As you know, Lux spoiled me with a Soft Touch hamper the other day. It consisted of all the things I’d need to pamper myself at home in a bid to ‘ignite my romantic spark’ and draw a Prince Charming into my life, one who’d be tall and kind and clever as well as own a game farm with a super fast LTE network where I’d get to keep a myriad of pet cheetahs. (Okay, so maybe I extrapolated that a bit, but you get the idea.)
Lux also suggested I whip up a post sharing my top tips on how to ignite the spark using food which is great as I could do that with my eyes closed. My journalism and blogging career has seen me hit up just about every restaurant in town so I have a good idea of where the romance is at and you’ll find it in spades at La Mouette in Sea Point.
One of my favourite spots for a date, La Mouette serves up French-style cuisine with an interesting, creatively-prepared twist in an elegant Tudor-style house full of intimate dining rooms, many of which boast cosy fireplaces. You could also sit under the stars near the fountain in their courtyard if it’s a balmy summer’s night. While they have an a la carte menu, you have to try their infamous 6-course tasting menu. Each dish is a work of art!
Another divine ‘foodie date’ you should know about is 12 Apostle’s Dinner & Movie Experience. It starts with a decadent 3-course meal in their Azure restaurant that serves up a host of Cape Malay-influenced dishes as well as a killer sunset over the ocean if you sit outside on their veranda. But then it gets even better! You can enjoy dessert at the table or receive it in their intimate li’l movie theatre where the gastronomic awesomeness continues with a help yourself candy trolley, popcorn, a Magnum ice cream and a milkshake! All this for just R475 per person? Yes please! Check out their menu and movie schedule over here. I see Love, Actually is screening on the 24th.
Another romantic movie date? The Galileo open air cinema is essentially a giant screen that’s set up outdoors under the stars, it travels around Cape Town with venues that include Kirstenbosch Gardens and the V&A Waterfront. They have various ticket options but I’d suggest Warm & Comfy for R95. This includes the cost of entry plus a blanket and backrest. If you follow me on social media you’ll know I really enjoyed my visit last month to the Kirstenbosch screening of Cocktail and how impressed I was with the foodie offerings on site. You could buy pizza, craft beer, Mexican food and best of all Nuri sushi! (For the record, Nuri’s Volcano roll is so good it’ll light fireworks in your mouth, let alone sparks!) I loved being able to grab multiple items and create my own little picnic and you can up the romance factor further by taking along your own bottle of bubbles, provided you’re not doing a screening at one of the wine estates. To see what’s showing when and where pop on over here.
Speaking of wine estates, you’ll find a slew of romantic restaurants out in the Cape winelands but if you’re a city girl like me you don’t always wants to drive for miles. In this case, I’d suggest you wait for a sunny, windless day and then pop on round to Constantia Glen out in (surprise!) Constantia. Think vineyard views for days; amazing, inexpensive wine and yumtastical cheese and charcuterie platters that are perfect for sharing. This has become a first stop for my sister and her hubby whenever they visit from France and suspect the warm, freshly baked bread served with rooibos smoked butter and grape jelly has a lot to do with it.
Last but not least, you really don’t have to venture out to indulge in a little romance – there are loads of ways to ignite the spark at home and one of them is to surprise your loved one with a decadent home-cooked meal. There was a stage in my life when I wasn’t especially talented in the kitchen but I found that something as silly as a toasted cheese sandwich cut into the shape of a heart (I know, I know! I’m a dork!) was just as effective as if I’d whipped up a six-course extravaganza. To me, romance isn’t a grand display – it’s about caring enough to consider the little things.
Still, if you’re looking for a great, super simple dessert that always rakes in the compliments, I give unto thee my favourite homemade ice cream recipe. Ready?
Beat two egg whites until stiff.
Whip a tub of cream until stiff.
Add a 225g tin of condensed milk and a few drops of vanilla essence to the cream.
Combine the cream-condensed milk mixture with the egg whites.
Stick it in the freezer until it’s set.
As far as serving it goes, I’ve drawn inspiration from Lux’s Soft Touch soap. It’s fragrance, created by world-class perfume expert, includes a praline base note that’s a great excuse for a sexy drizzle of Frangelico liqueur. Then, to celebrate Soft Touch’s rose heart note, I’d garnish with a few rose petals, however, if you’re looking for an extra dash of fancy pants, use sugared rose petals. Oh yeah!
Simply coat each petal with egg white, dip it in finely powdered and leave it to dry. It’s that easy and BOOM just like that, you’ve gone the extra mile to show to care and that, my darling’s, is how you ignite a spark.