Valentine’s Day is often shrugged off as a pitfall prone holiday but is also valued by many as a chance to romantically express those butterfly feelings. As divisive as the occasion may be, one sentiment we can all relate to is that the way to the heart is undeniably, through the stomach.
With this conception in mind, we caught up with food blogger Fifi Heather (@fifisfoodblogdublin on Instagram) to dish the details on the top five romantic spots that Dublin has to offer.
Top 5 restaurants:
- Peruke & Periwig: If you’re not so keen on the pressure of a candlelit dinner, Peruke & Perwig allows you to maintain all the amorous vibes with some matchless cocktails. “Situated on Dawson Street, Peruke & Periwig is one of my favourite date night spots. It is both romantic and intimate and their selection of cocktails is impressively unique. Upon arrival, your cocktail preferences are asked, and the bartender will then create a bespoke cocktail, suited to your tastes. The décor is old Victorian. Picture red velvet chairs and beautiful paintings on every floor” says Fifi.
- Host: Dissimilar from the lushness of Victorian décor, Host lies at the opposite end of the interiors spectrum. “Less old school, it has a more modern feel to it. While it is not the cheapest dinner around, it is worth every penny. In my opinion, the food in Host is up to the standards of recent Michelin Star winner, Variety Jones. Similar to Peruke & Periwig, it is intimate and the perfect place to enjoy a Valentine’s dinner accompanied by a bottle of wine. I recommend ordering the Chef’s Menu for €35” reveals Fifi.
- The Port House: You simply can’t beat a traditional dining experience and that’s exactly what you’ll get at The Port House. This is why it’s an all time favourite for Fifi: “A traditional Spanish restaurant and bar, The Port House. Spanish tapas is already romantic, but with the cavern style of this South William Street based restaurant, it is a guaranteed beautiful dinner experience. From cured meats to croquettes, there is something for everyone. I find the sharing aspect of a tapas restaurant to bring people closer together, multiplying the romance this Valentine’s Day.”
- Al Vesuvio: If you’re an avid restaurant goer, you might prefer something off the beaten foodie track: “Al Vesuvio is my favourite and most treasured Italian restaurant in Dublin City. It is a hidden gem in the bustling cultural quarter that is Temple Bar. Similar to The Port House, it has a cavern feel to the interior. It is a cosy place to enjoy a romantic dinner and their pasta is out of this world. I recommend the smoked salmon penne pasta with tomato and cream.”
- Rustic Stone: Coinciding with the rich food theme Valentine’s Day typically enforces with chocolate, Rustic Stone will satisfy the other half of this craving. “Famous for its steak on the stone, Rustic Stone is my final romantic dinner location choice. It is my favourite of Dylan McGrath’s selection of restaurants in Dublin and is definitely a fun and romantic place to enjoy a Valentine’s dinner this year. Enjoy cooking your steaks together on the stones in front of you, while drinking some of their top quality red wine” says Fifi.
The Sweet Stuff
We’re not forgetting those of you who opt for a sweet treat when all the candles have been blown out. Quick, easy, and aesthetically pleasing, Café Bombo is the perfect shout according to Fifi: “It is a gorgeous café in The Liberties that serves a selection of donuts with injectable filling. So far, I have tried caramel and raspberry. It is a fun and romantic way to enjoy a treat this Valentine’s Day without extending into fancy or expensive territory. The café’s interior is also pink and is really beautiful.”
Beating the rush
It’s widely known that securing that reservation can be notoriously difficult. Fear not, these apps act as simple solutions that will save you both time and money. “I recommend searching on Open Table or First Table. Open Table provides you with the opportunity to filter your date, preferred time and cuisine. It was created for restaurants to be busy from the moment of opening, and for diners on a budget” shares Fifi.
Win them over
Now that the most challenging aspect is out of the way, you might want to think about wooing your date further with a charming gift. If you’d prefer not to show up empty handed, these dreamy treats are available at Carrolls and are sure to make that special someone feel adored. Shop everything from chocolates to stunning jewelry here or pop into any of our Carrolls stores!
For more vibrant and exciting food options (and a mouth-watering feed), follow Fifi on Instagram and check out her blog posts to guide your Dublin food journey!