For every person who adores Valentine’s Day – alternatively known as Singles Awareness Day – there’s another who would happily trade the cheesy gifts for a cheesy pizza. If red roses, panic-inducing bills and manically grinning teddies aren’t your cup of chai, give cupid a firm kick to the keister while still making Saturday 14 February memorable with these alternative activities. Listing everything from anti-Valentine’s Day bashes to pizza and revenge films, Tamsin Green offers up her ideas for a flowerless, cringe-free Valentine’s Day in Cape Town.
(All activities are rated on a romance scale of 1 to 10, with a score of 1 indicating the ultimate romance-free Valentine’s Day rebellion and 10 being the inevitable Valentine’s Day cliché.)
There is only one rule when hosting an anti-Valentine’s Day film festival: absolutely no romantic comedies. This will result in instant disqualification and is, quite frankly, an insult to modern V-Day rebellion. Explore other genres like horror, thriller, revenge or – if you must – action. Think Kill Bill, Fatal Attraction or anything starring Sylvester Stallone. Once selections have been made, the next logical step is to order a stack of pizzas. I love grabbing takeaways from Pizza Fair or Col’Cacchio, but if you’re already glued to the couch, Butler’s will deliver hot pizzas right to your door. And there you have it: choose a cosy abode, call up likeminded friends and settle down for an evening of cinematic excellence and cheesy pizza deliciousness. (Wine also helps.)
Romance rating: 1/10. One point granted because pizza love is still love.
The Larder is hosting an (Anti) Valentine Pop-Up where you can enjoy a gourmet four-course dinner for R175 per person. There’s no corkage fee, so bring your own booze and enjoy tasty dishes like Chinese-spiced pork belly with crispy crackling and plum-chilli ketchup, and lemon and grapefruit curd meringue. Tables are available for four, six or eight people (sorry, couples!) and you can book your spot by calling 021 671 1958. Alternatively, join the revelry at De Kelder Bar in Vredekloof where they will be hosting an anti-Valentine’s party. Expect great drinks specials, a jukebox and prizes for best dressed. Visit their event page for more information.
Romance rating: 1/10. These guys are dedicated.
If you plan on eating out, Mexican is the way to go. Not only is there guaranteed access to tequila and guacamole, but in my experience, spicy Mexican flavours and messy quesadillas are rarely linked to romance. For quality grub, try the ever-popular El Burro, but if you’re looking for trouble, the tequila selection at Mexican on Long is hard to beat.
Romance rating: 4/10. Cheese, chilli and tequila fumes – enough said.
Grab a group of willing participants and dedicate your Saturday to the great outdoors with a hike and a picnic. Pack a basket with a selection of cold meat, cheese, salad and baked goods, or go the gourmet route by ordering a pre-made basket from Dial-a-Picnic. While there are plenty of hiking trails in Cape Town, be sure to enquire about the baboon situation before packing any food.
Romance rating: 3/10. The love bug is rarely felt when exposed to perilous vertical slopes, hungry ants and hot sun.
Think about it: while Valentine’s Day victims are out whispering sweet nothings over expensive sushi platters, here you will be, slicing and rolling your very own. It’s very empowering. Invite your foodie friends over, whip out sushi mats and some good music, and get rolling. Stuck for ideas? Try this easy recipe for sushi hand rolls.
Romance rating: 5/10. Tip: complement with cheesy 80s radio hits to bring this number down to a 4.
While I was quizzing social media for suggestions, a friend told me she would be hosting a big dinner party. This, she said, is to get away from the notion that if you don’t have a partner you have to be alone, and if you do, you have to be alone together. Ask each guest to contribute to the meal, whip out the wine, and you’re all set for a magical evening.
Romance rating: 7/10. Celebrating the ‘day of love’ with the friends you love is romantic, but in a cringe-free, entirely acceptable way.
Hit Jou Ma Se Comedy Club on Valentine’s Day for an awesome lineup, including Andrew Magic Man, Stuart Taylor (MC), Phil de Lange and Westley Cockrell. Entrance is R120 per person and those with hunger pangs can order from the à la carte menu. Alternatively, you can enjoy a main course (R125 per person), a dessert (R65 per person), or a two-course menu (R180 per person). Book your tickets on Computicket.
Romance rating: 5/10. Local comedians making light of Valentine’s Day – this is bound to banish the gooey feelings.
Take a drive down to Sea Point and treat yourself to a quintessential Cape Town activity. A stroll along the promenade is always a treat, and with a helping of freshly battered fish and golden potato chips, it beats an expensive dinner anytime. Pop down to Lucky Fish and Chips for a generous helping of battered hake and golden chips, track down a bench or patch of grass, and enjoy the view and fresh sea air.
Romance rating: 7/10. The gorgeous ocean views may result in a pang of sentimentality. However, shrieking seagulls will try to steal your chips, bringing you back down to earth.