Autumn 24

8 BEST DATE NIGHTS (and days)
From a candlelit dinner to a gentle cruise on our waterways, here are eight of the best ways to enjoy a date with your loved one.

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Amalfi

1. TABLE FOR TWO
This is classy date territory. Good food and good company – what more do you need? One of our favourite date spots is Swells at Terrigal. Set on the Esplanade, this sophisticated restaurant has front-row views of the ocean from the outdoor terrace and a contemporary Australian menu with creative cocktails. If a daytime date sounds more your style, head to Pearl Beach for a beachfront lunch at Amalfi. Housed within a restored cottage under Norfolk Palms, this chic restaurant serves a menu of modern Italian. Or try the long-awaited refined dining venue at The Beachcomber in Toukley, opening date TBA. to be located upstairs at the lakefront hotel, Pelicans Restaurant has expansive water views and a delectable seafood menu… and you know what they say about oysters.

2. POTTERY CLASS
While Ghost immediately springs to mind, things are kept a little more fun and casual at Centered Ceramics during the Friday Night Wine and Clay workshop. This is an introductory class where you can hand-sculpt a cup, mug or planter pot with a group of like-minded people alongside BYO wine and a cheese platter. No need to channel Patrick and Demi on the pottery wheel for this one. Leave that for date number two.

3. A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE
When was the last time you went to the theatre? Laycock Street Theatre has a packed calendar of upcoming shows that will make for a fun date, no matter your interests. Some of the
highlights include the young solo classical pianist, Josh Hooke: Evocations in association with Musica Viva (5 April and the physical theatre, Happy Go Wrong (6 April) winner of the Best
Theatre Award at the Adelaide Fringe. And who can resist the romance of A Night of Broadway Hits (20 April). Debrief post-show over a drink and a meal at nearby Hotel Gosford.

4. COUPLES’ DAY SPA
Unwind with your date during a pampering session for two at one of the Coast’s tranquil day spas. Five Star Day Spa at Erina has a Couples Retreat Opulence package, which includes a full body massage, petite facial, foot treatment and couples’ sauna. Vie Spa at Magenta Shores
Golf and Spa Resort offers a Couples Embrace package, which includes a dry body brush, hot stone massage and cocoon, foot scrub and scalp massage. And in Tuggerah, Aztec Skin Clinic and Day Spa’s Retreat for Two includes a fruit and cheese platter in its Roman Spa and a couples’ massage.

5. PACK A PICNIC
Cosy up on a rug in the autumn sunshine with a romantic picnic. The Central Coast is bursting at the seams with beautiful picnic spots – among the long list, Long Jetty Foreshore, Crackneck Point Lookout, Patonga Foreshore, Munmorah State Conservation Area and Somersby Falls. Pack your own or order one to go: Salt Pig Deli at Erina does an incredible grazing box, while Phat Platters can organise a luxury picnic setting complete with plush cushions and floral arrangements if you really want to impress your date.

6. CHAT OVER DIY COCKTAILS
Meeting for a drink is a first-date winner, but you can make things a little more interesting with a DIY cocktail class. Pocket Bar Terrigal runs a two-hour class, which includes two cocktails; Firescreek Botanical Winery offers Foraging and Mixology Workshops, which include a garden tour, wine tasting, and three blend-your-own mini cocktails; and Lyons Den at Gosford has a cocktail masterclass including a prosecco on arrival, deluxe grazing board and two cocktails.

7. DAY TRIP TO PALM BEACH
Hop aboard Palm Beach Ferries from Ettalong to Palm Beach to spend the day at Palmy with a mix of adventure, scenery and delicious food and wine. Do the Barrenjoey Lighthouse walk (three kilometres return) to the heritage lighthouse, which affords panoramic views over Pittwater, then make your way to North Palm Beach for a refreshing swim together. Afterwards enjoy a relaxed lunch for two at Barrenjoey House before jumping back on the ferry located directly across the road.

coastxp.com

8. A CRUISY DAY ON LAKE MACQUARIE
It may not be The Love Boat, but we think a cruise on Coast XP’s newly
launched 12-seat vessel Hydro might get sparks flying. There are four
packages to choose from, departing from Belmont and Swansea, including
an Ocean Explorer Tour along the Lake Macquarie coast to the hidden
caves of Catherine Hill Bay; a lake cruise and guided nature walk with
lunch; a whale discovery tour during migration season; and a two-course
lunch package at TINTA Belmont, a contemporary restaurant perched on
the lake’s edge

WORDS MEGAN ARKINSTALL

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