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11 Gold Coast Valentine’s Day gifts

It’s that time again folks, the one day of the year when you’re obliged to shower the love of your life in gifts and Facebook declarations of your undying affection.

Some say it’s simply a Hallmark holiday designed to guilt you out of your hard earned cash but we say those people should be quiet because love is nice and presents are also nice.

Anywho. Here’s a list of local gifts you could purchase your person should you not be into researching and keen to #supportlocal.

FOR THE GALS

Chalmers Pyjamas
If your girl is all about cruisy Sundays and caffeinated Mondays (and let’s face it, what girl isn’t), a pair of Chalmers Pyjamas is for her. They come in crazy colour combos, and also some chill ones and they’re soft and comfy AF.

Salty Soul Surfwear
For the sandiest of surfer girls, Salty Soul is sustainable surfwear made in Australia and in the prettiest of patterns. Choose from one pieces, bikinis, long arms, short arms, you name it, they’ve made it and your lady love will dig them all. 

Eco Sisters
Eco friendly is always a good way to go, it shows you care you know. Luckily, Eco Sisters make the perfect gifts for your gal along the lines of beauty gift packs (to enhance her natural beauty guys), bath soak gifts packs and face rollers to soothe that tired face of hers. Don’t say that though. 

Eyes of Love Photography
So, NEWSFLASH, ladies love to feel beautiful and how better to make that happen for your lady than with some pretty pics she can keep forever. Michelle from Eyes of Love has a magical knack for bringing out the sparkliest side of everyone she shoots so this one will definitely win you some brownie points boys. 

JBK Designs
If jewellery is your tried and tested fave, look no further than Jewellery by Kim. Unique, colourful and reminiscent of our laidback local vibes, JBK is for the gal who doesn’t mind standing out from the crowd. All sterling silver products are handmade and you can choose to have something custom made if you’re feeling brave.

FOR THE GUYS

D’Arcy Surfboards
With 25 years of shaping expertise, the gang at D’Arcy clearly know what they’re doing. Your mate will love their custom shapes (and you, as chooser of the gift) and you may never need to buy him anything again. From beginners to big guns, D’Arcy builds boards for all.

Ribs & Dust
I think we can all agree that chunky, silver jewellery is a delightful thing to behold on the fingers of a man. That’s a strange sentence isn’t it. Anyway. Simon Goodburn’s locally crafted pieces are unique, made with love and can be custom designed. A good choice gals.

The Undercurrent
Dudes are generally quite patriotic creatures and particularly around these parts. What better gift then than a t-shirt designed by a local artist representing their suburb of residence (or just the GC in general). The Undercurrent creates exactly that along with a recently released trucker cap because dudes also dig those. 

The Sunday Co.
All brands that include the word Sunday are a good time and The Sunday Co. is no exception. They’re all about sweet (and actually affordable) sunnies and little enamel pins that’ll fancy up all his outfits. Cute and quirky.

Gold Coast Longboards
If your man has always wanted to give skateboarding a try but isn’t so keen on getting up close and personal with the pavement, get him an easy-to-ride longboard from these local legends. Nab yourself one while you’re at it and ride off into the sunset together. Romance.

FOR EVERYONE

Bam Bam Bakehouse
The local baking connoisseurs have created a Lovers Croissant because, of course they have. It’s choc-dipped, strawberries and cream flavoured and no matter what your partner’s into, or not into, they will definitely be into this guy. Pre-order now to make sure you don’t miss out on the 643 you’ll want to eat.

Words by Kirra Smith

3 mind-blowing ideas to make Valentine’s Day a success

Disclaimer: the following content is unsuitable for those under 18 years of age.

Juliet Allen, the Gold Coast’s resident Sexologist, has shared her top tips for Valentine’s Day. But even beyond Cupid’s special day, when it comes to sexual healing, Juliet can change your life.

Here’s how.

Okay, give them to us, what are your top tips for Valentine’s Day?
My top tip is not to get to hung up on it having to be an extravagant day and instead make it your intention to be connected with your partner/lover every day.

Imagine if every day was a special day. If we took the time to truly see our beloved and be present with them, that’s what we all truly want and desire, not the love heart teddies and roses.

If you’re reading this and thinking “I still want to celebrate’, I encourage you to spend the day TRULY connecting with your beloved, listening to them, turning off your phone and being present and loving. There’s no better gift than a lover who is authentically present and wanting to connect.

So how should couple’s heat things up on Valentine’s Day?
•    New couples: Do something fun – go swimming naked in the ocean together, hang at a nude beach…enjoy sex in nature. Take risks.
•   Long term couples: Grab a five star hotel room for the night – get away from your every day routine and spend the night making love and ordering room service.

How does a healthy sex life improve relationships?
Sex connects us and intimacy is an opportunity to connect at all our centres; our sex centre, our heart centre and our consciousness. Connecting with our partners via sex is essential for the longevity of a relationship.

Why is it important for people to embrace their sexuality?
Our sexual energy is our life force energy! It’s inside us all and if we push it down we become sick and repressed. To embrace our sexuality is empowering and has an amazing impact on our overall health and happiness.

What are some simple things we should practice regularly at home?
Self-pleasure is essential for everyone. Also self-love and presence with ourselves and with our partners.

How did you come to be a Sexologist and Sexuality Coach?
I studied psychology as my undergrad and then years later I wanted to go back to Uni and study something I was truly passionate about. I came to the conclusion that my biggest passion was sex, so I studied a Masters in Sexology. Best career move ever!

How do you help?
I help singles and couples to feel sexually empowered and happy in their relationships. People come to me because they’re seeking deeper connection and intimacy, or they want super hot, amazing sex, or they simply want to feel more empowered within themselves as a sexual being.

Why should people work with you?
Everyone, at some stage in their lives, will come across hurdles in their sex lives and relationships. When that happens the best way to deal with those challenges is to talk to a professional. People should work with me because I talk about and help people with sex and relationships for a living. I love what I do, plus I ‘walk the talk’, so to speak.

I get what it’s like to have these challenges because I’m like every other person, I’ve had my fair share of things to work through and I now feel empowered and whole as a sexual woman. I’m fun, straight to the point and real.

Do you only work with couples?
No, I work with couples and singles of all sexual and gender identities.

You’re also a Tantra Practitioner; can you explain what tantra is and why we should try it?
Tantra is choosing with awareness what brings us joy. It’s living a life full of ecstatic experiences, including ecstatic sex. It’s about finding inner peace and inner union as individuals, and then coming together with others to experience connection and intimacy. Tantra has transformed my life.

9 out-of-the-box Gold Coast date ideas

Miami Marketta (image supplied)

Sometimes dinner and drinks just doesn’t cut it when it comes to the Hunger Games-style arena that is the Gold Coast dating scene and since Valentine’s Day is quickly creeping up on us again we’re here to help you up your game.

Here are 9 out-of-the-box ideas you’re welcome to steal when you next need to impress the potential love of your life. 

See some live music
Is watching live music not the best thing you can possibly do? Even better if you’re with someone you don’t know that well when there’s a strong possibility of running out of things to talk about. There’s also unlimited opportunities to bust out your best dance moves and impress the hell out of anyone with eyes. At a safe distance of course. Check out our list of live music venues on the Gold Coast here.

Go scuba diving
Underwater activities are an excellent date choice in that they offer the perfect opportunity to not talk and, on the flip side, will be a great story to tell the grandkids should you get to that point. Plus, you know, there’s plenty of pretty marine life to get up close and personal with and being immersed in the ocean will help you chill out should you be suffering from some form of fear – of the first date or great white shark varieties perhaps.
Where: QLD Scuba Diving, Mariners Cove Marina, 60 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Taste wine and cheese
What could be better than eating as much cheese and tasting as much wine as is humanly possible with the object of your affections? Nothing, that’s what. Have a little look through our list of wineries that are within a 45 minute drive of the Gold Coast here. That’s a top date idea if ever we’ve come up with one.

Drive in movies
How romantic is setting up a sweet snuggle spot in the back of your car, filling it with snacks and enjoying a movie marathon in (relative) privacy under the stars. If that sounds like your jam, the Yatala Drive-In is your next date night adventure. It’s open seven nights a week and you can choose to do a Double Feature night and sometimes there are sing-a-longs.
Where: 100 Jacobs Well Road, Stapylton

Take a cooking class
Cooking together is a fun way to learn something new while also having a laugh at how hard it actually is to shake a cocktail while looking semi-cool. There are several fun cooking classes on the Gold Coast that offer everything from Chocolate Desserts to Spanish Paella so you’re guaranteed to take home some new skills that you can use on your next date. Genius. Check them out here.

Play all the games
Guys, 20 years later, Timezone is still one of the greatest places around. What could be better than racing your date on the Formula One track or whacking weird animals with giant sticks? It’s a laugh a minute. If you’re any good, you can impress ‘em with a giant stuffed animal they’re sure to keep forever. Just makin’ memories.
Where: Timezone Coolangatta – The Strand, 72-80 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Timezone Surfers ParadiseParadise Centre, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise

Icon the Cookery School (image supplied)

Walk through the trees
Getting high on a first (or second or third) date probably isn’t a great idea, unless of course it involves getting amongst the trees on a 15-metre high suspension bridge. Which of course, is a thing, at Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk in the hinterland. There’s a 40 metre cantilever bridge high above the creek and rainforest which is the perfect excuse for holding onto someone REAL tight.
Where: Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk, 333 Geissmann Drive, Mt Tamborine

Watch whales
This one might be a little later in the year, but plan a future date to see everyone’s favourite sea-dwelling creatures when they make their way back down south with their tiny (but also giant) babes in tow. You could pack a picnic and perch yourselves on one of many local headlands or, for guaranteed up close viewing, book yourselves onto a whale watching boat and prepare to have the best date ever. Spirit of the Gold Coast offer epic tours when the season kicks in.
Where: Anywhere you can see the sea OR 60/70 Seaworld Dr, Main Beach (for a tour)

Go ice-skating
If you’re a lover of snow and ice and all things winter, but live here with the rest of us in South-East Queensland, all your prayers have been answered in the form of Gold Coast Iceland in Bundall (who knew). Take your mate for a few spins around the ring while adorably holding hands and pretending you’re in NYC’s Central Park.
Where: 15 Strathaird Road, Bundall

Words by Kirra Smith.

16 places to get loved up on Valentine’s Day

Hey ya’ll this is the 2019 list! Click here for 2020’s events.

Okay Gold Coasters, the time has come to discuss Valentine’s Day once again. This year we’ve decided that, although we will no doubt be at home watching To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before with the dog (again), we’re happy for all the people who will not be doing that and will instead be getting all romantic with their significant other.

So, in honour of that (and because it’s our job) we’ve complied a list of all the loveliest spots to get loved up this Valentine’s Day. May we also mention that celebrating love doesn’t have to mean with your partner and should you wish to take your bestie, or your Mum, or even your dog out for dinner on Valentine’s Day, we fully support that too.

Here’s the list (from north to south).

The Fireplace
Umm can you say romance? Dinner, by the fire, with wine, that’ll do. Choose The Fireplace at InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort for a delightful supper crafted by Executive Chef, Matt Hart with a Chandon Sparkling on arrival and a menu that’ll make this one a Valentine’s Day to remember. All for just $79 per person.
Where: The Intercontinental Sanctuary Cove Resort, Manor Circle, Sanctuary Cove

Ristorante Fellini
Italian food is pretty much the epitome of romance is it not? This Valentine’s Day Ristorante Fellini is turning up the charm with a special six-course course San Valentino Dinner and a complimentary glass of sparkling. The menu is filled with five-star dishes including chocolate dipped strawberries to finish and views across the Broadwater to add a little extra magic. Tickets are $160 per person.
Where: Level 1, Marina Mirage, Seaworld Drive, Main Beach

Southport Yacht Club
Dine with your loved one at Southport Yacht Club this Valentine’s Day overlooking the Club’s 300 berth marina and enjoy the shimmering lights of the Gold Coast Broadwater. Enjoy a three course dinner for $79 per person, including a glass of bubbles upon arrival. Tickets here. 
Where: 1 MacArthur Parade, Main Beach

Yamagen Japanese
Sure love is good but have you ever had Japanese food? Yep. Particularly that of Yamagen Japanese. You’ll fall head over heels with Yamagen’s mouth-watering Omakase set menu, featuring favourites such as thinly sliced snapper and miso black cod. Plus there’s live acoustic music and bubbles on arrival to set the mood with a special gift for each guest too. Just $99 per person with a set menu. Get your tickets here.
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

Bazaar Marketplace
Indulge in Bazaar’s full marketplace experience with a few Valentine’s Day twists. Dine on trawler-fresh seafood, slow-roasted meats and Asian delights, salads plucked fresh from QT’s rooftop garden and the finest spread of sweet treats on the Coast! Make it a date night to remember with live acoustic music, a fondue dessert ‘love station’ and a cupid waitress spreading the love. Plus, each lovely couple will receive a polaroid to remember the moment. Tickets $99 here. 
Where: QT Gold Coast, 7 Staghorn Ave, Surfers Paradise

Hilton Surfers Paradise
Couples are invited to share in a sumptuous and sophisticated dinner for two at the Hilton Surfers Paradise’s Executive Lounge as they take in the exquisite view of the Gold Coast. For $250 per couple, the lucky lovers will be treated to a glass of Champagne on arrival and a signature Seafood Platter for Two, delivered straight to the table fresh from renowned Catch Restaurant. To complete the romantic evening, they will indulge in a divine dessert as they look out to see the Surfers Paradise skyline come to life.
Where: Hilton Surfers Paradise, 6 Orchid Ave, Surfers Paradise

SkyPoint
Be romantic, be daring and take your relationship to new heights on the SkyPoint Couple’s Night Climb on Valentine’s Day, Thursday 14 February. Sweep your partner off their feet with the country’s highest external building climb. Reaching the summit of 270 metres about sea level, SkyPoint has its heart set on delivering a thrill for everyone this Valentine’s Day. If couples prefer to stay indoors and cuddle up, SkyPoint is taking date night to a new level with the “Valentine’s Dinner in the Stars” event on the level 77 Observation Deck.
Where: SkyPoint, Level 77 of Q1, Surfers Paradise Blvd, Surfers Paradise 

Videre Restaurant 
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with stunning panoramic views of the Gold Coast. Indulge in a set menu with matching wines prepared by our Chef de Cuisine and enjoy live entertainment and a special gift for the ladies. There are two seating times available – a Sunset Dinner from 5.30pm to 7pm with a three course set menu and matching wines for $119 per person and a Romantic Indulgence from 7.30pm with a five course set menu and matching wines for $169 per person. Get your tickets here.
Where: RACV Royal Pines, Ross St, Benowa 

Elk Espresso
Keen for a day date? Elk Espresso is just the spot for a loved up lunch. Select any main from the lunch menu including lightly spiced calamari, crispy skin salmon, Wagyu burger or Spring Salad coupled with a glass of wine for just $25 per person. And if you’re lacking a lad, then bring your Lassie! Four-legged friends are also welcome when dining outdoors (see doggy date for the win).
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Old Burleigh Rd, Broadbeach

Roosevelt Lounge
If you’re into getting a little bit fancy for Valentine’s Day, Roosevelt Lounge is the place. Hide away in a cosy, velvety corner of The Roosevelt Lounge while sipping the finest French Ruinart Blanc de Blanc Champagne to the croony sounds of The Roosevelt Band. Whisper sweet nothings between a decadent sharing menu of antipasto, haloumi fries, King Prawn tacos, grilled Wagyu Sirlion 5+ complete with an assortment of lovers chocolates to finish. $159 per couple includes two glasses of Ruinart Blanc de Blanc.
Where: The Oasis Shopping Centre, Old Burleigh Rd, Broadbeach

Bistro On3
Treat your partner to the ultimate date with our loved-up two-course or three-course Valentine’s Day Dinner at Bistro On3 in the Sofitel Gold Coast. Two courses are $85 per person and three for $95. Get your tickets here.
Where: 81 Surf Pde, Broadbeach

room81
Can’t wait to spoil your Valentine? room81 invites you to treat your beloved to an evening that will stir the passion and delight the senses. Commence your enchanting odyssey with an arrival glass of Prosecco, then indulge in a four course degustation journey. Tickets are $149 per person here.
Where: Where: 81 Surf Pde, Broadbeach 

The North Room
How does a little bit of secluded sophistication sound for your Valentine’s Day? Yes please! That’s exactly what you’ll get at the intimate Mermaid Beach dining room that is The North Room. Plus six decadent dishes and a glass of champagne for just $99 per person. Just love and good food here, what more could you need?
Where: Shop 1/2527, Gold Coast Hwy, Mermaid Beach 

Restaurant Labart
Plan the most beautiful evening imaginable with a date at Burleigh’s Restaurant Labart this Valentine’s Day. Indulge in a stunning six-course set menu including new dishes like Smoked rainbow trout with tarragon, pea, mint and Duck, witlof and caramelised apricot and old faves like Local spanner crab, leek, roasted crab broth. It’s just $90 per person or an extra $60 per person with matching biodynamic wines.
Where: 8 West St, Burleigh Heads

AVVIA Restaurant
The Palmy favourite is all set to host you on your special night with a four-course set menu for just $79 per person. Pull up a seat on the deck with the sweet sounds of the ocean crashing in the background and prepare for a night of epic indulgence (and romance) with all your favourite wine, beer and cocktails on offer too. Lovely.
Where: 3 Twenty Third Ave, Palm Beach 

Tasca Coolangatta
The sweet little Cooly spot is planning a sweet little Valentine’s Day do with a Chefs Special four course share menu plus a sparkling wine on arrival for $70 per person or add matched wine to each course for $99 per person. It’s the perfect space for a cosy night with someone you love.
Where: 114 Griffith St, Coolangatta

Words by Kirra Smith

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