YAMU's Valentine's Day Survival Kit

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Valentine's Day. Whether you love, hate or ignore the Hallmark endorsed festival of expensive love, well, it's still going to happen every year. For maybe not all, but definitely some, there are yet heart-shaped confections to be procured and candle-lit dinners to be arranged. If you belong to that frazzled group of men scurrying around the city trying to secure last minute bookings or making rapid attempts at purchased romance, fear not. We've put together a little survival kit - where to eat, what to buy, where to go this V Day.

Read on for complete protection against heartbreak, tears, tantrums - and whatever other tempests the delicate day may bring.

Top 5 Restaurants (Posh)


We've recently been asked the essential and potentially fatal question: where do I take my girlfriend out for dinner? If you're happy to go with the safe hit of good wine and delicious food, Colombo's your friend. And so are we - below we've made a list of the top five places to spend an elegant, expensive and delectable Valentine's with your partner.

  1. Chesa Swiss
  2. The Gallery Cafe
  3. The Havelock Place Bungalow
  4. Nihonbashi
  5. Casa Colombo
See the full list with details here.

Fun (Affordable) Things To Do


Not everyone can afford a fancy dinner at Chesa Swiss or a pollen-beset behemoth bouquet from Shirohana - and not everybody wants to. Why buy into a money-making stampede of a holiday that really bears no relevance to the subcontinent? But then again, it can be nice to celebrate the 'special' day; as commercial and trite as it may be, it's still an excuse to fuss over your partner and do something nice.

And there's plenty of ways to do it without bankrolling Hallmark. Colombo's a beautiful city, with lots of hidden gems yet to be explored. We've made a few suggestions for fun, free(ish) things to do this Valentines - a few ways ways to enjoy the city and interact with its natural beauty while surprising your partner.

  1. Enjoy a stunning view of the Indian Ocean from the Galle Buck Lighthouse
  2. Watch the sunset from Marine Drive
  3. Take a walk down Mount Lavinia beach
  4. Look at some art at the Sapumal Foundation
  5. Watch the stars at the Planetarium
  6. Have a saltwater swim and sundown cocktails at the Galle Face Hotel
  7. Explore Nugegoda's new Urban Wetland Park
See the full list with details here.

Gifts & Where To Buy Them


Gifts. Valentine's is three days away and the pressure is on. Where can you find something cool, interesting and thoughtful that isn't from ODEL? While the mainstream options aren't terrible - Shirohana does make some beautiful if expensive bouquets and ODEL, well, there's usually something amidst that mass of puppy print T-shirts and bling - they can be little bit boring. All of ODEL's wares have that distinct Otara-touched aura - you either know immediately where they're from or you've seen it all before. This doesn't make for the most exciting of presents - especially on that one day where everyone's vying to be extra thoughtful and unique.

So where to go? Colombo, while no Singapore or Malaysia, isn't quite the shopper's desert locals may perceive it to be; there are a few good options here and there, and the weeks running up to V'day needn't be spent booking frantic flights to the subcontinental shopper's Mecca.

We've made a list of some cool gifts from lesser known spots.

  1. Antique bling from Hewage & Sons Jewellers
  2. Cupcake bouquet from Deepika Kodikara
  3. French macarons/red velvet cupcakes from Munchkin
  4. Puppies from ikman.lk
  5. Chocolate making class from Trekurious
  6. Flowers from Silani Flora
  7. General pretty things from Casa Serena
See the full list with details here.