Romantic ideas to blow your love away
By Ngabirwe Emmanuel
Very soon it will be Valentine’s Day. The streets will be filled with couples in red and black ensembles, or others dressed to the nines, headed for an evening of staring soulfully into each other’s eyes over candlelight at some fancy establishment. Because we love Love, here are some ideas for things you can do to make this coming Valentine’s Day even more special for you and your boo.
Delight her with Chocolate: What is Valentine’s Day without chocolate? Take her for a chocolate treat at one of the many cafes in Kigali- Brioche, Shokola, Papyrus Bakery, RZ Manna and Palador Venceremos all do a mean chocolate treat.
Go shopping: Whichever of you does this less often, now is your turn. Take him (or her) shopping for a change. All the main shopping malls normally have some special Valentine’s Day sale. Raid Nakumatt, Woodlands Superstore or Simba Supermarket and spoil your significant other by having them pick out anything they want on your tab.
Get away: It’s a good thing the next February 14 will be a Saturday. Leave Kigali, go out into the country, or into some of the smaller towns outside of the capital, and enjoy a tranquil weekend in virgin countryside, with pure air and the gentle sounds of water or birds or lowing cows around you. A place with water would be nice- think Gisenyi (if you want lively beaches) or Kibuye (it is more serene and untouched). A day-long visit to Akagera National Park would give you something exciting to do together, and to crown a perfect day, you could spend the night in the magnificently intimate Ruzizi Tented Lodge.
Commission an Art piece: If you are one for grand gestures, here is one for you. Why not commission a painting of your boo this Valentine’s? There are so many talented artists and art studios in Kigali- Inema, Ivuka, Yego, Uburanga- are just few of many. Go visit one of them in advance and talk to the artists about it. They might ask for a photograph to paint from; or even better, you could do it the old fashioned way and have your lover sit for the painting. Then buy them the painting as a keepsake. The memory of a Valentine’s day spent sitting for a painting is one you will share for life- no matter how the painting itself turns out.
Go horse-riding: We have all dreamt of riding those magnificent beasts. C’mon admit it! Now Valentine’s Day would be the perfect day to try it out. Whether you can ride or not, visit one of the equestrian centres in Kigali with your love and take a gallop on one of their well-bred horses. Fazenda Sengha, located atop Mt. Kigali, is ideal. For learners, they offer private instructions in the arena as well as trail rides through the surrounding hills of Mt. Kigali. Rugende Training Center, just past Kabuga is also another good option. They also offer horse riding lessons for beginners and have a great garden where the two of you can sit back and enjoy a quiet afternoon together.
Take a walk: The lovers’ walk is as old as love itself, and Kigali is a great place to take a stroll. The sight of two love birds walking, hand-in-hand towards the sunset is poignant and nostalgic, bringing back memories of the innocence of teenage love. Rediscover the effortless intimacy of walking with that special someone by taking a slow evening promenade through the quieter parts of Kigali. The back streets of Kimihurura, Kacyiru, Nyarutarama and Kiyovu are perfect for strolling at any time of day. They are serene, with relatively little activity, and the tall trees and/or greenery all round provides a shade and a cool breeze for you and your love.
Finally, this is kind of a Valentine’s Day tradition. We won’t be the ones to chuck tradition, so lastly:
The romantic Valentine’s dinner: Nothing makes a woman feel so special, as dressing up elaborately for an evening out with her man. And nothing makes a man feel as masculine as taking his woman out to a fancy place for a good meal, an evening of laughter, and some intimate conversation. Some nice, classy places to go are the Kigali Serena, Hotel des Mille Collines or Grand Legacy Hotel. If you want something more intimate, try l’Epicurien with its great ambience or Crystal Bar and Lounge (Top Tower) with its unmatched view of Kigali. Brachetto restaurant in Kacyiru and Sakae Chinese Restaurant in Nyarutarama are also good choices for their mouth-watering cooking and intimate setup.