By Elena Eustache, Encyclopedia of Love

With Valentines’ Day just around the corner, countless people have emailed me, seeking advice on how to spend Feb 14th, with their loved one.  As I mentioned in my previous blog, there are several things one can do to enjoy the holiday and honestly, you don’t have to spend enormous amounts of cash to show your significant other just how much you love and appreciate them.  Although, if you have the means, and you want to spoil them with expensive treats, then, by all means, go for it.  A nice piece of jewellery for her, or, a watch for him from Tiffany & Co would be my recommendation.  However, if you don’t have the budget to do so, you can simply cook them a delicious meal, watch a movie and enjoy a quiet night in.  Please check out Delish.com, where you’ll find a variety of delicious (naughty and nice) quick and easy to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes to choose from, including a variety of decadent dessert recipes.  If your lover has diet restrictions, don’t worry, there’s a recipe for everyone on Delish to enjoy.  If you want to stay home and watch a movie together, one of my favorite Romantic Comedy’s of all time is Just Friends, starring Ryan Renolds, Ana Faris and Amy Smart, available to rent on Amazon prime for just $2.99.  From married couples to those on a first date, no matter the stage of your relationship, this film is a perfect treat for the both of you!  I have to admit, I’ve seen this film far too many times that I can count, and each time, I laugh out loud as if I’m viewing it for the very first time. I highly recommend the flick.

As an avid traveler, I’ve had the great fortune of dining in numerous restaurants around the globe. Now, with that being said, if you’re looking to take your loved one out on the town for a romantic lunch or dinner, here are some restaurants I highly recommend.  Mr. Chow, with locations in London, Los Angeles, New York City, Miami and Las Vegas, is a family-style restaurant that serves authentic and creative Beijing cuisine.  Coincidentally, Valentines Day happens to be the restaurants 50th Anniversary, having opened up its first location in London in 1968.  So, if you’re lucky enough to still get a reservation on Feb 14th, you’ll not only be able to indulge in their heavenly pre-fixed menu for the Holiday but, in addition, you’ll get to experience their Handmade Noodle Show, which is fun to watch.  Next up is Jean-Georg, with locations in Los Angeles, New York and Miami, who presents exquisitely crafted dishes blending French, American, and Asian influences, with a menu that’s inspired by local farmers markets, which is why it changes seasonally. The restaurant also offers a two-course lunch menu for a great value.  For those who have the funds, this would be a great place to spoil your loved one.

Now, if you simply just want to take your significant other/spouse out for a sweet treat, and you’re in the Los Angeles Area, I encourage you to visit the charming Gelato Bar Café, located in Studio City.  The Café offers a variety of ingenious flavors to choose from, including vegan. After sampling a few flavors, believe me, you’ll most likely wind up ordering three flavors for yourself. In fact, as an added bonus, Gelato Bar Cafe also serves sandwiches, pastries, espresso, tea and coffee. Taking your date/spouse out for dessert on Valentines Day is truly a very romantic way to celebrate the Holiday of Love. Sometimes, a sweet dessert is literally all we need. On the other hand, if Gelato sounds like a great idea, but you don’t live near the Gelato Bar Café in Studio City, visit Yelp and search for a local Gelato bar near you. You can also head to your neighborhood grocery store and pick up two or more pints of the scrumptious Talenti Gelato that come in a variety of flavors, minus the high fructose corn syrup.

Finally, It’s important to remember that on Valentines Day, no matter where you live, the day can be celebrated and enjoyed a number of ways, by simply doing the unexpected. Whether it’s dining out at a fancy restaurant, preparing a meal at home for two, or baking your very first batch of chocolate chip cookies together, just remember what I said in my previous blog: Valentines Day is about spending time with those you love and appreciate… just don’t forget Valentine’s Day, because you could end up hurting the one you love.

 

Please follow Dr Elena Eustache, relationship expert to the stars, and your encyclopedia of love, on Instagram, starting February 1st.  You’ll receive 14 days of daily advice from Dr Eustache and major celebrities on how to make your valentines day extra special.