Where To Eat
The Gentleman’s Arthouse
Who would have thought that one of the swankiest restaurants in Johannesburg would be located inside an old Edwardian building in Newtown. The Gentleman’s Arthouse is so fancy that the only way you can visit them is by appointment only. Book yourself an evening to remember at this awesome venue. Their serve craft cocktails and four-course meals in a beautiful environment.
When it opened in 2016, the creme of the Joburg culinary crop flocked to Marble in Rosebank to see the restaurant built “for David Higgs”. After old Dave’s roaring season at the Saxon and a stint in Cape Town, he returned to the City Of Gold to show exactly why he’s South Africa’s short-order king… not that his food is short-order… it just slides off the tongue. Anyway. The view from Marble stretches out from the top of Jan Smuts Avenue all the way to the Magalies mountains in the west. The restaurant specialises in open-flame cooking that will have any South African drooling at the mouth. So, save a couple of bucks from your January pay and spoil that special someone with a V-Day evening like never before.
We’re sticking in Keyes Avenue, Rosebank for this one. Right below Marble you will find Jozi’s very own Milk Bar. Now, before you reminisce about the milk scene in A Clockwork Orange, it’s not like that. Milk Bar is a great cafe, bar and restaurant that’s decorated to the 9’s in all things West and East African. With that said, the Milk Bar is a laid back place where you can grab a cup of coffee on the go or stick around for dinner and drinks come sundown. It makes for a fun date night and a pretty adventurous way to spend a romantic evening.
Sandton is know as the shopping capital of Africa, and it’s only fair enough that they also host one of the most intimate restaurants in the city. Chef Trevor is one of the best fine dining creators in the country and has been chosen to lead the South African team in the 2020 World Cooking Olympics. Now that I’ve sold the chef to you, let me tell you why the Piccolo Mondo is on this list. Have you seen any romantic dinner scenes in movies? Well, the Piccolo Mondo looks exactly like one of those restaurants. That should be reason enough to make a booking there.
What To Do
Head to Maboneng on a Friday evening, grab a box of noodles and cuddle up at the Bioscope indie cinema for some karate movie action. It’s a lot cooler than it sounds, we promise. There’s nothing quite like cuddling up in a movie theatre next to that special someone, especially when it’s in the super trendy inner city district of Maboneng. Don’t tell anyone but we recommend you sneak in your own popcorn to chow down on after you’ve finished your hole-in-the-wall noodles (no, really, there is a hole in the wall from the restaurant next door from which you can order food and drinks).
The Johannesburg (WITS) Planetarium in Braamfontein is a great option if you can’t take a trip chasing the night sky across the country. This planetarium is the biggest in Africa and hosts interesting and educational shows with the use of large projectors that create visions and pictures of the galaxy for you to see. Not only will you get a truly unique glimpse into the universe, but you’ll also get the opportunity to learn about the planets, various star constellations and the amazing celestial objects that have been discovered over the years… or you could use this as an excuse to hold hands under the stars.
Ice Rink – Northgate
The Ice Rink at Northgate is where all the cool kids hang out when school’s out. Why not grab your blazer and comfy pants and head to the rink for some ice carving sessions with your arm candy? The Rink also offers boot hire for those who don’t have their own skates. This makes for an awesome birthday party and a great way to spend time with the family.
African Flavour Books
If there’s a spark between two people, anything can be made romantic – including a visit to the book store. Besides, there’s nothing more appealing than someone who reads. A stone’s throw from Braamfontein you will find African Flavour books, a little book shop with a big heart. It’s a great place to browse books and music, and to do a little people watching with that someone special as well.
Where To Sleep
Life On 3rd
If you are ever looking for an escape from big city life then head to Life On 3rd in Melville. It is the perfect hideaway from all things hustle and bustle. Why not spend an evening there accompanied by a bottle of JM. Gobillard, your V-Day date, and some good times?
The Maslow Hotel
With a beautiful bar and huge garden, why not organise yourself a picnic at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton? It offers a great escape from the city within the city… so to speak. The Lacuna Bistro serves great food, the bar is stocked with bubbly and good whisky, and if you’re lucky you can spot a politician or ten having brunch. To boot, the Maslow Hotel is kitting out for Valentine’s Day, and you can score special stay packages, delicate dinners, and a romantic lunch on the lawns.
Four Seasons The Westcliff
How about a spa day at one of South Africa’s most iconic hotels? The Fourseasons Westcliff has one of the most beautiful spas in Jozi and you should go pay it a visit with your date. The perfect way to unwind is with two 90-minute spa treatments of your choice, followed by bubbly and canapés served at Après Spa, the city’s only outdoor rooftop lounge. Or choose a Westcliff Deli “chic-nic” (chic picnic) takeaway to enjoy in the comfort of your home.
By Shawn Greyling