Valentine’s: the ultimate love guide
The mercury is rising, the bees are abuzz and love is in the air. February 14 usually has Him fretting over how to spoil Her. A day in honour of lovers means romantic dinners, flowers, cards and chocolates. What about the ultimate Valentine’s Day? Here’s what some Hongkongers would do.
‘Let’s pretend I’m not married,’ says the 40-year- old sales clerk, who (perhaps understandably) doesn’t want to give her full name or be photographed. ‘I’d really like to spend the whole day with my boyfriend in a room by the beach just talking, drinking and making love. It would be in Thailand, where there are lots of good places to go.
‘If it was in Hong Kong, I’d go to Lamma and do the same thing: spend the day making love, and eating and drinking. I’d have a chef on call.
‘And I’d have to be pampered with massages, facials – the whole lot.’
The day would start and end in The Peninsula, says the 35-year-old personal trainer.
‘We’d have breakfast in bed of champagne and strawberries, then take a helicopter from the hotel roof and go to the spa at Macau’s Mandarin Oriental.
‘She’d be spoiled from head to toe. Afterwards, we’d take a helicopter to Tai Long Wan [at Sai Kung], where a chef would prepare a seafood lunch.
‘[Canto-pop singer] Sandy Lam Yik-lin would perform, and then the two of us would hang out, chat, drink champagne, and have Belgian chocolates and strawberries on a beach.
‘We’d take the helicopter back to The Peninsula, where U2 would perform a private concert for us and our friends.
‘Instead of a fireworks display, I’d give $10 million to the homeless and poor. Then, we’d go back to our room which would be covered in a sea of flowers in all the colours of the rainbow. We’d have more champagne and chocolates, and then make love.’
The DJ wants a 24-hour feast for the senses. ‘I’d wake her up before noon – just enough time to smell her hair, hum in her ear, and bathe her in an ivory, freestanding tub filled with rose water and Casablanca [lily] petals.
‘I’d buy her parents first-class tickets to the St Lucia islands for the weekend, so there’d be no calls, no interruptions. We’d spend the day on a small, comfortable boat watching DVDs and listening to Sarah McLachlan; buying lavish and uselessly expensive toys off the internet.
‘Before dinner, I’d ask our designer friends to come by and dress us for the evening – John Galliano for her, and Armani for me.
‘I’d take her to the chef’s kitchen at the [Grand] Hyatt for dinner. It’s a small, private room inside the kitchen. After dessert, I’d get on my knees and sing U2’s One, with Usher as my back-up vocals and Slash from Guns N’ Roses as my lead guitarist.
‘We’d drown ourselves in champagne and oysters and laugh ourselves to sleep watching old Stephen Chow Sing-chi movies. On the 15th, I’d take the day off work, and we’d have that rare breakfast together.’
The 46-year-old hairdresser who hasn’t celebrated Valentine’s for about 20 years, says he’d treat family and friends to a party in The Peninsula’s best suite. ‘I’d pay for an all-night party with about 30 people, with a barbecue buffet dinner and alcohol on tap until dawn.’
The 39-year-old consultant suggests dinner for two in Li Ka-shing’s office at the top of the Cheung Kong Center.
‘How much more powerful and classy can that be? Having a romantic dinner in Hong Kong’s most powerful man’s office is the ultimate aphrodisiac, isn’t it?
‘Think of the view, the ability to have the entire government at your finger tips. And to top it off, if you need to make an investment or two, you only have to go downstairs and you have one of the world’s premier investment banks at your beck and call.
‘For food, we’d fly several chefs from Le Cordon Bleu school in Paris. We’d get them to make something using Hong Kong ingredients and local produce. It’s supposed to be fresh, so surprise us.
‘For wine, we’d try to get an early taste of the 2000 Chateau Haut Brion. You’ve got to try it to see if that hot, hot, hot summer of 2000 was really that good for French wines. Or was that all hype?
Music would be Diana Krall crooning away … dessert would be cherries jubilee or baked Alaska. There’s something just yummy about flaming cherries in brandy sauce.’
The 60-year-old minibus driver would fulfil his wife’s every wish – but it wouldn’t be in Hong Kong. ‘If I had all the money in the world, I’d take her to England, hire a limousine to tour London and have a picnic at Hyde Park. We’d shop at Harrods before taking afternoon tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
‘Then, we’d fly to Italy for dinner at the Trevi Fountain by moonlight. There’d be musicians playing just for us, and we’d have our own waiter and personal chef.’
May Lui Lai-yee
‘I’d have a lavish dinner in a heritage building, like something out of the 18th century in Europe – I guess the restaurant in The Peninsula fits the bill,’ says the 38-year-old Peel Street jewellery stall owner, who says she doesn’t need a lot of money to have the perfect day. ‘A romantic restaurant makes Valentine’s Day unforgettable.’
Tiffanny Yiu Yun
The 35-year-old florist says money isn’t important. She plans to spend the day the way she has for the past 10 years.
‘I normally don’t sleep for two or three days, but I love sharing the day with all my customers,’ says the mother of two daughters. ‘Staying together, happiness and true love is what Valentine’s Day is about.
‘Every year is the best Valentine’s Day because I get to share it with all my customers. I want everyone to have a happy day and share in the love’