February: cold, dull, grey, wet, damp…except in Gibraltar, where, whatever the weather, February is a time for light-hearted fun, laughter and, of course, love.
Fortunate enough to enjoy plenty of clear sunny days even in February, Gibraltar is stepping up to enjoy the romance of Valentine’s Day in full. For some weeks now, the food stores have been stocking a myriad of chocolates and sweets – chilli sweetheart treats to bring a touch of temptation, pink fondant heart-shaped fancies, luscious melt-in-the-mouth bonbons – all enticingly displayed in Gibraltar’s Main Street where sweet shops and chocolate shops rub shoulders with high-end jewellers, electronics stores, fashion shops and wine sellers.
Holiday-makers, casual visitors and cruise-ship passengers touring the Rock are treated to a feast of the senses as they browse Main Street for duty-free offers, but this is not the only place in Gibraltar where the warmth of Valentine’s Day is felt.
Specialist cake-makers are working night and day to prepare all sorts of sweet feasts, from heart-shaped, pink-iced cakes, to red velvet cupcakes, double chocolate fudge brownies to rum spiced truffles. The shop windows are a delight in themselves, the dreariness of winter dismissed with the brightness of reds and pinks and whites on display. The wine merchants offer a plethora of pink champagnes, full-bodied reds, pink gins and sparkling whites galore. It’s worth looking out for opportunities for tasting sessions at some of the wine sellers’: wonderful events, often accompanied by tapas and the perfect occasion for wooing your love.
Of course, does anything speak love more eloquently than diamonds? Gibraltar’s jewellery boutiques are glittering with love tokens in precious metals and gems and with highly trained staff at the ready, any tourist would find them worth a visit.
But what of other places to enjoy a little love and sunshine on the Rock? A tour of the Upper Rock Nature Reserve is perfect for enjoying some of the clear, bright, sharp winter air that Gibraltar frequently enjoys even in February and the views from the top of the Rock are nothing short of spectacular. The clearness of the skies means you can look out towards North Africa from the iconic Lighthouse at Gibraltar’s Europa Point, and be able to see the towns, houses, ships in port in the northern tip of Morocco.
And once you’ve taken a walk in the crisp air, breathed in the scents of oncoming springtime at the Alameda Botanic Gardens, felt the tang of brine on your faces by one of Gibraltar’s lovely little beaches, and then shopped to the max at Main Street, it’s time for romantic dining – perhaps at a seafront restaurant in the historic village of Catalan Bay, or at one of the westside marinas, overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar. Time to make a toast to love in a the glow of one of Gibraltar’s magnificent sunsets. It’s unmissable.
In Gibraltar, we just love love!