“[Pink is] the sweetest of all colours,” the couturier Christian Dior once wrote. “It is the colour of happiness and femininity.” Modern women may prefer to express their femininity through other means but on the matter of happiness, it’s difficult to disagree.
As Valentine’s Day approaches, however, there are other, more practical reasons to celebrate the occasion in a rosy-hued restaurant or hotel room. Pink is quite simply the most flattering colour on any complexion, bestowing it with a glow that mimics the first flush of true love.
North Audley Cantine, London
It’s still beloved by the Instagram crowd, but the Gallery at Sketch is no longer the only pink palace in London. The Mayfair basement bar North Audley Cantine reopened late in 2017 with one eye firmly on la vie en rose. Channelling vintage Hollywood style, it pairs musk-coloured walls with sumptuous emerald velvet booths and plenty of gilt accents. The underground setting combined with an intimate size (it seats just 22) makes it easy to settle in and get cosy over shared plates and bespoke cocktails.
Pietro Nolita, NYC
Like its New York City hometown, this little Italian restaurant isn’t afraid to embrace a more-is-more ethos. Legend has it that founder Pietro Quaglia wanted to stand out by bringing the colours of Positano to the Big Apple; as the restaurant’s design progressed, it became clear that every last detail – from the walls to the chairs and even the tiles on the bathroom floor – would be coloured pink. Against this gloriously kitsch backdrop, the menu is a healthier version of traditional Italian fare, closely supervised by Quaglia’s own mother.
Tate Dining, Hong Kong
The blush-coloured palette and curved seating at Tate Dining might be reminiscent of a starlet’s boudoir, but there’s nothing frivolous about the menu. The brainchild of one of Asia’s finest chefs – the Michelin-starred Vicky Lau – each dish is composed as an homage to a specific ingredient (Ode to Scallop) or destination (Ode to Hong Kong); Lau calls them Edible Stories. What better place to celebrate the story of your own romance? Just be sure to leave room to sample the delicacies at the ground-floor patisserie, Poem, before you leave. Like the main establishment, its decor is as sweet as its fare.
Casa Faena, Miami Beach
Looking directly over the ocean at Miami’s Mid Beach, Casa Faena’s bold white-and-red-trimmed facade is unmistakable. Inside, however, the white suites and rooms are all accented with macaron-sweet pastel pink details, including embroidered cushions and throws. Waking up in an artfully carved four-poster bed, with sunlight streaming through the plush, rose-coloured curtains, could well be the start to the most romantic Valentine’s Day on record. If you can tear yourself away, take a stroll to the hotel’s equally pink atrium, which doubles as a well-stocked library.
Caffé Palladio, Jaipur
Among her many well-documented witticisms, the magazine editor Diana Vreeland famously dubbed pink “the navy blue of India”. And Jaipur is undoubtedly the pinnacle of this philosophy; known as the pink city, the terracotta walls of its buildings shimmer in the sun’s baking heat. There are countless historic interpretations of the pink theme but for something a little more modern, Caffé Palladio, on the grounds of the Narain Niwas Palace Hotel, fuses a thoughtful combination of Indian and Italian styles. Light and airy, the salmon-coloured walls adorned with fanciful murals are an ideal setting for an al fresco lunch à deux.
Written by Michelle Bateman