At Red Carnation Hotels, Valentine’s Day holds a special significance. Ours is a story that began in the ’50s when our founder, Beatrice Tollman, met a distinguished young hotelier named Stanley. As their romance blossomed, so too did the Red Carnation Hotel collection, our name and logo chosen for the signature red carnation Stanley always wore on his lapel. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, here we discover the most elegant dining experiences across our collection.
George V Dining Room at Ashford Castle, Ireland
Each of Ashford Castle’s opulent rooms are laced with antique details that narrate the extraordinary history they have experienced. One such storied setting is the George V Dining Room, so named for the distinguished Princes of Wales—and subsequent George V of England—who visited in 1905. The dining room is a masterpiece of regal design: a medallion carpet sweeps across the entire floor, its floral umbers, ochres and teals accentuating the refined neoclassical wood panelling on the high walls. Above the panelling, patinated inlaid mirror-work adds an Art Deco aesthetic, while reflecting the radiant light of the Waterford Crystal chandeliers that cascade gracefully from the dining room’s coffered ceiling.
Enjoy the live piano accompaniment amid this elegant setting while savouring Ireland’s grandest delicacies—all locally sourced—from cold-smoked salmon and West Ireland lamb to an array of printemps desserts.
The Grill Room and Ocean Terrace at The Oyster Box, Umhlanga
At The Oyster Box—where the Red Carnation Hotels romance started almost 70 years ago—both The Grill Room and The Ocean Terrace offer carefully curated Valentine’s Day dinners. As the reddening sun sets over the Indian Ocean, dine en plein air at The Ocean Terrace, looking out over one of South Africa’s most romantic views. Here, the illuminated red-and-white Umhlanga lighthouse stands sentinel over the gentle sweeps of coastal wavelets, while the pleasant sound of back-and-forth crests harmonises with the dulcet notes of our resident band. At The Grill Room, combine the impeccable spices of your internationally inspired dinner with spirited dancing. Our ornate interiors will open up to romantic rhythms, as an upbeat yet elegant ensemble of musical styles recreates the grand salon balls of old.
Windows at Hotel d’Angleterre, Geneva
On the charismatic Quai de Mont-Blanc, Windows Restaurant looks out at perhaps the prettiest panorama in all Switzerland, one that’s especially poetic in the dark blue light of late evening. Here, the midnight purples of Lac Léman reflect the orange nightlights of the Old-World shorefront, while beyond, a caesious twilight sky frames the white caps of the Alps and Jura mountains. Floor-to-ceiling windows span the entirety of Windows Restaurant, offering guests an unrestricted view of the outside splendour.
This Valentine’s Day, combine Windows Restaurant’s stunning setting with its freshly prepared signature dishes. A menu personally curated by Mrs. Tollman, and featuring many of her classic recipes, combines an international array of culinary creativity, which pairs superbly with the unforgettable view.
The English Grill and Curry Room at The Rubens at the Palace, London
At The Rubens at the Palace, embrace our stunning range of elegant dining options come Valentine’s Day. Begin your night with crisp, chilled Champagne and artisan canapés at The New York Bar, before continuing to the debonair English Grill for spirited classics including the theatrical Dover Sole and flavourful English Beef Wellington. For a more Eastern flavour, there’s the Rajasthani-inspired Curry Room, offering rich curry dishes and a tantalising shared dessert selection.
Azure at The Twelve Apostles, Cape Town
The ‘fairest cape’ is awash with dazzling colours the whole day through. From the saffrons of early morning to the ceruleans of midday and late afternoon to the lilacs of evening, few panoramas are as consonant as they are evocative. Azure Restaurant, sat serenely on the coast, takes perfect advantage of the vivid view.
For Valentine’s Day, Executive Chef Christo Pretorius has curated a five-course tasting menu that’s inspired by the romantic view over the Atlantic Ocean and Lion’s Head mountain beyond and makes excellent use of Cape Town’s rich bounty of fresh ingredients.
Cheneston’s at The Milestone Hotel, London
In Kensington, The Milestone Hotel has designed two unique Valentine’s Day dining experiences. Set amid the classic interiors of Cheneston’s, Executive Head Chef Daniel Putz has designed a regal five-course dinner combining all manner of locally sourced favourites that are formal and flavourful in equal measure. Or, for a truly reverent setting, couples may reserve The Milestone’s original chapel, The Oratory, which boasts rich mahogany panelling and listed Victorian features, for a private evening. Here, vintage Champagne, a sommelier-selected wine list and even a personal mixologist—upon request—await alongside a tailored five-course dinner.
Red Carnation Hotels excels at providing Valentine’s Day experiences, from romantic excursions to elegant private dining.