Valentine’s Day: Memphis Style

Posted on February 13, 2014

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By Claire Richard

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Valentine’s day is in the air, and it is everywhere. Luckily for Memphians, our city is inundated with romantic hot spots that so naturally lead to the perfect Valentine’s Day. I have been to Paris and back and truly believe that there is just as much chance of love in Memphis as there is in the “City of Love.” This guide may help those last minute planners or less creative romantics to put together an amazing night.

For the Downtown Couple

Memphis offers many local venues for swanky couples to indulge.  First, you should start the night with a nice cocktail at The Peabody Hotel.  This landmark hotel represents Memphis history and often draws a large number of tourists.  However, there is something romantic about being tucked away on a Peabody couch, in a majestic hall, with your special someone.

Not too far from The Peabody Hotel will be your dinner reservation at one of the finest restaurants in Memphis: Flight. Even Justin Timberlake has been spotted indulging in the three-course goodness. Structured after a flight of wine, Flight offers three small plates of appetizers, three small plates of entrees, and three small deserts, paired with an appropriate red or white wine flight. The dimmed lights and white tablecloths never fail to make your sweetheart feel special and nothing can capture your date’s heart quite like a romantic restaurant and superb food.

Last stop on your romantic journey is the Madison Hotel rooftop, which offers spectacular views over the Mississippi River, river boats, and downtown buildings. This view is accompanied by a small bar (so you can have yet another glass of wine) and some hip couches, lounge area, and lighting. This rooftop area is small and cozy and the perfect way to end the night.

If you’re in the gift giving mood, you should look no farther than Lansky’s at the Peabody. This iconic store once catered to Elvis himself. Elvis once said to store owner, Bernard Lansky, “When I get rich, I am going to buy you out.” Mr. Lansky’s response? “Don’t buy me out, just buy from me.” To this day Lansky stands outfitting to those with an appreciation of style. At Lansky’s you will find all sorts of high-end gifts, clothing, and shoes for both girls and guys.

All in one night you can explore the tradition and modernity of Memphis with your sweet someone. If you could somehow manage to bring a blanket, you could even catch the trolley. Nothing is better than experiencing your city with the one you love.

Other Alternatives for Drinks: Mollie Fontaine LoungeLocalAutomatic Slims
Other Alternatives Restaurants: McEwen’s,  Felicia Suzanne’sBluefin

For the Midtown Couple

I have found that Memphians are often eager to embrace their hipster side, and why not? Memphis has the personality for it. A couple that appreciates the natural things in life, should start their night with a warm blanket, a hot chocolate from Café Eclectic, and the sunset. The riverbank on Mud Island is one of Memphis’ features. If your jacket is not enough to protect against the cold then you can always stay in your car with some nice valentine tunes and enjoy just as much of the sunset.

Once the sun has set and the night has officially begun, you can take your date to Fuel Café in Midtown. This all natural, and vegan friendly restaurant serves an array of food from a bison burger to quinoa & red bean chili. The cozy atmosphere will make a perfect, relaxed dinner that is conducive to good conversation and an easy flow to the evening.  This restaurant follows your sunset adventure perfectly seeing that almost any attire from jeans to heels is acceptable.

Now that dinner is over you can have drinks at Greencork. This new self-serve, Yolo-style wine bar in Cooper-Young is a good way to mix the romantic with the exciting.  But what would be Valentine’s night without some dessert? Green Cork has a small dessert menu that will satisfy almost any sweet craving.  But if wine isn’t your style then Chiwawa would be another great desert option. With a hip atmosphere and well stocked bar, it is easy to find any pairing to go with their delicious churro desert served with Mexican ice cream.

Gift giving is always a challenge but The Attic, which is now open in the newly revitalized Overton Square provides great clothing and accessories for both guys and girls. While you’re there shopping for your honey, run next door to Sweet Noshings and pick out one of the many different types of candy. This store will bring out the kid in you as the selection runs from classic chocolate snowcaps to Jawbreakers that are unreasonably big. Now you and your honey can share in the mischievous secret of sneaking your new candy into a late night movie at the Theater on the Square.

Other Alternatives for Drinks: The Second Line, Alchemy, Tsunami
Other Alternatives for Dinner: Restaurant IrisBeauty Shop, Cafe 1912

Claire Richard is a Commerce & Business and French double major at Rhodes College.

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Posted in: Lifestyle