Sick of the movies? Tired of wining and dining? Over the same old…? If you’re looking for a date with a difference, why not try one of these – and then kick on for a bit of sustenance after.
This indoor petanque bar specialises in the simple game of boules – for the unfamiliar, a bowling-like game using metal balls – which is easily picked up but difficult to master. That is, perfect date material. Have a beer (or an absinthe), indulge in some excellent French cheese and engage in a little friendly competition. It’s all very French – which is romantic, of course. Café Petanque, 18 Woo Hop St, Shek Tong Tsui, 2872 0102;lesboules.hk.
Eat the French way while you woo like a Gallic love machine! Bistronomique, Shop B, G/F, 1 Davis St, Kennedy Town, 2818 8266.
COST: 60 minutes at Les Boules $80 x 2 + Bistronomique $340 x 2. Total: $840.
Humour on a date is a great thing but jokes that don’t work can be kind of… awkward. So why not leave that to the awkwardness professionals? Spending the evening at Takeout Comedy Club can be a bonding experience, and you’ll have plenty to laugh about (or at?) after the show. TakeOut Comedy,Basement, 34 Elgin St, Soho; takeoutcomedy.com; hkimprovfestival.com.
AND THEN... Try tapas to bring you close. Boqueria, 7/F, LKF Tower, 33 Wyndham St, Central, 2321 8681.
COST: Comedy $150 x 2 + Boqueria $475 x 2. Total: $1,250.
Views of the skyline are inherently romantic. But, then again, we all get a bit snobbish about the vistas in Hong Kong, don’t we? So, on your next special date, why not take it to the next level with a romantic helicopter ride? The Peninsula’s China Clipper takes you around the harbour and over the skyscrapers of Central, providing the most unique views of the city. The Peninsula Hotel, Salisbury Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2696 6691; peninsula.com.
AND THEN... Make it a complete view-centric evening with dinner at Felix, the Pen’s ultra-modern purveyor of fine contemporary cuisine. Felix,
28/F, Peninsula Hotel.
COST: 15-minute helicopter flight and five-course dinner at Felix: $8,674.
Some say chivalry is dead. But perhaps that’s just because people aren’t going on enough horse-related dates any more. At Tai Tong Lychee Valley Riding School, you and your partner can remedy that. From experienced equestrians to novice riders, you can hop on horseback and take a gentle stroll around the grassy grounds. It’s not like riding through the rolling countryside of Britain but it’s still some excellent horsing around. Tai Tong Lychee Valley Riding School, Tai Tong Tsuen, Yuen Lang, 2470 3638; taitong.com.hk.
AND THEN... Sushi is always a good option. Robataya Japanese Restaurant,Shop 1, Crystal Park Block 1, 50 Ma Tin Rd, Yuen Long, 2479 0123.
COST: $20 Entry Fees + $50 for feeding horses/a pony ride/walking with a pony + Robataya Japanese Restaurant $300 x 2. Total: $740.
Biking in Nam Sang Wai
Cycling through gorgeous surrounds can be a great relaxing, no-frills date. This beautiful swampland is a popular biking destination for its views, green, green grass and getting-away-from-it-all atmopshere. We recommend stopping at the stilted noodle shop next to the gentle stream for a relaxed pitstop. Rent a bike easily outside Yuen Long and Long Ping MTR Stations.
AND THEN... Grab an alfresco drink at Biere von Irene, which stocks excellent German and micro brews. 7-25 Yau San St, Yuen Long.
COST: Bicycle rental for a day $100 x 2 + Biere von Irene $100 x 2. Total: $400.
Sideways Driving Club
For couples who feel the need for speed, this indoor racing club is top gear fun. Show off your driving skills on the state-of-the-art digital driving simulators and then joke about your date’s driving skills in the Sideways bar afterwards. It’s possibly the city’s only place where it’s okay to drink and drive. Sideways Driving Club, LG/F, 1-2 Chancery Ln, Central, 2523 0983; sideways-driving-club.com.
COST: 30-minute session $200 (off-peak) or $300 (peak) + Taboo $150 x2. Total: $700.
Did someone say cliché? Precisely! If there’s anything movies like The Notebook have taught us, it’s that a little bit of rowing, a few swans and some splashing water is the ultimate combination to get hearts aflutter. You should test it out. Lake Egret Nature Park, 2 Hung Lam Dr, Tai Po Kau, 2657 6657;lakeegret.com.
AND THEN... Enjoy the sunset while you eat. Little Egret Restaurant, 1/F, Lake Egret Nature Park, 2657 6628.
COST: 30-minute boating sesh $50 + Little Egret Restaurant $150 x 2. Total: $350.
Tram ride to the end of the line
Many people living in the city have never done all the cheesy things tourists often do straight away. If that sounds like you – and you’d like a mini romantic getaway – jump on the romance-filled Happy Valley-bound tram from Kennedy Town, grab the front seats on the top deck and watch the city go by. It takes 60 minutes, during which you’ll take in the historic Western district, frantic Central and all the fun of Wan Chai, all from a different perspective. It’ll feel like you’re on holiday…
AND THEN... Enjoy dinner and drinks straight out of Belle Epoque, right at the end of the line. St Germain, 1A Wong Nai Chung Rd, Happy Valley, 2836 6131.
COST: Tram ride $2.3 x 2 + St Germain $400 x 2. Total: $804.6.
We swear, on a really clear night, if you get away from all the bright lights (and smog and roadside pollution et al), it’s possible to do some romantic stargazing in the SAR. Just picture it now: you and another, lying on a blanket, the stars gleaming, pointing out Orion’s belt and other similarly impressive formations. The Hong Kong Astropark, opened in 2010, is specially designed for all your stargazing needs. They even have camping facilities, if you’re keen on making a night of it. Chong Hing Water Sports Centre, Sai Kung East Country Park, 2721 0226; bit.ly/hkastropark.
COST: Watching stars $0 + Hebe One o One $300 x 2. Total: $600.
Out at Tai Mei Tuk, you can fly both the flag of love and kite of fun at the same time. Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine to the beautifully picturesque surrounds of the New Territories village, and let your finest kites (and hearts) soar skyward. Tai Mei Tuk, from Tai Po Market Station on the East Rail line and take the 20C minibus.
AND THEN... Have an artistic dinner experience at Café de Country Art, 64B Lung Mei Village, Tai Mei Tuk, 2824 1812.
COST: Kite $50 x 2 + Café de Country $100 x 2. Total: $350.