Nothing says romance like a sweet foray to the Middle Kingdom. Hit the capital, Beijing, in February and you’ll find a place swarming with hearts and paired up lovers. The Chinese, who traditionally celebrate lover’s day later in the year, have latched on to the western Valentine’s day recently and in true reverse-engineered fashion have created a fun holiday that is as unique as it is a copy of the traditional day.
Here’s where you’ll really want to impress your date. The dinner says it all, it sets the mood for the night and tells what kind of romantic you are. If you go too big, you’ll look silly, but if you go small you’ll look weak. We recommend a tried and true culinary favorite, Capital M. Prices are steep, but the food is fantastic, and the ambiance is decidedly romantic.
Dinner and a movie is a cliche, but it’s a romantic one. Especially if you spring for seats at the Megabox in Sanlitun, where you can book your seats early to ensure you have literally the best seats in the house. Pick a romantic comedy or something on the lighthearted side. If you pick a film that ends badly or is too heavy on the message or explosions, your date could walk away distracted or bored, or worse- contemplative and unamused. Think: Disney flicks, comedies, romance and you’re in safe hands.
After the flick you should head out for a few cocktails to get the mood flowing with romance. A quiet, comfortable place with intimate seating is the best way to show your date you are there for her, and not the booze or to ogle the other fish in the sea. We recommend Glen or Q Bar, both of which are off the beaten path enough to be quiet, have nice seating that is intimate and decent tunes. Still, you’re not going to have to compete with the loud Sanlitun crowd or the groups of women on “I hate love” campaigns.
If your lady friend is in the mood, dancing is always one of the best and most romantic of activities, and is the closest thing to sex, as many tango instructors like to espouse. Don’t head to a loud, raging club- that isn’t romantic to anyone. Head to a small venue like Ole for a bit of intimate Latin dance and music. It’s here that you should make your move, if you’ve got any to make.