stumped on what to do for valentine’s day? take a little pressure off your date and try out some of these ideas! i’ve asked a few of my friends from different cities to fill us in on their favorite secret date spots. if your city isn’t listed below, we’d love to hear about your ideas in the comments!

NAME: cassandra lavalle CITY: seattle

date spot: One way to spice up the usual date night? Trapeze artists. I love the Pink Door for their delicious Italian fare, but go late and stay for the cabaret! It’s such a fun way to spice up the usual dinner date.

NAME: anne ditmeyer  CITY: paris

date spot: In high school I watched a French movie where a couple went on a date in a cemetery and at the time I couldn’t help but think the French are so weird. Fast forward 10+ years and I live in Paris and there’s nothing I dream of more than going on a date in the Père Lachaise cemetery. It’s a hillside park with giant touring trees and full of elaborate gravestones + monuments that were hand-crafted (talk about keeping, stone masons, iron workers, and stained glass artisans in business – such an art!). Oscar Wilde is burried their + his grave is covered in red lipstick kisses. Even in the rain the place is dreamy + romantic.

NAME: camille styles  CITY: austin

date spot: I’m not that into big, fancy Valentine’s dinners (amateur night!) Instead, I’d love to go for late-night cocktails at Drink.Well’s cozy bar. They make THE best cocktails from fresh, seasonal ingredients, and they serve a killer cheese plate. Oh, and we’d definitely end the night by sharing a couple of their housemade twinkies!

NAME: shoko wanger  CITY: new york

date spot: Don’t let the name fool you – Brooklyn’s cozy and disarmingly gorgeous St. Charles Cellar is the loveliest cellar you’ll ever find. The restaurant’s stone walls and rustic wood will make you feel like you’ve stepped into another era, and it’s the perfect escape from the cold. What’s more, the fact that it’s hidden – located downstairs from a popular bar called St. Mazie gives the impression that you’ve stumbled across a beautiful secret.

NAME: elizabeth antonia  CITY: los angeles

date spot: The inn of the seventh ray is a charming LA restaurant you have to go to at least once. It feels like another world tucked back in old topanga by the creek. The food is fresh and organic and they often have lovely wine pairings. Plus the windy roads leading into topanga canyon are perfect for getting lost underneath the big starry night.

what’s your favorite spot in your city? i really love cliff’s edge restaurant (it feels like a treehouse!) -bri



Add your own

  • 1. steph  |  February 7th, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Bri I love how you put colour over the photos like that! Can you teach us how? xx

  • 2. Ashleigh | Love Stoned  |  February 7th, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Maybe if I weren’t so terrified of going to the cemetery, it would be romantic! haha

    xx Ashleigh

  • 3. Lauren Ashley  |  February 7th, 2013 at 8:39 am

    How fun, love that these are city specific. Well designed too, as usual. :-)

  • 4. Elizabeth  |  February 7th, 2013 at 9:50 am

    I just checked out Anne’s blog. Truly amazing!

    Elizabeth of The Corner Apartment

  • 5. joody  |  February 7th, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Huh, cemetery… As weird as it is, it actually sounds like a fun date! Though I think the bf would think I have lost it. Thanks for sharing!

  • 6. Prêt à Voyager / Anne  |  February 7th, 2013 at 10:24 am

    Ha! What, no one else responded with cemetery for their date idea!?!

    You all are making me laugh with your comments. I promise I was in your boat thinking cemeteries were creepy until I moved to Paris. Père Lachaise is totally like a beautiful park full of amazing details. It’s almost like a treasure hunt, and you don’t have to fight the crowds. ;) You’re going to have to trust me on this. . . . Thanks too for the sweet comments about my site :)

  • 7. Stefanie // Life on the Squares  |  February 7th, 2013 at 10:50 am

    I agree with anne! I actually have been to Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris with an ex – and it was surprisingly a romantic place! can’t wait for Blogshop Boston.

    XO, Stefanie
    Life on the Squares

  • 8. Cassie  |  February 7th, 2013 at 10:55 am

    My husband and I visited that cemetery in Paris last summer and it was so fun – reading the old stones, seeing loved ones buried together – great V-day idea!

    Now we all just need instant travel. :)

  • 9. Prêt à Voyager / Anne  |  February 7th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Thanks for the validation, Stefanie + Cassie! High five to you both!

  • 10. Cortney W.  |  February 7th, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I’m on board with Shoko! The girl’s got some rad taste! xoxo

  • 11. Amelia  |  February 7th, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I live in Boston and my idea of a fun Valentinue’s date is heading to The ICA and then going to Drink after for delicious + unique cocktails!

  • 12. Kara  |  February 7th, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Love these date ideas of hidden spots in big cities. Seems more intimate than defaulting to reservations at the new hot restaurant in town.

  • 13. Elisse  |  February 7th, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I live in LA and my favorite date night is dinner and a comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade or Groundlings. It’s inexpensive and always a great time.

  • 14. Shirsha  |  February 7th, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    I live in Mumbai and one of my favourite date nights is to visit some of the rooftop bars in the city – The Dome is a particular favourite.

  • 15. Christine  |  February 8th, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Yesss Pere Lachaise is gorgeous! Would actually be a pretty fun date idea anywhere in the world, as cemeteries are often located a bit out of way–excuse to explore! Living in NYC now, so can’t wait to check out the cellars. Chelsea Markets and the High Line is another one of my date standards here–fun in any type of weather!

  • 16. Shoko  |  February 8th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Aw, thanks, Cortney! :)

  • 17. Links Loved 02.08.11&hellip  |  February 8th, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    […] seems to be doing Valentine’s Date ideas on the blogs. I thought DesignLoveFest version was pretty […]

  • 18. Lisa L.  |  February 8th, 2013 at 11:16 pm

    I live in Minneapolis and so there are a lot of different places you can go. But one of my favorite places, if I ever go on a date would be this place called Glensheen Estate in Duluth, MN! They have a super cute dinner event going on th 14th and 15th! :D

    Mostly Lisa

  • 19. Haley Doolittle  |  February 9th, 2013 at 9:06 am

    I’m from Charlotte, NC and like Lisa L. said, there are a lot of different places you can go. One of my favorites is among artsy district, where most of the hipster and delicious food are made. I would start at The Crepe Cellar, you guessed it, they’re famous for their gourmet food and delicious crepe desserts, and then I would head to Amelies, a twenty-four hour bakery that specializes in French treats! It’s the only place I can get macarons from that I can’t complain about :) Even if you’re not up for a french dessert (or should i say patisserie), the fun decor and coffee/tea bar should invite you in for a warm welcome.

  • 20. Joy  |  February 11th, 2013 at 4:05 am

    What great tips! For London I’d recommend Gordons Wine bar!

  • 21. Jenny  |  February 13th, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    This is new but weird valentines day idea. I don’t think it would be romantic to date on cemetery.

  • 22. Prêt à Voyager / Anne  |  February 14th, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Jenny, visit Père Lachaise one day and tell me if you still feel the same way :)

  • 23. A Valentine’s Day A&hellip  |  February 14th, 2013 at 11:02 am

    […] Valentine’s Day places. Shocking, but I was the only one to pick a cemetery as my response on DesignLoveFest. Thankfully a few people backed me up in the comments, but it was entertaining reading […]

  • 24. Lindsay  |  February 14th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Memphis, Tn:

    Best spot it town is Cheesecake Corner.It’s a definite favorite to couples who love a good hole-in-the-wall.



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