The best things in life really are free (or at least, incredibly cheap)…
Because the longer you’ve been together, the more important date night is.
You don’t have to go broke to celebrate your love.
Everyone knows that Sydney in the spring in the best place to be with a plethora of food, drink and dessert festivals taking place over the next few months. Don’t miss out on our favourites below, which are sure to be the highlight of your year!
Smooth Festival of Chocolate
Where: The Rocks
Are you a self-proclaimed chocoholic? Don’t miss the annual Smooth Festival of Chocolate which brings together boutique chocolatiers, pastry chefs and ice cream makers into one convenient place.
When: Saturday September 12: 10am-8pm
Sunday September 13: 10am-5pm
Cost: Free entry
Night Noodle Markets
Where: Hyde Park
Good Food Month kicks off in October and is followed by a number of delicious food and drink festivals that are ideal for the foodie-in-training. With over 50 food stalls to choose from in Sydney’s Hyde Park, you will be spoiled for choice!
When: October 8-25
Cost: Free entry
Where: aMBUSH Gallery, Level 3, 28 Broadway Central Park (Chippendale)
If you suffer from a major sweet tooth, Sweetfest is a must-try after a satisfying dinner in the city. Whether you like your dessert fried, iced, creamed, or dusted, you’re going to find something tasty here.
When: October 17-18
Cost: $20 (includes masterclasses and a glass of Redbank Emily Brut Cuvee)
Images via Sydney Morning Herald, The Rocks, Time Out, Good Food
Curtain up! Light the lights! Going to the theatre has been a treasured pastime for hundreds of years. From Shakespeare to Sondheim, there is a play, musical, ballet, opera; you name it, for everyone. It’s fun, it’s exciting and (a fact that is often overlooked) it is a fabulous venue to bring somebody you really want to impress. Here are 5 reasons why going to the theatre is a fabulous date idea.
RELATED: Date Night Ideas For Your Anniversary
1. It’s the perfect mix of glamorous and casual
Like to dress up, but tired of the conversation-trumping thumping bass of a concert/club? Want a sense of occasion, rather than the jeans-and-a-cute-top movie date getup? The theatre gives you the opportunity to frock up, but still allows you time before, at intermission, and after the show to actually converse at a normal volume. Enjoy waking up with memories of show tunes and scintillating conversation, rather than with a pounding headache, a sore throat and a guilty conscience.
2. Location, location, location
Theatres are usually located right in the city centre; close to restaurants, cocktail lounges and other nightlife. Have a quick drink, or perhaps even a three course meal pre-show, then mosey on down to theatre-land, dressed to the nines, and let your meal settle through Act 1. But whatever you do; DON’T BE LATE. Most productions have a lockout period of 5 minutes to a whole act, so it’s best to arrive about 15 minutes before show time, especially if you’re picking up your tickets at the box office.
3. Avoid awkward silences
Let’s face it; we’ve all been on a date when the conversation hasn’t quite been flowing. In fact, it’s been stuttering and starting like a steam train with a sleeping driver. On a regular date, you’ll often have to delve into the darkest recesses of your ‘date dialogue’, perhaps even dusting off the time your sister’s graduation gown caught fire. On a theatre date; when in doubt, chat about the show! It’s easier to construct a conversation around a play/musical than a movie because there is far less footage online. Odds are neither one of you will have had any idea what it’s about, which leaves plenty of room for discussion. It’s even more interesting if you both decide you’re hating it…makes the second act twice as entertaining.
4. Grab an autograph at the end of the show
Loved a particular actor or actress? Moved to tears by the awesome-ness you just witnessed? Can’t bear to leave without showing your appreciation? No problem! Head around to the stage door with your date and wait until the performers emerge. They’re more than happy to sign your program/merchandise/bra and have a bit of a chat. It prolongs the experience and you’ll have something you’ll treasure forever (or lose next time you move house). It’s much easier than battling security and every teenager in Australia to catch a glimpse of Taylor Swift trying to leave the building with her entourage (yes, I’ve been there).
5. There is nothing like live theatre
Live theatre is something everybody should experience. As performers have to recreate themselves every night, you will witness a living, breathing entity that ebbs and flows with whatever energy it may be channelling on a particular day. The skill of theatre actors is extraordinary and watching them in action is awe-inspiring. There are no second chances, no opportunities to do an extra take if they forget a line and no safety net, except for their fellow performers. Whether everything goes smoothly or the set falls to pieces, a theatre date is always memorable!
Image via Ecns.cn
The winter weather isn’t always a bad thing, especially when the annual Vivid Sydney festival comes to town between May 22 – June 8, 2015. Whether you’re planning a night out with great food, warm drinks, or even a trip with the kids, here are our top 10 suggestions on what to check out.
Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
You might be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of Future Classic, one of Australia’s biggest independent record labels. They’ve teamed up with Vivid this year to celebrate their 10 year anniversary and it certainly won’t disappoint.
Over 2 nights, major acts such as Flume, Flight Facilities, George Maple, and Seekae will be performing at the Sydney Opera House, right under the stars. Tickets are officially sold out, but it’s definitely worth a shot looking for one.
Even if you don’t have pipes like Mariah Carey, it doesn’t mean it should stop you from belting out your favourite tune. Vivid has paired up with The Star and various other pop-up bars including Martin Place, The Rocks, and Darling Harbour to bring you the ultimate karaoke outing.
Take the kids for a fun night out with some child-friendly light walks over the city and the eastern suburbs. Campbells Cove, First Fleet Park and Martin Place are just some of the major attractions this year. The best part? It’s absolutely free.
Freda’s: 107-109 Regent Street, Chippendale
Escape the crowds in the city and head to Chippendale for a quite meal over the next few weeks. This hidden bar is located inside a 100-year old warehouse (if you can find it!) and is packed with yummy food and drinks to re-fuel your adventures.
Sydney Town Hall: 483 George Street, Sydney
31st May 5:30pm-7pm, $30
As part of Vivid Talks, there are a number of different seminars taking place over the next few weeks across the city. One of the highlights of the program is Matthew Weiner, the creator of hit television show, Mad Men.
What do you plan on attending during Vivid Sydney 2015?
Images via Vivid Sydney
Are you a Sydney local who fancies a drink (or two) after a long day at the office?
Look no further! We have tracked down some of the cities best cocktail bars to unwind at with an after-work beverage, and all of which you can really let your hair down until it’s time to do it all over again.
The Baxter Inn
Where: Basement, 152-156 Clarence Street, Sydney
We recommend: Whiskey and Fresh Apple Juice
Often hailed as one of the best cocktail bars in the entire city, there is no way you can be disappointed with a statement like that. While the focus is on whiskey and wine, the bartenders specialise in all kinds of cocktails and the 1950s music is sure to get you in the party mood – that is, if you can find the underground bar.
Eau de vie
Where: 229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst
We recommend: The Noble Experiment
Located in the bustling suburb of Darlinghurst, Eau de Vie serves up some of the most interesting cocktails in the entire city. There’s no chance of ever getting bored in this establishment, just take a look and see how your cocktails are made!
Where: 123 Victoria Street, Potts Point
We recommend: Air France
Although The Butler is a relatively new bar located just east of the city centre, it deserves a visit for more than just its views of the Royal Botanical Gardens. With a long list of cocktails, which are sure to land you Instagram’s popular feed, they are accompanied by a tasty cuisine of modern Australian food.
Where: 61 York Street, Sydney
We recommend: The Smokey Rocket
If you’re ever working near Wynyard, then Stitch Bar is the place to be. With a broad range of cocktails on offer, there is bound to be something you like. Definitely try The Smoking Rocket if you love a gentle fusion of whiskey and tequila with a pinch of lime and chilli.
Gazebo Wine Garden
Where: 2 Elizabeth Bay Road, Elizabeth Bay
We recommend: Giggly Rose
You’ve probably made it to the Winery in Surry Hills before, but nothing beats the charm that is Gazebo Wine Bar. If the French garden isn’t enough to lure you in, then the cocktails will.
Images via Ecouzi and Chanel Bags And Cigarette Drags
Now that the heavy heat of summer is on it’s way out it’s the perfect time to play. Dating should be about having fun AND getting to know each other. So I’ve got some romantic ideas which do just that. Plus it doesn’t need to cost either of you a fortune. Get back to basics, open channels for communication, learn about each other or reconnect and have some fun along the way.
A date at the Botanical Gardens
There’s a Botanical Garden in each major city and some in the smaller towns so why not use one for a romantic date location. Most are free to enter, you can stay for hours and it doesn’t need to cost a cent! If you think this sounds boring and not you’re thing you’ve obviously never strolled along hand in hand, played hide and seek, jumped around in the leaves together or stolen a kiss under the amazing falling foliage. It’s VERY romantic.
Plus the colours during autumn are spectacular and simply don’t get any better. It’s the perfect place to take some incredible couple pics or a selfie or two. Most have a cafe or coffee shop within the grounds or somewhere nearby so why not grab a quick bite to eat during the day. If budgets an issue pack a perfect picnic for two and find somewhere private for a cuddle.
A date with animals
Why should couples with kids have all the fun? There’s something special about going to a zoo or wildlife park with your partner. Even though there’s an entry fee, it’s great value for money and an awesome cause. Once you’re in the grounds checkout the exhibits at your leisure and spend the entire day.
There’s nothing wrong with a spot of rain either. The animals like a bit of relief from the summers heat. Take an umbrella or buy a cheap weatherproof poncho and away you go. You can spend hours watching the animals and getting lost together in some of the over grown or secluded lane-ways.
A dinner date watching the sunset
The sun rises and sets everyday but we seldom take time out of our busy schedules to appreciate it. So although the weather might not be great for an outdoor meal at dusk, that’s exactly what they invented snuggling for! Find somewhere secluded, park the car, take a meal, relax and witness natures beauty together. It doesn’t matter where you live you should be able to find an incredible view. Plus when it gets dark no-one will be able to see what you get up to in that car. Going parking is totally underrated and why should teens have all the fun? Be discrete and careful not to get caught!
A technology-free date
When was the last time you switched off the TV, computer or phone and played a game together? Better still, have you ever done it? Twisters a good one or how about poker with a bit of flair and fewer clothes? Ditch the technology and have a night in with a few games. They can be as tame or risque as you like. They are not only a lot of fun but it’s incredible how much people communicate without the added distraction of technology. Whether you are just getting to know each other or need to reconnect this one will work a treat!
If you’ve ever fantasised about running away to join the circus: meet energetic, passionate and creative Canadian Francis Jalbert, who’s literally living the dream.
Francis, 25, who is currently touring around the world with the big top production TOTEM from Cirque du Soleil, spoke to me on his day off, while in Melbourne.
Originally from Montreal, where Cirque du Soleil is based, Francis grew up in awe of the breathtaking spectacle that is the artistic entertainment company. He first joined Cirque du Soleil in January 2010 as an intern of the Corporate PR Department before becoming Senior PR Advisor/Asst. PR Manager of the company’s Arena Show Division.
In February 2012, Francis (pictured) made the momentous decision to pack his life in two suitcases and leave his homeland to become the full-time tour publicist and official spokesman of TOTEM.
He is now one of 112 Cirque du Soleil employees – including a 46-strong cast made up of acrobats, actors, musicians and singers – plus 64 technicians, who are currently on the road in Australia.
Since its world premiere in 2010, more than three million people worldwide have experienced TOTEM, winner of the 2013 NYC Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience.
Francis says like all Cirque du Soleil shows, TOTEM is an uplifting display of athleticism, comedy, heartfelt emotions and surprising visual effects. “I take care of all the media relations in each city we go to so I am basically living and breathing with the show,” he says, in a very pleasing, strong French accent.
“I’ve been with the show for three years and for me it’s been about 19 cities now and on the road non-stop.
“Brisbane will be the 30th show from the beginning. It’s amazing – your work with a group of 112 people from 21 countries and actually you not only work with them, but you live with them, you grow with them and you eat with them and you travel with them, so it’s a very multicultural show and interesting experience.
“On top of that, we are travelling the world so we’re constantly moving from one culture to the other and we are dealing with the total absence of familiarity. The one certainty we have is the show itself and the people you are travelling with.
“It’s such a cliché to say it, but it really is like a second family. We didn’t pick each other, but we are all on the road together. Every day, we’ve got each other’s backs, so we are always there for each other.”
And while Francis says he has plenty of “pinch-me moments” on tour when he’ll look back and think: “Oh my goodness, what am I doing here?! What is this lifestyle!” he says it soon becomes a happy routine, with the touring company settling in each city for months at a time.
“On a day-to-day basis, what we try to do is make 2600 people dream every night, but this is a lot of work at this level,” he says, “For the artists, they perform about 8-10 shows a week and the technical team also is always maintaining everything and making sure everything is always perfect for each performance, so a lot goes into getting ready and performing the show on a daily basis.”
As to whether there’s any downside to living out of a suitcase, Francis jokes that he’s become an expert packer. “It can be challenging; you really get used to it. You have to really learn how to pack too; some people travel around with their Magic Bullets to make juices because we can have about four suitcases on tour with us. It’s a lifestyle, it takes a few months to get used to it, but once you embrace it, and you live it, it becomes normality.”
So, what makes TOTEM special? Written and directed by Robert Lepage, it reveals “a fascinating journey into the evolution of mankind”, according to the publicist. “TOTEM is about evolution: evolution of the human body and of the human civilisation and the evolution each human being goes through in his/her life,” Francis says.
“We’re not presenting the story of evolution in chronological order, we are moving the audience from one part of the world to the next and back and forth into time.
“What’s special about this show first of all is that it is very intimate – there aren’t 40 artists on the stage all the time and you don’t know where to look.
“This one is very focussed because the acrobatic artists we are featuring are mostly unique – acts you’ve probably never seen before and if you have, the way in which we have integrated them into the style of the show and the world of TOTEM is really very surprising and clever.
“It’s a show that doesn’t try to be something other than it is; it’s very human-based so people can really relate to the different scenes on stage.”
Francis says Australian audiences are a delight and each city has varied reactions to the show. “It’s really interesting to see the differences,” he enthuses, “but Australian audiences have been amazing since we started last October in Sydney.
“We got lots of standing ovations which I know are not a regular thing for theatre in that part of the world.”
Francis says while choosing his favourite part of the show is impossible, he says the TOTEM opening scene –Bars (Carapace) – (pictured above) is very strong. It features a giant turtle at centre stage, which represents the origins of life on earth. “It is very difficult to pick a favourite part, it is like you are asking me which child I would prefer!” he says.
“In the turtle structure you have about 20 artists dressed as fish and frogs and it’s a high-energy acrobatic number.
“I really believe this is the strongest opening act of any Cirque du Soleil and really sets the bar high for what audiences can expect after that.”
And while the youngest TOTEM performer on tour is 18 and the oldest is 57 – both are acrobats – Francis says most of the 46-member cast are in their 30s.
The 112-strong touring party live in large corporate housing and almost become adopted residents in each city they perform. Mondays are their day off, with weekly performances from Tuesday-Sunday.
“This cast is a very ‘mature cast’ for a Cirque du Soleil show. A lot of them already have partners, but some love stories can arise!” he enthuses.
“We always have time to explore each city and become kind of a local for two to three months,” he says. “When we start fitting in and when it starts to feel more like a routine then we know it’s time to pack our luggage and go!
“We are never staying too long in the same place so there is never time to get bored.
“We are very much looking forward to our shows in other cities,” Francis says. “We hope people will love it and feel the fresh air we are bringing.”
Cirque du Soleil, which celebrates its 30thanniversary this year, has entertained up to 150 million people in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries on six continents.
It has close to 4000 employees, including 1300 performing artists from up to 50 different countries. It is currently presenting 19 different shows around the world.
TOTEM, which is currently on show in Melbourne until March 29, is also touring Brisbane from April 10 until May 17; Adelaide from June 11 to July 5; and Perth from July 31 to August 16.
For those individuals fortunate enough to have a Valentine by their side this February 14 is an undeniably romantic occasion. Those in love tend to be showered with chocolates, flowers and tiny trinket hearts. This is the one day of the year for you to grab your partner and embrace the gooeyness of it all.
However, sometimes saying “I love you” simply doesn’t cut it and when you realise that you’ve given all of the standard Valentine’s Day gifts you can stand, it can be a challenge to come up with something original.
No idea what to do with your partner? Fear not. Your own personal cupid has compiled a list of quirky, romantic, fun and relatively inexpensive date ideas for this Valentine’s Day:
1. Run away for the day
Day Trips are an easy bet. For a luxuriating experience, try a spa weekend or treat yourself to a couples massage. If you’ve got a taste for the outdoors why not rent a cabin out of town? What’s more romantic than cuddling up in the wilderness with your loved one and a glass of wine?
2. Recreate your first date
Nothing could be more romantic than recreating your first date with your partner. Whether you return to the bar where you
shared your first drink, eat the same food you both shared, or rent the movie you first watched, this date is sure to impress. After all, it’s the thought that counts right?
3. The $0 date
This year try a ‘no gift no cash’ policy. This date is the real deal when it comes to finding out whether you and your partner are a match made in heaven. Think old DVDs, people watching, window shopping, etc.
4. Jump for your love
Two facts for you: Exercise induced endorphins improve your happiness AND doing new things together as a couple ignites
the same feeling as falling in love.
Head to your local Flip Out trampolining arena and spend the afternoon jumping around like a kid with your partner. Mixing up dates with a fun activity is sure to keep those butterflies alive!
5. Catch the sunrise together
Unless you’re not a morning person, in which case there’s always the sunset!
6. Karaoke challenge
Whilst it may not be a first date activity, you’ve surely been together long enough to relish in a little embarrassment. Let each other pick out a song and give those vocal chords a workout. If you head to a local bar prior, you’ll forget how offensive each
other’s voices really are.
7. Hire a moped
And drive. Literally, any direction, to any destination. Everyone knows how much fun adventures can be. How long has it been since you two have done something crazy?
8. Double date
For those couples who could do without another night in with their other half, why not enlist one of your favourite couples and hit up your favourite restaurant or bar? Making fun of the hopeless romantics staring into each other’s eyes should provide endless entertainment.
Rather than going for dinner and drinks on your next date, why not choose some of Sydney’s finest desserts instead?
We are a city known for our sweet-tooth which never stops, so take advantage of this and indulge with your next date! Try just some of our favourite places to enjoy a few sweets.
Level 3 Westfield Sydney – Cnr of Pitt St Mall & Market St
Taste some of Ladurée’s iconic macarons, and complete your meal with a delicious coffee or signature hot chocolate. We recommend you try the salted caramel and pistachio which are must-haves at the original Ladurée in Paris.
280 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
Try an authentic taste of Italian Gelato in the heart of Sydney, which is easy to access by both car, public transport, and even by foot. The service is extremely welcoming, and offers a prime view of Crown Street and other restaurants nearby. The Belgian chocolate is a must-have if you have a huge sweet-tooth.
Randwick, Surry Hills, Crows Nest, Darlinghurst
Named after a traditional Hungarian pastry which is filled with nuts and chocolate, and often sold as street-snacks comes this charming bakery which is available at 4 different locations. If you’re a newcomer, try the Kurtosh with Nutella chocolate and a cup of coffee.
N2 Extreme Gelato
43/1 Dixon Street, Sydney
A new and innovative way to enjoy your treat, especially if you’re into the science behind each scoop of gelato! All options are made by Gelato Scientists in white laboratory coats (seriously though), and use liquid nitrogen for those signature smooth textures.
Image via Sydney Food Lovers
Dating in December can be a bit tricky for a couple of reasons. The first is that there are people everywhere. Don’t you wish that they would all nick off because a quiet night at a local restaurant seems to be out of the question. With staff parties and end of year festivities happening, it’s likely you’ll actually need to make a booking. That throws spontaneity totally out the window for the next month or so.
Then there’s the second conundrum. Is it time for your new lover to meet the Fockers or Addams family? You know, those people who share your genes, but have you seriously considering if you were adopted? It might be tempting to take your date with you, but before you do, please keep reading.
So back to the first issue. Instead of heading to overcrowded restaurants during December, why not mixed it up a bit and do things a little different. Take the opportunity to engage the festivities and go along to Christmas pageants, carol evenings, light displays or whatever else your city or local area has going on.
If this sounds like a chore rather than an opportunity, you might want to pack a romantic picnic lunch and drive out to the country for some peace and quiet. You can pick some wild flowers which can still be found in remote areas or support some of the local businesses, strolling peacefully from shop to shop selecting Christmas gifts.
Hey, it certainly beats the hustle and bustle of the local mall! Plus small businesses out of the city will welcome the extra income. You never know what you’ll find as small towns often support local artists who hand make unique trinkets and create some stunning gifts.
If that doesn’t sound enticing, what about hiring a boat and having a day on the water? Or you could visit a museum, art gallery or do a photography tour. Don’t forget about scary night time tours of old jails. That will get the adrenaline pumping and nothing screams seduction like adding a bit of fear into your dating experience!
There’s heaps of options in lieu of sitting down and eating a meal together, so check out what’s around and do something different together. Some experiences need to be booked in advance and others can be spontaneous. Check online for opening times, costs and if any booking is required.
So, with a few dating options covered, what about that fateful family meeting? Maybe they have invited you for Christmas or vice versa. You really need to consider if you are ready to take that step. The family introduction is when things get serious and you are basically stating that this person is your potential life partner.
If you think it might be getting serious and this person is “the one”, the ultimate thing to remember is this; if it weren’t for upcoming family functions would you go out of your way to take this person to meet your family? If you aren’t ready for that, then the answer is relatively clear. Wait until you are certain before you introduce your family or meet theirs.
It maybe that they are keen for you to meet their family. Take this as an indication of where they would like the relationship to go. Once families become part of the equation you are in a serious relationship. If you don’t want that or are unsure then declining the offer and go to your family celebrations solo.
It’s all a matter of personal preference and you need to decide how you feel about the person. It maybe a simple Christmas invite, but often it signifies where the relationship is heading. Be mindful of this and do what feels right. Your gut instinct will usually lead you in the right direction.
Image via http://cdn.sheknows.com/articles/xmas-getaway.jpg
Tired of the same-old dates which make you regret having plans in the first place? If you’re from Sydney, try just a few of our suggestions if you want something out of the ordinary for your next date.
1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point
Relieve your childhood and spend a day at Luna Park. If your stomach doesn’t take well to rides, simply enjoy some games and indulge your sweet tooth in some cotton candy.
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach
Enjoy an Aperol Spritz in the fabulous summer weather by heading down to one of their many locations across Sydney over the weekend. Relax by the water at Bondi Icebergs during one of their popular Sunday Sessions, or unwind with a relaxed day at Paddington Bowls.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
Why not take advantage of the Sculpture by the Sea and take your date for an afternoon of fun by the water. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace
380 Military Road, Cremorne
If the weather is a bit too overcast, spend the evening at one of Sydney’s most prestigious movie theatre’s. Located on bustling Military Road in Cremorne, this movie palace has been operating since 1935.
The Rocks Ghost Tours
110 George St, The Rocks
Explore the unique history of The Rocks by taking one of their well known Ghsot Tours. Available for family, birthday, and even corporate events, it is the perfect way to enjoy a different night out.
Image via VL Blog
When was the last time you did something as simple as go parking with your special someone? Keeping the romance alive or romancing a new lover doesn’t necessarily involve spending a hand full of cash. There are some really simple, outdoor activities couples can do to spice up their love life and their sex life!
Cloud or star gazing
This might sound a little lame, but don’t knock it until you try it. I’ve had many a romantic afternoon with my partner watching the clouds go by. It’s a great thing to do on a lazy weekend or when funds are stretched to the limit. Throw down a rug, head to the backyard or local park and just lie back. The two of you can use your imaginations, laugh, talk, snuggle, cuddle – whatever you like. This is the absolute cheapest activity because the cost is zero!
A trip to the water
There is something very soothing about water. It doesn’t matter if it’s the beach or other body of water, going to a peaceful place like this is really rejuvenating. Rain, hail or shine, the view will always be spectacular and the trip there can be a great time to talk to your partner in peace or just enjoy being together.
Once you are there, you may choose to sit in the car and have a deep and meaningful conversation, while grabbing some hot chips and a loaf of bread for a bit of a meal. Maybe you decide to go for a walk, hand in hand. It doesn’t matter what you do but it will get you out of the house, away from the everyday stresses of life and give you both some precious time out.
Country or park picnic
When you live in the city getting out of that environment will de-stress you and have you both feeling relaxed. The most expensive thing about this will be the fuel. If the budget is really tight, you don’t need to go far for a bit of tranquillity. A secluded park in a neighboring suburb can be just as good. Pack a few sandwiches, some drinks and it can be a reasonably inexpensive outing. Bring along a frisbee or footy and get active.
Whether you set up a tent in the bush somewhere, local caravan park or even in the backyard, it doesn’t matter. If you are able to have a little campfire, go for it! Sitting by the fire is really romantic. If you can’t have a fire, enjoy time in the tent. The cold air outside will entice you to snuggle and being away from technology, like TVs and phones, will get you communicating.
Image via http://cfile202.uf.daum.net/image/2273023D51F1D91806FE1B
So you’re going on a date. You may be having a picnic, heading to the cinema, or maybe brunch, and you want to wear what you wear everyday, only better, right? Of course, you should always wear what you feel most comfortable in, but if you’d like to take a load off, we’ve got you covered with these stylish looks.
Blue jeans + white shirt
Style Icon: Olivia Palermo
Girly + grunge
Team a flirty, feminine, floral dress or skirt, with a leather or denim jacket and some ankle boots for an edge.
Style Icon: Miranda Kerr (See image at top – she’s got you covered for every occasion!)
The button-up, shirt dress
If it’s a beautiful day and you’re spending it outdoors – go with an easy-going midi, tea-length or maxi dress to look like the goddess you are.
Style Icon: We Wore What
Images via modeandprerogative.blogspot/dailymail.co.uk/mirandakerrfashionstyle.tumblr/weworewhat.com
So here’s the scenario: Recently met someone you liked through mutual friends, on Tinder or just the old fashioned way – but have no where to go? This week, we’re focusing on cute date ideas in Melbourne. Whether you like strolling in the art gallery or just enjoy a glass (or two) of red wine, below are just a few suggestions to get the creative juices flowing.
National Art Gallery of Victoria – 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne
Be sure to head over to the NGV for some exclusive exhibitions during the month of August. Browse the late modern and contemporary art pieces with your date, and don’t forget to pick up a souvenir from the gift shop on your way out!
Naked For Satan – 285 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Located in Fitzroy and featuring delicious Spanish cuisine, Naked For Satan is known throughout the city for its Pintxos and Walnut Croquettes. Open every day of the week, take your date out for a delicious assortment of flavoursome tapas meals.
Top Paddock – 658 Church Street, Richmond
Fancy a breakfast or brunch date instead? Top Paddock boats a large selection of scrumptious muesli, hotcakes and their Instagram-worthy presentation. Open from 7am-4pm.
Secret Garden Bar – 7/60 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda
For a night-out without the extra calories, definitely drag your date to Secret Garden in St Kilda for some amazing sugar-free cocktails. Relax on one of the many daybeds, and indulge in some live music.
Studley Park Boathouse – 1 Boathouse Road, Kew
Ditch the drama from the city and go for a simple yet romantic boat ride in Studley Park. With complete views of the Botanic Gardens, this is the perfect date for anyone who loves to be outside with nature.
Image via A Table For Two
If your anniversary is right around the corner or simply just planning something special for a loved one, ideas can be difficult to come by since there is so much variety on hand. As always, the key is to pick something which you will both enjoy, but that doesn’t mean sticking to the same old date-nights that you’re used to. Below are just a few suggestions to inspire your own special evening together.
An anniversary doesn’t have to mean losing your head and all of your money. As long as you’re both having fun, isn’t that the best gift of all? If no parties are up for a big night, consider drinks and a bite for an ideal way to celebrate the special day. Indulge in delicious cocktails, and a variety of dishes which are best shared.
Longrain – 85 Commonwealth Street, Sydney
A dinner date is probably the most popular way to celebrate an anniversary, although this doesn’t imply that it’s dated or boring in any way. There is nothing better than a personalised menu for your big night, and Sokyo at The Star lets you create a variety of Asian-fusion dishes which no doubt everybody will enjoy. Before you sit down for some dinner, grab some delicious cocktails at Sokyo Lounge which are exclusive to the bar.
Sokyo Japanese Restaurant, Level G, The Darling 80 Pyrmont Street, Sydney
For a one-of-a-kind dining experience definitely try a degustation course which is perfect as an anniversary gift. Small courses of meals are made with great care and allow guests to taste the chef’s signature dishes in one complete sitting. Often matched with delicious wines that help to bring out the flavour of the meal, and usually consist of eight or more small dishes in one night. A truly unique experience that combines delicious taste and beautiful presentation into one dish.
Quay Restaurant – Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal 5 Hickson Road, The Rocks
Image via Vardaan
By Felicia Sapountzis
Finally you’ve snagged a first date with ‘the one’ but can’t seem to find the perfect place to go out and get to know each other. Make sure you pick a location which you will both enjoy, but also something fun and unique that will make a lasting impression. We have narrowed our picks to just three Sydney based locations which offer a fun vibe and mixed with good company will surely be a match made in heaven.
1. Eau de Vie, Darlinghurst
This intimate little bar is almost hidden away on Darlinghurst Road but if you find it, there’s a reason why it’s been voted bar of the year multiple years in a row. With light jazz music setting the ambience and expert bartenders on hand to create award winning cocktails, the date will prove to be anything but boring. Order the Noble Experiment which is an ice cold martini made using liquid nitrogen.
2. Franco Franco, Surry Hills
If you’re craving some authentic Italian cuisine, head to Franco Franco for their wood-fired pizza, pasta and so much more. Located on bustling Crown Street, the restaurant offers authentic recipes from southern Italy, with techniques and ingredients which have been used for centuries. There is a large menu to choose from including breakfast, lunch, wines and specialised set menu’s as well.
3. Ms.G’s, Potts Point
Ms.G’s is a mixture of traditional Asian cuisine with a pinch ofmodern taste which everyone can enjoy. Executive chef Dan Hong and Head chef Paul Donnelly create specialised dishes using traditional Asian ingredients and adapt this to a contemporary taste palate. The restaurant is intricately detailed as you would expect all Merivale restaurants to be, and is very modern and functional. If you just want to pop in for a drink, head to the bar upstairs where there is always a variety of beer, wine and sake on offer. Open for both lunch and dinner.
These are just a few suggestions which combine tasty food and drinks in busy metropolitan areas, where there is always something close-by if you wanted to pop into a bar afterwards. Be sure to do your research and find a place (and cuisine) which you will both enjoy, (and won’t be struggling to hear each other over the music!).
Image via Broadsheet
By Felicia Sapountzis
Sometimes, after a crazy, stressful week, you just want to put on your comfy sweats and collapse by the time Friday night rolls around. We all need a lazy weekend once in a while to recharge and refresh. But what if you still want to have a fun date? Here are some cute date ideas for a romantic, lazy weekend.
Book a night at a romantic Bed and Breakfast
A relaxing, romantic B&B is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a lazy weekend. Try to find a B&B with a crackling fireplace or a jacuzzi tub for two. You can venture out of your room for dinner if you want, or ask your host to send up a cozy supper for two to your room. Forget sightseeing, just be open and spontaneous and do whatever feels right.
Linger over brunch
Whoever invented brunch is a genius! It’s the perfect meal for a lazy weekend date. You can sleep as late as you want and then head out a decadent brunch whenever you feel like it. Unlimited mimosas are a must (but make sure you avoid a hangover!).
Head to the cinemas for a movie marathon. Perhaps you can pick one movie and he can pick another, or you can choose a theme: adventure? Rom-coms? Documentaries? IMAX? Popcorn and snacks are essentials.
With cold weather on its way out (finally!), the season for romantic dates beyond the movie theater and coffee shop is here. Here’s a list of creative spring date ideas that make the most of the season.
Visit a farmer’s market and host spring brunch
Sick of seeing the same root vegetables at the market? Yep, us too. Visit your local farmer’s market and pick up some new season produce, like fresh basil, tomatoes and berries. Don’t forget a bunch of daffodils to brighten your space. Then come home and cook a spring brunch – don’t forget the mimosas with fresh berries!
Host a chocolate festival
Grab a chocolate cookbook and prepare a chocaholic feast together! Master the art of soufflés, whip up a fluffy chocolate mousse, and get messy rolling chocolate truffles.
Volunteer at your local animal shelter
Cuddle and play with kittens and puppies, and don’t forget to ask the staff which of the older pets could most use some extra love. Take them for a walk – they’ll love feeling the sun on their fur too!
Enjoy nature together
You’ve been stuck indoors for months. Go on a hike or a visityour local botanical garden and celebrate the start of the warmer months. You could also turn the trip into a “treasure hunt” to see who spots different flowers or birds first.
Even if you live in an apartment everyone can enjoy their own herb garden. Pick up some herbsand a box planter at your local garden center, and get planting. Soon you’ll be enjoying fresh, fragrant herbs (and the pride of growing it yourself!).
After last month’s onslaught of red roses, teddy bears and chocolate boxes, you might feel a little tired of conventional store-bought romance. Here are some date ideas that are anything but conventional — no heart-shaped balloons in sight!
Book a flight anywhere
This is a tip for the more spontaneous couples out there: book the cheapest flight available to a city you don’t know, or have never been to, and fly away for the weekend! It could end up being a thrilling mini holiday, or it could leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere without any sign of accommodation or food. Either way, it will prove to be an unforgettable experience.
Chuck a Ferris
Take a leaf out of Ferris Bueller’s book and both call in sick for the day. The world is your oyster! Take a long lunch, wander around your local second-hand bookstore, go swimming at the pool together or just watch the world go by from the comfort of your bed. Or, do absolutely nothing at all in the knowledge that you would ordinarily be at work by now. Sometimes the best date is just spending time together.
Do something for others, together
Dates don’t have to ooze romance or cheesiness. Volunteer at the local soup kitchen with your partner and revel in the fact that you are making a contribution to your community. The experience is something you can share and it may even spark a new appreciation for one another.
Yes, you play board games with your family at get-togethers, on rainy days when cabin fever sets in, or when the power goes out and the Wifi is down. However, a quiet night in with a bottle of wine and a board game is simplistic fun and a great inartificial date. One tip: never play Monopoly on a date — it always ends in tears.
Go to the zoo
Who doesn’t love animals? The zoo is the perfect daytime date, and because it involves unlimited conversation triggers and constant movement between animal enclosures, it is a mighty fine first date idea also.
There are baby animals everywhere, and ice-cream kiosks on every corner. There is nothing more you could possibly want from a daytime date.
What has been your most memorable unconventional date?
By Elizabeth Rowe
Can you believe summer is almost gone? Before we say farewell to flip flops and gelato, make the most of these long, gorgeous days with a memorable summer date. The great thing about summer is you don’t have to do much planning to have a fun time. Here are a few romantic date ideas to make this summer hotter than ever.
Have an outdoor picnic
So you think picnics are a cliched date idea? You’re completely right! But here’s the thing…who cares! In a month or two you’ll be stuck indoors complaining that you never spent enough time with your honey at your favourite park or beach. So, throw a few tasty treats and cold beers into a tote bag, choose a comfortable, intimate spot and enjoy a late summer picnic.
Go restaurant hopping
Forget boring old dinner dates. Turn your night out into a moveable feast. Sample a variety of new flavours with an improvised restaurant hop.One way to break up the date is to enjoy each part of the meal at a different culinary spot. For example, cocktails at that new cocktail bar you’ve been dying to try, entrees at the cute Turkish place across the road, then take a walk and enjoy your main course at a food truck or market stall, and finish with dessert at a funky hole-in-the-wall.
Let’s get physical
Late summer is the perfect time to get outdoorsy with your man. The brutal heat is gone, with just endless sunshine, warm temperatures and stunning scenery to enjoy. only wise to take advantage of the sunshine, warm temperatures, and beautiful scenery. One of the best late summer date ideas is to engage in some friendly rivalry – whether you’re a big sports fan or not that adventurous. There’s never a shortage of outdoor things to do – think beach volleyball, tennis, mountain biking, kayaking, horseback riding or simply take a walk in the park.
Soak in a jacuzzi with a bottle of Champagne
It’s time to get your sexy on! When was the last time you lounged in a hot tub with a bottle of bubbly? Strip down to your cossie (it may be the last chance you get to wear it this summer!) and get hot and steamy with your sexy half-naked man.
What are your favourite late summer date ideas?
Do you have a first date coming up? Keep calm. It’s going to be ok. The idea with planning a first date is to choose something unique and creative without it being too out there. We’ve got three tried-and-tested fun, romantic date ideas that will guarantee you a second date and beyond.
Be a local tourist
When was the last time you explored your own city? Seeing your city with someone else will give you both a new perspective and guarantee a fun day or night out. Check out local parks and attractions, a festival, or an exhibition. For something different and a little energetic, choose a mid-morning or afternoon walk along a well-known promenade or path. It’s always good to have a place nearby where you can grab a drink and bite afterwards.
Don’t cringe – bowling today is not the bowling of your childhood! Bowling can make for a great first date. It’s always a laugh, especially if you start off with a few drinks at the bar first to ease your nerves. Most bowling alleys now have a DJ or bands playing on different nights, and snacks to share after the game. You can plan a little wager on the game with the winner choosing where to go for drinks afterwards.
Rather than going out for dinner, why not sign up for a cooking class? This will give you both an opportunity to learn new skills and have fun while doing it, and it takes the pressure off having to be one-on-one. Afterwards, sit down to get to know each other over the delicious food you just prepared.
Have a great first date idea? Share it in the comments!
Has routine replaced the romance in your relationship? Hey, we know what it’s like. You’re busy, your partner’s busy, and all you look forward to at the end of the day is pure, unadulterated sleep.
Planning date night is a must to keep the romance alive. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with dinner and a movie, but save the cliches for a rainy day. We’ve got some fun date ideas that will make your next date night a night to remember.
Take a trip down memory lane
When you were dating, every “first” was exciting. Relive that excitement by visiting some of the places that are the most special to the two of you. Revisit the restaurant where you had your first date, and end by taking a walk to where your partner proposed. One couple we know have dinner every month at the restaurant where they hosted their wedding reception. Treasure those memories, and make new ones.
Be a tourist
Pretend to be tourists in your own city. When was the last time you spent an afternoon admiring the animals at the zoo, having high tea at a 5-star hotel, checking out the views from your tallest tower, or taking a relaxing harbour cruise? And don’t forget to bring along your camera. No date is complete without plenty of cheesy photos of the two of you.
Learn something new together
Taking a class together is a great way to break free of monotony. Sharing a hobby draws you closer together and gives you something new and exciting to talk about. You could learn to cook a favourite cuisine, practise self defence, learn a new language or even take DJ classes! Your local community college has a never-ending roster of evening and weekend classes and you’re sure to find something you’re both interested in.
The weather is gorgeous, so forget sitting inside and make the most of summer. Get some fresh air and enjoy quality time with your man outdoors, whether having an alfresco BBQ at the beach, or taking a scenic walk with drinks at a favourite beer garden afterwards. Getting outside is good for both the body and the soul.
What are your favourite date ideas? Share them in the comments!