A recipe for romance

Because Valentine’s Day is synonymous with love and romance, if you have a date on February 14th, you will want to make sure it ticks all the right boxes.

Women seem to have an innate sense for what does and does not constitute romantic; men… less so. It is one of those concepts that is hard to define, yet you know it when you have it.

If you want to ensure a Valentine’s celebration filled with romance, here are a few pointers.

Location, location, location

Many couples choose to go out for dinner but for romance you need to have the right atmosphere.

Choose somewhere that is intimate, relatively quiet, and if possible in a picturesque setting.

In Cayman, of course we are spoilt for choice.

One establishment that always exudes romance is Grand Old House. “You simply can’t beat the setting. You are dining alfresco, under the stars and at the water’s edge,” says maitre d’ Lazlo Boros.

You definitely want to go upscale – somewhere special – on this of all days.

Not only because splashing out shows that you are really keen, but because you want to be sure the service will be pleasant but discreet, the food will be good and you will not be hustled out to make way for the next seating.

You do not want to have to wave your arms around to get your server’s attention, nor do you want the kind of service that is intrusive or overly familiar.

Romance is a sensual experience, as is eating, so make sure the meal will appeal to all your senses and that you will have time to linger, to sip your wine, savour the food and let conversation flow.

If you are planning to make a weekend of it the Sister Islands are a great place to get away from it all.

The Alexander Hotel on Cayman Brac make it a painless trip to plan, offering packages that include airfare, two nights accommodation and a special Valentine’s dinner on the Saturday night.

The menu

Many restaurants are offering special Valentine’s menus but Grand Old House has gone one step further putting together a sumptuous five course menu featuring all manner of delicacies known to stimulate desire.

Ever since time began certain foods have been associated as having a positive effect on libido.

Scientists have had no success in proving that these foods do in fact have any physiological effect, but that has done nothing to dampen our enthusiasm for these ingredients.

Number one on the list of aphrodisiacal foods in the western world is probably oysters.

Also high on the list is champagne, caviar, truffles, foie gras, figs and asparagus.

Theories explaining how aphrodisiacs affect us are varied.

Some look at the chemical composition (for example, oysters have a high zinc content which promotes sperm and testosterone production), others are based on the assumption that by eating something that is involved in the reproductive process (such as caviar = eggs), it will enhance their own prowess.

If you were to travel further east in search of arousing foods, you might be offered a cup of rattlesnake blood, birds nest soup, ground rhino horn or puffer fish testes.

It is interesting to note that both western and eastern aphrodisiacs are more often than not rare and expensive items that we consider to be delicacies.

Perhaps it is their very scarcity that inspires lust.

This would also explain why in 16th century Europe potatoes, carrots and celery – at that time exotic imports from faraway lands – were considered aphrodisiacs.

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