A friend sent me a link to the New Yorker’s Daily Shouts entitled “Valentine’s Day Poems for Married People” which I clicked on and felt in turns humoured and a little sad. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long affinity with hating Valentine’s Day. I blame high school where I was never one of the popular kids getting five roses and eleven cards filled with hormonal adoration on Feb 14th. Apparently playing tenor saxophone in the band and being good at English but shit at Science is not particularly crush-inducing.
And even after high school, it annoyed me that just today I had to give a rose or get a rose or go out to dinner or generally be more in love than I was yesterday. Don’t get me started on the $6 card business.
In a practical kind of way my husband and I do acknowledge Valentine’s Day by going out to dinner the night before or after the actual date, spending the evening congratulating ourselves on being so much smarter than all the other suckers who’ve gone out to dinner on the actual day and paid more to sit in a crowded restaurant as we look at each other in an almost empty one, ambience close to nil, the bill only a few dollars less. But romance is not dead here at Chez Mama… He randomly brings me flowers- sometimes in March or June or October- for no apparent reason (that I can glean although it usually precedes an all-day fishing trip). Or bring me a coffee in bed when it’s ‘cold’ (Queensland cold so not really cold; just slightly less warm) and I don’t want to get out. Or just wink at me across the room. I tried to think of any time we’d had a particularly romantic Valentine’s Day which obviously turned up in a negative and then started to think about romantic things we’d done.
There was that time we went to Paris and listened to a busker on the steps of Mont Marte and watched as the sun went down and bathed the city in lavenders and pinks. Or when we were in Koh Samui, bought the best laksa on Earth and it was served to us in a plastic bag for about $AUD1.20. Maybe when we got ridiculously drunk at a wine festival located somewhere in the Rhine Valley and had to cycle 10km in the dark back to our campground. Or was it sitting on a beach at dusk, watching the kids play in sand and the light fade while the bogans churned donuts in their raised 4x4s three campsites down? It’s all of it.
I don’t subscribe to the commercialised Valentine’s Day of teddy bears and heart shaped shit, but even I try to do something slightly more romantic like chuck on my ‘good’ comfy nightie and serve dinner at the table (rather than the bench). And we’re here in Noosa so it’s not that hard to be romantic. Here are eight such ways:
It’s pricey but there’s no makeup on Earth which will give you that afternoon light glow on your face better than a glass of bubbles while you sit watching the sun go down over the Noosa River, waiting for you crab linguini to arrive. This place is fancy shmancy but best enjoyed during the day or dusk to take full advantage of the view (that way you don’t really have to look at your partner).
- Main Beach
For romantic sundowners, the best place is at the National Park end of Main Beach, where a number of picnic chairs and tables are the perfect place to cater to your own special dinner. Watch the surfers grab the last few waves or laugh as the newbies fall off. Marvel at the changing light on the water and how good your Pinot Gris tastes out of your plastic glass. Get here by 5pm or you’ll be making friends with the rocks in front.
- Water craft
Depending on your budget you could get one of the kitzsch Noosa Gondolas (which you can also fit a couple of kids into if you like being romantic whilst trying to make sure your children don’t fall into the river) who will also provide food and drink for a stately putt on the water. If you’re a bit strapped for cash, take the Noosa Ferry or (even strapped more) wade out to the little sand island off the Dog Beach (at the river end of Noosa Woods) and pretend you’re on a boat.
From Melbourne and feel only brooding dark spaces and espresso martinis are good enough for romance? This Italian restaurant tucked into a corner of Hastings St has amazing food and not enough light to allow your beloved to see your perceived flaws.
- Laguna Lookout, Viewland Drive Noosa Heads.
Again, sundown, but it’s romantic you know? Enjoy the view and try not to get wee’d on by koalas.
Yes, the place on Hastings St with all the chairs facing the street. This is an excellent little spot if you’re feeling particularly smug in your love bubble and want further evidence that you are in a top class relationship by observing all the poor unfortunates walking by who are not having as a romantically fabulous time as you. The food’s pretty good too.
Are getting the sundown theme? On the third storey of what looks like a fancy leftover fish canning factory is the Sunset Bar. Again, a perfect place to watch the river at any time of day or night. They have lots of drink and food specials here too.
They have Frosé. It has vodka, watermelon and rosé in it and comes in slushie form. Now that says romance.
I realise a lot of this is not child friendly, but I’ve never heard children and romance being closely aligned. Or even on the same frickin planet.
Linking up with Kylie Purtell and #IBOT