Date Inspiration

Welcome back, loves!

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday – I for one am very glad it’s the weekend!

If you’re anything like Matt and I, planning date days/nights to look forward to can really get you through a long week. This weekend we had a lovely double date with my bestie, Jessy and her boyfriend Tom, and we’re spending the rest of it just enjoying our time together. (Apart from the match – I was ditched for that 😉 ). We love to plan things for each other, and together. I’d love to share with you some of our favourite dates – some we do often, some we can’t do as much – but they’re all so fun!

Dinner & Drinks

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Going for dinner and drinks with your partner has to be one of the most well-loved dates, but also one of the best. Matt and I eat out a lot, especially for a couple saving up for their first home – oops! We do however eat out at all different price points, and we never go overboard by doing it too often, so it never gets boring. I realise price points are subjective to each couple, so please take this with a pinch of salt. Going out for dinner with Matt makes me so happy, we’re very much a cutesy hold-hands-across-the-table couple (I mean, are you really surprised?) and it’s nice to spend one-on-one time together. We are also adventurous with food options now which is something I’ve never really done before; we try new foods all the time, and 9 times out of 10 we love them!

Ever since Matt and I got together we’ve shared our date nights out evenly; Matt pays one time, I pay the next and so on. We’ve never been a split the bill 50/50 kind of couple; sometimes we get a few cheaper meals in a row, sometimes a few higher – it really doesn’t matter. Whatever you like to do is perfectly fine, although one of the best things about doing it the way we do is it’s much easier to plan date nights to surprise each other. We actually booked the same restaurant to ‘surprise’ each other one Friday night – luckily we can’t keep secrets so I excitedly told Matt about our plans and his face fell; thankfully because he’d done the same thing, not that he didn’t want to go!

There are so many amazing restaurants that are fairly inexpensive, and worth every penny anyway. One of our favourite relaxed places to eat is Lola Jean’s – there is one in Tynemouth and one in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre, and they’re both incredible. Without a doubt the best burgers in the North East, and they also do great cocktails! Our favourite local date night restaurants are hands down Branches, Ora, Fratelli’s and Babucho’s – great atmosphere, great food, great staff! There are so many places to go for drinks we really have too many to share. The few bars in Ponteland, Tynemouth and Grey St, Newcastle our favourite spots; it’s nice to go for chilled date night drinks and not have to yell at each other across a crowded bar. We also love going for a Sunday lunch, as you will see below!

Cosy Sunday

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The Badger, Ponteland

Sundays with Matthew are my favourite days ever. My ideal Sunday is as follows; waking up without an alarm and cuddling back in for another hour or so, leisurely getting ready (this involves Matt staying in bed snoozing while I shower/do my hair/makeup then jumping up as I say I’ll be done in 15 minutes), going for a walk in the country or at the beach followed by Sunday dinner, then spending the evening snuggled up on the sofa watching crap TV with his parents. We spend a lot of Sundays like this, and I am very grateful for that. This is clearly not the most strenuous of days but my god we don’t half sleep well on Sunday nights, it’s a wonder Matt doesn’t have to carry me upstairs to bed. That saying ‘A Sunday well spent brings a week of content’ could not be more true for us; cosy, lazy Sundays make me very happy!

Our Typical Evening

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Matching M&S dressing gowns… I hate us too

Not every date night has to be a planned-out special affair. My favourite kind of nights are the ones that are very minimal effort – our typical weeknights where we laze around the house and just enjoy quality time together are second to none. Any night can be a date night if you make it one; I think just spending time together one-on-one is a date in itself, to be honest. The kind of nights where we both can curl up together in our comfies; no makeup, messy hair, not a care in the world in that moment; that’s love!

Coming home from a long day at work to my boyfriend is, and always will be, the happiest feeling. We love to cook together or for each other, eat dinner and catch up on each other’s days. The way we spend the rest of our night differs day by day but I especially love the nights we spend just snuggling up watching Neflix! It’s really a case of it doesn’t matter what we’re doing, because we’re together. We appreciate our quality time so much – and I’m so thankful for that. The most exciting thing that might happen on these kind of nights is a spontaneous McFlurry run… I’d say we’re living the life!

Going To A Football Match

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Matt is a diehard NUFC fan, and now I’m following suit! I’ve grown up watching football – my mam and brother are football crazy – but they are huge Manchester United fans (my mam is from there so it’s acceptable, ha)! I’d never been to local games until Matt and I started dating. This is especially weird because I worked at St James’ Park for a few years when I was younger, so I did get a sneak peek now and then. The day we went to our first match together was actually the same day we became officially boyfriend and girlfriend – and ever since it’s been something we really love to do. 

My dad’s lovely friend arranged for us to meet some of the players at one of the last matches of the season (one we won 1-0 against Arsenal, yay!) and I don’t think any other match will beat that day. Seeing Matt’s face light up meeting the players was so sweet – like a child seeing their favourite character at Disney World, haha! I had to actually ask if my boyfriend could get a photo and an autograph as he was so shy, would you believe it?! He’s the cutest. We also like to go out for food before or after each match which makes it a really nice afternoon/evening out. I especially like going in the Winter – wrapping up in lots of layers (UGG’s are essential), enjoying a hot chocolate and snuggling in together. Then, going home to warm up and having a cosy night in – perfect!

Shopping

It seems so simple, but shopping dates really can be so much fun. Our favourite place for a shopping date is hands-down Costco! We enjoy our Costco trips a little too much; we spend too much money every time so it’s not exactly cheap but it’s definitely worth it. One of our favourite things is seeing how many samples we can get – the best time to go is always early on a Saturday evening; they have tons of samples still out and they usually give you two! Yes, this really is exciting for me… We really enjoy food shopping together too; it’s even better if we’re trying a new recipe and buying the ingredients for that. Clothes shopping dates are just as good – Matt is worse than me when it comes to buying clothes, and insists on trying everything on! We love a little wander around the Metro Centre, even more-so before we go on a trip or holiday.

A Staycation

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Hotel Du Vin, Quayside, Newcastle

This one is a special one, and definitely not something to take for granted! We love to go away for one or two nights to explore a new place, but you don’t always have to go far to have a good time.

Matt and I have been very lucky to have a lot of staycations already… and I’m very thankful for every one of them. We live just outside of Newcastle upon Tyne and have stayed in the city several times; our favorite hotels are Hotel du Vin and The Vermont Hotel. I’d highly recommend either; although Hotel du Vin is perfect if you’re after a more romantic weekend – there is a bath in the room and enjoying a bath together is quite obviously the best start to any date night. Every Hotel du Vin we’ve stayed in has been perfect, but the Newcastle one was our fave. We’re biased.

We also stayed at Ramside Hall, Durham a few months ago; this is slightly different as you can spend the whole night in those grounds without leaving – so you’re in the little bubble of the hotel for the night. We really enjoyed Ramside; this also had a bath in the room which was lovely. If this is something you’d fancy doing I’d highly recommend signing up to the hotels websites and using booking.com – you’re more likely to get early deals and discounts this way. Also, booking very late can be a good thing, we once booked a night at Hotel du Vin on a Saturday morning for a steal, then went that night! It’s fun and exciting and this is something we probably won’t ever do when we have our own house; so we definitely like to make the most of it while we can. 

The Beach

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We are very lucky to live right by the beach! In fact, we’re extra lucky because 10 minutes one way is the beach, and 10 minutes the other is the countryside. Going to the beach is such a nice way to spend an afternoon; regardless of the weather. To be honest, no matter how hot it is inland, the beaches in the North East seem to be consistently freezing. We really enjoy getting fish and chips at the beach – although my God the seagulls don’t half ruin the romantic vibes!

Sometimes the beach is an even better place in the Autumn/Winter months (can you tell I’m excited for the change of season?) – when it’s cold and fresh and your nose turns Rudolph red! I think being by the sea is very calming; we tend to just walk along the sea front hand in hand, chatting and enjoying the view. It’s a good way to reconnect and spend time together, as well as getting a little exercise. I know this will be ten times more fun when we finally get our little dog – if you have a dog please know I’m very jealous. We’ll also offer to dog walk any time you like, ha!

Well, there you have it – my favourite kind of dates with Matthew. We do so much more; it’s hard to summarise everything!

I’d love to know your thoughts on this post – maybe you have inspiration to take your boyfriend or girlfriend on a different date than you’ve done before? I’d love to know your favourite date ideas, and any date spots if you live in the North East of England! Matt and I are always on the look out for new places – it’s always fun to try new things. 

Thank you so much for reading! 

-G x

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