Eat & Drink Out & About

Valentine’s Day In The Illawarra

How to float your love boat in The Illawarra

We love love here at The Fold and are big fans of Valentine’s Day and getting all mushy and starry-eyed with our significant other.

If you’ve been hit by Cupid’s Arrow, here are some ideas on how to ramp up the romance in the Illawarra this Valentine’s Day.

Have a read below and check out all of the events here.

Dining Out

The universal day of love falls on a Wednesday this year and there are plenty of local events and venues to head to for a bit of romance and reconnection.

From the top of town at Panorama House all the way down to the bottom at Crooked River Wines there’s a dining option for pretty much most tastes.

Boveda in Thirroul are putting on 4 courses of romantic goodness for $89pp including a glass of bubbles or premium red. Italian legends at Ain’t Nonna’s in Wollongong are also serving up four courses of flavour and bubbles.

For lovers who are also lovers of seafood then Yves in Kiama has got you covered with their seafood adventure and sparkling bubbles dinner for two. Warilla Sporties are also serving up a hot and cold seafood tower for two, served over 3 levels this is sure to impress your special date.

If you’re after something a little more low-key but still pretty romantic then book in at Plough & Ale in Calderwood for their Cupid’s Kiss cocktails and $5 oysters… we all know what they say about oysters right?

Click here for a list of even more Valentine’s Day dinners, lunches and specials happening across The Illawarra.

Do It Outdoors

The best thing about Valentine’s Day in the southern hemisphere is daylight savings! It won’t get dark until after 8pm, so head to your favourite lookout or picnic spot, and get down and well… not dirty because you’ll have a lovely picnic rug to sit on.

Fill up a picnic basket with cheese from The Pines Pantry and nibbles from Deli & Dine in Wollongong or The Pickled Poet in Thirroul. Add a delicious drop from one of our local wineries, distilleries, breweries or bottle shops, like Tara Distillery, Seeker Brewing, Two Figs Winery or Cringila Cellars. Might as well grab some fresh baked bread or pastries from Flour Water Salt and don’t forget the tasty sweet treats from Pasticceria Massimo Papa.

Or you can let the Imperial at Clifton team do all the work for you by pre ordering one of their lovely picnic hampers… there’s grazing boxes, sweet treats and seafood feasts to choose from. We’ll have all three please! Only job left is to pick a picnic spot to park up at, here’s some ideas to get you started.

Non-Foodie Frolics.

If your life doesn’t revolve around food and wine, no problem! Gala Twin Cinemas in Warrawong is always a date day/ night favourite.

And if you’re out and about during the day [or night] pop on a pair of those sexy bowling shoes at Zone Bowling – if your significant other can love you in those things then they’re definitely a keeper.

For couples who prefer the great outdoors, pack the backpack with protein bars, sangas and fresh fruit then go for a hike, swim or ride in nature. We recommend the 10B Bike Trail in Dharawal National Park for the two wheelers and the heart pumping Drawing Room Rocks walk for the hikers… the view at the top is so gorgeous it will be impossible not to feel the romance once you reach it.

To get creative as a couple check out the Wax & Wicks Valentine’s Day special at Wests Illawarra where you can explore the art of candle making or get those hands dirty with the mug making class at Clay Wollongong.

For something totally out of the box [but in the carriage] you can ride the Valentine’s Express at The Illawarra Light Railway Museum, all aboard the love train… toot toot!

Need some quiet and relaxing couple time? Head to City Cave for a couples float, sauna or flauna [that’s both]. A slightly different way to get sweaty on Valentine’s Day but still awesome for burning calories!

Clean Sheets And Sleep-Ins

How good is it to sneak away from reality for 24 hours surrounded by the four walls of a beautiful, quiet hotel room?

Wrap yourselves in fluffy bathrobes, snuggle down into fresh linen, turn the TV on and order a BLT – no interruptions and no kids! Now, that’s OUR idea of romance! Here’s a list of local hotels to escape to.


We love a delicious brunch at The Fold and gazing into each other’s eyes over waffles, pancakes, coffee and poached eggs. Make a date with your significant other to catch up at a local café. Here’s a list for you to choose from.

Some other popular picks are…

  • Malted Buttermilk Hotcakes at Penny Whistlers Cafe – snag a seat by the window for those stunning seaside vistas
  • Load up on the The Big Fox at Happy Fox in Warilla.
  • Lee and Me’s Good Boy, Bad Boy bagel… wink wink!
  • The Santiago House Special and Bull & Bear to get a little daring.
  • The Moore Street Turkish Eggs at Moore St General – can be just as romantic as dinner by candlelight, we reckon!
  • The Smashed Avo at Bulli Beach Cafe for all the big blue views.


Can’t get a babysitter?

Create your own antipasto platter by sourcing some pretty delicious and spesh bits and bobs from these local delis.

Pair this antipasto yumminess with a bottle of something special from one of our local wineries, breweries, distilleries or bottle shops and maybe end your in-house date night with something from The Licorice Shop in Kanahooka or The Treat Factory in Berry. The tough part will be narrowing down to just a few… might as well get extra, it’s Valentine’s Day after all.

Hope that’s got you right in the mood for romance.

Enjoy luvahhhhhhs!

Hannah Castelli Author Bio

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