Feeling a bit jaded about Valentine’s Day? This year, switch the usual chocolates and roses for something a little more interesting – whisk your special someone away for an experience to remember.

A romantic dinner is still a winner. You’re going for great food, of course, but attention to detail and delightful atmosphere are important too.

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Celebrity chef James Martin’s stunning restaurant, conveniently located at the Manchester235 Casino, has a superb five course Valentine’s Dinner planned, with a complimentary glass of Prosecco, entertainment, and (well, why not?) a box of chocolates. The restaurant was named in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in Britain for 2015-16. Ladies, try to keep your attention on your date, rather than trying to catch a glimpse of James himself! After dinner, enjoy a few games at the casino and a drink at one of the all-night bars. Manchester235 is set in the historic Great Northern Warehouse on Watson Street, Manchester.

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Winner of the “Best Romantic Restaurant of LA”, The Little Door is a hidden paradise. A favourite hangout of celebs such as Laurence Fishburne and Jim Carrey, The Little Door’s rustic Mediterranean cuisine served in a romantic courtyard draws a discerning crowd. Join them on the 14th to celebrate love with three delectable courses and charming live music. Keep smiling, you may even feature in the background of a famous selfie!

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No one celebrates romance quite like The Oyster Box in Umhlanga, South Africa. With a full February calendar including a Valentine’s Dinner Dance, wine tasting and couple’s massage, this is a great opportunity to book a room and enjoy a week or more in the East Coast sunshine. On the 14th, enjoy a delicious six-course plated dinner and dancing in the Grill Room. The Rosés and Reds Wine Tasting evening on the 15th promises a fun-filled late Valentine’s four-course meal paired with a selection of Reds and Rosés. The Dinner and Movie combo is great for “unvalentine” date nights; or nourish body, heart and soul with a couple’s Celebrate Togetherness spa package daily until the 28th.

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A Private Champagne Tour is another certain way to impress your date. Start your day on the scenic Route du Champagne, meandering among vineyards and charmingly picturesque villages. Visiting the famous house of Veuve Clicquot for a bubble-filled tasting experience, followed by lunch and more bubbles at a private Family Champagne estate. Wind down the day with a little French romance at five-star Relais & Château Les Crayères in Rheims. Sweet dreams!

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If all that is not enough you could sweep your lover off their feet in a more literal sense with a hot air balloon ride. Most balloon operators around the world offer flights at sunrise, followed by a champagne breakfast. Staying in France, the Loire Valley landscapes are among the most breath-taking – follow the sunrise over vineyards, meandering rivers, and ancient stone villages interspersed with over 800 manors and castles.

For the opportunity to see wildlife such as polar bears, caribou, arctic foxes and even whales, take a flight over the starkly beautiful polar landscapes of Arctic Canada.

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If white is not your colour, the famous red rocks of Sedona, Arizona may offer a more Valentine-themed experience. There may be mule deer, mountain lions and coyotes on the ground, but don’t be surprised if a falcon joins your love celebration in the early morning sky.

Cappadocia (Turkey) is one of the world’s most iconic ballooning destinations. The amazing rock formations, caves and “fairy chimneys” are a truly magical sight in the soft glow of sunrise. You won’t be alone, though – the morning skies in this popular region are filled with hot-air balloons almost every day.

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If you’ve left it too late: plan now for next year!
Turtle Island, Fiji, is one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. Accommodating only 14 couples at a time, this exclusive private island has everything you will need for a once-in-a-lifetime romantic escape. Dine on true local cuisine – everything is caught or grown on the island. The scent of tropical flowers is carried on the gentle breeze all through the resort. Relax totally undisturbed on your private beach. You know how quickly time flies, so start planning now.