How did I spend my Valentines Day? Early morning bridesmaid shopping with my sister, aka the Maid of Honour, followed by a spot of art and wine. Mister C had organised a surprise date inside an art studio where they encouraged you to bring your own bottle of wine. Well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- wine and culture are my two favourite combinations, so the date was off to a fantastic start. It’s just a shame neither of us can paint! There was an art teacher giving us a gentle guide in the right direction but I was too busy pouring wine to listen, much to Mister C’s frustration. Instead I just enthusiastically did my own thing with no regard to the rules and that’s when I got told that we should each have our own side to the canvas. Mister C sticking to his side Me sticking to mine I ended up being far better at uncorking and playing hostess than playing artist but that didn’t stop us from taking our masterpiece home. I know that no one will ever bid for this landscape at Sotheby’s but it will always remind me of our Valentine’s in New York, making it invaluable to me.
For dinner, I got to dine with the three loves of my life, Mister C, my mum and my sister, deep in the heart of Chinatown at Nom Wah Tea Parlour. We knew that on Valentines Day a dingy, down a dark alley dumpling house would not be themed, packed or overpriced (and we were right). Prawn dumplings- top favourite Rice paper prawn rolls- one of my favourites A true sign this is an American Chinese restaurant- bacon and prawn fried roll. It’s an interesting mix but not something I would order again because there are much more authentic and delicious things on the menu. Chinese broccoli in sauce- another favourite Pork and prawn dumplings Steamed pork buns that were the size of our fist. They came out last and were in hot demand. So this restaurant will never win awards for decor or for customer service but it wins hand down on food and price. The women in here are pushy, they bark at you and give you daggers if you ask for more tap water but if you have a sense of humour this will all be part of the restaurant’s charm. If you are particularly thick skinned with a bottomless pit of a stomach than this restaurant is for you. Do you know how New York celebrates Valentine’s Day? By lighting the Empire State Building red and making the lights pulse like a beating heart. If you’ve ever seen Sleepless in Seattle you will know why this iconic building is the most romantic in Manhattan and as I walked back holding everyone’s hand my heart was full.