A Foodists Valentine

Chocolate boxes by Thomas Haas

Like many modern holidays, Valentines Day had sombre beginnings that have morphed into a celebration of the more happy things in life. Valentine’s Day was originally created to honour Christian martyrs that were named Saint Valentine. In total there were fourteen of these saints and one of them died on February 14th. The romantic connotations of the holiday first began in the 14th century via a poem written by Geoffrey Chaucer to celebrate the engagement of Richard II to Anne of Bohema. The poem wrote about ‘Volantynys day’ as if it were historical fact. Fast forward through a few centuries of this being propagated, and we have the romantic holiday as we know it today.

Macarons by Thierry

Valentine’s Day is traditionally one of the busiest times of year for restaurants but for those couples wishing to avoid having an intimate dinner with dozens of people in near proximity here are some of my favourite Foodist ways to celebrate romance:

Watch a romantic food movie, paired with food, tipples and snuggling:
• Waitress – Piiiiiie and a dessert wine (late harvest, Sauternes, ice)
• Bridget Jones Diary – Leek & potato soup (sans blue string)
• Tampopo – Ramen or sushi, and sake
• Chocolat – Chocolate and port
• Eat Drink Man Woman – Dumplings and Riesling

Sweetheart Trio for Two at The Urban Tea Merchant

Share an unconventional Valentines day meal:
•  The most common Valentines meal is dinner but there’s also breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses, luncheon, and afternoon tea. Urban Tea Merchant is great place for high end teas, and for the month of February they are featuring a number of speciality tea blends as well as a delectable Sweetheart Trio for Two. It’s one of the most interested tea experiences I’ve had, featuring a beautifully plated selection of fruits, house made cakes, and tea infused dark chocolate ganaches.
•   Have the first meal that you ate together as a couple or something that has strong food memories from the beginning of your relationship. One of the most food knowledgeable couples I know had many a date at McDonald’s during their university days and a decade later, they still view it as a nostalgic romantic treat. (On a similar theme, my husband and I once went out for hot dogs as an anniversary dinner.)
•   Role switch in the kitchen – the partner that doesn’t normally cook makes the meal for the other and same for the dishwashing role. Bonus points if that’s normally the same person! Wives, remember not to stress out about how messy the kitchen is getting!

Chocolate cake by Thierry

For those seeking Valentines day chocolates, Vancouver has been blessed with many excellent chocolate and pastry shops. There’s the perennial local favourite, Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie. Newer additions to the quality sweets scene that I’ve tried and liked are Thierry, Bel Cafe, and Beta5. Each shop features a selection of handmade treats using premium ingredients. Whether it’s chocolates, pastries, macarons, or caramels, you’re sure to find something sweet to share with your loved one – Valentine’s Day or any day.

Chocolates by Bel Cafe


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