Day when love comes calling

FEBRUARY 14 is the day people all over the world send Valentine’s cards, flowers, chocolates or gifts to the one they love. But why is it the day of romance?

It’s generally believed that Valentine’s Day is named after two of the many early Christian martyrs called Valentine.

Among the popular theories is that one Valentine was a third-century priest in Rome, who married young couples in secret after a decree by the Emperor Claudius that young men serve in the army instead of marrying.

Predictably, he was jailed and sentenced to death, but the story goes that he became friendly with his jailer’s daughter, writing the original “Valentines” to her.

The letters spoke of his undying love and signed off with “from your Valentine”.

Equally, another theory suggests it may not have been very romantic at all and that the chosen date may have been an attempt by the Catholic church to “Christianise” a Roman feast: February 14 was, in ancient Rome, a celebration of the goddess Juno, queen of the Roman pantheon.

It was around the 17th century that Valentine’s Day was celebrated on a mass level, and by the middle of the 18th century it was taking on a commercial feel, with small tokens and handwritten gifts being exchanged between lovers and friends.

Today, it’s a special day for sweethearts, young and old, in celebration of romance and love. So why not spoil your Valentine this year? Here are some ideas how:

Quiche from 65 Northbourne

Northbourne’s ‘special’ dining destination

AS a popular “go-to” venue for special occasions, 65 Northbourne Restaurant and Wine Bar is the perfect place to bring a loved one this Valentine’s Day, says owner Scott Goyne.

But, he says, it’s also a great place to come at any time, whether it’s a weekday drink with a friend or romantic anniversary with a partner.

There’s been some recent changes so Scott says 65 Northbourne will be bringing more affordable food with the same excellent service into the New Year.

“We’re launching a new menu around mid to late February,” he says.

“We’re moving to a modern Mediterranean style of food, with everything form Spanish food right through to Turkish food. We’re also moving towards shared plates.”

Overall, he says it’ll be different than everything else that’s in town.

But 65 Northbourne is keeping all its best bits such as its relaxing atmosphere, Thursday night cocktails and Friday night live music with fresh oysters, prawns and wine.

Valentine’s Day bookings will include a $99 degustation menu with French wine on arrival.

65 Northbourne, 65 Northbourne Avenue, Civic, call 6262 6522, email enquiries@65northbourne.com.au or visit 65northbourne.com.au

Blu Ginger

Chef cooks Indian food with love

ON Valentine’s Day, love won’t just be present between guests at Blu Ginger Indian Restaurant, it will also be in the cooking, says owner Reddy Manne.

“We cook with the same love and passion that customers would in their home, if they had time,” he says.

With more than 28 years’ experience, the chef at Blu Ginger Indian Restaurant draws upon the many culinary regions of India to create a modern and authentic menu, one that reflects the cosmopolitan India of today.

“At Blu Ginger we use only the freshest, locally sourced produce, combined with authentic spices imported directly from the sub-continent, to offer classic, traditional recipes with a modern twist, creating a unique and memorable dining experience for you,” Reddy says.

“Our service always comes with a smile and we listen to the needs of our customers and offer vegan, gluten free and coeliac options.”

Located in a large, open-plan space along Genge Street, Civic, Blu Ginger’s high ceilings and edgy decor add character to the dining experience.

Blu Ginger Indian Restaurant, 5 Genge Street, Civic. Booking is recommended to 6247 2228 or visit bluginger.com.au

Stella Oh of Clover Jewellery

Handcraft and platinum specialists

CLOVER Jewellery has an on-site jeweller and designer so anyone looking for a special Valentine’s Day present can get it uniquely made, says owners James and Stella Oh.

And for romantics looking to propose around Valentine’s Day, Clover Jewellery has a wide range of engagement rings with a quick turnaround.

“We have had customers come to see us, in a panic that they need wedding bands before they travel overseas for their wedding, fearing that they have left it all too late,” Stella says.

“We were able to help them in one day, I even drove their rings to them as their bus was leaving to go to Sydney for their trip.

“The customers were very happy.”

James says they provide a range of high-end and unique handmade jewellery as well as fancy and beautiful silver jewellery.

“We have lots of samples for customers to try or they can bring in their own design and we can make it on-site by our fully qualified jeweller,” he says.

“We are a handcraft and platinum specialist and we offer a laser-engraving and laser-soldering service, you can put a message in the ring along with a birthstone. It makes it very special and one of a kind.”

Based in Manuka, Clover Jewellery is a family-run business that has been in Canberra for more than three years after it was in Japan for more than 25 years.

Clover Jewellery, 2/16 Bougainville Street, Griffith. Call 6295 8545, email clover.j@hotmail.com or visit @cloverjewellerycanberra on Facebook.

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