Sunday, February 10, 2008

My Funny Valentine

Need to really impress your honey this Valentine's Day? Well warm up your Citation (Cessna Citation, that is, NOT the Chevy) and whisk yourselves off to these over-the-top locations guaranteed to inspire a swoon as you pour the chilled champagne.

First up in our short list of ultra cool places to dine is the Lichtblick Cafe in Innsbruck, Austria. The Dominique Perrault designed building is not exactly your grandfather's Alpine country cottage. The walls are floor-to-ceiling glass and the roof is a translucent membrane allowing daylight through, giving one the sleek and sophisticated impression that you are literally floating on air.

Lichtblick Cafe
Address: Rathaus Gallery, 7th fl., Innsbruck, Tirol
Telephone: 0512/566550

Afraid of heights, you say? Head south. South to the Indian Ocean, that is, and zip into the Conrad Maldives Resort where you can actually dine underwater without all that cumbersome scuba gear. The Ithaa Restaurant sits 15 feet below the waves of the Indian Ocean, surrounded by a coral reef and encased in clear acrylic, offering diners 270-degrees of panoramic underwater views. The restaurant is reached by a wooden walkway from the nearby over-water Sunset Grill Restaurant, and seats just 14 people for exclusive dining with a real difference.

Ithaa Underwater Restaurant
Rangali Island, Maldives
Telephone: 960 668 0629

Perhaps you'd like a locale frequented only by the fasionistas and assorted euro glitterati? Need a nice getaway spot, the location of which your better half would never guess? Head to the shortest trip across the pond a Statesider can take and dine in gourmet style atop five massive water tanks holding the geothermically heated water that supplies the City of Reykjavik, Iceland. Not only is the view from the Perlan Restaurant spectacular but the other patrons ain't bad to look at either.

Perlan Restaurant
Address: Oskjuhlio Hill Reykjavik, Iceland
Telephone: 354 562 0200

Or, for a completely different view one could speed away to London to the mega artsy, somewhat Orwellian (currently with Warhol as Big Brother) Wapping Restaurant. Part of the Wapping Project, an inventive and exciting arts installment housed in a former hydraulic power station, you will not only have a great meal but also be entertained.

Wapping Restaurant
Address: Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall, E1W 3SG
Telephone: 020 7680 2080

DO check out that Wapping link for an awesome video of the live theatre performance as diners watch. Sexy and impressive.

Meanwhile, for those readers with a more limited budget, I am still working on my chocolate post.

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