Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I am all for it. I love Valentine’s Day and as a romance writer and self-confessed lover of love I’m sure that is very understandable. Many moons ago my husband and I decided to always do something unique every Valentine’s Day and since that time it has become one of our most memorable days of the year.
We usually go out to dinner but sometimes we’ve been overseas, had a picnic, seen a play or a watched a romantic movie. When our children were small, I would always cook a special dinner or organise a picnic and leave heart shaped chocolates or love heart candies on their pillows.
Perhaps one of our most memorable shared Valentine’s Days was when we were in South Africa. A group of eight of us, all couples, spent our Valentine’s Day lunch at a beautiful sustainable winery estate called Cavalli Estate. We enjoyed five impeccable courses matched with Bollinger champagne and gorgeous South African wines sitting on the deck, looking out over the lake and mountains beyond. A truly magical and very romantic experience that will probably never be repeated.
We’ve had several fabulous Valentine’s Day dinners at our favourite restaurant on the Sunshine Coast, The Loose Goose. They always put together a wonderful set menu with special touches like rose petals on the tables. One year we felt like we were riding on a train at the station restaurant where trains passed by our windows. Echoes of Strangers on a Train. Many times, we’ve sat at one of the lovely restaurants by the Brisbane River reminiscing on the year that was.
There was also the year I went to a Library Lovers talk before dinner where the author said, “In real life your partner won’t whisk you away in his sports car taking you to a romantic destination for Valentine’s Day.” My writing friends laughed as my partner was waiting for me outside in his sports car and we had just arrived home from a trip to Paris.
Then there were the Valentine’s Days which were memorable for all the wrong reasons. One year we visited a restaurant where we received our bruschetta starters and nothing else. They’d completely forgotten our order and we were talking so much that we hadn’t noticed. We went home hungry and not long after that particular restaurant closed. It was a very memorable night and now makes for a funny story.
Another year we visited a new restaurant where the food was very good… well I think it was good. It was a food and wine pairing, and they took so long between courses that the wine just kept flowing. I still pity our poor son who picked us up that night. We were very merry!
We’ve attended Opening Night of Death of a Salesman. We’d seen this play when we were dating so that one brought back so many special memories. JLo’s film ‘Marry Me’ paired with a signature cocktail had us laughing out loud at a special Valentine’s Day movie screening.
When my husband was away working in Paris, I received some beautiful flowers and headed off to my local library for an author talk with romance authors, Amy Andrews and Anna Cleary. Little did I know that this Valentine’s Day decision would put me on the path to becoming a romance writer myself. St Valentine has been very good to me.
So, whether you love Valentine’s Day or loathe it I think it’s the little rituals, caring gestures and traditions from year to year or week to week that can sustain a long relationship. It doesn’t have to be anything grandiose or cost a lot of money. St Valentine’s Day will always have a special place in my heart simply for the memories it creates. Do you have a special Valentine’s Day story to share? We’d love to hear from you at She Society.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).