The Love List
Love is in the air as Valentine’s Day approaches. Whether you plan on spending Feb. 14 with your partner, gals or pals, the City Paper pulled together some ideas for how to celebrate. Instead of the same old dinner-and-a-movie date, try one of these new activities or experiences, order unique sweet treats or simply kick it at home with order-in meal options.
For the adventurous/active couple
Couples Night Climb
at Wild Blue Ropes
Feb. 14, 4-7 p.m.
Wild Blue Ropes Adventure Park on James Island welcomes couples this Valentine’s Day for a night climb. Take on the course together to surpass obstacles such as rope ladders, zip lines, a swinging bridge and more. The course is designed for all skill levels, and the experience is $90 per couple, including climbing gloves. After your adventure, relax by a bonfire for a romantic night under the stars.
For the artsy couple
Music at the Library:
Choose Your Own Opera Adventure — Lover’s Edition
Feb. 14, 6-7 p.m.
The Charleston Library Society and Holy City Arts & Lyric Opera offer an interactive operatic experience that will delight lovers looking for a unique Valentine’s Day adventure. Will the stars of the evening be lovers or enemies? Will there be betrayal or devotion? Will the forlorn antiheroes claim their desires no matter the costs? All these decisions are up to the audience during this special performance. Tickets are $25 for Charleston Library Society members and $35 for guests. Purchase tickets at charlestonlibrarysociety.org.
Valentine’s Day Paint Pottery
& Sip with Goats
Feb. 14, 6 p.m.
Flowertown Charm ups the ante of a typical wine-and-paint night by adding goats to the mix. This class takes place at Summerville farm Flowertown Charm with all supplies provided. Goats and other animals roam freely while attendees paint. Paint stands, canvases and supplies are included, along with a complimentary farm-inspired wine glass to take home. Drinks are not provided, so bring your own beverages to enjoy. Tickets are $50 and available for purchase at FlowertownCharm.com.
Singles can experience the magic of this mini-urban farm during the Feb. 10 Must Love Goats event, where you can roast marshmallows and admire the adorable goats in sweaters.
For the foodie couple
Order-in from a local restaurant
Planning a Valentine’s Day dinner can be hectic. Reservations may be difficult to secure (especially these days) and sometimes whipping up a big home-cooked meal is a bigger hassle than it’s worth. Fortunately, some Charleston establishments make it easy to celebrate Valentine’s Day at home.
Johns Island seafood restaurant Blu Oyster Sushi & Seafood offers take-home sushi platters with specialty rolls, maki rolls, nigiri, sashimi, and octopus and seaweed salad. Whether you’re ordering for just the two of you or a group of friends for a Galentine’s Day party, this platter feeds up to 20 people and starts at $155. Place orders online at BluOyster.com.
Local meal delivery service Table & Twine also offers a selection of one-day special meal kits for couples and families. Treat yourselves to the surf and turf meal for $127.99, which includes fruit and cheese to start, chargrilled filet mignon accompanied by a haricot vert and lobster carbonara as the main course, with dark chocolate tortes to finish the meal. For an extra $13.99, order hand-rolled truffles in pistachio cherry, cookies and cream and coconut passionfruit for a dessert. Families can join in on the fun with the family pizza kit for $52.99 and Valentine’s cookie kit for $17.99. Place orders at tableandtwine.com.
For the partner who
still needs to buy a gift
Give a local wine subscription
Wine is the unofficial drink of Valentine’s Day, either paired with a delicious meal or as a gift for a significant other. If it’s a gift for your loved one, take the extra step and enroll them in one of the many wine clubs in Charleston.
Wine clubs vary at each place, but the idea is simple: It’s a subscription-based service offering a selection of wines each month for club members.
Herd Provisions’ club is run by the restaurant’s wine consultant Kellie Holmes. For $85 per month, with a three, six or 12-month commitment, members get four bottles of wine selected by Holmes each month.
“We have a lot of members, but everyone is super passionate,” Holmes said. “It keeps things nice and intimate.”
Herd hosts a wine tasting on the second Tuesday of each month for current members to try the wines of the month and for prospective members to get a taste and learn more about the club.
“You get a more focused understanding of why we select the wines, hear more about the story of the wine and what excites us about it,” Holmes said.
Mount Pleasant’s SAVI Cucina + Wine Bar also offers a wine club specializing in “one size fits one,” according to SAVI co-owner Ty Raju.
Members can choose wines from SAVI Cucina + Wine Bar, along with its newly opened sister location Sommba Cocina & Cellar in Mount Pleasant.
“We know everyone has a different palate,” Raju said. “But when they come to SAVI, or Sommba now, [members] are able to taste through an entire flight, all the offerings we have, and they can pick one, two, three or four bottles, whatever membership level they have. We’re not picking it for them.”
With the help of floor sommeliers and wine club director Makayla Woodford, club members can choose a wine that’s right for them.
“We do a lot of work on the front end finding really awesome wine for our wine club members,” Woodford said. “We want to provide the opportunity for you to do whatever you want in our clubs.”
Other Charleston establishments offer wine clubs as well, including Dashi, Charleston Wine Co., Graft Wine Shop and Wine Bar, Monarch Wine Merchant, Vintage Lounge, Well Hung Vineyard and Accent on Wine.
Surprise your partner with flowers from Roadside Blooms
Park Circle flower shop Roadside Blooms offers unique, gorgeous floral arrangements for couples this Valentine’s Day. Choose from several different options, including various floral arrangements, flowers for him or the Indulgent Package, which includes flowers in a mug, a locally made candle, body butter and a chocolate bar. Place orders through RoadsideBloomsShop.com.
For the romantic couple
at the Terrace Theater
Feb. 14, 7:45 p.m.
For those who still enjoy a more traditional kind of date, the Terrace Theater is screening classic romance movie Chocolat starring Johnny Depp, Juliette Binoche and Alfred Molina. Binoche’s character Vianne and her daughter move to a French town to open a chocolate shop, but the strict religious community is hesitant to accept the newcomers. Along the way, Vianne finds unexpected romance.
Send your sweetheart a Singing Valentine on Ohm Radio
Sending an Ohm Radio Singing Valentine to a loved one is a Holy City tradition. Choose a song to play on air for $25, order a digital performance for $40 or book a singer for $60.
The group of local vocalists who will croon sweet nothings this year include Lee Barbour, Joel Timmons, Ward Buckheister, Zandrina Dunning, Grace McNally, Chris Dodson, Dallas Baker, Vikki Matsis, Zach Giglio, Emma Giglio, Christina Dolan and Beattie Porter.
Buckheister of Charleston act Sol Driven Train said it’s a unique way to show your affection.
“I live for a day filled with love conspiracies and tears of joy,” he told the City Paper. “To share in another’s joy is a special gift of human connection in action. The privilege of actually being a joybringer facilitating a connection between two others is surreal. Singing about love to someone on their doorstep is hard to top! I have goosebumps just thinking about it.”
This year, one lucky person will receive two tickets to the High Water Festival, which returns to Riverfront Park from April 15-16, along with their Singing Valentine.
To surprise your sweetheart, you can choose from a variety of songs, including “In My Life” by The Beatles, “My Girl” by The Temptations, “It Had To Be You” by Gus Kahn, “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri and “No One” by Alicia Keys.
Local vocalist and producer Dunning said, “I love seeing the looks on people’s faces when they figure out that we’re coming to make their day (or embarrass them) with a song from their loved one.”
For the couple
with a wild side
Visit an adult boutique
An adult boutique may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of Valentine’s Day, but shopping with your partner is a great way to learn more about each other and deepen the connection.
“It’s a really great way to explore an interest together or maybe even share an interest that you’re not really sure how to broach that subject,” said Laura Luedke, Guilty Pleasures’ store manager. “And if you’ve been together for a while, it can add a little bit of spark back into your relationship and help bring each other closer.”
Luedke said the store was designed with women in mind to create a comfortable, boutique atmosphere. At the front of the store, you’ll find items like lingerie, couples games and massage oil. “Nothing that’s going to make you go, ‘Oh my God,’ ” she said. But couples who want to explore further can venture into other areas of the store for more, ahem, advanced products.
“We want it to be a comfortable experience for everyone to come in and see the store,” Luedke said. “Come with an open mind. We’re friendly! And a healthy sex life is part of a normal life for each and every individual out there regardless of what their personal preference might be. [Shopping together] is a really great way for couples to learn more about each other.”
Get a tattoo together
Couples tattoos can be risky, but if you’re looking for a wild way to spend time together, find a design you both agree on and get inked! (Disclaimer: City Paper is not responsible for any bad tattoo ideas. That’s on you — literally and figuratively.)
The City Paper’s 2022 Best Tattoo Artist Ashley B. McMullen gave a word of advice for anyone considering a couple’s tattoo: “I do always say to stay away from names because, it’s not that it’s bad luck, but it [comes across] more or less that you don’t know too much about the other person other than their name.”
Instead, McMullen recommends a more meaningful design — whether it’s sentimental or an inside joke.
“That being said, I can only warn you, but I am willing to tattoo names all day long on holidays,” she said, laughing. Tattooers give advice for good reason, but it is, after all, your own skin at risk. Proceed with caution.
Samantha Connors, Chloe Hogan, Chelsea Grinstead, Michael Pham and Hillary Reaves contributed to this story.
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