Taste of love on Valentines Day

THEY say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, but surely the same has to be true for the dames.

What better night for any of us to indulge than Valentine’s Day, whether you choose to celebrate at home or by treating yourselves to something special at a restaurant or bar with a loved one or friend. Haven’t made a booking or organised a gift? Below are some options for last-minute gifts as well as dinner options that don’t require a booking.

‘‘All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt,’’ Peanuts creator Charles M.Schulz once said. And there’s plenty of chocolate on offer at Max Brenner, Charlestown Square, including their Valentine’s Day-ready Love & Romance chocolate creations.

The Bursting Heart Chocolate Box (in a keepsake tin, RRP$21.50) is loaded with milk chocolate cubes filled with delicious hazelnut praline and roasted coconut. This original treat includes the inscription “Gift It To The One You Love’’.

There is also the Sweet Love Praline Box 9, including Max Brenner’s signature pralines presented in a Sweet Love box (RRP $21.50). For an added Valentine’s Day treat add their newest praline – whipped milk chocolate ganache enrobed in white chocolate and adorned with the words “Sweet Love’’.

The Charlestown Square chocolate bar is also the ideal date-night destination, the only downside being you’ll have to share treats like the Hug Mug, The Fantastic Popsicle Fondue and more.

For more sweet treats, Cupcake Espresso Newcastle, Hamilton and Adamstown has a few different options for Valentine’s Day. There are Valentine’s Day Roses cupcakes – chocolate mud cake with Belgian chocolate ganache centre, finished with strawberry and rose-infused butter cream, shaped to look like a red rose – available in a single gift box ($7.50), by the half dozen ($30) or by the dozen ($60), with gift wrapping costing $3.

They also offer red velvet macarons ($15 half dozen, $30 dozen) and The Love Box dozen (a mix of four different cupcake flavours, $36). Get in quick today to place an order to be delivered or head in store tomorrow. Visit cupcakeespresso.com.au.

Keen to head out for a drink and a bite with someone special but haven’t booked?

Newcastle’s first small bar, Bar Petite will also be open on Valentine’s Day, offering drinks and nibbles as well as a more substantial menu. You can book a table or head down and try your luck with a table inside or outside, or pull up a stool to the bar.

At Honeysuckle’s The Landing Bar & Kitchen you can share a cheese plate for two in the bar with a bottle of Margan wine for $50. Get in quick to book a spot in the restaurant for their five-course degustation menu ($90 per person, add $40 for matching wines). Visit thelanding.com.au.

Overlooking our most famous surf beach, the Merewether Surfhouse Pizza & Gelato Bar on the beach promenade level will be open, offering a range of tasty pizzas and salads. Be sure to leave room for their desserts, including churros, house-made waffles and gelato.

 Upstairs at the Merewether Surfhouse Bar, you can share a plate of food over a cocktail or drink. Bookings are not required for either the Pizza & Gelato Bar or the upstairs bar.

Nelson Bay Diggers has a Lover’s Pizza Special on offer, which includes a half-and-half large pizza and traditional Caesar salad to share, followed by a Lover’s Heart dessert pizza. The cost is $30 per couple, held tomorrow 5pm to 9pm, no bookings necessary.

Weather permitting, there is also the alfresco Valentine’s Day option, which requires little more than a picnic rug, drinks and picking up some takeaway. Grab a meal from Scottie’s, Newcastle East, Grill’d, The Junction, Crust, Hamilton, or Guzman Y Gomez, Hamilton, and head to the coast or harbour with a picnic rug and drinks in tow. On Newcastle Harbour, there is also Blue Water Pizza, Craft & Co Burgers and The Salty Squid. 

Lastly, there’s always the picnic option – a simple cheese and smallgoods plate, along with some fresh bread and a few olives, as well as a bottle of champers, will surely go down a treat, especially overlooking the beach or King Edward Park.

HOT AND COLD: Laura Wheatley and Mathew Hababa, of Max Brenner, enjoy the Popsicle Fondue.  Picture: Simone De Peak

HOT AND COLD: Laura Wheatley and Mathew Hababa, of Max Brenner, enjoy the Popsicle Fondue. Picture: Simone De Peak