Pleasures and Proposals

by | Jan 28, 2019

Valentine’s drinks, desserts and ideas for your engagement photos


Maybe it’s because it is Janu-worry with half the continent on a diet of some sorts and the wallet a bit thin. Coupled with the fact that the next holidays is still way off, my February mind wanders off to exotic destinations, waffles in all its delicious possibilities, outrageous cakes and heart-shaped desserts, red cocktails with fancy accompaniments and champagne. Always champagne.

In February #MoetMoments is my favourite hashtag.


The ultimate Valentines breakfast with views over the Paris Arc de Triomphe (Photo credit: @green.fortunate.future)

Maybe you want to propose this month. Maybe not. Perhaps 2020 and its leap year possibilities opens up all kinds of avenues for you, but one thing is for certain: from restaurant dinners to romantic getaways, Valentine’s would not be complete without aspirational destinations, food and wine. Like sleep – the ultimate solution to most problems. #Trustme

So we’ve decided to share some magnificent ideas with you – it is up to you to imagine a shiny diamond propped up on the cupcake, inside the champagne flute or perched on a delicious scoop of ice cream.

May our fun image gallery of exotic proposal locations, magnificent drinks and desserts and recipes spark some ideas for your favourite romantic month of the year.




Venice, Italy

Photo credit: Photographer Kinga Leftska

“It took Jasdeep six weeks to get an engagement ring designed and done for the woman of his dreams – Alisha. He wanted this proposal to be a dream one. That’s why one Thursday evening he gave Alisha a surprise present – two return flights to Venice for the next day!”, lifestyle photographer Kinga Leftska relates on his website.

“Friday evening they flew over to Italy from the UK to spend a weekend on the lagoon. She had no idea it wasn’t the only surprise! Weeks in advance, me and Jasdeep planned the whole proposal to be perfect. He decided he wanted to do it on the gondola. We met right before the ride and everything went pretty smooth – an hour before the Sun was meant to set we were already floating on the glistering Venetian waters. When crossing the Grand Canal, Jasdeep grabbed Alisha’s hand and kneeled down – she had absolutely no idea this was going to happen!”


Paris, France

Photo credit: Pierre Torset

Pierre Torset is a specialist Paris Engagement Photographer and his website is teeming with breath-taking iconic engagement shoots and marriage proposals in the oh-so-romantic capital of France.

In true French style Torset seduces with his images and words: “Paris is just about one of the greatest place to get couple pictures… So let me take you through the sloping paved streets of Montmartre, let’s cross together the most stunning bridges, let me show you the best views on the Eiffel tower, le Sacre-Coeur or le Moulin Rouge, or let’s just take the time to feel Paris differently … whatever you are looking for, the idea is for you to enjoy being together by discovering or rediscovering Paris.”


Dubai Desert proposal

Photo credit: Bernie and Bindi Photographers

“For a photographer, one of the great things about Dubai has always been shooting in the desert. The vast open space, the texture, the color and the ever changing landscape make it a very special place. Throw in a beautiful couple, and an amazing dress and you have the recipe for some really cool photos” according to husband and wife photography team, Bernie & Bindi. Based in Dubai, they travel all over the world and took these photos of Binal and Vinesh ahead of their destination wedding in Dubai.


Cappadocia, Turkey


What do you get when a photographer stages his own proposal shoot? We will let you be the judge, but it’s nothing short of spectacular when a 100 hot air balloons are involved. According to Daily Mail, Jake Snow and Marie Fe travel the world together and regularly post self-timed photos against some of the world’s most precious views.

“When 26-year-old Australian photographer Jake asked his German girlfriend Marie, 28, to pose for a photo in Cappadocia, Turkey, she thought nothing was amiss”.

Jake had four weeks to plan the engagement from location shoot to the nitty gritty of getting the actual engagement ring: “I knew Marie had a minimalist, natural style so I wanted to find something that was unique, raw and natural.” Jake chose a ring and then had moments of doubt: “’It wasn’t until five days before we were flying to Turkey that I had second thoughts about the ring I had chosen. I was just skimming through photos when I found THE ONE. As soon as I saw it I knew that it was the one, a bit like when I saw Marie for the first time.”

While we don’t have the behind the scenes secret of these outrageously beautiful engagement shoots, I could bet my grandmas Trousseau chest that there surely would have been romantic foods and wines involved.

Create your own Valentines and proposal moments with super ideas which can easily be executed with the help of your local hotel’s pastry chef, your favourite bakery and the trusted corner wine store.

No proposal is complete with something delicious to toast with. While champagne is always perfect for any occasion, life is full of exciting options. True to tradition Valentine’s is all about #reddrinks.

Top contenders for #reddrinks are cranberry juice, raspberries, strawberries and if you are a bit of a cheat, a dash of food colouring.

We love’s 31 red and pink cocktail recipes for Valentine’s day:

The oddly named ‘Merchants wife’ cocktail, originally from Stella Rosa Pizza Bar in Santa Monica, is a mix of watermelon, gin, Aperol, lemon juice and club soda. sings the praises of this watermelon-based cocktails as ” well-balanced and pleasantly effervescent. The mild astringency of the Aperol tugs back at the melon’s sweetness and reignites the gin, elevating this brightly-hued cocktail to the heights of sophistication.” Get the recipe for The Merchant’s Wife here.

An interesting take on Bourbon comes in the form of Bourbon Smash Jelly Shots – red jelly shots with fresh raspberries and mint and just a touch of bourbon. Get the very simple how-to from this link . A great ice-breaker if ever there was one.

The innocent-looking Lose Your Shoes Cocktail sounds like the instructions to a very successful Valentine’s evening. “Bartender Kaiko Tulloch riffs on the Champagne cocktail with a more floral and herbal version at Lucky Liquor Co. in Edinburgh”, according to Legend has it that the name for the dangerously delicious drink comes from a customer who claimed she would lose her shoes if she had a couple more. Interesting in losing your shoes on Valentine’s night? Here’s how to.

Looking for something that will last all night long? The Rednose Punch. Packed with cranberry, beer and bourbon this punch is cinnamon-infused and perfect for an evening of Valentine’s sips. Click here for your detailed recipe.

Have you picked a favourite yet? Which one will you be trying out for Valentines pre-dinner or through-the-night-drinks?





Bless Sweden’s romantic soul – the traditional waffle iron is heart shaped and goes back as far as the 19th century. A country’s national delicacy has its foundation in romance. National Waffle Day is celebrated in Sweden on March 25 according to Wikipedia. While India celebrates Waffle day on July 19 and the U.S. on August 2 (the date of a U.S. patent on a waffle iron), South Africa is sorely lacking in a National waffle day.

Our suggestion? Create your own National waffle day and make it coincide with Valentine’s Day – it will be the most romantic time spent in the kitchen. For a change you will be excused if your Valentine’s gift is a utility item – a waffle pan would be most welcome if the fruit of its labour is accompanied by an engagement ring. Slip a diamond ring on top of your perfect creation.


Glorious cakes

Nothing says I love you better than cakes – glorious cakes in all their shapes and sizes from bite size morsels to ginormous artistic creations. Paired with chocolate its unbeatable. Our favourites are from a family bakery called Pajamas and Jam. Feast your eyes and then your senses this Valentine’s – you would be forgiven if you start with dessert and bypass the mains altogether!

Paired with chocolate its unbeatable.


Drinks and dessert don’t start with the same initials per chance – it’s where foodie pleasures and proposals meet. If our locations, drinks and eats have not inspired you enough, click on our December blog for creative ways to propose – with food and sometimes sadly without.

Crossing fingers that Cupid will not be missing his target this February.



She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.


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