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The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift Isn’t A Gift At All, It’s An Experience


By Geraldine Carton
12th Feb 2018
The Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift Isn’t A Gift At All, It’s An Experience

Want to get your other half something really special this Valentine’s Day? With more and more studies finding that millennials are prioritising ‘experiences’ over stuff, it’s probably a good idea to scrap the overpriced flowers/ chocolates idea, and instead book yourselves in for an experience they’ll really love.

What’s more, this is a brilliant option for anyone who knows that their partner promised 2018 would be the year they try something new or expand their skill set…

1. Fancy a tipple…

Gin School

Listoke Gin School is Ireland’s first and only interactive gin experience. The day kicks off with a Listoke 1777 G&T, followed by a tour of the distillery and a spot of much-anticipated gin tasting. Learn all about botanicals, get a tour of the distillery and then relish in your chance to start designing and distilling your very own signature 700ml blend. As you wait for your gin to distill, you can look forward to some local food (mmm pizza) and some more ginformation. Cost is €95 per head.

Whiskey Tasting

Follow in the footsteps of the founding fathers of Jameson on a tour of the original Jameson distillery in Dublin, a constant presence in the heart of Dublin since 1780. The 40 minute Jameson tour experience is a really fun one in that it includes- many stories, lots of whiskey tasting and of course, a complimentary Jameson in the exact spot where it all began. Price is €20 adults/ €16 students/ over 65’s

2. Kitchen Culture

The Dublin Cookery School

The Dublin Cookery School offers over 20 different one-day cookery classes throughout the year, so there’s literally one for everybody in the audience. Including everything from Italian, Middle Eastern, Thai, Indian and World Street Food, the domestic goddess team here also run specialist fish, baking, and patisserie classes for those of you wanting to specialise in these areas. If, as a couple, you’ve set out to get healthy for 2018, check out our “Modern Vegetarian”, “A Taste of the Middle East” and “Get Inspired by Wholefoods” classes.

Thai Cooking Class – SABA

This is a brilliant class to do if either of you is reminiscing over a past south-east Asia trip, or if you want to cut back on the takeaways this year. Taking place in one of Dublin’s best Thai restaurants, the SABA signature Thai cookery class includes a trip to Dublin’s Asia Market, where you’ll learn to pick Thai ingredients in a setting that’s as authentic as it comes in these parts. As well as this, you’ll get to visit an Irish food shop, where your guide will show what substitutes you can make if there’s no Asian food shop near you. The experience includes a glass of wine/beer, and you’ll make five or six dishes to enjoy.

Bread Making 

Ah, bread. There’s no need to explain why it would be a good idea to do this class. Fresh bread makes everything better. In this class at The Baking Academy, you’ll learn how to make a whole range of breads, including sweet and savoury, and the almighty sourdough.

Cupping Workshop

If you and your partner are self-confessed coffee-fiends, then the coffee workshop at The Dublin Barista School is a brilliant gift to give. Taste a huge range of specialty grade seasonal coffee, learn about the different farming and roasting processes and where your beans come from, and pretty much everything else there is to learn about coffee. The blind cupping part of the course in particular is great fun.

3. The Creative Type

Spoon Making

Éamonn O’Sullivan runs this brilliant one-day spoon carving workshop at several points throughout the year and gives participants the opportunity to make some really beautiful wooden creations. You can buy a place on an upcoming workshop here. Éamonn has also partnered with Ballymaloe Cookery School to offer spoon carving workshops for anyone based closer to Cork. Tickets for these events can only be purchased through the Ballymaloe booking system

Pottery Painting

Pottery painting really is as enjoyable and relaxing as it sounds, and it can be such a laugh when paired with a glass of BYO wine and a pizza delivery (which can be arranged). Located in Dundrum Town Centre, you can hop on the newly-extended LUAS out there, and choose whatever you want to paint, be it a mug, bowl, plate, or whatever else you choose. Don’t worry about being creatively-challenged, the Giddy team is brilliant at helping with hints and tips. As far as the price goes, you just pay for what you paint.

Woodworking 

Pick between their furniture or instrument-making course, both of which can be taken place in a full day class, which is open to all levels. Beginners will get an introduction to various hand tools and techniques, and don’t worry – your project is easy enough to ensure you can get it finished by the end of the day. For participants with previous experience or who are a little more confident, you’ll have the opportunity to make projects such as stools, kitchen tables, guitars etc. € 125.00 per session (lunch provided)

 

4. Adventure-Seekers

Axe Throwing

Axe-throwing has seen a major revival around Europe over the last while, and it’s one random activity that you and your boo should definitely try at some stage! During the 1.5hr long activity, participants learn all the techniques for throwing axes, from the nimble Flying Angel Axes to the hefty Tomahawk… You’re bound to have a laugh at this one, as you take part in a mini-tournament against your fellow participants, with coaches guiding you along all the way to ensure maximum safety. All of the courses are run at the Irish National Heritage Park in Wexford. The cost is €40 per person.

Sky Diving

Nothing says “I love you” like making your partner jump out of a plane, thousands of feet above the ground. In all seriousness, the team at Sky Dive Ireland provide one-to-one training and your Tandem Instructor will teach you everything you need to know for the big moment so that you feel safe and secure in their care. The skydive will take place at Kilkenny Aerodrome, just 3km from the heart of Kilkenny, so you head into the medieval city for a much-deserved drink to toast your accomplishment!

City Kayaking

The team at City Kayaking run river trips from Dublin City Moorings through the very center of Ireland’s capital, making it the only way to paddle under the famous O’Connell and Ha’penny bridges! City Kayaking is a fantastic way to see Dublin’s most famous landmark sites from a unique angle, led by experienced local guides. The kayaks are very stable, making it an ideal activity for beginners, and the whole experience takes about 2 hrs in total (90 mins on the water).