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Romancing the Wallet: The World’s Best Dates

February 15th, 2011

Romancing the Wallet: The World’s Best Dates

Love is in the air, fellas, but you don’t have to shack up to have the ride of your life

BY: Meaghan Clark | Tue Feb 1, 2011

Big City Chef getting ready to prepare a delicious meal

Los Angeles

For an unforgettable adventure, you’ll have to wow her the moment you pick her up and there’s no better way to take her breath away than with a helicopter ride to Catalina Island.

Hiking boots, sunscreen and bug repellent might not be the first thing than comes to mind when packing for a romantic getaway, but if you’ve got a lady that’s up for almost anything, you’ll enjoy working up an appetite together. Instead of hitting up one of the island favorites after your hike, have dinner come to you – from one of several superior private chefs based in Los Angeles:

• Big City Chefs: http://bigcitychefs.com/ (if you want the chefs from “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills, you might need to drop a bit more)
• Chef Stuart O’Keeffe (of the show “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills,” with a price tag all his own)

After a sunset ride back to where it all got started, ease into the evening with a night cap from some celebrated Los Angeles lounges:
• Bar One Beer & Wine Parlour http://www.bar1noho.com/blog/
• Library Bar at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel http://www.thompsonhotels.com/hotels/la/hollywood-roosevelt
• Tower Bar http://www.sunsettowerhotel.com/

Paris

For a romantic date that’ll really get her going, it’s got to include the element of surprise, so whipping her off on your private jet for a weekend in Paris features all the right tunes.

You’ve got to laugh on a great date, and finding the dark hidden secrets of a renowned amusement park is a great place to start. In Paris, that’s Jardin d’Acclimatation. Close off the afternoon with a view of the Eiffel Tower and one of the city’s most romantic, and truly Parisian, restaurants:

• L’Astrance
4 Rue Beethoven, Paris
• Taillevent
15 rue Lamennais, 8e, Paris
• Le Grand Vefour
17 rue de Beaujolais, 1er, Paris

New York

Avoid the cliché: few women are impressed these days by a box of chocolates or a dozen roses – whisk her off to New York City for the weekend, and there’s one thing she won’t have packed: a truly glamorous gown. That’s where you come in. Before the exquisite dinner, take your lady to Madison Avenue. Assuming you’ve got The Black Card on hand, the Big Apple offers classics including:

• Chanel
735 Madison Ave; 212-535-5505
• Bergdorf Goodman
5th Avenue at 58th Street; 800-558-1855
• Henri Bendel
712 5th Avenue; 800-HBENDEL

Aside from the shopping and clubbing, dining is this city’s main forte, so take her to one of the most mouth-watering, delectable eateries in the city:
• BLT Market, Ritz-Carlton, Central Park
1430 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10019 (212) 521-6125
• Marea
240 Central Park South, (212) 582-5100
• Upstairs at 21
21 West 52nd Street, (212) 582-7200

London

As the home to James Bond, quick romantic getaways made effortless are London’s specialty. A walk through the park isn’t cliché when you’ve got the queen next door – Garden at Buckingham Palace and St. James Parks are two bets to make a great first impression. But, it’s the London Eye that’ll get her high for you. Rent out a gondola for just two, and include a bottle of champagne in the afternoon fee.

The sight-seeing doesn’t end in London proper as the locals use everyplace from the Thames River to the parks to stare off into each others’ eyes:
• Waterloo Bridge
• Atop Primrose Hill
• Regent’s Park canal

Conclude the evening with the best of the best, a gourmet dining sans Gordon Ramsay:
• Fitzrovia of Crazy Bear Group, 26-28 Whitfield Street, London W1T 2RG 0207 6310088
• Le Pont Del La Tour – Butlers Wharf, 36d Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
• Edmunds Andrew 46 Lexinton St, London

Tuscany

When in the heart of Italy, there is no better time to indulge in the area’s greatest passion and livelihood – the grape vine. Sip in style with a wine tour from any of the favorite traditional wineries:
• Tua rita
• Tenuta Dell’ Ornellaia
• Valdicava

Pleasing the palate with signature grapes from the famous hillsides is a start to this romantic getaway, after which a balloon ride from local favorite Chianti Ballooning is an essential escape. Come down from the height with a meal that defines simple and refined Tuscan living:
• Arezzo’s Le Chiavi d’Oro
• Florence’s: Cantinetta Antinori
• Lucca’s Ristorante La Mora

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