I am not a Valentine’s Day person … or a traditionalist when it comes to romantic gestures. Flowers are lovely in theory, but the reality doesn’t move me – I worry too much about how much they cost and how quickly they will die in my care.
But the last 12 months have been pretty ordinary, so I felt that a Valentine’s Day not spent in lockdown deserved to be celebrated. So I put the hard word on DD, which involved a bit of whingeing about it being almost seven years since we first started dating and not wanting to let the love wither.
He told me that his mates have been circulating a meme that asks blokes whether they’d like to have dinner with their wife or steak with their mates, with the multiple choice answer of a) rare, b) medium or c) well-done.
I arrived at his place on Sunday afternoon with a Valentine’s Day gift of a bunch of LED outdoor lights for his garden that he’d asked me to collect from Bunnings. He had a Madonna lily waiting for me that he’d bought and potted for my new-look loungeroom. It was the perfect gift.
Then we went on a bit of a best-of tour of his neck of the woods. We kicked off with a glass of wine at Barrenjoey House, which is where we celebrated one of Sydney’s last nights before lockdown last March.
Then we caught the ferry to Ettalong without getting off and blissed out watching the waves – it felt like we were on a mini holiday. I have an instant smile on my face whenever we start that beautiful journey, though my joy was also tinged with a little nausea as I’m still not feeling entirely well, despite what the MRI said.
After the ferry returned, DD drove us to Jonah’s for a drink, but the boutique hotel is being COVID-cautious and only doing lunches and dinners at the moment, not drink drop ins.
We were a bit disappointed, as we’d had two divine experiences there in the past. Once for dinner, within hours of Bilbo Baggins joining the family (naaaawwww, baby Baggins pictured above).
And on another for a spontaneous sunset drink (above) with the most divine view of Whale Beach.
Ah, well, we sipped a glass of wine on DD’s deck instead and gazed at his frangipanis.
Then we headed to dinner at a local joint called Lovat, which used to be Sotto Sopra. We had a memorable dinner there where we tried Primitivo wine for the first time, as a result of having the most divine waiter, Francesco (above).
On this occasion, we shared half a dozen Sydney Rock oysters with dashi, soy, chive and roe; then DD had a steak and I had the Tasmania salmon with salsa verde, fried Jerusalem artichokes, creme fraiche and salmon roe; with the most delicious side of roast broccolini, mint, lentil dressing and smoked cashew.
Such a lovely afternooon/evening.
Maybe Valentine’s Day is growing on me.
Did you do anything or did you avoid it like the plague?
Song of the day: Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Welcome to the Pleasuredome”