Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and we know that a number of people are opposed to the day itself in principal because really for those you love and care about, you shouldn’t need a reminder one day of the year to express yourself. But this year, to be honest, I think we could all use a little love. With world news being what it is these days, it’s rather disheartening, whether you are talking travel bans, or the recent events in Quebec and France. We could go on, but won’t. Instead, we’d prefer to focus on the positive and what you can do to make someone feel just a little bit better. It could mean buying or making something small for someone, or just taking some time out to spend with someone. It could be a dinner for two with your partner in life, or your best friend or maybe a new friend. It could be as simple as a sweet treat and a card, a single flower or plant, a coffee/tea/cocktail or dog walk in the park, or doing something kind for a stranger. No matter the what, it is the action in doing and saying I value you and honestly, we think we could all use a bit of these days. So we’ve set out just a few ideas and some local businesses you can support while at the same time making someone feel special.
If you are looking for a romantic dinner out for two, no one quite does it like the French, we love Les Faux Bourgeois in Mount Pleasant and their Valentine’s Day menu is up on their site. Also, Bistro Wagon Rogue on Powell Street has a great menu, but note it is a small venue. If you are thinking Italian, Federico’s Supper Club is offering a ‘full evening of love to share’ with a special Valentine’s Dinner for $80 per person which includes a 4 course meal, live music and dancing. Of course, Campagnola Roma is another great option as is Ask For Luigi.
Of course, there is always the option to eat in in which case, there are many great spots that can provide some help even if you are not the best cook. Gourmet Warehouse has a freezer section with some pre-made items as does Les Amis du Fromage on East Hastings plus great cheese to start or finish off the evening. For dessert, we have so many favourites, but a few that come to mind include Fratelli Bakery on Commercial Drive, Batard Bakery and Breka Bakery on Fraser Street. Of course, Batard is situated nicely steps away from Earnest Ice Cream which we think is pretty perfect.
Looking for flowers, we have so many great florist shops in East Vancouver and red roses can be a little cliché for some and not to mention overpriced on Valentine’s Day. There are so many other flowers to choose from and great florists in East Van who will be happy to help you with some alternatives to roses. Check out Flower Factory on Main Street, The Flower Box on Commercial Drive and Full Bloom Flowers tucked behind Uprising Breads which incidently is now stocking some beautiful handmade jewellery from local artisans. If you know someone how loves nature, then we invite you to check out East Van artist, June Hunter, who is having a Valentine’s Studio Sale this weekend February 11th & 12th from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm at her studio on 2785 Parker Street.
If you are looking for a special gift for Valentine’s Day, there are an array of choices in East Van. Our recommendation is to think personal. If it’s sexy you want, Womyns’ Ware on Commercial Drive is your spot. Now if that’s too adventurous, Second Nature Home has some amazing soy candles that double as massage oil/body wax once melted by Earth To Body. They come in two sizes, minis for $5 and $21 for a jar, no breaking the bank here. If it’s jewellery you are after, we see that local maker Devi Arts also has a nice selection of jewellery at Second Nature Home. The Little Mountain Pop Up Shop on Main Street is having a Pop Up Shop For Lovers February 4th – 14th with lots of great gifts by local makers. If chocolate is on your list, Lisa Lou’s Chocolate Bar and Beta 5 Chocolates will have something special for those wishing to give something sweet.
It’s not how much money you spend, it is all about making a small effort to make someone feel valued. It will make them feel better and we are pretty sure, it will make you feel better as well. Show some love this Valentine’s Day.