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Valentine’s Day: embark your other half on a romantic trip to Paris without leaving Hong Kong

February 2nd 2021

Valentine’s Day: embark your other half on a romantic trip to Paris without leaving Hong Kong
by Aude Camus
Love is in the air. And with international travel still a remote prospect, your chances to treat your better half to a romantic escape are close to zero. But whether you want the most romantic day out or wish to transform your home into a cosy haven of love, with a bit of imagination, and my little tips as featured below, you could easily bring some romantic vibes to Hong Kong and embark your other half on a trip to the City of Love, Paris, without even leaving Hong Kong.
Please your TASTE buds with romantic French fare  

Valentine's Delivery Menu from Louise
Valentine's Delivery Menu from Louise
Sometimes, the way to your other half’s heart is through his/her stomach. Several studies have shown that we are more responsive to romance on a full stomach. And with so many French restaurants and French food vendors all around town, there is no lack of truly romantic gourmet ideas to make sure you don’t spend the day on an empty stomach.  
With the current restrictions on dining and the uncertainty on to when those restrictions will be lifted, whipping up a delicious spread at home might be the best option this Valentine’s Day. Up your cooking game with easy recipes made from top-notch ingredients such as premium foie gras, caviar, truffle and fresh meats from French fine food distributor Plantin Kaviari, restaurant-quality sustainable seafood from French online fishmonger Qwehli or delicious sustainable ingredients ranging from vegetables, meat, dairy and seafood from French responsible online grocery shop Food Origin.
Looking for ingredients with potential aphrodisiac properties? Look no further than chocolate and order the bests of the bests: La Maison du Chocolat and Valrhona. This last one is the fine premium chocolate used by chefs all around the world and is now available on Plantin Kaviari. Opt for a delicious chocolate bar to share with your sweetheart or order baking chocolate to surprise him/her with an homemade dessert. Not so sure about the homemade chocolate treats? You can also opt to delegate the desert work to the experts so that you can focus on your partner. French online pastry shop Frenchie Toquée has a few delicious chocolate options available including the Chocolate Praline tart, the Chocolate Hazelnut tart, the Chocolate Entremet and the Chocolate Raspberry tart combining two of the most romantic ingredients!

Valentine’s Day: embark your other half on a romantic trip to Paris without leaving Hong Kong
And for a Michelin-graded dessert at home, award winning pastry chef Mandy Siu, from French restaurant L’Envol, has designed a very special treat available for pick-up from February 8 until February 14: an edible chocolate heart box with vanilla rose cream, raspberry compote and madeleine sponge on a red almond praline crunchy base. The Bisous cake (HKD 398) must be ordered online.
You may also consider putting together a nice and easy cheese platter with wine. Perhaps surprisingly, cheese contains PEA, the chemical that is also found in chocolate and is known to boost physical and emotional energy. Cheese … an aphrodisiac ingredient, who would have thought?  Order your French artisanal cheeses online from Cheese Club , Plantin Kaviari, Food Origin or La Crémerie.
Willing to support the restaurant industry no matter what (you go guys!) and planning on dining out this Valentine’s Day, be it for lunch or for dinner (if restrictions allow)? Here are some of the city’s (many) French restaurants you might want to visit or order from.
For a Michelin Star experience, a booking at three Michelin Star Caprice never disappoints and with both lunch (HKD 2,600) and dinner (HKD 3,800 - if restrictions allow) menus available, the awarded French restaurant will delight your tastebuds with treats such as the Brittany Blue Lobster, Foie Gras Comte Cheese Espuma and Black Truffle, Chicken Jus or the Butterfish from Fukuoka, Potato and Kristal Caviar, Calamansi and Lemon Grass Sauce. Another French Michelin awarded restaurant promising an utterly yummy date is L’Envol, which just clinched its second star. The restaurant is celebrating Valentine’s Day with two menus served on February 14, an 8-course (HKD 2,588) one served from 12 to 3.30pm and a 5-course one (HKD 1,788) served from 4 to 5.59 pm, with iconic dishes such as the poached Brittany Langoustine and Jerusalem artichoke broth, the roasted lamb rack with liquorice and basil and the cherry tart, pink “praliné”, red fruit confit and kirsch ice cream. Cherry on the cake, you will be treated to a complimentary glass of Huré Frères, "Insouciance" Rosé" 2017. One-Michelin-Star awardee Epure, and its chef Nicolas Boutin, invites you to celebrate love against the beautiful backdrop of the Victoria Harbour with two menus available on February 13 and 14 (HKD 1,288 got 5 courses and HKD 2,388 for 8 courses), at lunch time, with highlights including the smoked eel, the winter black truffle and the langoustine.
To enjoy a Michelin-star-graded experience in the comfort of your home, look no further than the Valentine’s Delivery MenuHKD 2,588 for two - from Louise featuring delicacies such as the poached Boston lobster in crustacean jelly, the grilled duck foie gras served in a langoustine consommé and the signature roasted Hong Kong yellow chicken with Niigata rice “en cocotte”. Or you might wanna opt for 1-Michelin star Epure ’s signatures available for takeaway and delivery. Think roast chicken “Poularde” (HKD 880, for up to 4 persons) with truffle sauce or Salmon Coulibiac (HKD 700 for up to 4 persons).
Willing to enjoy a gastronomic trip to France but looking for something a bit more casual than a Michelin Star restaurant? French people love their bistros and their casual yet welcoming atmosphere makes them a great place for a one-to-one. The newest bistro in town, Bouillon will be celebrating love for an entire week with a menu, priced at HKD 790, served from Feb 7 to 14 and featuring seafood delights such as oysters, marinated salmon and scallops with a beef chateaubriand main.
If you are more of a sweet tooth than a savoury one, a great alternative option would be to have an Afternoon Tea date rather than a lunch or dinner one. The Hyatt Centric Victoria Harbour is partnering with French chocolatier Valrhona to celebrate romance with a “Love at First Sight” cake set (HKD 160 per person) inclusive of 6 sweet bites such as the Jirava 40% milk chocolate, a cassis milk chocolate quenelle with blueberry filling and praline crunchy or the Dulcey 32% chocolate, a coffee mandarin gateau with mandarin compote, dulcey coffee mousse and chocolate almond stable. GREEN at Hotel ICON is joining hands with La Maison du Chocolat, and French brand Elle & Vire, to bring you the Valentine in Paris Afternoon Tea (HKD 388 per person, HKD 688 for two), available until March 14 and  offering treats such as the mixed berries heart-shaped chocolate, the La Maison du Chocolat’s signature milk praline chocolate or the fraise macaroon with Champagne jelly. This set is also available for takeaway (HKD 688 for two with a mini bottle of Moet Champagne).
Infused your home with a romantic Parisian SCENT

Valentine’s Day: embark your other half on a romantic trip to Paris without leaving Hong Kong
Given that scents, emotions and memories are closely linked in the brain, fragrances can be key to making Valentine’s Day a night to remember. Candles can work twofold as they will allow you to create a relaxing atmosphere with softer light while lifting up the mood with their scents. Cherry on the cake,  choosing a beautiful candles from one of the following French brands will top it up with adding a touch of that French “je ne sais quoi” to your interior.
No scent is more romantic than the scent of a rose and the Limited Edition Roses Candle (HKD 620) from diptyque evokes rose bushes overflowing whith flowers and infuses the air with floral notes. If floral notes are your thing, another great option would be the Joséphine Scented Candle from Cire Trudon (HKD 900) that will offer a glimpse of the beautiful French Empress’ romantic garden. Dreaming of wandering the streets of Paris? The Rue Saint-Honoré scented candle (HKD 590) from Astier de Villatte pays tribute to one of Paris’ most iconic streets, where old world elegance meets contemporary luxury,  and capture the unique atmosphere of this street with a scent that mixes delicate green notes and a jasmine rose accord with amber and leather notes.
SEE Paris without leaving your home

Valentine’s Day: embark your other half on a romantic trip to Paris without leaving Hong Kong
Just because hoping on  a flight for an impromptu romantic getaway to Paris isn’t really an option at the moment doesn’t mean you can’t visit the City of Love’s most iconic monuments. A virtual tour can provide a surprisingly robust experience and Paris Tourism Board has put together a rather exciting line-up of digital experiences for you to enjoy in the comfort of your home. All you have to is to decide where you wanna take your sweetheart to this Valentine’s Day. Will it be to the iconic Eiffel Tower, the breathtaking Decorative Art Museum, the majestic Hotel de la Monnaie – also known as the oldest institution in France -, the worldwide famous Louvre Museum or the sumptuous Opera House – Palais Garnier?



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