Vermont Valentine’s Day: Gift Ideas, Restaurants & Romantic Experiences
My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense. You see, one of the biggest real estate conferences (yes, I’m a Vermont Realtor if you need one!) I attend is always on or over Valentine’s Day weekend. We typically do something informal during the week… But let’s face it, we don’t need a day to appreciate one another or to plan a romantic getaway. We have plenty of adventures throughout this year! This year, I’m buying some ribeye steaks from Vermont Meat & Seafood, which I’ll pair with some creamy mashed potatoes and some kind of local roasted veg. It’s still easy for a weeknight meal but a step up from one normal weekday dinners. We don’t give each other Valentine’s Day gifts, but if we did, these items and experiences would be on my list to both give and receive.
Vermont-Made Valentine’s Day Gifts
Rose Gold Hammered Studs from Matthew Taylor Designs
Anything from my favorite jeweler in Vermont, Matthew Taylor Designs, would be an amazing gift. Getting engaged? Create a custom ring with Matthew’s help. Want a necklace with a family stone? Matthew can help. This year he created these sweet and simple rose gold hammered studs you can wear every day. I love them and have gotten so many compliments on them. They’re hand-made in Shelburne and sell for $175. Limited quantities and they’re available on their website as well!
A Self Care Day
Every woman in your life would appreciate some time for yourself. Maybe it’s a yoga pass to her favorite yoga studio for the month (I love Yoga Roots and Soulshine Yoga). Or perhaps it’s a spa day at one of the amazing spas throughout Vermont. Maybe it’s a new experience like the float spa / deprivation tank in South Burlington or ashiatsu massage from Brilliant Skin & Massage. Maybe it’s a new skin care routine from Vermont-based Lillian Sophia, Tata Harper or Ursa Major. The self-care possibilities are endless and are always a special gift.
Who doesn’t love receiving fresh flowers, especially in the Vermont winter? Add some color to your space with some local flowers or plants. I love Claussen’s arrangements and indoor flowering plants. Middlebury Floral & Gifts does lovely work in Middlebury, as down Scentsations in Bristol, Vermont.
Vermont Experiences to Have as a Couple
I’m all about collecting as many life experiences as possible. So when it comes to gifts, they tend to be a new experience together (or a sporting event). Here are a few fun Vermont experiences to have as a couple for Valentine’s Day this year.
What is sexier than a little competition? Check out Burlington’s new axe throwing location, BurlyAxe. Don some flannel and see who is best suited as lumber jack.
Visit a Salt Cave
Want some rejuvenation and a unique experience? Head to the Salt Cave at Purple Sage in the Essex Experience. The hour-long experience equals a day at the beach with all kinds of restorative benefits. It’s relaxing and romantic!
Relax with a Couple’s Massage
I am a huge fan of self-care as an experience you can enjoy together. In the Burlington area, visit Rod Cain Massage – the best massage I’ve ever had. In the Mad River Valley, head to Mad River Massage for an incredible couples massage. If you’re in Southern Vermont and want a full spa experience, I love the overall ambiance and services at the Spa at the Woodstock Inn!
Experience A Cooking Class at The Essex
Every day of the week, The Essex Culinary Resort & Spa holds cooking classes. These interactive cooking classes are limited to a few couples and are finished by a delicious meal prepared by the class. Or if you’re not in the mood to cook, Junction offers seating at a chef’s table where you can watch meals be made in front of you.
Rejuvenate Your Skin with Couples’ Facials
If your winter skin need a refresher, you need to go see Brilliant Skin & Massage in downtown Burlington for a couples facial. All of our skin can use some love during the long winter season in Vermont!
Romantic Vermont Restaurants for Valentine’s Day
If you’re making plans for a romantic dinner for Valentine’s Day, here are some of my favorite romantic restaurants around the state with beautiful views and delicious food.
Hen of the Wood, Burlington and Waterbury – Good luck getting a reservation. In Burlington, though, there’s always the option to try to get a seat at the bar last minute.
Juniper, Hotel Vermont, Burlington – Juniper has an amazing menu and cocktails in an inviting space. Don’t miss the outside fire pit!
Trattoria Delia, Burlington – Italian food is so dreamy, and Trattoria Delia makes any holiday more special.
Michael’s on the Hill, Waterbury Center – Michael’s is my favorite special occasion restaurant in Vermont. The food is to-die-for and the old farmhouse ambiance really is romantic.
Starry Night Cafe, Ferrisburgh – Starry Night is always high-quality. The dishes are beautiful, as is the round dining room.
Tourterelle, New Haven – Just outside of Middlebury, Tourterelle is a charming French restaurant. Don’t miss the Bouillabaise and ask for a table by the fireplace if you can!
Red Clover Inn, Mendon – Outside of Rutland (towards Killington), The Red Clover Inn is a beautiful inn with an even better restaurant. The food is outstanding and definitely a hidden gem.
Simon Pearce, Quechee – There’s nothing more romantic that dinner overlooking the waterfalls and covered bridge, while utilizing the beautifully crafted glassware from Simon Pearce. The food is amazing!
Vermont-Inspired Meals to Make a Home
Or, if you’re like me and would prefer to splurge on a special meal at home, here are a few ideas, featuring some Vermont favorites.
Vermont Meat & Cheese Board
What’s more romantic that getting some Jasper Hill Farm Cheese (Harbison, Little Hosmer, Bayley Hazen Blue, and Cabot Clothbound are my go-tos) wth some Vermont Salumi meats. Throw on some Marcona almonds, cornichon, figs (or dried almond-date cake), a smear of jam and mustard, and you have a delicious meal. I like Castleton Crackers on the side (the Salted Maple might be my favorite cracker ever.)
Surf & Turf
There isn’t a shortage of amazing grass-fed beef in Vermont. Pick up some local steaks and grab some seafood from Vermont Meat & Seafood in Williston, Ray’s Seafood in Essex, or Costello’s Market in Middlebury. A filet with some bacon-wrapped scallops on the side? Or a sous vide ribeye with some coconut shrimp? The opportunities are endless for surf-and-turf in Vermont.
Misty Knoll Chicken Coq-au-Vin
French food is endlessly romantic. And there’s something so comforting about a slow-roasted Chicken Coq Au Vin with a whole Misty Knoll Farm chicken. It’s warming for a deep-winter night in Vermont and isn’t super time intensive. Here’s one of my favorite recipes from Ina Garten.
What are you doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Vermont? Share below to keep the conversation going!
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