Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day, is celebrated on February 14. Like many of the world’s major holidays Valentine’s Day has its roots entrenched firmly in pagan beliefs and customs. In 18th-century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards. In Europe, Saint Valentine’s Keys were given to lovers as a romantic symbol and “an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart". Cards are still popular today, adorned with hearts and Cupid with his bow. The double seventh festival in China, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month, is when China really celebrates love and romance. Thankfully, Beijing fully embraces Valentine’s Day too, and there are a few places in Shunyi serving up some romance this February 14. If you’re looking for something different to gift this Chinese New Year, a jar of home-made jam should go down a treat.
Time for Romance
Loft Eatalicious will be serving up a romantic menu for two this Valentine’s Day. Their set menu includes a welcome glass of champagne, a starter of minestrone soup, followed by grilled T-bone steak to share, served with vegetables, and a surprise dessert to end the evening. The desserts at Loft Eatalicious are always very good, something to look forward to. The menu is available at both their Shine Hills and Pinnacle Plaza restaurants, for RMB 520 per couple. For reservations and enquiries (134 2607 6099, 152 0156 3068, email@example.com) www.eatalicious.com
Give the one you love a treat this Valentine’s Day, with a stay at the Crowne Plaza Beijing International Airport. Their Valentine Package includes dinner at the Lover’s Bridge, where you can choose from a selection of Japanese cuisine, or an exclusive Western menu, prepared by their creative culinary team. RMB 688 including a bottle of sparkling wine. The Romantic Package for RMB 1,314 includes the Valentine Package dinner, one night stay in a deluxe suite, and breakfast for two. Prices are subject to a 15 per cent service charge. 48 hours advance reservation is required, contact (136 0114 0340, café@cpairportbj.com) www.crowneplaza.com
Red wine, roses, a romantic stay, all part of the Valentine’s Day Package at Langham Beijing Airport Hotel. The package for two includes a bottle of red wine, a bunch of roses, a box of chocolates, and a buffet breakfast. Stay in the Essential Place Room RMB 1,298, Club Place Room RMB 1,698, or the Sweet Place Room RMB 2,098 per night. Offer is valid for stays, between February 13 and 15 only. Prices are subject to 15 per cent service charge. For reservations call 6457 5555.
Jams and Chutneys
You can‘t go wrong with giving hongbao at Chinese New Year. Sometimes it’s nice to gift something a little bit different. Nuts, chocolates, and fruits would be well received and so would a jar of something sweet from Bonne Nani. Their range of jams, are inspired by Chinese and Indian preventative medicine recipes. Unlike standard jam recipes, Bonne Nani jams have a much reduced sugar content and don’t include pectin. They’re also free from additives and coloring. Jams include pear vanilla, mandarin rosemary, orange goji marmalade, and strawberry. They have recently expanded their range of preserves to include salted butter caramel, tomato chutney, organic ketchup, and onion thyme confit.
Prices range from RMB 80-100 per jar. You can purchase at Secrets from Africa, and after Chinese New Year, The Orchard will start stocking Bonne Nani products. Alternatively, you can buy from their WeChat store and get free delivery for purchases of two or more jars. For more information email Caroline firstname.lastname@example.org
beijingkids Shunyi Correspondent Sally Wilson moved to Beijing in 2010 from the UK with her husband and son. Her daughter was born here in 2011 and both her kids keep her happily busy. In her spare time, Sally loves to stroll through Beijing’s hutongs and parks. She is a (most of the time) keen runner and loves reading: books, magazines, news, and celeb websites – anything really. Sally is also a bit of a foodie and loves trying out new restaurants.
Photos: Mary Harrsch, courtesy of Crowne Plaza and Bonne Nani