St. Augustine is a place of romance and Valentine’s Day gifts

It’s time for one of the most romantic days of the year ― or potentially one of the most stressful for those unprepared.

But, luckily, St. Augustine is home to plenty of places to pick up a last-minute gift or plan an impulsive outing.

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Of course, it wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without gourmet food and drink to celebrate the occasion with that loved one. February 14 even surpasses Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as the most popular holidays to dine on.

St. Augustine’s culinary landscape has come into its own in recent years, with many notable establishments serving up trendy, innovative, and gourmet cuisine. Readers will find top restaurants (Collage, Raintree, Llama, etc.) already booked by the time this story comes out, but there are others that may still have openings, especially if you’re willing to be flexible. going out to dinner the day before or after, or settling on lunch instead of an evening meal. Even better, most offer special menus or dishes to share for two.

Just a few ideas:

  • Columbia Restaurant: Specialties include roasted Gulf of Mexico oysters with a creamy spinach filling drizzled with citrus butter; baked sea bass fillet topped with slivered almonds and tarragon lobster butter; and espresso chocolate cake with sherried strawberries and whipped cream. For a festive aperitif, ask for the Pink Squirrel cocktail. Prices vary.
  • La Cocina International: nut soup, five-course prix fixe meal with selections like beef carpaccio, ahi tuna, duck and pheasant pate, lobster tails, short ribs and scallops, and more again ; plus an additional wine pairing option. $100 per person.
  • Restaurant Sainte-George: the Valentine’s Day tasting menu includes a choice of entrée (such as tuna and beef sashimi); Soupe; salad; and entrée (like surf and turf or wild sea bass with black rice risotto and green coconut curry); more dessert. $100 per person.

For those who prefer to sink their teeth into a hot cheesy pizza, St. Augies Pizza will create a custom heart-shaped creation that you can enjoy in or take out. Amy Bulone and her pizza chef husband, owners of the King Street family business, say their heart-shaped pizzas are hugely popular this time of year. For the same price ($16.99) as a regular 16-inch pie (plus for toppings), the store will produce any type of pizza that your heart’s desire might be – even a dessert-style pizza. which includes Nutella, bananas and strawberries. Call ahead and allow up to two hours per order.

Outdoor dining could be a nice surprise offering a different recipe for romance. If you don’t want to scour the aisles for a deli, a number of St. Augustine-based businesses will be happy to do it for you.

The Sittin' Pretty Picnic Co. packs up your picnic and sets it up at the location of your choice.

The Sittin’ Pretty Picnic Co. will not only provide you with a basket full of cravings and drinks, but will also help set up a relaxation area for the lucky couple in a location of their choice, complete with pillows , a tent or a small table. Andrea Paredes, founder/owner of Sittin’ Pretty, who has a background in event planning, said only a few of the places she’s hosted picnics include beaches, flower gardens and backyards. customer courses. More than a few have led to marriage proposals. A two-hour package for two starts at $199.

A classic choice: Jewelry

There are several jewelry stores in downtown St. Augustine and beyond, as well as boutiques that sell jewelry, and people can find the right style and price to suit their needs — and maybe choose. something a little different along the way.

JR Benetat 62 St George St., offers designer jewelry from around the world, said Randi Ross, the store’s marketing manager.

“Jewellery is obviously a no-brainer for Valentine’s Day, but we have a lot of other things too,” Ross said.

The shop features mouth-blown glass ornaments, enamel boxes, handbags, scarves, wall art, and a crowd favorite: mermaid and mermaid ornaments.

“Everyone comes into the store for this,” she said.

The store is offering 20 to 50 percent discounts on select items through Valentine’s Day, she said.

Just south of Plaza de la Constitucion at 29 King St., Frank Reubel fine jewelry offers a free gift with purchase for Valentine’s Day.

The Ribbon ring, which features a 1.25-carat diamond center stone set with 0.18-carat diamonds in 14k white gold, is on sale at Frank Reubel Fine Jewelry in St. Augustine.

Among other items, the company offers custom jewelry and “lots of fashion-forward bridal pieces,” said Kate Meiser, custom design consultant for the company.

Tie the knot

St. Augustine has always been a popular wedding destination, and getting married on Valentine’s Day could be very romantic — and make your anniversary easy to remember — but Florida residents who don’t have a marriage license don’t. have no luck.

According to the county clerk’s website, Florida residents have a mandatory three-day waiting period to get married after the license is issued. If you or your future spouse are visiting from out of state, there is no waiting period.

The Clerk’s Office may not be the most romantic location for your big day, but they’ll perform the ceremony for $30 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. No appointment necessary . Due to COVID restrictions, guests cannot attend the ceremony.

A marriage license costs $85, or $61 for couples who have taken a premarital course.

Another thing to consider is a 2018 study by the University of Melbourne in Australia which found that people who got married on Valentine’s Day were 45% less likely to be together three years later than couples who got married on another day.

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