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January 17, 2019

"Date night is a luxury, they say. No, it’s an essential." 

The 7 easy dates and indulgences we've tailored for each day are not meant to be a mission. We know you have a hectic schedule, so we've chosen some really simple, yet wonderfully entertaining ways for you to unwind and have some fun with your partner. A few of the dates require a little bit of prior preparation, so read through it together to see when and where you will have to plan ahead. 

It's time for the first date of the week! Mondays are notorious for being little rough, so to ease into this week of small relationship indulgences we're starting off with something fun and simple - a gentle stroll down memory lane. 

Here's your challenge: Go into your digital archives and bring few of your favourite couple's memories to life! It's all good and well to have your pictures stored in a folder on your computer, but it's about time you print a few of those lovely images to remind you of the beautiful moments you've shared along the way. To get the creative juices flowing, treat yourself to a glass of Van Loveren Papillon Non-Alcoholic sparkling wine or a Dom Pedro made with Van Loveren Four Cousins Marula Cream. 

How you bring your images to life is up to you. You can either create a photo book on a handy digital platform and order the hard-copy version for delivery, or you can simply print out a few images on your home printer and start a scrapbook that you can add to over time. This way you can also add little notes to remind yourselves why this particular moment was special enough to capture on film. Alternatively, you could have a few pictures printed at a photo store and arrange it in a nice frame to decorate your home. 

Tonight we're going a little sultry. If you have a family, make sure the kids are in bed and then dial up the romance. No kids? You've got all the time in the world! Put some Christina Van Loveren MCC Brut or Papillon Non-Alcoholic Blush on ice, draw a bath, light a few candles and take a long, leisurely soak with your partner. Once you're nice and relaxed, take turns giving each other a lingering massage and see where the evening takes you... Pssst, we've got some rather fun ideas stored away on our sister site, Under The Covers. 

TIP: Rose, patchouli and ylang ylang essential oils are known aphrodisiacs, so pour a few drops in the tub or use it as a massage oil to set the mood. 

Round off the evening by verbally validating your love for your partner. We are used to getting away with a quick 'I love you' and a peck on the cheek. Tonight, make a point of telling your partner why you love them and what you appreciate about them. If you can't find the words yourself, find a love poem that conveys your feelings. 

Every couple shares those little in-jokes and memories of happy occasions that don't make sense to anyone else. Those are the things that make a relationship special. Today's little date will give you the time to reminisce about all these unique quirks and enjoy a few belly-laughs in the process. 

Here's how - you're going to create your own personalised game based on the 30 Seconds-template! It's super easy. In the week leading up to your 7 day date night marathon each of you should write down 50 words or phrases that have special relevance to you as a couple. Write each word/phrase on its own piece of paper, fold it up and keep it in a container of your choosing. 

Examples include:
Places you have been to/travelled to together (e.g. Italy, Cape Town, that small town in the Free State you can never remember the name of, etc.).
Funny things that have happened to you (e.g. slipping in the shower on your honeymoon, getting kicked out of a movie for talking too loud, etc.).
Songs/artists that have particular relevance to your relationship (e.g. the song you danced to at your wedding, that artist that irritates your partner to no end, the first live act/band you saw together). These are just examples. Be creative and choose words/phrases that remind you of the good times in your relationship. Once you have your 100 quiz prompts, it's time to play the game! Pour a Van Loveren Scottish Cousin Blended Scotch Whisky or enjoy a refreshing Four Cousins Fiver cooler to set the tone, and play! 

As with traditional 30 Seconds, the rules are as follows: 
One player must guess a word/phrase from their teammate's explanation, much like Charades. 
The main restriction on the explanation is that it may not contain the actual word or part of the word.
E.g. If you have to explain 'I had the time of my life' (song), you can't mention any of the words in the song title, but you can say 'that song from Dirty Dancing that we listened to on our first date' (for example). 

Life is all about choice, so tonight we're giving you the option to enjoy a little date of any sort your heart desires. Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing, but feel free to tailor a date that expresses who you are as a couple. 

Put on your dancing shoes! It's the middle of the week, so if you don't feel like heading out, we don't blame you. Why not get dressed up and have a little dance party in your living room? Put on your favourite tunes and get your groove on. You could even try to recreate a famous dance scene from a movie like Dirty Dancing, Stomp The Yard or Pulp Fiction...

Camp out in your backyard. Put up a tent, light a little fire, braai some marshmallows and sleep under the stars. Too cold? Pitch the tent in the living room and enjoy an indoor camping session instead.  

Get your game on! Two-player video games can be a LOT of fun, especially if you’re not in the mood to head out of the house on a rainy winter evening. Get comfy on the couch, order a pizza, crack a beer if you want and challenge each other to your video game of choice. For more ideas like these, visit the Date Night Ideas website and Facebook page. We have plenty of awesome options stored away that could inspire your Dealer's Choice experience. 

It's the weekend! Do you have that Friday feeling? Good, because tonight it's time for a DIY wine tasting at home. It's winter, so a nice juicy red or two should be on the cards. We recommend Van Loveren River Red or Merlot. Feeling fancy? Push out the boat and sample the Five's Reserve Pinotage and Cabernet Sauvignon. All Van Loveren's wines are available for purchase online and at your nearest retailer. The reds all pair well with Italian flavours, so whip up some pasta or pop a Dr. Oetker pizza in the oven if you don't feel like a bunch of washing up. 

Not sure exactly how to do a wine tasting? No sweat, it's super simple! All you need is a clean wine glass, your chosen vintage and your nose, mouth, and eyes. Then you pour, look, smell, taste and describe. Remember, there's no right or wrong way to experience a wine. Describe the colour, aroma and taste of the wine to each other. Try to think outside of the box. Often wine descriptions are more poetry than reality. If you smell dew-dappled grass or taste shiny pennies, no-one can tell you any different. The point is to slow things down to truly enjoy the wine and appreciate the age-old craft of wine preparation. 

It's time for a couple's date! Since the art of the braai is pretty much a national pastime, we couldn't leave you tjop-and-braaibroodjie-less for an entire week, now could we? So today it's time for something we like to call a 'hi-bye braai', which essentially constitutes a mini road-trip in combination with a braai. 

Here's how it works:
Choose two or three couples that you want to invite & give them a week's notice to prepare for the braai. 
On the day of the hi-bye braai, get in the car and drive to the first couple's house. Have a cup of coffee, load them up and make your way to the second couple's house. Have a little chat and a snack at each house (this is why your friends need some notice to prepare), until everyone is assembled in two or three vehicles, and then ferry everyone to your house, where the proper braai will take place. 

TIP: If you want to up the ante, add a theme to your event. You could, for instance, ask every couple to prepare a snack or drink according to an around-the-world theme, or everyone could dress up as their favourite superhero. Get creative! 

It's been a long week, so tonight's date is super low maintenance. Indulge in a lazy chef's cooking session with your partner. You can either do something very simple, e.g. a Sunday-night stable like baked beans on toast, cuddle up on the couch and relive those end-of-the-weekend family suppers we all enjoyed as children, OR you can get a little more creative. 

Van Loveren Family Vineyards is a wonderful destination for romantic meals, getaways with friends or family-friendly outings. Situated it the spellbinding Robertson Valley, this beautiful wine farm is popular with wine lovers from all walks of life. Aside from a wonderful array of wines that highlight the singular Robertson terroir, the Van Loveren estate also offers a great variety of attractions and things to do. Take a road trip out to this beautiful neck of the woods and spend the day enjoying innovative food & wine pairings, taking a hike or exploring the farm by mountain bike, birding, wandering in the historic garden or simply sitting down to a delicious meal at the on-site bistro, Christina's @ Van Loveren.

Happy dating! 
The Date Night Ideas Team 


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