by Barolo’s Chef de Cuisine Eugenio, complemented by a welcome drink of rosé Champagne. Add an optional wine pairing for RMB 398 per person. RMB 2,288 per couple. 6pm. Barolo (5908 8151).
The French know how to do romance, so what better way to say “je t’aime” than with a cosy French meal. If you’d rather toast the occasion with a drink, the bar will have a menu of champagne cocktails for RMB 50 all night. RMB 388 per couple. 6pm. Cafe de la Poste (6402 7047).
Inspired by Great Love at Modo
Based on Modo Urban Deli’s motto “Inspired by Great Produce”, on Qixi the menu is “Inspired by Great Love”. Sample a four course menu of dishes such as beef tenderloin and Nutella crème brûlée. RMB 198 per person. All Day. Modo Urban Deli (6415 7207).
Pink Sparkling and Bubbly Afternoons
They say champagne is an aphrodisiac. Get in the mood at Fez Bar, where Sundays equal buy-one-get-one-free bottles of Pierre Chainier pink sparkling or Parxet Cuvée 21 Cava. RMB 398. 3pm-6pm. Fez Bar (5208 6188).
A Fine Romance
The fastest way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. Treat that special someone to a Cantonese feast at Huang Ting, featuring romance-inducing dishes such as chicken with goji berries. RMB 598 per couple. 6pm. Huang Ting (6510 6707).
Indulge at One East
Celebrate romance at One East restaurant where they are offering up a three-course set dinner. They have set aside a special couples table and if you are lucky enough to snag it, you will be treated to dinner and an overnight stay in a Hilton deluxe room. RMB 596 per couple. 6pm.One East (5865 5030).
Add a little French romance to your Qixi at VIC. Indulge in a French-inspired dinner buffet, complemented by free-flow soft drinks and French wines. Couples will receive gifts including teddy bears, roses and chocolates, and will have the chance to wine a one night stay in a luxury room (including breakfast). RMB 520. 6pm. VIC (8599 6666).
Chinese Valentine’s Day at Capital M
The night of August 2 heralds “Chinese Valentine’s Day”, or Qixi, and Capital M are celebrating with their most romantic menu in one of the city’s most romantic settings, beginning with Champagne & canapés. RMB 888 per couple. 6pm. Capital M (6702 2727).
Chinese Valentine’s Day Set Menu
Flamme is offering a good value set menu filled with romantic touches such as strawberry butter, smoked salmon mousse and heart-shaped pastry. Sample two Valentine’s cocktails – the Almond Old Fashioned and the True Love – for RMB 99. RMB 699 per couple. 11am onwards.Flamme (6417 8608).
This post first appeared on thebeijinger.com on July 27, 2014.
Photo: Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton