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A date to remember

Say it with flowers, cards, gifts, music, movies and food... The occasion? Valentine's Day, which is going to be celebrated in a big way in the city. A round-up of the activities for the week.

STORES ARE stringing up hearts and flowers, bouquet makers are ordering red roses by the truckload, gift shops are stocking up on cuddly soft toys and card companies are going into overdrive. It's Valentine's Day again and there are all sorts of events and deals to sweeten the day.

If you believe in the stomach-to-the-heart route, there are loads of deals. Caf� Coffee Day has whipped up an `FQ Heart Break Combo' for Rs. 99. The offer is on till February 14 at all outlets and any couple buying the Combo gets to break a cookie that has prizes ranging from jewellery, T-shirts, purses and discount vouchers from Tanishq to movie tickets embedded in it. On the February 13 and 14, there will be games for couples with prizes sponsored by FQ - Fashion Quotient, from Tanishq.

Red E Food Court on Harrington Road (ph: 52138856) gets into the mood with a magnificent Mughlai menu till February 16. Lotus Pond in Besant Nagar (ph: 24464488) will be the perfect rendezvous for dinner under a starlit sky. You can also get behind the counter and work with the chef to dish up a lovely dinner for your date.

Serenade your Valentine at the poolside of the Raddison GRT Hotel on GST Road (ph: 22310101). There's a five-course candlelight dinner, wine, roses, starry skies, the works for Rs. 995 per couple. GRT Grand Days in Pondy Bazaar (ph: 28150500) will have special offers with serenading musicians, chocolates, mocktails, cocktails and special menus at its restaurants.

At the Park Sheraton, Ellements presents a Valentine's Day dinner and dance on February 13 at 8 p.m. in Mowbray's Hall with Renuka Chowdhary (MP) and Mahabanoo Mody Kotwal, the stand-up comedian. At Dublin, the DJ will set the mood with specially picked tunes. Music lovers can head for Chin Chin at The Residency, T. Nagar where `Westwind' will perform live from 7.30 p.m.

Ampa Crystal Inn in Aminjikarai (ph: 3741999/3741072-73) offers discounts at its multi-cuisine restaurants as well as special offers at discounted rates for couples till February 16. Cookie Man has baked Special Edition Packs with mystery gifts for two packed in along with individually wrapped chocolate-coated heart shaped cookies. Cookie Man is adding a touch of social responsibility to their festivities this year. A 70-foot banner will be displayed by its volunteers on the streets till V-Day with messages on road safety from the Chennai Police. Cakes `n' Bakes is hosting a Valentine's Day festival this week with cakes and chocolates packed in edible heart-shaped gift boxes.

For chocoholics Indu's Home Made Foods in Alwarpet (ph: 24992891 or 98400-99334) has delectable desserts and chocolates and more. And if you're worrying about the perfect gift, Estelle has launched a new range of fashion jewellery in heart motifs. The special part of this collection is Zodiac pendant pairs that can be linked with a heart as a centrepiece. Swarovski's Valentine Collection has lovely heart-shaped earrings and necklaces, or try a bouquet of crystal roses in faint pink that will never fade. Tanishq also has a special collection and an exchange offer for a week after V-Day.

But if all that costs too much, there are simpler gifts that tell the same story. Luxor has launched `Parker Emotifs', roller ball pens with hearts, smileys and happy colours of love. If you don't know what you want to say, the ITC Expressions greeting card people will do the job with a whole lot of cards with cartoon characters, mushy cards, funny cards and even a new range of `modern' cards in the shape of laptops, mobile phones. And if you buy cards worth more than Rs. 50, you get a silver Oyzterbay pendant free — one more gift for her.

A date to remember

P.Orr and Sons is also getting into the act with Priyamithra 2003, a contest that can win watches and discount coupons. To participate all you have to do is put down in a maximum of 100 words why you love someone. It could be a friend, child, brother, sister, anybody.

Gift your love good luck all year through with a lucky plant from Fine Things (ph: 28203906). Layered plants and dancing bamboo are on discount all week. Sixth Sense in Adyar (ph: 24402475) has a lovely range of preserved flowers that would make perfect gifts. For a purchase of Rs. 150, you can also get yourself photographed with your loved one in front of a huge floral arrangement in the store. Mehak on C.P. Ramaswamy Road (ph: 24988089) has unique flower arrangements on sale till Friday. There are `As Tall as your Valentine' bouquets of roses that come with a box of chocolates and a teddy bear.

If she's the type who's always late, you can get her a Swatch St. Valentine's watch. It's a special edition watch that comes packaged with the tag line, `Aiming for your heart.' Westside is also celebrating that special feeling with a range of T-shirts and kurtas in reds and bold prints available from Rs. 399 onwards. There are also gifts such as his-and-hers coffee mugs, breakfast sets, photo frames and aromatherapy candles. Basics and Genesis are having promotions during the week; customers crossing the Rs. 1500 mark will receive chocolates, cookies, flowers and complimentary dinner at Red E Food Court, while those crossing Rs. 2000 will win dinner at the Park Sheraton, followed by entry to the party at Dublin.

Sun Furniture has introduced a `Just for the Couple' Zantra two-seater table at its Adyar showroom (ph: 24404421) made of tempered toughened glass with elegant petal-shaped chairs. But if you don't want to sit at home drinking coffee, head for Mayajaal, where there's a Vale-Inte-Mate Night happening. Tickets are available at Odyssey, Landmark, Lifestyle and Hi-style.

Heart 2 Heart is organising a programme on February 14 at Spencer Plaza Phase III. Between10 a.m. and 7 p.m., you can tell your Valentine how you feel with the help of a guitarist, flowers, juke box dedications, a chance to take photographs with your loved one and more.

Ramada Raj Park on TTK Road (ph: 24987777) is hosting a programme at its Karoke Pub, Saturn in association with SS Music on Valentine's Day. And the weekend after, Sparkling Sands at Akkarai on the East Coast Road is hosting a party with a campfire and barbecue. For invites call 52151044/52151147/98403-95093.

Time for sentiment

THIS VALENTINE'S Day, HBO is screening romantic movies back-to-back all-day long for those couch potato couples. Let the stars sweep you off your feet as you watch John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John boogie in the 1950s classic "Grease" or Adam Sandler croon his tunes in the romantic comedy "The Wedding Singer". You can also gear up to see Kevin Bacon, Drew Barrymore, Kelly Preston, Kevin Costner and others at their romantic best.

Movie mania begins at 6 a.m. with "He said, She said". "For the Love of the Game" follows at 8.15 a.m. At 11 a.m. "The Beautician and the Beast" will be on air, followed by "Grease" at 1.15 p.m., "Loser" at 3.30 p.m., "Can't Hardly Wait" at 5.30 p.m. and finally "The Wedding Singer" at 7.30 p.m.

So buy yourself a lot of popcorn, curl up on your recliner, hide the remote control and enjoy those romantic movies all day long.

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