Roses for Valentines – Which Would You Choose?

So Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is around the time ‘hints’ start getting dropped, some subtle, some not! Sound familiar to anyone?

If you were lucky enough to receive an elegant rose presentation box for Valentine’s Day (hint), which colour would you choose? Are you a red rose person? Pretty pink maybe? Or a bright and bubbly rainbow rose fan?

RED

To express love and passion, red roses are the ultimate symbol of romance for Valentines Day. The ultimate ‘shout it from the roof tops’ kind of love statement. Just so you know, our classic one dozen long stem red rose gift box is only $99 including free delivery in the Sydney metro and a free ECOYA candle worth $19.95. Not so subtle a hint that one! 🙂

valentines roses

PINK

Pink roses mean love, affection and gratitude. They are the elegant option to the classic red rose for Valentine’s, exuding a sweet, ‘poetic’ kind of romance. Tickle your fancy? We have single pink rose stems in our super awesome ‘Love Me Tender’ signature gift boxes for $39 plus $11.95 flat delivery in Sydney. Another not so subtle hint! 🙂

24-pink-roses-and-wine

RAINBOW

The fabulously fun and vibrant rainbow rose is perfect for people with equally fun and vibrant personalities, who are not so big into tradition, but still love a bit of romance! Stray away from the pack with these `Willy Wonka-esque’ beauties. On that note, they go really well with chocolate! Check out this gorgeous gift box of 12 rainbow rose stems and chocolate for $109 plus $11.95 delivery in the Sydney metro. Okay, that was yet another not so subtle hint… 🙂

24-rainbow-roses-and-chocolate

So which colour roses are your favourite? Red, pink or rainbow? Write your favourite in the ‘Comments’ box below for the chance to win one dozen roses delivered in Sydney this Valentine’s Day!

*Prize winner drawn at random on Friday 12 February midday and winner notified by email by close of business. Prize delivered in the Sydney metro only either Saturday 13th or Sunday 14th February 2016.

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Win a Romantic Blue Mountains Getaway

Win two amazing nights at the Love Cabin’s enchanted cave in the Blue Mountains courtesy of Flowers for Everyone!

The epitome of romance. This eco-luxury getaway perched on the edge of a cliff in the Blue Mountains could be yours for two nights…

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

About the Love Cave

Set high on a cliff face in the Blue Mountains, the Enchanted Love Cave is a place to cook simply, relax easily, and love your partner. Relax in the spa and watch the afternoon clouds roll over the mountains before the sun starts to fade and an eternity of stars begin to prick the night sky. Breathe in the scent of wood smoke mingled with fresh Eucalyptus and the fragrance from hundreds of red roses filling the cave. Listen to logs spitting in the fireplace as flames flicker shadows across rock walls, painting them with warmth and the age-old secrets of a primeval earth.

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

About the Prize

One lucky winner will receive a $3500 value prize consisting of two nights at this exclusive couple’s retreat in the Blue Mountains (1 hr drive from Sydney), over $1300 worth of romantic flowers and Ecoya candles adorning the cave, and a bottle of Moet et Chandon and chocolates on arrival. Ooh-la, talk about ROMANTIC!

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

Love Cabin Blue MountainsLove Cabin Blue Mountains

Spend your afternoon daydreaming about winning this amazing prize and check out our beautiful video filmed on location.

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

Love Cabin Blue Mountains

How to Enter

Simply click here to enter our Blue Mountains Love Cave Valentines Competition. Plus you have the opportunity to INCREASE YOUR CHANCES of winning by sharing your unique, ‘lucky URL’ to friends and family. For everyone who also enters the competition using your lucky URL, you will receive FIVE BONUS ENTRIES! Further details upon entry!

Enter now at www.flowersforeveryone.com.au/love-cave/

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Create a Valentines Music Mix

This Saturday is Valentine’s Day, and to help get your romantic  groove on we’ve created the ‘Essential Valentine’s Checklist’…

  1. Red Roses
  2. Bottle of Wine
  3. (Lots of) Chocolate
  4. Romantic Tunes

Being a florist and all, Flowers for Everyone naturally have the roses, wine and chocolates covered, but what about the romantic tunes? To give you a little nudge in the right direction, why not create a mushy Valentines playlist for your lover (ah, the long lost days of mixed tapes)…

After a little online investigation we’ve uncovered the most popular weddings songs from 2014. Mind you, this list is very different if we’re talking about most requested dance music at weddings, but we didn’t think Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ or Def Leppard’s ‘Pour Some Sugar On It’ were as appropriate for a Valentines music mix 🙂

All of Me, John Legend

Safe and Sound, Capital Cities

XO, Beyoncé

Treasure, Bruno Mars

Somebody Loves You, Betty Who

What other songs would you add to a Valentine’s playlist?

The above songs may be okay if you are under the age of 30, but a lot of you reading this post may never heard of these songs before. Leave a comment in the box below and share your pick on the perfect tunes for a 2015 Valentine playlist!

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Sources:

Top 5 Hottest Wedding Songs for 2014

http://theknot.ninemsn.com.au/inspiration/reception-ceremony/music-dancing/10-hottest-wedding-songs-for-2014

Top 8 Valentine Gift Ideas Under $80

Our flower cupids have been busy in the studio creating a lovely-dovely range of blooms for Valentine’s Day delivery. This year’s ‘Organic Love’ Valentine’s Collection consists of traditional romantic blooms as well as flower arrangements that offer something ‘slightly different’ for the less traditional punters.

On a budget? Take a look at our showcase of Valentine gift ideas under $80 (excluding delivery).

ONE LOVE: $45

A simple statement of your love and affection. `You’re the one for me’. Beautifully presented in a gift box and delivered to your door for $45 plus $10 delivery. Order your single rose now…

Single Rose

SIX DANCING LADIES: $66

Ole! Romance your senorita with six divine long stem ruby red roses in our signature gift box for $66 plus $10 delivery. Order our half dozen roses for Valentine’s Day now…

Six roses only

ORCHID LOVE: $77

For a great value Valentine’s Day gift, we suggest our exotic Phaelanopsis orchid plants stylishly presented in a neutral stone-look pot. Only $77 plus $10 delivery (price based on single stem plant). Order your orchid plant for Valentine’s Day now…

orchid plant for valentines

ROMEO AND JULIET: $77 FOR TEN STEMS

Old fashioned roses in the palest of palest pinks. A bouquet of ten stems starts from $77 plus $10 delivery (nb. pictured bouquet is based on 20 stems). Order your pretty pink rose bouquet for Valentine’s Day now…

Romeo and Juliet

 YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE: $77

Romance does not need to be defined by red roses only! Send the sunshine of your life a big bright bouquet of sunflowers to show them how happy they make you. Only $77 plus delivery. Order your sunshine yellow sunflower bouquet for Valentines now…

bouquet of sunflowers

LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH: $74.50

A super cute gift for a super cute ‘special someone’. Six perfect long stem red roses and a soft cuddly teddy bear snuggled in for added mooshiness, only $74.50 plus $10 delivery. Order this Valentines Gift Combo now…

half dozen red roses

PERFUMED LILY BOUQUET: $77

Available in pure white or pretty pink, this long time favourite bloom is a guaranteed winner. Long lasting and exotically perfumed, our oriental lily bouquet is perfect for expressing your love and devotion this Valentine’s Day! Order our lily bouquet now…

Pink-oriental-lily-bouquet

PINK TIGER LILIES & ECOYA CANDLE: ON SALE $74.95

Save $10 off the retail price when you order this fabulously feminine pink Tiger lily bouquet and ECOYA Sweet Pea & Jasmine soy wax candle (55 hr burn). Order this divine Valentine gift now! *Offer valid Sydney delivery only.

lilies and ecoya

So there you have it – our top eight Valentine gift ideas under $80 for 2015. We’ll be taking orders online right up till 10pm on Friday 13 February for delivery on the Saturday. Or simply give our team a call on 1800 66 66 46!

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Giacomo Casanova: Smooth Talking Charmer or Misunderstood Intellectual?

Venetian Giacomo Casanova was an Italian adventurer and author famous for his often complicated and elaborate afffairs with women, earning him a reputation as a womaniser that still remains centuries later. Yet he was so much more than that.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, “His many achievements would put the likes of Hugh Hefner to shame”.

“He hobnobbed with Voltaire, Catherine the Great, Benjamin Franklin and probably Mozart; survived as a gambler, an astrologer and spy; translated The Iliad into his Venetian dialect; and wrote a science fiction novel, a proto-feminist pamphlet and a range of mathematical treatises. He was also one of history’s great travellers, crisscrossing Europe from Madrid to Moscow”.

“And yet he wrote his legendary memoir, the innocuously named Story of My Life, in his penniless old age, while working as a librarian at the obscure Castle Dux, in the mountains of Bohemia in the modern-day Czech Republic”. (1)

When he died, Casanova had no idea whether his memoir would even be published. In fact, when it finally did emerge in 1821 in a heavily censored version, it was denounced from the pulpit and placed on the Vatican’s Index of Prohibited Books. Oom-ah!

The miracle of Casanova’s manuscript lies in its tale of survival over the centuries and its escape from destruction in World War II.

Casanova’s erotic memoir was originally bequeathed on his deathbed to a nephew in 1798, whose descendants later went on to sell it to a German publisher that kept it under lock and key for nearly 140 years, only releasing pirated and mistranslated extracts.

In 1943 an Allied bomb landed on the publishers office, yet it miraculously survived. The family secreted it by bicycle across Leipzig and placed the precious manuscript in a bank security vault. When the U.S. Army occupied the city in 1945, even Winston Churchill inquired after its fate. Reunited with its owners, the first uncensored edition was published in 1960 in French, during a time of major sexual revolution.

Now housed in the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris, this reverence and treatment of his manuscript as a sacred relic would have made Casanova roll over in his grave and do a little happy dance. Often dismissed as a frivolous sexual adventurer, a cad and a wastrel, his hilarious, provocative, philosophical and (still) shocking memoir provides an amazing window into authentic 18th century life.

“Apart from the more than 120 notorious love affairs with countesses, milkmaids and nuns which take up about a third of the book, the memoir includes escapes, duels, swindles, stagecoach journeys, arrests and meetings with royals, gamblers and mountebanks”, explains the Smithsonian Magazine. (1) 

Even in today’s modern thinking world some extracts still raise eyebrows, especially the pursuit of very young girls and an interlude of incest. Attitudes towards these behaviours were tolerated quite differently in the 18th century!

“He would have been surprised to discover that he is remembered first as a great lover,” says Tom Vitelli, a leading American Casanovist. “Sex was part of his story, it was incidental to his real literary aims. He only presented his love life because it gave a window onto human nature.”

SIX INTERESTING TIT BITS ABOUT CASANOVA

Mostly identified as a famous lover who romanced women all over Europe in the 18th century, Casanova was also a revolutionary thinker, food-writer, kaballist shaman, and bisexual traveller. Below are some interesting insights into this remarkable man’s life by author of ‘Casanova’ by Ian Kelly.

  • Casanova was a dedicated food writer and in his epic memoirs, he spent almost as much prose on recalling his meals as his lovers.
  • Casanova collaborated with Da Ponte on the libretto for Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
  • Casanova’s promiscuity may not be all that remarkable: over the course of his life, he averaged ‘only’ 3 sexual partners a year. It is his manner of writing about sex that was revolutionary.
  • In his own time, Casanova was never famous as a womanizer. This aspect of Casanova’s story is posthumous, the result of the 12 volumes of memoirs found after his death.
  • Casanova was bisexual and began his career in Venice as a sort of upmarket rent boy.
  • Casanova was a devoted disciple of the Kaballah – a craze amongst 18th century urban elites as it has become again in the early 21st century.

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Sources 

1. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/who-was-casanova-160003650/?no-ist

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giacomo_Casanova

Early Bird Valentines Day Specials & Promotions

Tick tock! The countdown is on to the most romantic day of the year. Where women await with hopeful anticipation that a secret admirer or their sweetheart will shower them with roses, and men blush when a single rose stem arrives for them at the office (even more so when more than one arrives, ahem!)

Romance aside, if you want to save some dollars or have a chance to win our awesome $600 Valentine’s dinner at Sydney’s famous Aria restaurant, you have until 30 JANUARY 2015 to make the most of our early bird Valentine offers*!

*Please note these offers apply to Sydney Valentine’s flower delivery only.

CLASSIC ROMANCE

ONE DOZEN RED ROSES: Only $99 delivered (Save $20.50!)

Usually $109.50 plus $10 delivery, this classic Valentine’s gift of one dozen long stemmed red roses are exquisitely presented in our signature gift box. Order by 30th January for Valentine’s flower delivery – Shop Now.

classic red roses for valentines day

ORCHID LOVE

PHALAENOPSIS ORCHID PLANT & FREE CHOCOLATE: From $77

Our divine phalaenopsis orchid plants in a neutral stone-look pot come in single and double stem price options and include a complimentary 85g box of decadent Chocolatier chocolates. Available in white, pale pink and deep pink/magenta, this Valentine’s gift is one that will last for weeks and is excellent value. Order by 30th January for Valentine’s Day to make the most of this special promotion – Shop now. 

orchid plant for valentines

WIN A $600 VALENTINE DINNER AT ARIA

A ONE IN TEN CHANCE TO WIN!

Wow your lover this Valentines Day with 24 long stemmed ruby red roses nestled in our signature gift box and accompanied by a quality bottle of Moet & Chandon champagne (valued at $258 plus $10 delivery). Not only do you receive a free box of Chocolatier treats with your gift, the first ten to order will go into the draw to win an amazing Valentines Day dinner at Sydney’s fine dining Aria restaurant worth $600. That’s a 1 in 10 chance to win! Shop now.

Two Dozen Red, Moet, Chocolate

THE PROPOSAL

A DOZEN WHITE ROSES $99.00: Receive $200 bridal flower credit!

Planning to propose to your sweetheart this Valentines Day? Here’s a little something to sweeten the deal – send one dozen long stemmed pure white roses in our signature gift box for $99 plus $10 delivery, and receive a $200 credit* towards your bridal flowers with our exclusive bridal division, Brides in Bloom (*based on a minimum $1000 wedding flower order). Shop now.

white roses for valentines day

LOVE DE SOLEIL!

EXOTIC ORCHIDS FOR $119.00: Receive free Sydney delivery

Looking for something a little different to wow your lover this Valentines Day? Our vase of exotic, jewel-toned orchids and lush tropical foliage should do just that. Order by 30th January for Valentines Day delivery and receive free Sydney delivery! Shop now.

gorgeous valentine flowers

ONE LOVE

SINGLE STEM RED ROSE: Only $39.50 plus delivery (save $5.50!)

A simple, understated declaration of love and affection – the single red rose stem. Order this long stemmed ruby red rose presented in our signature gift box by 30th January for Valentines Day and save! Shop now.

Single Rose

PARIS RED ROSES

A SWEET POT OF RED ROSES $99.00: Receive free Sydney delivery

Send a slice of Paris this Valentines Day with our chic arrangement of rich red roses and seasonal berries in a cute rustic white pot. Order by 30th January for Valentines Day and receive free Sydney delivery. Shop now. 

paris red roses

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Romance: Five Ways to Win a Girl’s Heart

Females might seem like complicated creatures, but at the heart of it, there are some very simple (and in many cases free) ways to win a girl’s affection in those early courting days.

Bring a Gift on your First Date

This could be a posy of flowers or a little gift of sweets that you’ve heard her mention she has a particular weakness for. Most girls find that quite thoughtful and charming! Florists are used to these kind of requests and will know exactly what to suggest.

Giving a girl flowers on a date

Open the Car Door

Whether it’s the taxi or your own car, most girls will find this old fashioned act to be thoughtful and endearing, no matter how ‘modern’ they may come across. Offering your coat if they are cold is also a winner too.

Make a Point of Turning off your Phone

Phones and romance don’t go together. There is nothing worse than someone checking their phone out of the corner of their eye or texting in the middle of a date. Turn it off and let your date know they have your full attention. If they don’t show the same respect back then maybe that will be your last date? 🙂

Couple on a date

The Follow Up

Now it’s ok to pull out your phone. If you genuinely feel the date went well, send a text or email the next day to say what a great time you had. A girl likes to know where she stands one way or another, even if it turns out she isn’t as enthusiastic to continue seeing you!

Cook a Meal

Whether you are a master chef or the King of Tuna Surprise, there are few women out there who don’t appreciate a guy cooking for them. And if that seems far too daunting, buying some pre-made gourmet snacks to take on a picnic is a winner too.

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Choosing the ‘Right’ Valentines Day Flowers

How do you pick the ‘right’ Valentine’s Day flowers for your girl? Is she a traditionalist? Or a little unconventional? A modernist, a romantic, or a wildly creative artist type? If you haven’t managed to discreetly sound out your lady’s favourite flower preference, here are our top five tips on choosing blooms for your Valentine.

Tip #1: When in Doubt, Go the Red Roses

I know we are stating the obvious here, but let’s face it, when it comes to expressing your love and affection on Valentines Day, you can’t go past red roses. A classic choice, you would be hard pushed to find a woman who did not appreciate receiving red roses. That, and chocolate! Okay, and diamonds…

Red rose bouquet close up

 Tip #2: Change it Up, Just a Little

Are you the type that prefers to change things up a bit? Maybe your gal’s favourite colour flower is normally pink, or white or purple. There is no hard and fast rule that you must send red roses for Valentines Day. Consider asking for a mixture of deep red and hot pink roses. Or a combination of pink, red and white roses. Or a divine bouquet of lilac ‘Blue Moon’ roses. Consider pre-ordering roses that have a name you could team with an extract from a related poem, or with a romantic message that ties the name in, such as ‘Angel Face’ or ‘Juliet’ roses. Maybe just opt for simple white, a symbol of pure, eternal love.

Red and pink rose bouquet side view

Tip #3: Mix it Up, A Lot

Get creative and mix it up. Combine red roses with pink, perfumed oriental lilies, luscious red orchids, and tropical hanging  amaranthus. Or roses with rich and velvety celosia. Consider a cottage garden-esque combination of mixed roses, dahlias, freesias, lilies and hydrangea. Ask us to customise a bouquet or arrangement using a particular colour theme with a combination of roses mixed with fresh, seasonal flowers and interesting branches such as flowering frangipani.

A Spring Symphony Bouquet

Tip #4  Throw Tradition to the Wind

Who says you have to send roses for Valentines Day anyway? Roses aren’t the ‘bee’ all and end all when it comes to expressing your how feel. If you want to spoil your girl on this traditional day, yet do it in a different way, how about sending an exotic phalaenopsis orchid plant, or a potted rose plant for that matter! Or how about a big bouquet of tropical red vanda orchids? A giant bouquet of hot pink oriental lilies? Lilies and tropical flowers such as orchids are also wonderfully long lasting!

White orchid

Tip #5  If in Doubt, Choose Flowers in a Pot or Vase

Lastly, do you know if the lucky flower recipient owns a vase? A huge, long stemmed rose bouquet or gift box of rose stems is super romantic, but a bit awkward if your excited lady only has a plastic water jug to display them in. If you are unsure, choose flowers that have been arranged in a vase or pot.

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Origin of the Rose

Ooooh nice Mercedes Benz. I’ll take it in red! Do you accept roses? What, cash or card only? But I have these beautiful pink David Austins and a lovely hybrid tea rose, surely that’s a fair swap?

Imagine purchasing a car using roses instead of cash! Yet during the 17th century, roses were revered and valued so highly that royalty treated roses and rose water as legal tender to make payments and barter for goods (1).

So what is it about the rose that has transcended time to become the greatest floral symbol of love and romance, and the most popular wedding flower in the world? And why is it all about roses when it comes to sending Valentine’s Day flowers?

1911 Vintage Valentine's Day CardValentine's Day Roses Urn of roses

Did you Know?

The rose is, according to fossil evidence, 35 million years old. That’s older than the human race.

Although you could be forgiven in believing the rose to be of English origin, it is thought cultivation began in ancient Babylonia and Assyria.

The earliest known ‘gardening’ was the planting of roses along the most travelled routes of early nomadic humans.

Petrified rose wreaths have been unearthed from ancient Egyptian tombs.

The world’s oldest living rose is believed to be 1,000 years old. It grows on the wall of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in Germany and its presence is documented since A.D. 815. According to the legend, the rosebush symbolises the prosperity of the city of Hildesheim; as long as it flourishes, Hildesheim will not decline. In 1945 allied bombers destroyed the cathedral, yet the bush survived. Its roots remained intact beneath the debris, and soon the bush was growing strong again (2).

Wild dogrose Oldest living rose Wild Dogrose of Hildeshiem

When in Rome…

“Cleopatra had her living quarters filled with the petals of roses so that when Marc Antony met her, he would long remember her for such opulence and be reminded of her every time he smelt a rose. Her scheme worked for him. Such is the power of roses”. (2)

The hedonistic Roman emperor of 1st century AD, Nero, dumped tons of rose petals on his dinner guests. Kind of like the Baz Luhrmann of ancient Rome, yes?

Newly married couples were often crowned with roses. Could it be hypothosised that roses are the most popular wedding flower today because of this early Roman tradition?

Roman high society women believed rose petals could banish wrinkles if used in poultices. The likes of Crabtree & Evelyn may not be so cutting edge after all!

Cleopatra played by Elizabeth Taylor   Rose petal fountain   Rose petal bath

Rose petals were often dropped in wine because it was thought that the essence of rose would stave off drunkenness. If anyone is interested in trialing this ancient theory out and reporting back, please do so!

Victorious armies would return to be showered with rose petals from the civilians that crowded the balconies above the streets. A much nicer tradition than paper confetti…

References to roses are not only found in Christian literature, but also in ancient Confucian and Buddhist religious documents (3).

War of the Roses

Roses have been known to represent not only love, but war. The red and white rose were once used as symbols for opposing factions fighting to control England in the 15th century; a civil war known as ‘The War of the Roses’. The winner of this war, Tudor Henry VII, merged his Lancastrian rose with the red rose of his York bride, thus creating the Tudor Rose, or the Rose of England (3).

La Vie en Rose  Thorny rose   Urn of roses

Tears + Blood = The Beginning of Roses

In Greek mythology it is believed the rose arose from the tears and blood of Adonis, the lover of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love (3).

Secret Roses

The Romans (turning Aphrodite into their goddess Venus), also adopted the rose as their symbol of love and beauty.

Cupid, offering a rose when trying to bribe the God of Silence to hush Venus’s amorous escapades (tut, tut), made the flower into a symbol for secrecy.

Roman dining room ceilings were decorated with roses, reminding guests to keep secret what had been said during dinner. Sub Rosa (or ‘Under the Rose’) up to this day means “confidentially”(3).

Cupid Has a Lot to Answer For!

In Ancient Greek mythology, when Venus’s son Cupid was stung by a bee, he accidentally shot arrows into a rose garden. It was believed to be the sting of the arrows that caused the roses to grow thorns. So it’s a damn bee to blame for all the rose thorn pricks I’ve received then!

When Venus walked through the garden and pricked her foot on a thorn, it was the droplets of her blood which turned the roses red (3).

Cupid   Bath of rose petals

Thorn in my Side

Legend has it that during the Roman Empire there was an incredibly beautiful maiden named Rhodanthe. Her beauty drew many suitors who pursued her relentlessly. Exhausted by their pursuit, Rhodanthe was forced to take refuge in the temple of her friend Diana.

Unfortunately, Diana was of a jealous nature and when the suitors broke down her temple gates to get near the beloved Rhodanthe, she became furious. Enraged, Diana turned Rhodanthe into a rose and her suitors into thorns (3). I wonder what the social media equivalent to this type of behaviour would be?

From the Heart

In an Arabic legend, all roses were originally white until one night when the nightingale met a beautiful white rose and fell in love. At this stage nightingales were not known for their melodious song, they merely croaked and chirped like any other bird.

But now the nightingale’s love was so intense that he was inspired to sing for the first time. Eventually his love was such that he pressed himself to the flower and the thorns pierced his heart, colouring the rose red forever (3). Could this be why the colour ‘red’ is considered the most romantic of all roses?

Classic red wedding rose bouquet   Botanical Rose Illustration

So there you have it. The origin of the rose. So revered they were once used as legal currency. As treatments for maintaining youthful skin. To stave off drunkenness. To symbolise opposing factions in English civil war. As ‘confidentiality symbols’ in ancient Roman dining rooms. To shower over victorious armies returning home. As the leading role in ancient mythology about gods, true love, jealousy and sacrifice. It is no wonder they are the most popular Valentine’s Day flowers to express love.

References & Photo Sources

(1) http://www.ehow.com/facts_6180171_origin-rose-flower_.html#ixzz2syJ1tUvm

(2) http://www.lillysrosegarden.com/rose-facts.html

(3) http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/miscellaneous/flowersandhistory/history-of-roses

(4) http://urbanext.illinois.edu/roses/history.cfm

(5) http://www.pinterest.com/ffeaus/the-origin-of-roses/

 

 

Eat, Drink, Love

Following on from last week’s post, ‘Top Seven Most Romantic Dates’, we thought it useful to provide all the love birds out there with some hot tips for Valentine’s Day cocktails and candlelit dinner recipes. Read on for our simple, summery, saucy, and in-season ‘tit bits’ of delectable romantic delights!

Summertime Apperitif

Raspberry and Vodka Cocktail

Homemade Raspberry Lemonade with Vodka & Sparkling Wine

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 cup of water
¾ cup raspberries; pureed and pushed through a fine mesh sieve; plus more whole berries for garnish if desired
1 cup fresh lemon juice
4-6 cups cold water (this will vary depending on your taste)

Directions

1. Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar with 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Place over medium heat and heat until the sugar in completely dissolved; swirl the pan occasionally. Let cool.
2. Measure 3/4 of fresh raspberries and puree them in your blender or food processor.
3. Push the raspberry puree through a fine mesh sieve to separate the seeds from the pulp.
4. Once the simple syrup has cooled, combine the raspberry puree, simple syrup and lemon juice in a large pitcher.
5. Add 4-6 cups of cold water. The amount of water you use will depend on your taste, so add as little or as much as you want to achieve your perfect sweet/tart balance.

Splash a nip of vodka into a high ball glass and add the raspberry lemonade. Top with sparkling wine and decorate with fresh raspberries threaded on a toothpick. Fun, striped straws can be bought from many delis, gift and ‘kitchen-y’ shops.

Raspberry Lemonade recipe courtesy of My Baking Addition.

A Simple Glass of Sparkling

If homemade lemonade is not feasible, you can’t go wrong with a quality glass of sparkling wine garnished with a strawberry cut out in the shape of a love heart…

Sparkling Wine for Valentine's

Hors d’oeuvre

Cherry & Brie Tartlets

Now this is not a My Kitchen Rules competition, so you don’t have to make your puff pastry from scratch!

Cherry and Brie Tartlets

Ingredients

1 pkg (450g) puff pastry
115g triple cream Brie, cubed
1-2 cups cherries, pitted
2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce

Directions

Preheat the oven to 200C. Cut each piece of pastry into sixteen 5cm squares. Fit into tartlet or mini muffin pans. Top each with a piece of Brie, a couple cherry halves, and about 1/4 tsp chili sauce.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden and the filling is bubbly. Let cool slightly, but serve warm. 

Makes 32 pieces (plenty for leftovers the next day, or simply reduce the ingredients)

*Photo courtesy of the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers and Babble.com

Entree

Scallop & Raspberry Salad

Carry the raspberry theme through to the entree, with this light and fresh grilled scallop salad that is quick and super easy to make.

Scallop Raspberry Salad

Ingredients

1 bag spring mix salad
1 cup fresh raspberries
1 mango, cut in slivers
1 hass avocado, cut in slices
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
450g scallops
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions

Prepare salad by adding spring mix salad to a large bowl. Top with raspberries, mango, avocado and red onion.

Preheat a large skillet / heavy based pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper scallops and add to hot pan. Brown on each side and place on top of salad.

Make the dressing by adding the honey, red wine vinegar, olive oil and lemon juice to a mixing bowl. Mix well to combine. Drizzle dressing over salad and serve (you could also combine this with the main course pizza below and serve together).

Recipe and image courtesy of babble.com

Main

Heart-Shaped Pizza

Love Heart Pizza

Okay, this original heart shaped pizza is a US recipe and calls for hand-made pizza dough. I love home-made dough but that’s a lot of kneading when we’re in the middle of a heat wave. Plus not everyone has time. Feel free to google simple pizza dough recipes if you want to be a purist, or just buy fresh pizza bases and cut in the shape of a heart. Add your tomato paste or jar of pizza sauce, onions, herbs, and whatever toppings take your fancy. Place in a moderate 180C oven and cook until the mozzarella cheese (or boccocini or parmesan) goes brown. Voila!

Dessert

Tropical Daiquiri Ice-Blocks

Tropical daquiri ice-blocks

Ingredients

Bacardi Classic Cocktails Light – Strawberry Daiquiri
Pineapple juice (or your favorite tropical flavour – guava or mango would all be good)

Directions

Add equal parts of daiquiri and fruit juice to a bowl and stir to combine.
Pour into popsicle mold and add popsicle stick.
Place in freezer until fully frozen.

Petit Fours and Night Cap

There are no steadfast rules here. If you are time poor or not capable of eating so many courses you could just skip the ice-blocks and head straight to the petit fours and creamy night cap cocktail.

Bailey’s Cool Raspberry

Bailey's Valentine Cocktails

Ingredients

60ml Baileys Original Irish Cream
8-9 raspberries
Crushed ice

Directions

Place 4-5 raspberries at the bottom of a rocks glass and lightly muddle them.
Top with crushed ice.
Add Baileys Irish Cream.
Garnish with three speared raspberries.

Recipe courtesy of Blisstree, photo courtesy of Bailey’s.

Chocolate Dipped or Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Heart shaped chocolate dipped strawberries for valentines day      cheesecake stuffed strawberries

Ingredients

300g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped (or white or milk chocolate)
500g strawberries, washed, dried

Cheesecake Mixture

170g cream cheese beaten till fluffy
Stir in 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 1/2 tablespoons sifted icing sugar

Directions

Place dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water) and stir occasionally with a metal spoon until chocolate melts.

For heart shaped chocolate dipped strawberries, cut a triangle from the top of the strawberry to create a ‘love heart’ shape, dip that end into the chocolate (using a toothpick is a good idea), then pipe cream on top (optional).

Alternatively, slice the bottom tip off a strawberry (preferably medium to large size) so it stands upright on a plate and hollow the centre of the strawberry using a small sharp knife. Pipe cheesecake mixture inside (if you don’t have a piping bag, place mixture inside a zip lock bag and snip one end). Dip the tips in chocolate (optional). Can be served immediately or chilled, covered in the fridge, for up to two hours.

Heart shaped strawberry recipe courtesy of Taste.com / Cheesecake stuffed strawberry recipe courtesy of Food.com

We would love to receive your feedback on the recipes in the comments box below… Eat Drink Love, From the Flowers for Everyone florist crew.