What is the perfect date? That’s a tough question – I don’t think there is one.
When you think of a date, you think of the usual dinner, perhaps a movie a romantic kiss at your front door before you retire for the night. But things have changed. It’s not the 1950’s anymore.
Dating can be so much fun, and you can be so creative if you really want it to be perfect, without it looking like you’ve tried too hard. You also need to remember, over doing the romanticism is not everyone’s thing – sometimes even a turn off. So take it easy and don’t jump into red roses and chocolates on the first date.
Here are a few of my suggestions for the perfect date in Sydney this summer…
THE CHEAP DATE
On a budget, but want to impress your date? A cheap date is harder then you think, so here is one that is both cheap and fun.
Meet early evening on a Friday during Summer at Woolloomooloo and have a quick drink at Woolloomooloo Bay Hotel, then take a nice evening walk through the Botanic Gardens, all the way around Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair around to Circular Quay.
From there, you can catch the Free Shuttle Bus number 555, which takes you down George Street up to Central Station. Hop off near World Tower on George St and head down to Dickson Street, Chinatown for the Chinatown Night Markets.
All the way down the pedestrian area of Chinatown you can check out stalls with great food, trendy little stalls with fashion, toys, and other little knick-knacks. Grab a delicious and cheap meal and have a look at the bargains. The markets run from 4pm till 11pm every Friday.
THE CASH SPLASH DATE
There’s nothing better then enjoying the company of your date with lots of beautiful things, great food and very little fuss. If you have some cash to splash, this is my recommendation.
Hire a convertible. Sydney Sports Car Hire has fabulous 2010 model BMW Z4’s available from just $149 per day.
Jump in your sexy convertible and go for a drive down the South Coast, to a seaside town called Scarborough. It’s only about 60 minutes from Sydney, you will drive along the amazing Grand Pacific Drive, on the coast line of NSW. You’ll also drive over the famous Sea Cliff Bridge at Coledale and shortly after that reach Scarborough Pub, a recently renovated pub in the edge of a cliff with views that take your breath away. Have a long beautiful lunch outside on the terrace, or down on the lawn by the cliff’s edge.
After lunch, continue down the winding roads to Thirroul, about a 20-minute drive from Scarborough for a coffee and icecream at Flanagans Café on Thirroul Beach. Again, a great place to soak up the views, the sun and go for a swim if you wish.
Head back to Sydney late afternoon and head to Icebergs at Bondi Beach. Pull up and leave your car in valet and enjoy a few pre-dinner drinks in the bar before moving over to the restaurant. If you think your date went well, leave the car if you need to (don’t drink and drive just because you have the car!) and head either to another venue. Or home together! (Maybe that should be The Easy Date?!)
THE INFORMAL DATE
An informal date is always great as a first time meeting (since the original meeting – unless of course it’s from the internet or certain smartphone applications!). No expectations, no organisation and spontaneity is key. If you don’t like your date after 30 minutes, you can easily dump them because you’re not locked into anything.
I’d suggest meeting down at North Bondi Italian for a glass of wine or one of their absolutely fabulous Bellinis, then if things are looking good, head over to Bondi FM Café at 143 Curlewis Street, Bondi Beach and have some lunch in their Indian inspired teepee constructed in the backyard. It’s a very relaxed and chilled out café, where you can randomly bump into people you know, or know of. The food is great, they have plenty of alcohol and the very relaxed atmosphere has no pretence, making it a very informal date with noise and no awkward silences.
THE FORMAL DATE
You can’t go more formal then having your own personal award winning chef to cook for you!
Enjoy a private dining experience with Dining Abode. Be amazed as Thomas Johns – the former executive chef/owner of Pello Restaurant –comes to your place and cooks anything from a 3-course meal, to 8-course degustation!
Privacy, environment and time with each other are the most important things on a date, so why not have all over that in the privacy and comfort of your own home. Great thing is after the dinner is over, you don’t have far to go to… the lounge of course!
Go overboard, get dressed up, impress each other and make each other smile. This is truly a special experience to share with a special someone – but don’t go wasting it on a first date, wait till you know that someone is a little special.
THE EASY DATE
The easiest date, with no effort (apart from getting there), but with a cultural and palatable difference is most definitely a trip out to Cabramatta for lunch or for dinner. Your choices are quite varied – anything from an authentic veal or chicken schnitzel at the Austrian/Hungarian club to the freshest Asian cuisine available in Sydney. The Vietnamese and Chinese restaurants, right in the heart of Cabramatta are absolutely mind blowing. The flavours, the ingredients and the freshness of every restaurant, café or grocery store is like nothing you would see in the heart of Sydney. It’s definitely an interesting date and a chance for you to show how culturally diverse you can be.
THE HARD DATE
What exactly is a hard date? Now get your mind out of the gutter!
To me, a hard date would be a physical one. One where you have to work together. Again, mind out of the gutter!
Starting off bright and early at 8am, Lavender Bay Wharf, you and your date will start off the day on a Sydney Kayaking Tour. There are a range of tours you can go on, which take you along the harbour, seeing all the nooks and crannies you wouldn’t normally see by boat.
After that, you will be hot, sweaty and very hungry and thirsty, so why not head somewhere you can eat and drink, then lay by the pool? Head down to The Domain Sydney, park the car and wander on through to the Poolside Café at the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool. This delicious café/restaurant overlooks the pool, hot bodies and Cowper Wharf, Woolloomooloo.
THE ROMANTIC DATE
If you want to be all cute and romantic, nothing says that more then a picnic.
Now it’s all in the food. You need top quality meats, cheeses and seafood. Head to Victor Churchill in Woollahra and meander through this exquisite butcher/grocer/deli/supermarket/heaven and pick out some fresh cold meats, including cooked chicken breast.
100m up the road is Jones The Grocer. Visit the excellent cheese room, tasting your way through them all to find your perfect cheese. While you’re there, grab some bread, olives, eggplant and capsicums to make your own antipasto. Also choose a delicious dessert, or variety to share.
All of this delicious food, a great bottle of wine, and a short drive away to a secret little paradise only very few visit. Hermit Place, Vaucluse.
Park in the little cul-de-sac and take the path down to the beach below the most palatial mansions in Sydney. The view here is so magical, overlooking the harbour, without being interrupted by tourists – occasionally you’ll get a local. Nothing could be more romantic then watching the sunset over the magical harbour.
Whichever date you decide to go on, I hope your time together is extra special.