Cupid’s Arrow Points to Newport for Valentine’s Day

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Spin the dial on the romance compass and Cupid’s arrow is likely to point to Newport, RI. Named No. 2 city for romance by OpenTable (Chicago got No. 1), Newport has it all: miles of oceanfront beaches, fine dining, high-end shopping. Internationally acclaimed as a world-class sailing capital, the City by the Sea is a year-round destination. With an average of 202 sunny days per year and a climate moderated by its seaside location, Newport rarely rates an uncomfortable chill factor. In fact, bundling up and toasting marshmallows by a patio fireplace at Hotel Viking is among the many romantic traditions that woo couples to Newport for winter getaways. S’mores anyone?

Speaking of chocolaty goodness, Newport’s heritage includes a direct connection to the production of chocolate in Colonial America. In her book, On the Chocolate Trail: A Delicious Adventure Connecting Jews, Religions, History, Travel, Rituals and Recipes to the Magic of Cacao, Rabbi Debbie Prinz traces Newport’s chocolate history to a few 18th-century Jewish merchants including Aaron Lopez, a key benefactor in the construction of Touro Synagogue, one of Newport’s most visited historic sites. Looking for sweets for your sweet? Newport boasts a variety of chocolate shops including Kilwins on Thames Street.

We’ve covered chocolate, what’s next? Wine, of course. In addition to daily tastings, Newport Vineyards hosts a full roster of wine-centric events, several timed to coincide with the 2017 Newport Winter Festival (Feb. 17–26), including its Winterfest Speakeasy Soiree (Feb. 17) featuring dance music by the New Providence Big Band, light fare and a welcome glass of wine. Winter also brings the kick-off of Hotel Viking’s annual Viking Wine Festival (Jan 28-March 25). Modeled after the long-running Boston Wine Festival established by Boston Harbor Hotel’s Chef Daniel Bruce in 1989, the Viking Wine Festival comprises a series of weekly winemaker-hosted dinners. For each dinner, winemakers collaborate with Hotel Viking Chef Barry Correia to develop a four-course prix-fixe menu to complement the featured wines.

When it comes to mementos, T-shirts are great — but jewelry is better. Newport jeweler JH Breakell & Co.’s handcrafted Newport bracelet is a sterling silver bangle that moves to expand through twin 14K gold rings. A less expensive but equally memorable option, Lemon & Line’s nautically inspired rope bracelets reflect Newport’s maritime heritage.

Sweets, wine and gifts may be key components of the perfect romantic getaway, but accommodations can make or break even the best-laid plans. Rest assured, Hotel Viking has romance covered. Located at One Bellevue Avenue, a pleasant stroll from Newport’s famed mansions, Thames Street and the waterfront, Hotel Viking offers two romantic Newport getaway experiences.

Hotel Viking’s “Let’s Treat Ourselves” package includes accommodations for two, a welcome cheese plate with champagne, a tour and tasting at Newport Vineyards, breakfast for two at One Bellevue and a 20 percent discount off any service at SpaFjör. Rates vary by date. Starting at $189 per night, Hotel Viking’s SPAFJӦR ESCAPE includes accommodations for two, a 20 percent discount off any spa service at Spa Fjör, breakfast for two and complimentary valet parking.

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